Brave Parenting Guide to the Bible Chat App

Since OpenAi’s public release of their GPT-3 and GPT-4 Large Language Models (LLMs), the digital landscape has transformed. There is nothing left untouched by this revolutionary AI technology – including Bible Apps.

Here are five facts every parent needs to know about the Bible Chat app.

#1 What is Bible Chat?

Just as the name suggests, Bible Chat is an app that allows users to interact with an AI chatbot about the Bible. Created by Book Vitals, their mission reads:

Our mission is to use AI to transform the way students, spiritual seekers, and entrepreneurs study books. Grounded in our belief that the next decade will witness a revolution in education through AI-driven software, we aim to pioneer this change. We’re committed to creating AI-powered apps that personalize content, gauge engagement, measure understanding, and provide immediate feedback. Above all, we strive to understand and respond to the unique motivation triggers of each learner, truly enhancing and personalizing the study experience for diverse learners.

Those pioneered promises come at a steep cost, however. The free trial offer is a mere three days. During the free trial, the user may only ask five questions per day, and when the trial is over, the user pays $4.99 a week (yes, $4.99 per week!!) to chat with an AI bot about the Bible. Your weekly payment, however, does earn you unlimited questions. To which, they offer suggestions:

  • Ask questions about David, Esther, or any other biblically historical person. 
  • Ask moral questions like, “Should I tithe?” or “Can I be a Christian Online?”
  • Create personalized prayers. Write down your personal prayers to connect with the Divine and express your desires.”
  • Create personalized devotions. Start your day with devotionals customized to align with your spiritual journey and interests.”

There is also a Bible trivia feature that allows the user to choose easy, medium, or hard questions to test (or reinforce) their Bible knowledge. 

The creators of the app claim Bible Chat was built for Christians by Christians (which infers there is no denominational influence.) Bible Chat users can choose from three different Bible translations in the app (ESV, NIV, NKJV). 

#2 Creating Your Account

Setting up an account is super easy. First, to create a profile, the user answers a series of questions about where they are in the faith, how they feel after they read the Bible and other questions that imply the app will create a user-specific profile. We choose to set up our test profile as a new Christian who struggles to understand Scripture and apply it relevantly but who is also distracted and tempted. 

Noticeably absent in the set-up was any personal information that is typically collected. The app did not ask or require a name, age, sex, or race. Moreover, since the app is rated 4+, there was no parental permission required or age gate. 

Should there be parental permission required if they’re just asking questions about the Bible? Absolutely! 

First, no child or teen should be permitted to charge $4.99 a week without their parent’s permission. Second, considering that children and teens are less likely to lie when asking a question to Google or AI, the app will likely get the hard faith-wrestling questions instead of the parents. This is detrimental because the parent is the primary disciple-maker. AI chatbots are not mentors, elders, pastors, theologians, or scholars and have no place discipling young souls.

“Is it okay if I’m attracted to the same sex?”
“Can I have anal sex with my boyfriend and still be a virgin?”
“Can I end my life and still get into heaven?”

What parent wouldn’t want to know their child is asking these types of questions? 

#3 Begin Chatting (but Beware!)

The home screen offers various topics to spark a chat session.

While the app does not identify itself as a chatbot therapy app,  there are topics that easily come across as ‘therapeutic’. As a certified Biblical Counselor, my curiosity piqued.

In a “chat” about depression, I tapped the AI offer of help or support

I asked, How can you support me?

The responses from the chatbot were honestly the very same I would give in a private counseling session. Its capabilities, however, end there.

I, on the other hand, can grab my counselee’s hand and say, “Let’s pray.” I can shed tears, laugh, and actively listen. I can immediately contact an elder, pastor, or even emergency help if the potential for physical harm is present. I can alert a deacon to meet particular physical needs or find a small group for the counselee. I can find her a mentor so she is not left alone. I can start a meal train.  The list seems endless. As a counselor, I can and will always be able to do more than AI.

Although I diligently endeavored to get Bible Chat to push me toward a suicide hotline or at least toward real people, it failed miserably. After “chatting” in the Mental Health and Heal My Pain topics, the next “chat” was about Bible questions.

#4 Bible Knowledge and Lazy Hermeneutics

Considering our Brave Parenting test account established me as a new believer, it is remarkable that there were zero prompts, pop-ups, or curated content acknowledging my faith starting point. In fact, nothing from the questions asked during account set-up was overtly curated for a personal experience.

The questions I asked during our three-day trial were generally from a new Christian perspective. I chose passages with known interpretative challenges, such as the actions of the Egyptian midwives in Exodus. And to the chatbot’s credit, the answers were fair and accurate.

I also asked questions about historical figures: “Who is Esther?” and “Who is David?” The app’s response included an overview of each person’s life and challenges, other historical people involved in their lives, and more. While this historical overview is surprisingly thorough, the reflection questions were woefully lacking. They reflect you – the reader – and how can you do what Esther or David did? 

This is a lazy hermeneutic or method of interpretation.  Classically, the interpretation of Scripture is best through seeking the author’s intent for the original audience and in light of the historical/cultural/canonical context.  The narrative of Esther was written against the backdrop of Babylonian exile and for that contemporary audience. The author’s intent was never to teach twenty-first-century believers how to be like Esther.

Better reflection questions would be, “What did you learn about God in the book of Esther?” or “How did God reveal his faithfulness to David when David was unfaithful?” 

#5 App Ratings & Review

App Store: 4+
Google Play: E-everyone
Brave Parenting: 18+

The price alone should make this app an easy ‘no’ for parents. Aside from the price, there is significant concern about the promotion of “therapy” with the lack of adequate resources to help. Not only is it biblical to point someone towards their family, community, or church for genuine guidance and counseling (which did not occur), but it is compassionate and ethical to suggest a suicide hotline to someone despairing of life. Parents would be naive to believe that matters of life and death; despair and hopelessness; and worth and value are not pressing issues on the minds of tweens and teens. Moreover, teenagers feel safe with technology because they can ask honest and heart-revealing questions without judgment. So while we know whey will naturally seek out answers from any source – an AI chatbot (even one that claims to know/be the Bible) should never be that source.

Additionally, AI should never be the source of spiritual formation. In an age when young people would rather be alone on their phones than with their peers and Youth Pastor on a Wednesday night, the importance of real-life discipleship cannot be overstressed.

And we cannot neglect the fact that the app has questionable interpretation methods. The Bible deserves reverence as the authoritative, inerrant Word of God. Lazy hermeneutics leads to wrong interpretation and even worse application. 

Biblical Considerations 

The app’s website ( expresses their desire to use technology ethically and for the purpose of spreading the gospel and connecting Christians. The altruism of their sentiments, however, is tempered by their (prideful) quantification of how many Christians have been reached and how many questions have been asked in the day and overall.  

Their mission states they desire to be pioneers in the AI race due to their grounded beliefs in the transformative power of AI for education. Pioneers prepare the way for others. Jesus was a pioneer (Heb. 2:10). Any pioneer whose beliefs are grounded in human progress through AI instead of the authoritative Word of God is not a pioneer we should follow

Is the app really connecting Christians? Or are they redefining ‘connection’ to mean “anyone who uses our app is connected”?  The truth is that every technology we engage in alienates us from something else in our lives – namely, people. 

Could this app be alienating believers from actually turning pages & reading in their Bibles? 

Could it be alienating believers from mentors, elders, or pastors they could ask questions of in person? 

Could it be alienating a teenager from their parents? 

Could this be alienating a hurting brother or sister in Christ from seeking out a biblical counselor? 

AI can be a helpful resource, but it cannot and should not replace people or community in our lives. Let’s not give each other up for an AI Bible Chat. See if there is a bible study you can join locally, create a discipleship group, join a Sunday school class, pray about going back to school, or take a Survey class. So many other people-orientated ways exist to expand, broaden, and deepen our biblical knowledge.





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