Listening to the Bible

I want the Bible to be a regular part of our lives, yet some have a struggle reading. It may be that when they sit down to read, they fall asleep. It may be they have difficulty reading. It may be that they are just more action oriented and have trouble settling down with a book.

God has always intended scriptures to be heard as well as read. The Law of Moses specified that the law was to be read in the hearing of the people every seven years (Deuteronomy 31:10-11). Ezra read aloud the law to the people who came out of Babylonian captivity (Nehemiah 8). Paul wanted his letters read to the churches (Colossians 4:16 and 1Thessalonians 5:27), and Revelation has a blessing on the one who hears the book read (Revelation 1:3). Here are some resources for finding audio Bibles.

Online — biblegateway.com

BibleGateway has a number of audio Bible translations available: ESV, NASB, KJV, NIV, etc. They also have audio Bibles in a number of languages including Spanish. Cost: Free.

Apps (Android and iOS)
Bible.is (produced by faithcomesbyhearing.org) Multiple audio Bible translations are available as well as multiple languages including Spanish. The app allows for audio Bibles to be downloaded to the device so that the user isn’t streaming from the Internet. Cost: Free.

Bible (YouVersion by LifeChurch.tv). Multiple audio Bible translations are available as well as multiple languages including Spanish. The app allows Bible texts to be downloaded, but the audio must stream from the Internet. The app allows the user to vary the speed of the recording. Multiple reading plans are available. Cost: Free.

ESV Bible (by Crossway). The app provides the ESV text for free. The text is downloaded to your device, but the audio Bible must stream from the Internet. The app allows the user to vary the speed of the recording. Multiple reading plans are available. Cost: Free.

Logos (from FaithLife). The app is free, the ESV audio Bible is free, but the ESV text is $9.99. The audio Bible streams from the Internet. The app allows the user to vary the speed of the recording. Multiple reading plans are available.

Downloaded Audio Files
Audible has a number of Bible translations available in their audible book collection (audible.com). mp3 audio file downloads of the Bible can be found at a number of places. Here’s two suggestions.

ESV at Crossway.org
https://www.crossway.org/search/?q=mp3+bible

Bibles read by Max MacLean (multiple translations available)
http://www.listenersbible.com

The Bible on CDs
Cassette tapes have gone the way of the VCR. You may find some Bible tapes around used, but they would be difficult to impossible to find new. Even audio CDs are giving way to CDs in mp3 format. The reason for this is simple. The mp3 format takes less space, so the entire Bible can be placed on about 7 CDs versus 64 CDs in the standard CD audio format. This means there will be a big cost difference between these two formats ($35 for mp3 CDs and about $70 for standard audio format CDs). Most modern CD players will also play CDs in the mp3 format, but check your device to make certain. Audio Bibles on CDs can easily be found for the KJV, ESV, and NIV. They can usually be found at our local bookstores as well as online places like Amazon.com and Christianbooks.com.

Of the various audio Bible formats available, those online and in apps are easier to navigate to particular books and chapters. With mp3 and CD Bibles the track names are often not helpful in finding a particular Bible location. They may however be easier for some users, and if you are listening through the entire Old Testament or New Testament, the navigation issue may not be a problem.

Some people like to listen to the Bible as they do other things (like doing chores or driving to work). Others enjoy listening to the Bible with the text in front of them. Regardless, recordings of the Bible are a great way of immersing ourselves in the Word. Given all the things that we listen to in our world, maybe it’s time for us to include listening to the Bible.

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