For most of church history the only way to hear from the Word of God was to have it read aloud to you. But while most of us thankfully now have access to printed Bibles, listening to the Word is still a great way to take in the Scriptures. And now because of advances in technology, we can listen to the Bible at almost any time.
The great thing about listening to the Bible is you can do it while you are otherwise occupied. Driving, exercising, or even just cleaning up around the house become opportunities to redeem the time by listening to the very words of God.
Last week I asked on Twitter what your favorite ways of listening to the Bible are and got a ton of great responses:
I sifted through those responses and created a list of my five picks for the best way to listen to the Bible. You can watch the video here or keep reading for a summary of the five best ways to listen to the Bible.
There are options here for everyone, from apps to podcasts to good old-fashioned audio books.
Best All-in-One App: YouVersion Bible App
By far the most popular Bible app, the YouVersion Bible has a home on just about every Christian’s phone. But did you know that it has an audio feature?
For many versions of the Bible, you can hit “Play” and listen to a narrator read the text of Scripture aloud. You can skip around from verse to verse, set te audio to play faster or slower, and pause and pick up where you left off later. And with the built-in text tracking feature, you can even listen as you read.
YouVersion is a great pick for listening to the Bible (not to mention it’s free). But sometimes you want something that’s a little more dedicated to the audio experience.
Best Audio-Only Bible App: Dwell
Sometimes you just want to listen and you don’t care about the other bells and whistles. That’s where Dwell comes in.
Dwell has a simple mission, it’s designed to be the best audio Bible experience you can find. With multiple voices recorded in high quality, options for background music, easy to follow listening plans, and a great interface, Dwell earns its spot as the best audio-only Bible app.
Dwell is a free download with limited content. Full access is available for a yearly subscription.
Best Audio Book Bible: ESV Hear the Word
If you don’t want no fancy app, audiobooks provide another easy option for listening to the Word of God. You can load them on your phone, or just get them on CDs to play in the car. There are many options available and your choice is going to depend on what translation of the Bible you want to listen to.
But my pick for best audiobook Bible is the ESV Hear the Word Audio Bible. I’ve listened to this one so many times that the narrator, David Heath, is the voice I hear in my head when I read the Bible.
Best Daily Reading Podcast: ESV M’Cheyne Podcast
Next, we have the best daily Bible reading podcast. Daily Bible reading podcasts are a simple approach to reading through the Bible. Most of them focus on getting through the Bible in a year, but with the ESV M’Cheyne plan, in a year you’ll get through the Old Testament and twice through the New Testament and Psalms.
This podcast follows the popular Bible reading plan created by Robert Murray M’Cheyne. Simply subscribe to the podcast and start getting the daily reading delivered to your podcast player each morning. The readings are 10–20 minutes on average. Perfect for a commute.
So, check out the ESV: M’Cheyne Reading Plan for the best daily reading podcast.
Best Original Language Bible Listening
This last one is for the nerds.
If you’re someone who is into the biblical languages, you’ll love this daily reading podcast put together by my friend Kaspars.
Each day you’ll hear an OT passage read in Hebrew followed by the same passage read in English, and the same for a New Testament passage. First in Greek, then in English. This immersion helps develop an intuitive familiarity with the languages.
So, if you’re a seminarian, scholar, or a pastor trying to stay fresh with the languages, the Greek & Hebrew One-Year Bible podcast will make a great addition to your listening lineup.
Those are my picks and I’m sticking with them.
Anything I missed? Share it in the comments.
Also, if you’ve ever felt like listening to the Bible kind of feels like cheating, check out episode 53 of my podcast the Redeeming Productivity Show, where we take a look at the question, “Is Listening to the Bible on Audio Cheating?’