THERE are many good-quality Bible-based apps available; here is a podcast-based audio Bible.
The Daily Audio Bible app is a product of the Nashville-based record producer Brian Hardin; and costs 99p on iOS, and 61p on Android. Each day, a new podcast is delivered, which varies in length from about 30 to 45 minutes. The podcasts contain readings from the Old and New Testament, together with a brief contextual explanation. This is followed by a mini-sermon and then prayers — including prayer requests from app-users which have been phoned in to a voicemail server.
The app takes you through the entire Bible in the course of a year, but there is other material, too. “This isn’t just your basic listen-along,” Hardin says in the app notes. “There is a vibrant and global community going through the Bible together, tens of thousands strong.”
The app also contains the written version of the daily Bible readings through Bible Gateway (App Guide, 20 March 2015) and a small selection of blogs.
But there are downsides to the app: not least the monotony of listening to a single voice for more than 30 minutes. Hardin tries to overcome this through the use of a musical underscore, but the truth is that the music becomes a distraction.
Despite this, the Daily Audio Bible is good value for money: within the app, you can also listen to daily proverbs and psalms; besides podcasts for kids and teens, and you can listen to the daily Bible readings in Arabic, Chinese, French, Japanese, Portuguese, and Spanish.
If you prefer a more personal daily devotional app, you may find Pray As You Go useful. Produced by the Jesuit technology organisation Moveapp, Pray As You Go is a free app, available on both iOS and Android. It contains a daily ten-minute podcast featuring a mixture of music and teaching.
The music is designed to calm your mind and thoughts; and the teaching is gentle and thought-provoking, asking questions rather than providing answers.
For each day, a Bible text is provided for the user to read for himself or herself in whatever version is preferred. The podcast begins with the date, followed by a brief recording of tolling bells, to symbolise that you are entering a time of prayer.
This is followed by the reflective music, and a homily in which the user is asked to consider various aspects of the reading in a way that encourages the user to think about the reading and come to his or her own conclusion rather than have the answers provided.
Music in recent days has included items as diverse as “Christ be Near” by Keith Duke; “The Kingdom of God” by the Community of Taizé; and “Encore un peu de temps” by the monks of Keur Moussa, a Benedictine monastery in Senegal.
The screen for each day’s devotional includes expansion slots providing the text of the homily and full details of the music, including where to purchase it online.