The Bible Gateway website currently offers a total of 28 translations of the Old Testament, New Testament, or the whole Bible in 13 languages. This means, of course, that there are multiple translations in some languages such as Chinese and Arabic, for both of which there are two audio versions available, and English, for which there are 14 audio versions.
If you want to try one of these audio Bible versions, it’s as simple as clicking on the red speaker icon next to the translation name whenever you pull up a scripture verse or chapter on BibleGateway.com. Alternately, you can click “Audio Bibles” in the drop down menu under the “Bible” tab at the top left hand side of any Bible Gateway page.
For non-English speakers, or those trying to learn the Scriptures in a second language, the range of non-English audio Bibles is not as extensive as the “printed” versions Bible Gateway has available, however, and there are some odd gaps. There is a Platdeutsch (Low German) version, but no Hochdeutsch (High German) version that perhaps more German speakers would utilize. But Bible Gateway may well face licensing and availability issues with many audio foreign language versions, and the ones that are given are appreciated.
If you are using English, going to the Audio Bible page allows you to choose among the different versions available such as straight reading or dramatized versions. It’s worth spending a few minutes to try the available versions to see which one works best for you. We particularly like the readings by Max McLean, but your auditory preferences/mileage may differ.
One thing is certain, even if you like to read the Bible on the printed page, listening to the words being read out can be extremely profitable. After all, that’s how the biblical books were originally intended to be experienced – as the spoken word – but simply hearing the words rather than reading them can often help you “hear” things in the text that you had not noticed in reading. Sometimes it’s a matter of the stress evident in the spoken word or the effect of getting the message in a different way, as though someone is speaking directly to us, but it can be profitable as well as relaxing to hear the Bible through speakers or headphones.
In addition to the audio Bibles they have available, Bible Gateway also offers several audio devotionals and the short audio resource “Sound Bites” from The Book – a one-minute radio program done in partnership with the Museum of the Bible that features unusual stories, news items and interesting facts about the Scriptures.
Bible Gateway offers a good number of resources to help you in your study of the Bible. If you are a regular visitor to the TacticalChristianity.org and LivingWithFaith.org websites, you know that we have several articles pointing out the advantages of utilizing some of these aids (click on the Bible Study category on the right margin of this page to see those articles). The BibleGateway audio Bible page is no exception. If you haven’t used it yet, be sure to try it – you may be surprised how often physically hearing the Bible can help us in our quest to spiritually hear it.