Last Update: April
2015, deleted greeklatinaudio.com site as no longer there;
same for mannabible.org; puritanworks.com. Added several new
Note: The listing of an online store below is NOT an endorsement by me. I
simply found these sites using Internet searches and list them
for your convenience. Please research any shops before making
Here's a website that has sound samples of many of the Bible
BibleBible has a lot of authors and samples represented: http://www.biblebible.com/audio-format/
(I don't necessarily endorse everything else at these
Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. Listening
to the Bible is wonderful, and can be done while driving and
walking, making valuable use of time that is sometimes wasted
Audio versions of the Holy Bible have been available for quite some time on cassette tape and CD-ROM. These Bibles are relatively expensive, with the entire Bible costing anywhere from around $75 to over $100. This cost is justified partially by the sheer number of CD's used and for the case that usually comes with it to carry all these CDs.
Today, however, audio Bibles are available in other formats as
Audio Bible apps are available for iOS (iPhone/iPad) and for
Hardware MP3-style players can be purchased with the Bible audio
pre-loaded on them. I have a comparison chart of several models
here: Electronic Audio Bibles.
You can also purchase an Audio Bible in MP3 format on CD, which
allows you to copy the files to your own MP3 player.
With the MP3 format, the entire Bible can now be put on 2 or 3
CD's, or a single DVD, using a decent MP3 bit-rate that still
provides good listening quality. This brings the costs down
greatly over the Audio-CD format.
While the MP3 format CDs won't play in many older home or auto CD
players, many newer players now support MP3-format CDs. In
addition, as mentioned above, the MP3 can be copied (using a
computer) to MP3 players such as the Apple iPod, and of course can
be listened to on any computer or laptop (whether Windows, Mac, or
Linux based). Also, most DVD players support the playing of
MP3-format CDs (though the video will be blank, of course).
Factors for a Good Audio Bible:
There are a number of MP3 Bibles out there, but deciding which
one to get has been quite a chore, as the choices are not always
clear. Some web-sites give great information, such as providing an
audio download of a sample Scripture and stating the bit-rate of
the recording. Others don't say much more than "Finally, the Bible
Since MP3 is a "lossy" format, it can be important to know what
bit-rate the MP3 files have been saved at. MP3 files saved at a
low bit-rate can sound distorted and can be irritating to listen
to. Sadly, most web-sites don't provide this information. If you
can at least hear a sample of the recording, this can be very
helpful. If the entire Bible fits on one CD-ROM disk, then it is
probably recorded at a low bit rate since a CD only provides about
700 Megabytes of storage. A decent recording of the entire Bible
will typically take anywhere from about 1-2 Gigabytes in the MP3
format, so look for MP3 CDs that come in 2 or more disk sets, or
that are at least 1Gig in download size.
2. Style of Reading:
Three styles of reading include Spoken
only, Music background,
The spoken word audio bibles are simply the Bible read
word-for-word with no music or other distractions.
Music background versions add a subtle "music"
background to the reading in an attempt to give the reading some
feeling, and ambiance.
Dramatized versions use a variety of speakers, music, and sometimes even sound effects to provide a more dramatic reading.
Personally, I don't care for most of the "music background"
versions that I've heard. I usually find the music distracting,
almost to the point of irritating, and overall it just makes it
harder to pay attention to the word. In general, I prefer the
plain "vocal only" versions as they deliver the pure Word of God
with no distractions.
The dramatized versions are interesting and can sometimes keep
your attention better, but I also shy away from these. When the
Scriptures are dramatically read, the reader is adding what he or
she thinks the tone of the verse should be. That is, the reader may use an angry tone in a passage,
where another reader might see that verse as simply being stern and not angry. Since
the Bible doesn't give us these clues (other than contextually),
I'd prefer not to have them.
3. Speed of Reading:
One area I hadn't thought about too much before hearing several
different audio Bibles was the speed of the reading. Stephen
Johnston, for example, has narrated several audio bibles, and has
at least one version in which he speaks very quickly. I actually
felt a bit stressed after listening to portions of this version as
the speed was so fast! For some, however, the fast speed will help
them hear more Scripture in a shorter amount of time, so may be
preferable. Again, hearing a sample of the recording can be very
helpful before you purchase.
4. Bible Version: An obvious factor is the version of the Bible that is read. I prefer the Authorized Version / King James Version of the Bible.
5. Media Format: Be sure you have the proper hardware
device depending on the Media you purchase. Some Audio Bibles come
on DVD, since the audio files take up so much space. Since most
computers have DVD readers in them, this isn't usually a problem,
but don't expect to play the DVD in your MP3 compatible CD player.
Just make sure the media format matches the device you intend to
use to play the audio.
Some Available MP3 Audio Bibles
The number of Audio Bibles available has increased greatly since
this article was first written in 2006, so the following should
only be considered a sample. Try to explore the factors above in
making any purchase decisions.
It was difficult to "sort" audio Bibles as in most cases the
websites didn't provide information on who actually produced the
CD. Thus, rather than sorting these by manufacturer, I've had
to base the products on the Speaker.
This has made it more difficult to provide strong
recommendations, because it appears that the same speaker has
worked on multiple different projects. Thus, to recommend Stephen
Johnston's reading, for example, would depend on which version of
his reading you are talking about. As I mentioned above, there is
at least one product with Stephen Johnston reading that is way too
fast for my tastes, but he has other readings that are much
better. Again, I recommend that you try to hear an example of a
product if possible, as most of them are not returnable once
opened since the sellers need to protect against people just
copying the MP3 files off and returning the CDs for a refund.
1. Stephen Johnston [from Hendrickson Publishers site (www.hendrickson.com)]: "Stephen Johnston, with his clear, expressive baritone voice, is one of the foremost narrators of the Bible. He has been involved in many facets of the radio and television industries and has won numerous awards, including an Emmy and a Film Critics Award." See also Stephen's own site at: http://www.thestephencompany.com/
Hendrickson Publishers KJV Bible on MP3 (ISBN: 1565639502) lists for $29.95. It comes on 3 CDs, which indicates to me they probably use a decent MP3 bit-rate rate, although they don't give the details. The narrator is Stephen Johnston, who has a good voice. "Soothing Music" is played in the background. Sadly, as one reviewer posted on the www.Amazon.com site, the narration is spoken at such a rapid pace that it is tiring to listen to! I actually felt stressed after listening to this hurried recording, which is certainly not the result I want from hearing Scriptures. There are almost 72 hours on the 3 disks: Disc 1 - Genesis–Kings; Disc 2 - 2 Kings–Jeremiah; and Disc 3 - Lamentations–Revelation.
Hendrickson Publishers KJV Bible on MP3 (ISBN-13 9781598561357) lists for $19.95. Voice only
with narration by Stephen Johnston. I don't know the speed of
2. Alexander Scourby:
[From Hendrickson Publishers]: "Alexander Scourby’s dramatic and
moving narration of the Bible has touched and inspired the hearts
of millions. Best known for his magnificent voice, Scourby was a
noted Broadway Shakespearean actor, a radio and movie actor, and
narrator of classic TV documentaries. One of his greatest
achievements, however, was narrating the Bible—a recording project
that took over one year to complete." See also an Alexander
Scourby website at: http://www.scourby.com
Hendrickson Publishers Scourby King James Version Audio Bible
(ISBN-13 9781598563597) lists for $24.95.
On CD, but no other details are provided. I used to have
Mr. Scourby's version on cassette tape some years ago, and his
voice is great, but I don't remember any details. Hendrickson
doesn't provide any listening samples.
AMG KJV Alexander Scourby Bible on Audio
CDs (ISBN 9780899575957). Six CDs, 128kbs, 2.9GB, over
Casscom Media: Holy Bible Platinum Edition with Alexander Scourby
(ISBN-13 978-1-930034-29-7) lists for $49.99. Comes on 6 CDs.
3. Willard Waggoner:
former missionary to India.I liked Mr. Waggoner's voice, but my
wife found it not expressive enough. A downloadable sample is
available so you can listen for yourself.
eBible Productions (http://www.ebibleproductions.com) offers a variety of audio Bibles featuring Williard Waggoner as narrator. There are versions featuring Bible readings, Devotionals, and Memorization, among others. The Bible package features over 75 hours of audio, which is recorded at 128kbps. .
5. George Vafiadis. I have never heard George Vafiadis' voice, so I can't remark on the quality. Mr. Vafiadis is a Shakespearean actor, and I've read a good review of this disk set.
The Bible in MP3 with George Vafiadis (ISBN 1584723629) lists for
$34.95. Seven MP3-CD-ROMs that are tracked by books and chapters.
8. Max McLean
The Listener's Bible website says of Mr. McLean, "As the narrator of the Listener's Bible (available in KJV, NIV and ESV translations) McLean is committed to recapturing the early oral tradition of telling the Bible story with clarity and power. He brings a unique blend of dramatic expression and theological understanding that make listening to the Bible a joyous, rewarding experience. His recordings of the Bible have been nominated for Best Inspirational Audio by the Audio Publisher's Association on two separate occasions."
The Listener's Bible http://www.listenersbible.com.
Available in ESV, NIV, and KJV. Entire Bible is 2.8GB.
9. Thomas Neslson Word of
Promise Audio Bible (http://www.thewordofpromise.com)
The Word of Promise Audio Bible features an entire cast of
characters. From the website: "Dramatized by an all-star cast of
actors, including Jim Caviezel as Jesus, Richard Dreyfus as Moses,
Gary Sinise as David, Jason Alexander as Joseph, Marisa Tomei,
Louis Gossett Jr., and over 600 actors contributing to this
timeless work. This audio Bible is produced with state of the art
audio technology, including sound effects and an original musical
score." Available in multiple formats, including audio CDs, MP3
CDs, and downloadable.
10. Eric Martin: I
really like Eric Martin's narration. He has a good voice, reads at
a nice, slower pace, and there is no music or dramatization. By
Audio Treasure sells audio Bibles, but also provides some for free
KJV Voice Only: NT Only by an unknown speaker. Clear and moderate pace (can also be found at http://www.biblebible.com/bible-audio/)
KJV Soft Music Background (From Firefighters for Christ, see below): Stephen Johnston fast paced reading with music. Entire Bible available for download.
Also offers World English Bible, Spanish Reina Valera, Hindi New Testament, and more!
David P. Field's own
rendition of the World English Bible for free download. Read
quickly and designed to "read along" with the text as you view it.
David has a mild British accent. Also has an Audio Greek New
Testament project underway.
Faith Comes by Hearing.
Offers a computer desktop Audio New Testament Bible download in
many different languages.
http://www.bible.is From Faith
Comes by Hearing, a website where you can download complete
Audio Bibles in a variety of languages
http://firefighters.org Fire Fighters for Christ.
This is the fast-paced Stephen Johnston edition with music. FF4C
also offers other great resources and is worth checking out.
KJV MP3 Audio Bible Download. Features two downloads - one from Talking
Bibles International, and the other from Firefighters
PureGospel.or offers a free download of the KJV Bible; Courtesy of
Hill Top Baptist presents Alexander Scourby's MP3 Bible for
download. Voice Only, you have to download every file
All Bibles offers a
variety of Bibles in hardcopy, electronic, and audio versions
The Audio Bible/RadioActive Productions. Audio Bibles by
Christopher Glyn (music background); can listen online.
Audio Treasure offers
DVDs and CDs with the Bible in MP3 and Audio.
http://www.biblebible.com Audio Bible offers a wide variety of Audio Bibles.
AudioBibles Download; links from The Bible Source (below);
Offers Eric Martin's KJV Bible, Alexander Scourby KJV, and a few
The Bible Source offers
all types of Bibles, including some that are downloadable upon
Skip Heitzig's The Connection
Ministry offers an MP3 CD of the NKJV Audio Bible and a few of his
teachings for any donation amount (I don't see this on the website
recently - contact Skip for availability!)
http://www.thewordofpromise.com Thomas Nelson Publishing site for The Word of Promise Audio Bible, a dramatized version.
The Spoken Word of God. Features audio Bibles in many