Have you ever done something completely unfamiliar to you? Perhaps you’ve traveled to a country you’ve never been before, moved to another city, or started a new job. Do you remember that initial feeling of unease or discomfort you felt while trying to navigate—calling a taxi, ordering unusual dishes, or finding out what your new boss expects of you?
Eventually, a moment comes when the unknown becomes familiar. You hear someone at a local restaurant speaking your language, you make a friend, or you receive encouraging feedback from your coworkers.
Joy fills your heart!
This is the same type of feeling people experience when they hear Scripture in their own language for the first time. The words connect with their heart and the Bible is no longer unfamiliar. God’s word is for them!
This is the heartbeat of Faith Comes By Hearing: to make God’s Word accessible to all people. It all begins with a recording, but it doesn’t end there. People’s lives are transformed through the power of hearing and studying God’s Word. So, why Audio Bibles?
Culturally, Audio Bibles make sense.
When people hear the Word of God in their own language, it begins to makes sense. This is especially true for cultures whose main method of learning is through oral communication, or in communities where literacy rates are low. In fact, listening to the Word of God is more common than you might think. The idea that people would have their own written copy of Scripture is a relatively recent concept. In biblical times, people gathered together to hear God’s Word. We see clear examples of this both in the Old and the New Testament:
• God called the priesthood to read His Law to all of Israel every year. God wanted people to hear His Word and memorize it so that they would do what it says (Deuteronomy 31).
• The early Church frequently gathered together to listen to God’s Word taught by the apostles. They often broke bread together in fellowship, and saw many people come to know Jesus after hearing the truth of the Scriptures (Acts 1-2).
Oral tradition is still important to many cultures today. We produce recordings of Scripture by equipping local speakers who communicate in the heart language of the people. People in rural villages, urban centers, and across the globe are able to gather—much like the early Church—and listen to God’s Word. Audio Bibles offer hope to over 6.1 billion people through Bible recordings in more than 1,200 languages. That’s good news!