We’ve released ten final spots in the “Bible for Life” radio campaign. Each one-minute spot has someone reading a passage from the ESV and meditating on it.
Listen to all 296 spots at www.bibleforlife.org.
Jeff at Wide Open talks about why he’s been studying and preaching from the ESV:
These are just a few of the reasons I choose to preach from the ESV. If you attend Living Hope Church, do you need to rush out and purchase another Bible? Absolutely not. Keep reading the Bible you love. But if you’re interested in checking out something new, I’d recommend giving the ESV a look. All the versions mentioned above are perfectly fine for devotional reading…. Many other churches across the nation are making the switch [to the ESV] as well.
Nan at Life Is Like a Lunchbox has an overview of free audiobooks on the web, including the ESV:
And last but absolutely not least, what would this list be without a reference to the greatest and most influential classic of them all which can be read and listened to in its entirety for free online? At esv.org you can both read and listen to the Bible, from cover to cover, for free. Simply click the chapter you want to read/hear and at the top of the passage click the word listen and it will automatically start playing. This is a wonderful, beautiful gift that ESV has given to us. Naturally, as a Christian I find explicit and unequivocal value in the reading or hearing of the Bible. However, even if you are not a Christian, the Bible has decidedly been one of the most, if not the most influential book in all of history for many reasons, including that it is the story from which much of ancient and modern literature has gleaned many of its plot-lines and therefore should be read by all as literature if nothing else. I remember even having to read portions of it for my Advanced Placement English class at my public high school.
You can listen to the ESV for free; you can also buy an MP3 download of the ESV (read by Max McLean) if you want to hear the Bible even when the Internet isn’t available.
Also, look for a new audio recording of the ESV this fall—online and on CD.
OpenBible.info has created a linguistic “map” of the ESV. It looks like this:
The blue lines show quotes from people, and the light red lines show quotes from God and Jesus. The full-size graphic reduces words to a single pixel and uses lines to indicate sentence length.
A closeup of the book of Joshua looks like this:
The long lines in the lower left corner show the catalog of kings and lands in Joshua 12 and 13, punctuated by a discourse from God (the red lines). The lighter dots show all the proper names in the catalog.
This kind of visualization may not lead to huge insights, but it provides a new way for people to interact with texts. As an OpenBible.info blog post notes, interactivity would make these visualizations a lot more useful.
The visualization makes use of some datasets we have. The quote colors come from the Bible Quote Speakers dataset that we made with Mechanical Turk. The proper-name colors come from our Proper Names dataset, which catalogs and categorizes all the proper names in the ESV. Both datasets are now available under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial license.
Does this kind of dataset excite you? Check out the biblical-names-database Google Group, which aims to create a unified address space for biblical names. UBS has already donated two massive datasets. We’d certainly be happy to see our two datasets above added to this group’s data.
Stefanie Posavec’s visualizations of On the Road inspired this visualization. Crossway staff assisted in its production.
Mark at Bible Design and Binding recently wrote about reading the ESV on his iPhone. A twist: he keeps his iPhone in a leather case so it kind of looks like a Bible:
When you consider how much I like small Bibles, it’s no surprise that the iPhone-as-Bible appeals to me. It’s the Bible I carry when I’m not carrying a Bible. Personally, I don’t like having a bunch of little devices to carry, so in the past I tended to leave digital cameras, music players, etc., behind. A cell phone is the only pocket device I’ve had the discipline to carry pretty much always. Because I can now read the Bible on my phone, I almost always have Scripture handy, no matter where I happen to be.
Mark has hit on something about using technology for religious purposes: you have to design it so people will use it. Susan P. Wyche, a Ph.D. student at Georgia Tech, has been pursuing research along these lines. (See, for example, her IxDA talk about using sketches to capture the “consumption and appropriation of technology by evangelical Christians” in Kenya.) Prefiguring Mark, Susan and her colleagues sketched a leather-covered mobile phone for use in worship:
Academic research that explores the intersection of faith and technology is important for both product designers and religious publishers—technology, especially mobile technology, is spreading around the world and people are starting to incorporate it into worship.