Crossway has posted a long article (4,000 words) about how they moved from chapter-length RealAudio streams to verse-level Flash audio and MP3s at the ESV Online Edition. It’s pretty technical and includes source code.
We hit the high points below.
- They originally divided each chapter’s audio into verses (“versified”) the New Testament using Audacity, which took 240 minutes of work for every sixty minutes of audio.
- They used SMIL to point visitors to specific segments of RealAudio streams provided by the Bible Gateway.
- Later, they developed a better way of versifying using Windows Media Player and scripting to improve versifying speed to about fifty minutes of work for every sixty minutes of audio.
- They didn’t want to keep using RealAudio, so they developed a PHP / Flash / progressive download FLV solution with MP3 fallback.
The preface to the ESV begins:
“This Book [is] the most valuable thing that this world affords. Here is Wisdom; this is the royal Law; these are the lively Oracles of God.”
Cameron at Mustard Seed talks about planning to read the ESV cover to cover. He starts by pondering these words from the ESV’s preface. In part:
I pick up my Bible tonight knowing that these words are the lively Oracles of God; that God who yet knowable and mysterious has revealed yet kept hidden in these words the mysteries of his plan.
And because He is the living God I know that this is no static document that I approach – it is vibrant and dangerous! It has the potential to cut to the core of who I am and set my life in accordance with His will – I am powerless in the face of this book!
Matt at Mattopia blogs about listening to Galatians in the ESV:
It was nice to hear the word out loud and not be distracted by footnotes, verse numbers, and section heading. Since this was the way most people originally heard the letter to the Galatians, I think it was a worthwhile exercise.
He goes on to list some of the insights he had while listening. Our experience has also been that hearing the Bible forces us to approach it more meditatively and leads to a fuller understanding of many passages.
We’ve added a new endorsement to the Endorsements page:
- “The ESV is a great word for word translation that is a tremendous gift to Bible students and teachers. I am thankful to my friends at Crossway for the investment they have made to the kingdom by giving us the ESV.”
- Mark Driscoll
Pastor, Mars Hill Church
President, the Acts 29 Church Planting Network
We’ve released eighteen new spots in the “Bible for Life” radio campaign. Each one-minute spot has someone reading a passage from the ESV and meditating on it.
This month features Cheri Keaggy, Anthony Evans, Amber Ross, and others.
Listen to all the spots at www.bibleforlife.org.