Good Audio Bible Suggestions?

Does anyone have suggestions for a good audio Bible? The last one I tried included cringeworthy, dramatized sound effects and hideously melodramatic reading.* Two personal preferences:

  • Can be downloaded on my Android phone
  • Is free or cheap (please?)

I’ve been reading the NASB lately, but really, any good version will do. I need something to do while shoveling all of this snow up here…

*When an angel spoke, my wife and I both exclaimed in disgust, rushing to turn it off and wondering aloud at man’s depravity (i.e. “It can’t be! Make it stop!”). :wink:

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I listen occasionally (for free) to a recording of the NASB by Dale McConachie in the Bible app from YouVersion on my (i)phone. I’m assuming they have the same recordings available on Android.


Apologies. Not sure how I made this mistake, but it’s the NKJV I’ve been reading. Still, the NASB version sounds good at first blush. Thanks

I don’t know about downloadable, sorry, but that said- Alexander Scourby is one of the best I’ve ever heard. He reads the KJV. You can hear it on YouTube for free…

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Faith comes by hearing has a free esv audio drama bible. I use that some. The NKJV Word of Promise is well done, can find it cheap although it is usually expensive.

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The app has audio Bibles in several different translations. I have it on iOS but assume it’s available for Android.

For NKJV, there is a recording of Johnny Cash reading the NT, available on Audible (not free unless you use your free trial on it) or YouTube (not sure if whole thing is available or just some books).


Since the topic is running here, and since I’m teetotally iggernant of copyright law, maybe someone here already has an answer they’d put up quickly . . .

If someone - say moi, or anyone, really - made a voice recording of a Bible version other than the KJV, could he distribute it FOR FREE and not be violating copyright law by doing so?

I can see how recording an audio version of the NASB, for example, or the ESV, and so on and then selling it would violate copyright.

But giving it away?

I think one could do this with something in the public domain, such as the KJV. That, however, would have limited utility.

McConachie always sounds a bit “touched” to me. And his Hebrew names are all jacked up. Nonetheless, it is the only NASB audio my family has used. I’ve always wanted to record it myself…

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I know it will upset some for me to say it, but if one of you is willing, please go ahead and record it! Make the Lockman Foundation come after you, legally. It will violate “copyright” since translation makes the grade for creative addition to text, but the Word of God should NEVER be copyrighted other than for protection of the name of the text (NASB) being what the text actually is printed or spoken. DO IT! Seriously. Please.

And if you want to know how Christians lie and steal by means of copyright law, check this out.


Which is to say that it would not be legally defensible, even to give it away, @Fr_Bill, but it would be morally defensible.

The KJV is on Librivox, as well, so it’s definitely legally permissible to record that one and pass it around.

(the readers for that are a real mixed bag, as usual for Librivox)

Well, now Pr. Bayly, you’ve got my insurrectionist fluids flowing. Heh heh heh.

Let’s see - creative addition to text. I wonder this - what about creative additions to creative additions? How many spins of that windmill does it take to end up with something free of copyright infringement? :crazy_face:

See, here’s how a merry band of publishing insurrectionists could play the creative additions game:

  1. Pick a book from the Bible to use as the basis for an audio version of said that book of the Bible. For purposes of illustration, let’s pick the Book of Psalms.

  2. Identify … what? a dozen? two dozen? . . . English versions of the Psalms.

  3. Generate a new English-text version of the Psalms by amalgamating bits and pieces from all these versions. Keep a record of which piece came from which version. Yes, this is tedious, but maybe there’s a way to automate this via software.

  4. Note: for the maximum creative-addition dynamic, make sure that for each Psalm, one resorts to at least a dozen different English versions, even within a single verse of the Psalm. Also, feel free to tweak anything to make adjustments for style - say, for example, to insure that the mashup version always uses thee and thy and thine. Or not.

  5. Call your new English version - the Mashup Bible. Copyright it! Then put it in the public domain. There’s got to be ways to do that.

  6. Then make an audio version of The Mashup Psalms. Post a link to the MP3 file, with a notation that it is free for distribution in any format - audio, print, html, whatever - free of charge, in any number. Forever.

Here is a sample:

The LORD is my shepherd (KJV)
I shall not be in want. (WEM)
He maketh me to lie down
in green pastures; (ASV)
He leadeth me beside the still waters (KJV)

He restoreth my soul. (MEV. tweaked)
He guides me along right paths
for the sake of his name. (NABRE, tweaked)
Even though I walk
through the valley of the shadow of death, (EHV)
I will fear no evil, for you are with me; (NIV)
thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. (KJV)

Thou preparest a table before me (DRA)
in the presence of mine enemies: (ASV)
you anoint my head with oil; (ESV)
and my chalice which inebriateth me (DRA!),
it overfloweth (NIV, tweaked)

Surely goodness and mercy
will pursue me all the days of my life, (EHV)
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever. (KJV)

Easy peasy.

In the above version of Psalm 23, the following eight English versions were mashed up into the resultant English text:

ASV: American Standard Version
DRA: Douay-Rheims 1899 American Edition
EHV: Evangelical Heritage Version
KJV: the Authorized King James Version
MEV: Modern English Version
NABRE: New American Bible, Revised Edition
NIV: New International Version
WEM: My own translation of the underlying Massoretic text.

If you wish to hear a low-res audio file of this gabble-constructed Psalm 23, you may get it here:

Or, if even more creative addition to the text is needed, you can hear the same Psalm 23 from the Gabble-Bible, sung to Anglican chant, here:

I’m not totally up to date on all the legal nit-norty stuff (surely there’s an attorney lurking around somewhere? :roll_eyes:) but if this merry band of insurrectionists wished to play Challenge the Suits with this, they could form an LLC in a state where the costs to do so are very cheap (e.g. Wyoming), and then create the Mashup Bible or Gabble-Bible or whatever other name is deemed marketable, and then give it away.

Just a thought,


I like how you think! But instead of public domain, I wonder if a Creative Commons license makes more sense, or just something similar to what Unsplash does.

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I don’t know, Jon. Maybe so. As I said, I’m not up on all the legal angles. Whatever (1) discourages interferance from The Suits, (2) makes a satisfactorily coherent translation of the Scriptures into English, and (3) permits the creators to give it away willy-nilly to anyone, at any time, anywhere, in any “quantity” … whatever allows for that is the way to go.

EDIT: I just looked at Unsplash. Thanks! I hadn’t stumbled onto that site before.

Meanwhile, I note that for the photos at its site Unsplash says this: More precisely, Unsplash grants you an irrevocable, nonexclusive, worldwide copyright license to download, copy, modify, distribute, perform, and use photos from Unsplash for free, including for commercial purposes, without permission from or attributing the photographer or Unsplash.

It looks like Unsplash is claiming authority to make such a grant. What I don’t know is if Unsplash itself has ownership of those photos or not. There’s likely more under the hood of this license than is visible.

+1 for the Alexander Scourby (KJV) edition. I listened through that one multiple times when I had a long commute.

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I don’t know if this is your style, but I really enjoy the Streetlights Bible for casual listening. It’s NLT, so I don’t use it for study, but it’s great to throw on in the background while at work or around the house. Free for download on their website and via the Android app.

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I listen to Romans every time I cut grass. I use the NASB read by Dale McConachie and commend it. (Sorry, Andrew.) Be careful which version you listen to. The words matter and will permanently reside in your heart, so you want God’s words to be there. All of them. Love

Love it, Fr. Bill!
Twenty characters.

@acmcneilly and I don’t care for McConachie’s NASB either. Such strange emphases and cadences. :face_with_raised_eyebrow:

Like what, specifically? Admittedly, I only have listened to Romans,. Maybe you can check out Romans and show it to me there? I might be so acclimated I miss it. Love,