The ESV Online Study Bible now lets you listen to a brand-new recording of the ESV text. Try it out in Matthew 5—just click the “Listen” link. You can even listen to any combination of individual verses (try Matthew 5:14-15).I listened last night to the first seven chapters of Matthew. I like the new recording--and it reminded me again of helpful it can be to hear the Word of God read. Here's something I wrote earlier this year:
We’ll be rolling out this recording to our other sites, podcasts, and the ESV API in the near future, and you’ll be able to buy it from Crossway starting next week. The existing recordings by Mac McLean and Marquis Laughlin will remain available.
This recording is by David Cochran Heath. Heath is a veteran stage actor, performing in more than one hundred productions. He has recorded many audio books, including Christian classics by Thomas a Kempis, Francis Schaeffer, and John Piper.
In listening to an old lecture recently by J. I. Packer, he made the comment that it was not until after the 17th century (as far as he could tell) that people started doing silent prayers and reading as opposed to praying and reading out loud.
For most evangelicals, silence represents the vast majority of our reading and praying. But I wonder if that's to our detriment. One of the great enemies to Bible reading and praying is a wandering mind--and one of the great ways to make your mind wander is to do everything in your mind without involving your voice and ears!
. . . Here's something else to consider: the entire Bible on audio is usually about 75 hours (or 4500 minutes). If you commute to work 5 days a week, that's about 260 days a year. And if it takes you, say, 17 minutes to commute each way to work--and if you listen to the Bible on audio during your drive each way--you'll get through the entire Bible twice in a year.