We’re approaching the first of the year, so it’s time for me to encourage you to try out the Daily Audio Bible, which will of course start a new cycle on Jan. 1.
You may have used various Bible-in-a-year reading plans or listened to various audio Bible products. But DAB is something unique, and I think it’s worth checking out. It’s a daily podcast hosted by Brian Hardin, who lives in Spring Hill (although he seems to be on the road constantly with various speaking engagements). You can listen to it for free using podcast software like iTunes, at the dailyaudiobible.com website, or you can make a one-time purchase of a very inexpensive smartphone or tablet app.
Brian takes you through the entire Bible in a year (and actually takes you through Psalms and Proverbs more than once). Bible-on-CD products usually rely on people with deep, dramatic voices, but Brian’s reading style is warm and casual, and very listenable. Each day, there’s an Old Testament reading, a New Testament reading, a reading from Psalms and a reading from Proverbs. The reading itself takes maybe 15-20 minutes. Brian then usually briefly discusses one of the day’s passages, leads a prayer, talks about his upcoming schedule. The podcast is then closed out by playing various prayer requests (or messages in response to other people’s prayer requests) exactly as they were left on the ministry’s prayer hotline. You can decide how much of this you want to listen to; you can stop right after the reading, or right after Brian’s remarks and the prayer, or you can listen to the whole thing.
The podcast rotates through various Bible versions, changing to a different one each week. That probably helps keep them on the good side of the various rights holders (if they were to always use the same version, it might compete with that version’s audio Bible CDs, or what have you). A couple of years ago, when a special edition of the NIV was published using the DAB reading schedule, Brian proposed sticking to the NIV so that people could follow along. I would have liked that, if only because I don’t like a couple of the paraphrases that are in the DAB’s regular rotation. But a poll of the listeners revealed strong support for keeping the different-version-each-week policy.
DAB tries to encourage interaction and a community feel, although of course you don’t have to participate in any of that to listen to the podcast. There are various message boards at the web site, and for the past year there were DAB “family gatherings” held in various cities where Brian was traveling.
DAB also has several other daily podcasts – there’s a version just for kids, a Proverbs-only podcast, and a number of foreign-language versions.
Forcing yourself to go through the entire Bible isn’t always easy. There are Old Testament passages that we like to conveniently ignore, and Brian (without getting too sectarian – this is a non-denominational podcast) sometimes tries to address dissonance between what’s being described in the Old Testament history books and what we believe about God as God is described in the New Testament. But it’s all the Bible, and I think it’s a healthy process to push through it and make yourself think about what you believe. A daily dose of the Bible is a healthy thing for Christians, and DAB is a friendly, even comforting, way to meet your recommended daily allowance.