The Read Bible - A Crowd-sourced Audio Bible

Photo by Stephen Radford on Unsplash

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The latest open source project I've been working on is a crowd-sourced audio Bible.

The motivation for this project comes out of two verses from the Bible:

So faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. - Romans 10:17 (WEBBE)
Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to preaching and to teaching. - 1 Timothy 4:13 (NIV)

It is quite clear to us what public reading of Scripture looks like in real life, however, this project imagines what public reading of Scripture looks like in a digital world. This is how we can help others hear the word of God through our digital voices.

Recording a Reading

To record a reading using the website, you first select any chapter to read from the World English Bible (see my previous blog post about Bible licensing restrictions). Once a chapter is selected, press "Record Your Own". From this mode, you can use the arrow keys (or touch on mobile) to move focus between each of the verses as you read. When ready to begin recording, press "Record". As you move between verses, this information is stored, so when someone is playing back your recording, it follows along with the currently highlighted verse.

Creating a reading of John chapter 3

Once you have finished recording, select "Finish", fill in the basic information about your recording, and submit. From here it goes through a moderation flow and is once approved it is available for everyone around the world to listen to.

Listening to Others Readings

From the homepage, select the book and chapter you would like to read. Once you are there, if there are already recording submitted by others, you can choose which one of these you would like to listen to and press play. If there is not a recording for the specific chapter you are looking for, you can be the first to record one!


Future Work

The current website is pretty bare-bones, but I believe the recording and playback experience is pretty awesome for being able to follow along with what is being read. There are however some nice improvements that I'd like to add over time:

  • UI improvements such as dark mode
  • Ability to filter chapters by which ones have or don't have recordings (to know where more contributions are needed)
  • Proper process for users to be able to remove their recordings (there is no real account management built in)
  • Proper documentation for how third parties can consume the recordings

Call to Action

Please consider creating a recording of a chapter and submitting it. Either a chapter containing your favourite verse or one God has placed on your heart recently.

Create Reading Now
Benjamin Kaiser

Benjamin Kaiser

Software Engineer working on the SharePoint team at Microsoft. I'm passionate about open source, slurpess, and Jesus.
Gold Coast, Australia

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