Audio Bible Listening: Is it Cheating?

Jeff Anderson

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Why is “listening versus reading versus studying” even controversial?

It has to do with how we’re trained to interact with the Bible.

“Memory verse” drills in Sunday school teaches children (and adults) that we must read the Bible slowly. Painstakingly. Like multiplication tables.

We treat the Bible differently than any other text. And let’s face it, the fruit of this “special” treatment is that believers engage with their Bible less and less. Scripture is indeed different than any other text, but this should inspire us to engage with it on every level.

Somehow we grow up thinking that scripture can’t be consumed more casually—like a newspaper or an online article. It’s almost like we’re conditioned to need a commentary and concordance in hand… and special glasses in order to dig in to God’s Word.

Or special headphones…

The question of Bible listening

Many sincere believers think (consciously or subconsciously) that you have to read, comprehend, and stay engaged with every single word while reading the Bible, or it doesn’t count.

Do I ever find myself drifting off into space while listening to my audio Bible? Yeah, all the time. (The same thing happens when I’m reading.)

Is Bible-listening cheating? Let’s look at society, science, and scripture to explore this important question.

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