Five Easy and Free Ways to Listen to the ESV Audio Bible

Photo courtesy of flickr user Rae Whitlock

Looking for an easy way to listen to the Bible for free on your terms? Look no further. If you follow the instructions below you’ll be able to listen to the ESV Bible any time, any place. You can easily stream audio of the ESV to your iPhone, iPad, or other smartphone (as long as it can play MP3s). You can quickly listen to the verse(s) you want from Chrome, Firefox, or Internet Explorer. You’ll be able to listen to a daily Bible Reading Plan with just a click!

Sound too good to be true? It’s not. Read on and you’ll be amazed out how quickly and easily you’ll be listening to the Scriptures of your choice.

Listen Anywhere

No matter where you are or from whatever device you’re using (as long as it can play MP3s) you can quickly listen to specific Scriptures using the form below. Try it!

The little search box above should work most of the time, but maybe you’d like search directly from your browser. So, here’s how you can do it from three popular browsers.

Listen Using Google Chrome

One of the most useful features that Google Chrome has built into it is its ability to add custom “search engines” to the address bar. Using this feature you can get to the audio of any passages you want in just a few simple steps.

1. Click the wrench button then click preferences.

2. Click the “Manage” button to the right of default search.

3. Click the + symbol to add a custom search engine.

4. Enter the following info:

  • Name: ESV MP3 (or whatever you prefer)
  • Keyword: esvm (or something else, but┬ákeep it short)
  • URL: http://www.esvapi.org/v2/rest/passageQuery?key=IP&output-format=mp3&passage=%s

Once you’ve added the custom search engine you’ll type your keyword, press tab, type your reference(s), and press enter. The next thing you know you’ll be listening the Bible being read to you!

Listen Using Firefox

When I started writing this post I thought adding the ability to search for ESV Audio MP3s in Firefox was going to be really difficult for me to explain. Turns out it’s ridiculously easy (now that I did a LOT of trial and error). All you have to do to add the ESV Audio search is:

  1. Click on the search engine icon next to the search box.
  2. In the drop-down box click Add “ESV Audio”

That’s it. Really. Once you do those two steps (from this page, of course) you’ll have the ESV Audio search added to your Firefox search engines. Now you’ll be able to quickly listen to any Scripture right in your browser. Try it out!

Listen Using Internet Explorer

The process for Internet Explorer is about the same as Firefox. One difference is the drop-down arrow to the right of the search box will change colors to let you know there is a search engine available on the page. I’ll update this post with clearer instructions once I’m booted into Windows.

Listen to a Daily Bible Reading Plan

And as an added bonus you can follow a daily reading plan via audio too.  There are a few nice plans to choose from. Quickly listen to any of the reading (or I guess listening plans) by clicking below:

Whew. This post became a big undertaking. I’d love to get some feedback from you. Please share your thoughts or questions in the comments below. Also, I’ve had a weird issue with my iPhone cutting off the last few verses of the MP3 that I’m listening to. Let me know if you’re having the same problem.
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Please note. The ESV translation is copyright, so the following applies:

The ESV text may be quoted for audio use (audio cassettes, CDs, audio television) up to two hundred fifty (250) verses without express written permission of the publisher providing that the verses quoted do not amount to a complete book of the Bible nor do the verses quoted account for 50 percent or more of the total text of the work in which they are quoted.

So, basically don’t save an MP3 of a whole book or more than 250 verses. If you’re streaming to your iPhone you should be fine.