Audio Bible spreads ‘good news’ to Filipinos

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MANILA, Sept. 24, 2012— No time to read the Bible? Now you can download it in your smartphone, laptop or mp3 player and listen to it anywhere you want.

An “audio Bible” currently available in English and two Philippine languages, is now available in CD format from the Philippine Bible Society (PBS).

This is the group’s way of making the Scripture widely accessible to people, said San Fernando Auxiliary Bishop Pablo David amid a decreasing readership and knowledge of the Bible.

David chairs the CBCP’s Episcopal Commission on Biblical Apostolate, which has long been working with PBS, an interfaith organization, in promoting Bible literacy in the country.

“We know that not everyone is interested in reading that’s why we also promote this audio Bible,” David said.

“This is also part of our ‘Faith comes from Hearing campaign’ because we also agreed that faith comes from hearing so we also promote this audio Bible,” he said.

The audio Bible, which also comes in Tagalog and Cebuano, has mp3 version so that people can upload it in their cellphones, play it on a regular mp3 or CD player.

In the works is another audio Bible, this time in other local dialects such as Waray-Waray, Bicol, Pangasinan, Ilocano, and Hiligaynon, added David.

“The recording work is still ongoing for the other languages. Pretty soon we’ll make it available in all Filipino languages,” he said.

A recent survey by the National Book Development Board (NBDB) revealed a decline in the number of Filipinos into reading from 92 percent in 2007 to 88 percent in 2012.

However, David said it is not cause for alarm. “All we need to do is to adjust to the new culture because the learning process of the people is changing,” he said.

“This means we have to take advantage of the new culture of learning and that is through audio visual,” the bishop added.

“People will be using a lot their cellphones, IPAD, the digital technology and we consider this a good development although for us it’s still best if you have a hard copy of the Bible,” he said.

In 2006, the PBS already created an e-Bible, an electronic version of the Bible, as a response to concerns that the “Scriptures will be left behind in a world that is moving so rapidly.”

“If we are truly to engage our present society in the Word of God, we have to do it through all positive media that reach them, and one of these is, of course, the computer,” it said.

The PBS also started using animé on mobile phones in 2008 to popularize the Bible, and give children and teens the spiritual boost they need. [RL/CBCPNews]

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