Talking Bibles are key to reaching lost non-readers worldwide

By January 12, 2006

USA (MNN) — They look like Bibles. They act like Bibles. But, they’re not your typical Bible. These Bibles are actually New Testaments in audio. And, the digital age is making these Talking Bibles more effective.

Harvey Hoekstra is the founder of Talking Bibles International. He translated the Bible for people in Sudan a number of years ago. “When you’re all through with that you realize that more people are unable to read that translation than are able to read it.” That’s why the Talking Bible began.

Hoekstra says there’s something unique about non-readers. “Just as we learn by reading, anybody who could not read who was a Christian would be able to learn God’s word by listening. They have phenomenal memories.”

While Hoekstra says Christians were the primary focus of Talking Bibles, he says it’s actually having an incredible impact on non-Christians. Hoekstra explains. “You have a Christian family. They do not read. They receive a Talking Bible. They schedule a time when they as a family will listen. The neighbors begin trickling in. Relatives come. And, in those settings we are finding that many are saying, ‘We want to become people of your Jesus.'”

Talking Bibles has an ambitious goal: “That every authentic translated New Testament must be made available as a Talking Bible. The technology is there. The cost factor is being minimized. I say to myself, ‘it’s unthinkable that we would not do it,'” says Hoekstra.

There are over one-billion people who don’t read their own language. Hoekstra says they need the church to help meet their short-term goals. “We have a plan in India that in the next two to three years we want to distribute 100,000 Talking Bibles. There’s another plan for Africa, 10 languages and 10,000 Talking Bibles. That’s why we need to the church to awaken and pray and give and some of them to go.”

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