Digital Bible project sees huge global demand

The Digital Bible Project began as a concept in 2009 when Faith Comes By Hearing audio Bible ministry sought to create free and open digital access - across multiple platforms - to both Bible text and the world's largest and continually growing catalogue of audio Scripture.

Now with seven direct digital distribution points to the Bible in many languages, the ministry has decided to move from the conceptual title of Digital Bible Project to the Digital Bible Platform.

During its first 37 years in ministry, FCBH estimated the ministry reached some 50 million people with audio Scripture. In the last two-and-a-half years, FCBH has monitored Bible engagement by more than 90 million people, including connections originating from 92 per cent of the countries on the planet.

Over this same time frame, FCBH said the ministry is seeing an average of over 2 million minutes a day spent listening to God's Word, including an average of 27 minutes daily by each person listening on mobile devices via the app.

FCBH said between direct downloads from its web site and podcast store, the largest audio Bible store in iTunes, the ministry has registered more than 38 million free downloads to personal devices.

"We can only imagine the exponential reach of God's Word in audio on multiple millions of devices around the world," said Troy Carl, FCBH vice president and architect of the Digital Bible Platform, speaking in a news release.

Carl added, "From iPods and MP3 players to laptops and smartphones, technology has become the new 'Roman Road.' And the Gospel is circling the earth on that road, in the heart languages of the world."

In addition to these online platforms, FCBH said, the ministry also provides free access through digital playback devices. The Proclaimer, a solar-powered unit capable of being heard by groups as large as several hundred, is used primarily to reach the world's poor and illiterate population. There are currently over 317,000 Proclaimers providing the Gospel worldwide.

Also, FCBH said, more than 222,000 Military BibleSticks - pocket-sized, digital players loaded with the dramatised New Testament - have been distributed through chaplains to troops in every branch of America's military.

Even with these multiple platforms and devices, Faith Comes By Hearing's leadership said it is the message, and not the method of distribution, that will remain their guiding principle.

"The vehicle has never been important to us. We've gone from cassette tapes to CDs to now digital. And I'm sure there is a great new technology out there being developed that we'll be using in the future," said Jerry Jackson, FCBH founder and president, speaking in a news release.

He added, "That being said, our focus will always be to bring the pure Word of God - in a format people can use - to every nation, tribe and tongue."

Founded in 1972, Faith Comes By Hearing is celebrating 40 years in ministry.