In the midst of a pandemic and at the front end of my retirement, I thought that I would have all the time in the world to do nothing but listen to podcasts. As it turns out, I listen to them a lot less than I once did. When my job put me on the road across the state, I had several podcasts that I listened to regularly. Some were about current events, some were collections of stories, and some were “religious.”
Jobless and pandemicfull, I no longer drive for hours at a time. I do walk 5-6 miles on most days. I like to do my first walk in silence. However, I will indulge in podcasts in later walks. A new friend of mine wrote to me this week telling me that he has started a podcast. I’ve been thinking about converting the Great Bible Teacher’s interviews into a podcast.
What a podcast is
Not sure what a podcast is or how to listen to one? Here are hints from The Bible Binge website:
A podcast is like a radio show that comes to your ears via the internet. The Bible Binge isn’t live, so you can listen while you’re driving, while you’re working out, or while you’re “watching” your children. Any time is the right time. Plus, podcasts are free.
You can listen two ways:
1. Stream through our website. Click the play button on any episode post to listen.
2. Download episodes to your phone, tablet, or computer. For iPhones and iPads, many folks use the free Podcasts app that is already on your device. Open the app, search for “The Bible Binge,” and hit subscribe.
For Android phones and tablets, consider using the Stitcher app. In Stitcher, search for “The Bible Binge” and click the plus sign (+) to add it to your Favorites List. Now go to the Favorites List. Tell it to download new episodes by clicking the gear in the upper right corner.
Podcasts are popular
Here are some stats about podcasts I found at Oberlo.com. 1
Summary: Podcast Statistics
- There are currently 850,000 active podcasts and over 30 million podcast episodes.
- More than half of all US consumers above the age of 12 listen to podcasts.
- 65 percent of podcast listeners tune in using portable devices such as smartphones and tablets.
- Nearly three out of every four podcast listeners in the US say they tune in to learn new things.
- 32 percent of Americans listen to podcasts on a monthly basis.
- 90 percent of podcast listeners listen to podcasts from the comfort of their own home.
- More than half of listeners are at least somewhat more likely to consider buying from a brand after hearing its advertisement on a podcast.
- Podcast advertising revenues are expected to surpass $1 billion in 2021.
- 82.4 percent of podcast listeners spend more than seven hours a week listening to podcasts.
- The average weekly podcast listener subscribes to an average of six shows and listens to seven shows per week.
What do you listen to?
While I am deciding whether to cast myself into the pod, I asked Facebook friends what they listen to related to the Bible or spiritual formation. Here is an annotated listing of those podcasts that my friends or I subscribe to. The descriptions are from the podcasts’ websites. I have not sampled most of these: they are friends of friends. The “typical time” is in parentheses.
Another Name for Every Thing with Richard Rohr is a conversational podcast series on the deep connections between action and contemplation. Richard is joined by two students of the Christian contemplative path, Brie Stoner and Paul Swanson, who seek to integrate the wisdom amidst diapers, disruptions, and the shifting state of our world. (1 hour) https://cac.org/podcast/another-name-for-every-thing/
Ask NT Wright Anything. Welcome to the fortnightly podcast that connects you to NT (Tom) Wright’s thought and theology by allowing you to ask the questions. Tom Wright is one of the world’s leading New Testament scholars and the author of many academic and lay level books including Surprised by Hope, The Day The Revolution Began and Paul: A Biography. (35 minutes) https://www.premierchristianradio.com/Shows/Weekday/Ask-NT-Wright-Anything/Podcast
The Bible Binge is a show where we take both the familiar and obscure stories found in scripture, and with equal parts humor and insight, walk you through the odd circumstances in which these ancient figures find themselves. (varies, 30-60 minutes) https://thebiblebinge.com/
The Bible for Normal People – Self-described (and Trademarked) as “The Only God-Ordained Podcast on the Internet.” (That is the only description, but I have listened to several of these podcasts. They’re mostly interviews of Bible professors or theologians based on questions sent in by the podcast’s listeners. The hosts are pretty snarky, which is off-putting to me, but others really like it.) (1 hour) https://peteenns.com/podcast/
The Bible Project – Our videos are actually animated versions of much larger conversations that have been distilled into the most salient points. In BibleProject podcast, Tim and Jon invite you into their dialogue concerning the biblical theology behind each video. (1 hour) https://bibleproject.com/podcasts/the-bible-project-podcast/
The Bible You Thought You Knew – My name is Frank Spina and during my 46 years as a professor of Old Testament and Biblical Theology, I noticed that most people only know interpretations of the Bible, rather than the scripture itself. In this podcast, I will be your teacher and guide through the Bible that not many people are familiar with. As we unpack quintessential Biblical stories, you will gain an unparalleled understanding of the scripture and discover a new way to think about the bible you thought you knew. (15 minutes) https://www.radio.com/podcasts/the-bible-you-thought-you-knew-46292
Gospel in Life – Classic sermons by Tim Keller, Pastor Emeritus of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York City and NY Times best-selling author of “The Reason for God: Belief in an Age of Skepticism.” (30-45 minutes) https://podcast.gospelinlife.com/
The Gravity Leadership Podcast: Conversations on how to live and lead in the center of God’s love in Christ – As a community of leaders, we’re learning to lead like Jesus, live on mission, and make disciples on our post-Christian culture, and the Gravity Leadership Podcast is a kind of audio journal of our learnings. (45 minutes) https://gravityleadership.com/podcast/
In the Studio with Michael Card – Michael Card has recorded over 38 albums, authored over 28 books, is host to a weekly podcast. Although music provided him the opportunity to share insight gained through extensive research, writing songs alone limited what he felt called to share. Card would frequently agonize over having to condense the vast depth and richness of scripture into a three-minute song. He then began to write articles and books on topics that captured his imagination through conversations with Bible teachers, friends and contemporaries in both Christian music and the academic community, and continues to write to this day. https://www.michaelcard.com/inthestudio
On Being – A Peabody Award-winning public radio show and podcast. What does it mean to be human? How do we want to live? And who will we be to each other? Each week a new discovery about the immensity of our lives. Hosted by Krista Tippett. (1 hour) https://onbeing.org/series/podcast/
OnScript: Conversations on Current Biblical Scholarship – OnScript has five co-hosts with sub-specialties in Old and New Testaments. (1 hour) https://onscript.study/
The Renovaré Podcast – Nathan Foster talks to ordinary saints about spiritual formation, spiritual disciplines and everyday life with God. New episodes every other Monday. (30-45 minutes) – https://renovare.org/podcast
Textual Intercourse is a weekly podcast where we discuss one or two texts from the week’s selected lectionary readings. We use our conversation as a form of sermon preparation for our own ministries. It’s usually our first look at the text. We don’t read commentaries beforehand. We don’t look at the original languages. Our goal is to encounter the text, see what percolates, and discuss. We hope it is enlightening for you. (45 minutes) https://www.buzzsprout.com/976873
The Things Above podcast is a podcast for “mind discipleship.” It is for those who want to set their minds on “things above” (Col. 3:2). Each week James Bryan Smith will offer a glorious thought—something good and beautiful and true, something excellent and praiseworthy—to fill your mind with heavenly truths. (20 minutes) https://apprenticeinstitute.org/things-above-podcast/
Unlocking Us – Join researcher and #1 New York Times best-selling author Brené Brown as she unpacks and explores the ideas, stories, experiences, books, films, and music that reflect the universal experiences of being human, from the bravest moments to the most brokenhearted. (1 hour) https://brenebrown.com/unlockingus/
Just one more?
With all of these podcasts (and many more) out there, is there a need for a podcast that targets the non-professional Bible teacher? What do you think?