Fans of a best-selling audio Bible will now get to hear distinguished African-American voices read the Old Testament version, available for the first time Wednesday through the release of Inspired by… The Bible Experience: The Complete Bible.
Its predecessor, Inspired by… The Bible Experience: New Testament, was named 2007 Audiobook of the Year by the Audio Publishing Association in early June and has become the best-selling audio Bible in history with more than 310,000 units sold.
The Old Testament version features the voices of over 400 distinguished African-American actors, musicians, personalities and clergy, including 2007 Academy Award-winning actor Forest Whitaker (Moses), Angela Bassett (Esther), Cuba Gooding Jr. (Jonah), Denzel and Pauletta Washington (Song of Songs), LL Cool J (Samson), and Bishop T.D. Jakes (Abraham), among others.
As they read the Old Testament, based on Zondervan's contemporary Today's New International Version (TNIV) translation, the voices of prominent African American figures will be accompanied by original musical underscore by the Prague Symphony Orchestra and Hollywood-style sound design created at Technicolor Studios.
"Set to life-like sounds effects and an original musical underscore, this cross-generational and cross-cultural roster of talent breaks new ground in their unique presentation of the Bible and literally transports the listener back 2000 years, in the time of Christ," stated a news release.
While Inspired by…The Bible Experience: The Complete Bible is expected to be welcomed by similar markets that made the first release a selling success, the audiobook is also expected to garner criticism from Christian conservatives who disagree with the TNIV translation, particularly with its rendering of male terms – replacing "son" and "father" to "child" and "parent."
Notably, however, despite the replacement of "father" with "parent" in the audiobook, the voice of God is recorded by a male actor, Samuel L. Jackson.
The Bible Experience is also available for download on a book-by-book basis through the internet.
The project is produced by Los Angeles-based Inspired By...Media Group.