Audio 'super production' of Bible uses 100s of voice actors to bring Scriptures alive

Between 2015 and 2018, the first audio adaptation of the most important book in history was created in Poland
Between 2015 and 2018, the first audio adaptation of the most important book in history was created in Poland | Audio Bible/Screengrab

A Polish actor and director is working on an audio “super-production” of the Bible, using professional actors, music, and background sounds to allow listeners to fully immerse themselves in the Scriptures. 

Krzysztof Czeczot, one of Poland’s best-known actors, is employing hundreds of voice actors — from A-listers to ordinary people — to help bring the Bible to life, along with original symphonic music and background sounds recorded in Israel, Aleteia reports

While previous Bible-based audio dramas use stereo sound, The Audio Bible instead uses binaural recording, a “spectacular 3D sound space that you can capture with an ordinary set of headphones,” notes the product website. 

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"It is not only an audio play – it’s an epic experience for your soul – a journey that everyone should take," it says.

Czeczot, who has won awards for his radio work, told Aleteia he wants the Audio Bible to “feel like a cinematic audio experience.” He described the project as a “beautiful tool for everyday reflection and practice for millions of Americans and English-speaking users around the world.”

“When you close your eyes, you should be in the middle of the story, because the word has power, but also, the word has a space,” he said, adding that his team recorded in Israel to capture “the sounds of the spirit of the place.”

“We were in Jerusalem, we were in the desert, we were on the Dead Sea, we were in Jericho,” he said, recording sounds of crowds, people in the market, animals, etc.

The project will cost an estimated $1.5 million, and is “halfway through in terms of fundraising,” said co-producer Marek Zmyslowski. He told Aleteia that creators are “pretty confident about starting to record next year.” 

In his home country, Czeczot’s Polish Audio Bible, which took three years to complete, has sold 145,000 copies, while its YouTube channel has had 5.4 million views. Now, he’s hoping to reach millions more with the English edition. 

For the English edition, women will do half of the New Testament readings, and the creators will employ readers from each of the 50 states to ensure listeners hear “voices from every region.”

“The Holy Book belongs to everyone,” notes the project website. “Thus, The Audio Bible was created for all and by many: the Archbishop and the Chief Rabbi, Catholics, Protestants, Jews, agnostics, people of countless professions and social groups, old and young, men and women – they all took part in the recordings, hand in hand.”

Czeczot explained that the Audio Bible isn’t just for the faithful, but for “those who are closer and further from the Church, believers and non-believers, people of other cultures and religions, with different world views, a cultural and social project.”

He stressed that he doesn’t view The Audio Bible as a “godly project.”

“This is a radio play, powerful, with a huge cast,” he said. “This is too multifaceted a project to reduce it to religious values alone, although they are obviously important.”

Over the last few years, modern technology has allowed the Scriptures to reach millions in new and innovative ways. 

In September, the completeBible became available in American Sign Language for the first time ever.

Now, the entire Bible is available to the world’s 70 million people who are deaf for free online, through social media, and on a smartphone app. The translation was led by people who themselves are deaf and trained in the biblical languages.

Also this year, the first-ever multiseason show about Jesus, "The Chosen,” premiered. At the top of 2019, “The Chosen” became the No. 1 crowdfunded media project in history.

Additionally, Deaf Missions and the Jesus Film Project are seeking to raise millions to create a motion picture about the life of Jesus Christ featuring actors signing in ASL.

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