Our culture today (particularly among the so-called millenial generation) is a media-soaked culture. Millenials consume media at a greater rate than any other generation. With this in mind, Thomas Nelson published the Word of Promise Next Generation New Testament in a dramatized audio version. The star-studded cast features a number of younger Hollywood stars including Sean Astin, Anasophia Robb, Corbin Bleu, Jordin Sparks, and many others. The idea is simple: present an audio drama version of the New Testament targeted towards millenials who are more likely to sit and listen to a drama than read the Bible.
This is a high quality production. It's pleasant to listen to and makes for an enjoyable experience. I felt like I was really immersed in the biblical narrative through the presentation.
Some of the casting choices were quite good and performed better than I expected for an audio drama. This is a much different type of acting where you have to relay a wide range of emotions and thoughts through the voice.
Each book of the bible also has an audio introduction by Max Lucado and Jenna Lucado. These were very helpful in setting up the context for each book so that the listener could fully understand what was happening at the time the book was written.
The production is obviously targeted towards a younger audience. The producers chose to use the International Childrens Bible (ICB) translation for the script. While this offers the benefit of having plainer and simpler language (particularly in the narration) it felt a little like the scripture was being watered down for the audience. The ICB lacks the beauty of other English translations of the Bible and this is particularly apparent when it's being read aloud.
The intentional casting of younger actors to appeal to a younger audience also seemed like a bit of a drawback. As a result, some of the performances lacked a bit of gravitas that you would hope for in a presentation such as this.
That being said, this is still a reasonably good production. Families who are looking for an audio bible to listen to with younger children will do well with this production.
The audio bible comes on 3 MP3 CDs as well as a behind the scenes DVD that offers insights into the production.
I would recommend this for families with pre-teen and teenage children.
My kids are hearing the word when we are driving somewhere or just listening when they are walking in the backyard. There is debate about the music, voice with feeling, and version (ie NASB NKJV) saying if this compromises hearing God's word. For me, just hearing the word is a very powerful action to the ear. I think this is excellent.
I looked for a Bible on CD for while we drive because Ive wanted my children to have more exposure to the Scripture. I liked the addition of acting and sound effects to this reading of an actual Bible instead of just a dramatization of Bible stories. This recording has enough drama to help hold the attention of young people while sticking with the translation. The greatest weakness is the translation itself. I wish a stronger and more common translation had been used. There are a few words translated very weakly in the ICB. For example, where some translations use the word righteous, the ICB uses the word good. Righteous has a deeper meaning than just good. Also, if a more popular translation had been used, people would possibly own the translation and could follow along with the reading. But this Bible is still a good introduction to the Word for any age or a good tool for our purposes--to engross our children in Gods Word.