Thursday, December 02, 2010

Word of Promise - Audio Book Review

The Following is an Audio Book Review for the Thomas Nelson Book Publisher website. Thomas Nelson provided me with a complimentary copy of this audio book for reviewing purposes, and I have actually had this book for a VERY LONG TIME, and am beyond way overdue on this review. To be honest, I sort of forgot it existed until I was cleaning out my office and found the cd's and remembered I'd already reviewed it,but never posted it, so....without further ado:

The book:

The Word of Promise: Next Generation New Testament Audio Youth Edition. Finally the entire New Testament is ready for the wired generation! Now you can get into the Word as never before with this highly dramatized recording of the New Testament. The accomplished cast includes Sean Astin as the Narrator, AnnaSophia Rob as Mary Magdalene, Marshall Allman as Paul, Emily Osment as Mary, Mother of Jesus, Cody Linley as Jesus, Jordin Sparks as Elizabeth, Corbin Bleu as Peter, and many others. Set includes a bonus Behind-the-Scenes DVD with cast interviews, recording sessions, and more! Get the kids something that will be uniquely theirs!

The Word of Promise is a New Testament Audio Bible, dramatized by an all−star cast of actors, including Jim Caviezel as Jesus, with Marisa Tomei, Louis Gossett Jr., and many more. This audio Bible is produced with state of the art audio technology, including sound effects and an original musical score. This is a new experience in audio Bibles like none before. Take a listen today!

My Review:

Tell me, how does one review an Audio Bible? I mean, it’s not like I can dissect the story lines and criticize or praise them. That just feels wrong. It’s the Bible! As I sit here staring at a blank page I’m beginning to question the wiseness of my choice of “The Word of Promise: next Generation” as my review book of choice for Thomas Nelson Publishers. It seemed like a good idea at the time, after all, I’m a fan of audio books, I’m a Christian, and I’m a youth leader, this seemed like the perfect project to delve into. But doing the actual review? Well, that’s been a bit more challenging.

Yet, here’s the thing, I absolutely loved this audio book. I think the idea is ingenious, and the execution was fantastic.

The Word of Promise: Next Generation is the New Testament in Audio, the Youth Edition. From the Thomas Nelson Publishers website: Now the entire New Testament is ready for the Wired Generation.
Today's youth ingest media at a faster rate than any previous generation. And they can't get enough! The Word of Promise: Next Generation - New Testament is the perfect way for young multi-taskers to absorb Scripture. This ambitious recording makes the Word accessible to more kids than ever before.

This audio book is not just an out-loud reading of the Bible, it is an all-out dramatization of the gospels and stories we, as Christians, have grown up listening to. Dramatized by an all-star cast of some of hollywood’s most promising up and coming young stars, it is enganging, entertaining, and inspiring. Narrated by Sean Astin (of Lord Of The Rings fame), and starring Cody Linley as Jesus, Jordin Sparks as Elizabeth, Corbin Bleu as Peter, and Anna Sophia Rob as Mary Magdalene, among others, it is an inspired and engaging retelling of the one book we should hope all our youth have a chance to read (or hear), regardless of their faith. The actors do a wonderful job of capturing the emotions and nuances of the stories, and a soundtrack of Hollywood special effects adds just the right amount of atmosphere and realism to pull the listener into the world. Wind, water, birds and background noises which serve to make the telling not just a reading, but a living prayer.

As a youth leader myself, I was excited to get my hands on this audio book because I wanted to see if it was something I could utilize with the group of teens at my church. Would it be enganging enough, interesting enough to play for them at meetings, to have them hear a bit of “the word” and not lose their interest? In this day and age of technology, flashiness and blockbuster movies, it is easy for a book such as the bible, written in language not entirely accessible to the “texting” generation, to come across as boring, irrelevant, and not at all something our teens have the slightest interest in delving into. So as youth leaders, we are constantly looking for new ways to introduce the teens to the bible. This, in my opinion, is a fantastic option.

I’ll be honest, I myself am guilty of the lack of attention span necessary for traditional bible reading. And being an avid reader, if I can’t do it, then I can easily see how a teenager who doesn’t like to read can easily be distracted. But I took this audio book on my mp3 player with me everywhere, and whether I was on the elliptical at the gym, or stuck in traffic in my car, I was able to follow along and get pulled into the words. Some of the stories that perhaps had not always made sense to me or “reached me” on paper, suddenly came to life and grabbed me. I was there, with the characters, and it was a beautiful thing.

I am very much looking forward to utilizing this audio book as a learning and prayer tool with the youth in my group.

The book comes with a plan to read the entire new testament in 40 days. It is a plan I plan on somehow incorporating into some sort of bible study with the youth, and one I believe they will not only accept, but enjoy and embrace.

If you have young kids, tweens, or teens in your house or group, I highly recommend this book to you. And even if you don’t, check it out for yourself, you won’t be disappointed.

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