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By Randy Sly

2/22/2011 (4 years ago)

Catholic Online (

The RSV-CE New Testament is now in dramatized form

The cast for the Truth & Life Audio Bible New Testament is a veritable Who's Who of renowned talent, performing in a radio drama style. 70 actors from three continents participated in the project which received an endorsement from the Vatican. Using a dramatized approach to the reading of Scripture, listeners engage the New Testament with an entirely different approach to the text. Scripture comes alive.


By Randy Sly

Catholic Online (

2/22/2011 (4 years ago)

Published in Living Faith

Keywords: Truth & Life, Dramatized Audio Bible, New Testament, audio bible, Catholic, RSV-CE

WASHINGTON, DC (Catholic Online) - Finally, a dramatized audio bible has been produced for Catholics! Using the Revised Standard Version - Catholic Edition (RSV-CE) version of the New Testament, the Truth & Life Dramatized Audio Bible gives Catholics, as well as other Christians, a 22 hour, 18CD series that brings the Scriptures to life in a bold and energetic way.

In addition, the series received the endorsement from the Vatican, bears an imprimatur from the Archbishop of New York and includes a forward from Pope Benedict XVI.

The production of this series was an enormous undertaking. Using 10 sound studios, 20 audio engineers, 70 world-renowned actors spanning three continents, an original score and sound effects, it took more than 100 media development specialists over 10,000 production hours to finish the project.

Using a dramatized approach to the reading of Scripture, listeners engage the New Testament with an entirely different approach to the text. Their imaginations are kindled as they connect to dialogue between characters that carries tone and variations of intensity, narrations made more personal, and music with sound effects to carry the content along. Scripture comes alive.

The Truth and Life Dramatized Audio Bible was produced by legendary award-winning radio show and film producer Carl Amari, who is also president and CEO of Falcon Picture Group, along with New York Times bestselling author, broadcast journalist and producer Raymond Arroyo. Directed by Brenda Noel, it is distributed by Zondervan.

Amari is no stranger to audio Bibles, having produced the Word of Promise Complete Audio Bible, based on the New King James Version of the Bible, which offers 98 hours of listening on 79 CD's. Word of Promise features narration by Michael York and the talents of over 600 actors.

The Truth & Life Dramatized Audio Bible is not just a Bible-on-disk with a single narrator. It is the New Testament presented as in dramatic form with action, intrigue, and a personal dimension.

"They're not just reading," explains Arroyo, "these actors are performing, sharing these stories in the same way they were originally communicated-passed from person to person as part of an oral tradition. The stories come alive, propelling us right into history, the way it might have happened."

The cast selected for the audio Bible is a veritable Who's Who of renowned talent, performing in a radio drama style. Some you will hear include Neal McDonough as "Jesus," Julia Ormond as "Mary, Mother of God," Blair Underwood as "Mark," Stacy Keach as "John," Michael York as "Luke," Brian Cox as "The Voice of God," Sean Astin as "Matthew," Kristen Bell as "Mary Magdalene," Malcolm McDowell as "Caiaphas," and John Rhys-Davies as the Narrator.

For a preview of their contribution to the series, you can visit to watch a behind-the-scenes video of the celebrities performing their roles and to hear Luke Chapter 1 (Mary visited by an angel), Matthew Chapter 3 (Jesus is baptized) and Mark Chapter 5 (Jesus raises a little girl from the dead).

To preview or purchase this "Truth and Life Dramatized Audio Bible", click here.

The New Testament in recorded form and dramatized Bible readings have both been with us for nearly half a century, but never before has a project, which involved so many media specialists and well-known actors, received such the endorsement of the Roman Catholic Church.

In his forward, Pope Benedict invites the listener to an encounter with Jesus. "We must always look for the Word within the words. Therefore, exegesis, the true reading of Holy Scripture, is not only a literary phenomenon, not only reading a text. It is a movement of my existence.

"Only by conforming ourselves to the Mystery of God, to the Lord who is the Word," the Holy Father writes, "can we enter within the Word, can we truly find the Word of God in human words. Let us pray to the Lord that he may help us search the word, not only with our intellect but also with our entire existence."

Launched on November 1, 2010, the Truth & Life Dramatized Audio Bible New Testament is now available in stores and online. Pre-release orders put the audio Bible among the top listings of best-seller lists for religious audio.

This is the first in a series of articles on the audio Bible from Catholic Online. In other articles, we will share ideas on how ways to use this wonderful series and talk to one of the actors who participated to get a personal perspective.

To preview or purchase this "Truth and Life Dramatized Audio Bible", click here.


Randy Sly is the Associate Editor of Catholic Online and the CEO/Associate Publisher for the Northern Virginia Local Edition of Catholic Online ( He is a former Archbishop of the Charismatic Episcopal Church who laid aside that ministry to enter into the full communion of the Catholic Church.


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