Darth Vader reads the Bible

vaderwbible300x203A friend recently requested a recommended audio version of the Bible.

I actually love listening to scripture, being swept into the whole grand narrative; and hearing verses afresh brings thoughts to mind which are yet to jump out at the eyes.

I often find my thoughts wander off into reflection on a passage or word, and what it means for my life, or how rich the thought is, or how difficult to hear.

Suddenly I’ll realise I’ve missed a whole section pondering that last part – but I think that may be the point.

You can always jump back and relisten, but activating new thoughts, chewing questions, awakening ideas, that’s how one wrestles with truth.

And of course, most of the original audience for the Old and New Testaments would have engaged with it aurally, albeit in a communal group. It’s a wonderful experience.

First thing is to choose a translation or paraphrase. On paper I generally use the New Revised Standard Version (NRSV), but also often use the English Standard Version (ESV) and the New International Version (NIV).

It’s much the same in audio, however be sure to listen to a preview first to decide if you want with or without the background synth music. I recommend without.

A quick iTunes search brings up typical options, like this unabridged Listener’s NIV for $43.99 with a North American accented reader.

There’s also various podcasts offering passages for free, such as this ESV ‘Faith Comes by Hearing’ version.

Looking beyond iTunes, this guy seems to be doing a backyard job. His accent is British, but you seem to have to download each bit separately, and he reads fast!

One current recommendation would actually be this version produced by the UK Bible Society with different voices for characters, though quite well done.

Another option is to download the free ‘Youversion’ app, where you a can search and read scripture, then just push to the little speaker button in the bottom right hand corner and it reads to you. The voice seems to be a US/UK mashup – actually quite hard to pick, a bit like Russell Crowe these days. They offer both ESV and NIV.

If you are keen to hear Darth Vader read the New Testament, then this New Kings James Version read by James Earl Jones is available for $13.99.

Tempting also is this one with Johnny Cash doing the same.

It’s hard to find is an Australian voice, and I can’t helping thinking this would be a fantastic retirement project for Father Bob Maquire.

Anyone got some better options?