Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Matters of Faith

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Matters of Faith

Article excerpt

God's voice sounds familiar ...

Before it became the written Word, the "greatest story ever told" was passed on passionately by word of mouth. Now you can hear it, too - from some 200 actors, clergy, and musicians.

A dramatized audio performance of the New Testament has just been released - "The Bible Experience" - which draws on dozens of renowned African- American voices. The complete Bible, including the Old Testament, will be available by next fall. Both are based on Today's New International Version of the Good Book, first released in contemporary language in 2002 by Bible publisher Zondervan.

Such celebrities as Denzel Washington, Bishop T.D. Jakes, Angela Bassett, Eartha Kitt, Ruby Dee, and Forest Whitaker are in the production. Blair Underwood plays Jesus, LeVar Burton is John, and Samuel L. Jackson stands in as God. Cuba Gooding Jr. is cast as Judas Iscariot.

Other plum roles include Abraham and the Holy Spirit (Bishop Jakes), Moses (Mr. Whitaker), Solomon (Mr. Washington), Simon Peter (Kirk Franklin), and the Angel of the Lord (Ms. Bassett).

Designed particularly to reach younger generations and urban youths, the project includes an original musical score and is the work of Emmy and Grammy award-winning producers in the Inspired By Media Group. Zondervan has released it in both traditional CD and MP3 formats. Cost: $49.99 for the New Testament on traditional CD.

Civic-Minded Muslims

The first scientific snapshot of American Muslim voters depicts a well- educated, family oriented group that is younger than the general population and favors active engagement in US society.

A survey released last week shows 62 percent have a bachelor's degree or higher (compared with 30 percent for the US in general), including 48 percent of Muslim women. Some 78 percent are married, and 43 percent have a household income of $50,000 or more. …

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