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Review: NLT Breathe Audio New Testament

We’re closing on summer. For some of us, that means plans for hours in the car in travel. While we all love hearing the same 89 songs repeated over and over on the iPod, there might just be better ways to spend some of that time. I would suggest that a good audiobook is one way to pass the highway. Even beter? A great audio Bible.

That’s where the NLT Breathe Audio New Testament comes into play. This is a fully dramatized version of the New Testament drawn from the New Living Translation of the Scriptures. The NLT deserves its own consideration, but briefly, this is an easily-readable Bible translation. You will get the point from it even if you will not quite get the extra-long sentences that Paul actually writes with.

Now, there’s more to an audio Bible than just the translation. This version is a dramatized version, meaning it’s not just one reader. You have voices—not just voices in your head, but voices on your radio. I must admit that having John Rhys-Davies is excellent and difficult: that he does not ad-lib that “asps are very dangerous” when Paul is bitten by the snake in Acts was a bit disappointing. (Not really, but it’s SALLAH FROM INDIANA JONES!!!!) The voices capture the essences of the story and cover the material well.

Further, the dramatized version features a good score and some basic sound effects to create an immersive experience. It’s a good listen.

Now, to the drawbacks: first of all, you’ll have to keep with 18 CDs. That may be challenging and there is an app for that, but that’s a lot of data to be moving. The physical media is fine, but if they had encoded MP3 data most newer car CD units could have played it and it would have taken less space.

Second, at times I found the background scoring and effects difficult to balance in terms of listening. The voices would get softer, appropriately, but then I’d turn it up to hear and lose the balance. If I were listening one-to-one through headphones, I would say it’s not a problem. But in the car, there were some balancing issues with volume needs.

In all, I don’t think those issues are insurmountable and had a pleasant trip listening the Gospel of John and Acts last week. I recommend you throw this in the rotation and bolster your family’s spirit alongside the classic rock marathon you had planned.


(Please note: I was given a copy of this in exchange for the review.)

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