I love the Scripture. I love to read it, and I love to hear it read---well. But hearing the word of God read reverentially, with conviction and even emotion is rare. So I am very excited to encourage you to check out the Streetlights Urban Audio Bible. Streetlights is the project of Chicago native Esteban Shedd (AKA MC Boogalu, Humble Beast recording artist). Esteban recently told me the story of Streetlight's origin. As Esteban was discipling young men in the inner city of Chicago he found that many were completely unfamiliar with Scripture and some struggled with illiteracy. This made getting them into the Scripture difficult. So one night he went home and recorded himself reading the book of Acts, laying down some beats underneath his reading. He put that into the hands of a young man and it changed everything. Suddenly, the young man had access to the word. That experiment led to Streetlights. So what exactly is Streetlights?
Streetlights is the world’s first urban audio Bible, combining the authentic Word of God in the New Living Translation with a dynamic musical score influenced by the cultures of the inner city. Top recording artists, accomplished music producers, and professional videographers unite to bring you word-for-word Scripture recited to industry standard, street-credible hip-hop beats. Through this relevant and engaging format, people of all literacy levels will be able to hear, understand, and internalize the Word of God.
Don't misunderstand what's happening here. This the reading of God's word (New Living Translation), and it is read with clarity and conviction. I'll be honest and say this is easily my favorite reading of Scripture to listen to.
Streetlights is a huge project that takes a lot of time and money. So the Streetlights Audio Bible is being released in separate volumes. Volume One: Divine DNA is now available and includes Genesis chapters 1-6, and the entire Gospel of John. Every volume of Streetlights will include Audio, Video, and Curriculum materials. The videos and curriculum for Volume One are set to be available sometime this fall.
Here's the deal. The Streetlights Audio Bible will always be free, and you can purchase the related materials as needed. Subsequent volumes will always include one Old Testament portion (which could be an entire book, or specific chapters of a book) paired with an entire book of the New Testament.
In my listening I did not find the score to be distracting, but helpful. The reading is up front and recorded beautifully. This is how the Scripture should be read! If you aren't into Hip Hop, I would encourage you to download the material and give it a listen anyway. And pass it on to others who might benefit from it. I love what Streetlights is doing and hope many of you will support them as they get the word out to all who have ears to hear!
Check out a small sample from Volume One: Divine DNA covering Jesus dialog with Nicodemas in John chapter 3.
You can head over to Streetlights and download Volume One today for free.
Last year I started using the ESV Journaling Bible and did a giveaway here on the blog. At the time the only option was a double column Bible, but Crossway has finally released the single column ESVJB. I was at Crossway picking it up before they even had it on display. Their website still only has the old version up. So this is one fresh Bible. And I get to give away two of 'em! Your choice of the Black or Orange Original, Hardcover style.
This updated version has the goodness of the old ESVJB, but has been greatly improved by giving us the Scripture in single column format! The new bible is the same width as the earlier version, but looks t be a couple centimeters taller. You have good room to write in those margins, and in the poetic literature sections you have a crazy amount of room to write.
UPDATE: Here is the product page of the new single column ESVJB. People have asked what size the type is. It's the same as the double column version, 7.5. However, I find it easier to read in the single column format.
US and Canada Only. And don't cry about this if it leaves you out (do all things without complaining). I wish it could be shipped anywhere, but it's not my call.
To Enter: Leave a comment and tell us: 1) what Scripture you will read first, or who you are giving it to if it is for someone else. 2) What color you want: black or orange.
This giveaway ends Wednesday night at 10pm CST. Winners will be announced on Thursday. Help spread the word via Twitter and Facebook.
Update: The Winners!
The winners, chosen at random, are Matthew Robbins and Frank Gil. Congratulations you guys!