SAMUEL JACKSON PLAYS THE PART OF GOD

By LUKAS I. ALPERT

In a new audio Bible series, the passionate "Snakes on a Plane" star will be the voice of the Almighty.

While he won't be quoting Ezekiel 25:17 yet - the Old Testament passage famously included in his menacing recitation in "Pulp Fiction" - as God he will still get the best lines.

Jackson is just one of many in a star-studded cast of black actors and singers participating in "The Bible Experience" - an audio presentation of all 66 books of the Bible geared toward black Christians.

Joining the "Pulp Fiction" star are actors Denzel Washington, who will perform the Song of Solomon with his wife; Forrest Whitaker, who is featured as Moses; and Blair Underwood, who will play Jesus.

In all, nearly 200 celebrities have played a part in the series of CDs. Others include actor "Tiny" Lister, Saturday Night Live alum Garrett Morris, actress Angela Bassett and male model Tyrese.

The New Testament section is to be released next month, followed by the Old Testament next year. Put out by Christian marketing company Zondervan, the series "gives a new voice to the Scriptures," the company says.

BIBLE DRAMA: Samuel L. Jackson plays God, Angela Bassett is Esther, Blair Underwood portrays Jesus, and Cuba Gooding, Jr., stars as Judas in a new 21-hour dramatized reading of the Bible.

The ambitious project from Zondervan, titled "Inspired By ... The Bible Experience," comes in a 19-disc package with a bonus DVD for $49.99, or in mp3 format for $34.99.

This is not just a straight reading of the Bible but a dramatic version complete with sound effects and background music that is intended to "draw listeners inside the Bible with the quality of a major motion picture," according to Paul Caminiti of Zondervan.

The audio project was the brainchild of Kyle Bowser, a former television executive who said he wanted to create "a product that might resonate with the African-American community ... I've long felt that Christian products tend to ignore our perspective."

Although the all-star lineup of African-American actors may capture the attention of the black community, this audio set has a much broader appeal and will be of interest to anyone who wants to hear Bible stories read with emotion, excitement, and a sense of drama.

 

 

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