Johnny Cash’s testimony runs through his autobiography, “Man In Black” (1975) and somewhat in his more recent autobiography, “Cash” (1997). In his trademark song “Man In Black” Cash wrote the lyrics, “I wear the black for those who’ve never read or listened to the words that Jesus said.” So that others might hear those words, “The Johnny Cash Spoken Word New Testament” was originally released in 1989 on 14 stereo cassettes and was re-released Christmas of 2003 on a 16 CD set as “Johnny Cash Reads The Complete New Testament. In the liner notes from the back cover of the box CD set of “Johnny Cash Reads The Complete New Testament,” Cash shares some of his thoughts on the New Testament:
“To turn the written Word into the spoken Word has long been my dream. But little did I dream that speaking the New Testament aloud in its entirety would so much further enrich my spiritual life.
“I approached each recording session with fear, respect, awe and reverence for the subject matter. I also did it with a great deal of joy, because I love the Word.
As I read the words of the Lord I prayed to feel and show only His love with a clear deliverance of His messages, constantly aware that He is speaking to me, and that when I am reading His words, I am not Him.
“I have strived against reading any personal interpretation into the Scripture. The most powerful, uniquely dramatic words ever written do not need any special attempt on my part to “sell” them. For the New Testament of Jesus Christ is a narrative of great depth and beauty, engaging stories, lessons both entertaining and academic, and stark pronouncements of attention-grabbing subjects and word-picture prophecies.
Throughout the many hours of recording, my great inspiration was the underlying current of His abiding love. I chose the New King James Version because it retains much of the beauty and classic prose and poetry of the original King James Version yet is easily understood by those who might have said, “I’ve read the Bible but don’t understand it.”
“Give it a try and share with me a new dimension of blessing in the Spoken Word.”
(signed) Johnny Cash
Source: Johnny Cash Reads The Complete New Testament
Editor’s Note: Johnny Cash passed away September 12, 2003
- The Story Behind the Making of The Johnny Cash Spoken Word New Testament
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