NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)–Max McLean is tired but happy.
The veteran stage actor recently finished a half-day recording session on Nashville’s Music Row in a studio more typically graced by the likes of Garth Brooks and Hank Williams Jr.
But McLean wasn’t there to sing. He was reading the Book of Revelation from the Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB), a new translation being published by Holman Bible Publishers, a division of LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention.
The recording can be heard next year when an audio edition of the HCSB New Testament is released to Christian bookstores nationwide.
“Intense,” is McLean’s one-word assessment of the experience, which required his Thespian voice to be consistent and precise while reading all 22 chapters of Revelation.
Born in Panama, McLean has lived in America since he was 4. He studied theater at the Mountview Theatre School in London and has performed in Scotland, at the Riverside Shakespeare Festival in New York and in other distinguished theaters before devoting his career to dramatic interpretations of the Bible in 1983.
Reviewers from The New York Times to Moody publications to the Jewish News have applauded McLean’s talent for bringing biblical texts to life.
“The first thing I do with a new translation is look at John 1,” he said. “The HCSB rendering was terrific.”
Basing their work on the original biblical languages, the 80-plus translators, editors and stylists working to complete the Holman Christian Standard Bible are pursuing a goal to develop an accurate and reader-friendly English translation.
To date, “Experiencing the Word Through the Gospels” offers the HCSB newly translated text of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, and the devotional book “Living with the End in Sight” features Revelation. The HCSB New Testament text will be released in early 2001, while the complete Bible will be available in 2004.
McLean became involved with the HCSB translation after three LifeWay employees saw him perform. When discussions began about who would be the most qualified candidate to record an audio version of the HCSB New Testament, McLean’s name came kept coming up.
“I thought, ‘The Lord’s just making this way too easy,'” McClean said. “The Bible is living and active, and there’s nothing I’d rather do than be a part of giving life to this new and important translation.”
(BP) photo posted in the BP Photo Library at www.sbcbaptistpress.org. Photo title: MAX MCLEAN.