Faith Comes By Hearing has produced Audio Bible recordings in hundreds of languages using their traditional recording method of sending teams to regions where a language is primarily spoken and finding local participants to voice the various characters found in Scripture. Earlier this year, the ministry introduced a new system called Virtual Recording to compliment the traditional method. By utilizing online technology, Virtual Recording (VR) has opened worldwide participation to anyone with a computer, a microphone and an Internet connection. The ministry is proud to announce that the first full New Testament the World English Bible has been completed through VR and added to their ever-growing Digital Bible Platform.
For the World English Bible (WEB) recording, Faith Comes By Hearing (FCBH) received over 500 auditions. The ministry recruited voice talent using social media like Facebook and Craigslist, as well as word-of-mouth support from longtime partnering churches from across the country. While some were professional voice talents, the vast majority consisted of everyday people wanting to participate in the pilot project to help work out the bugs in the system. Additionally, there were over 200 people who signed up solely to review, evaluate and comment on recorded audio files.
"The response and enthusiasm of the participants was truly amazing," comments Bill Lohr, a spokesman for the ministry. "We had moms, dads, kids even members of the military and one gentleman who is a U.S. postman. So many people were excited to be a part of this incredible new technology."
While 90% of the recording was completed within four weeks, the overall objective of this first project was to act as a beta test and evaluate the VR system. Learning from this initial foray into online recording, the ministry is exuberant about the possibilities this technology brings to completing their work.
"This was an entirely new concept for us just last year," continues Lohr. "But now we have a tool that gives us the capability to speed up and complete Scripture recording at a rate we never imagined possible."
There are currently seven new non-English projects that have launched and dozens more scheduled for the very near future, including Old Testaments and portions. “Portions” is a term used when only part of the Old or New Testament has been translated and is available to record. In the past, FCBH has recorded very few portions because the cost of having to send a team to do a traditional recording would basically be the same whether it was a portion or a complete New Testament. Similarly, few Old Testament recordings have been done because of time (the OT is more than twice the size of the NT) and cost. Virtual Recording mitigates many of these constraints.
In the last six months, the ministry has seen more than 150,000 unique visitors to the site from over 100 countries, with more than 3,000 people submitting auditions.
FCBH is also in the process of translating, or localizing', the Virtual Recording website into major trade languages for easier access and use by participants around the world. Currently, Arabic, Chinese, Indonesian, Russian and Spanish have joined the original English page, with Uzbek expected to go live soon.
The ministry anticipates doing hundreds of recordings simultaneously on the Virtual Recording system, with the result of expediting their goal of recording the Bible in every translated language.