Gaither Vocal Band posts sound clips for children’s CD, announces Homecoming Bible

The Bill Gaither Trio recorded several projects for children, but I Am a Promise, releasing August 9th, is the Gaither Vocal Band’s first. They have just posted a six-minute sample here.ย [EDIT, 6/5/12: Broken link removed.]

For those of you who don’t automatically purchase every Gaither project: Do any of the songs make you inclined to purchase the CD?

* * * * *

Also from the Gaither camp: Thomas Nelson will be releasing a Gaither Homecoming Bible in August 2012:

Scheduled to release in August 2012, the Gaither Homecoming Bible will be a collaboration of Gaither Homecoming artists throughout the years, with Gloria Gaither serving as managing editor. …

The Gaither Homecoming Bible will feature personal inspirational experiences with the scriptures, from Bill and Gloria Gaither as well as the Homecoming artists and those closely involved with their music ministry through the years. Included in the pages of this Bible will be carefully selected favorite hymns, gospel songs, and songs by Bill and Gloria Gaither. Also included will be statements by great historical and contemporary Christian writers, theologians, and thinkers about the part music has played in their own spiritual journeys.

The Bible will release under the Thomas Nelsonโ€™s Signature Series brand of premium Bibles in the popular New King James Version (NKJV).

Andrew S. broke the story and offers some thoughtsย here. The choice to go with the NKJV is pretty straightforward; given that they were working with Thomas Nelson, it was either going to be that or a public domain translation. It’s not all that bad of a move for them, though, since, despite the KJV’s ongoing popularity in our genre, Gaither was likely to go with a modern translation anyhow, and this is the only other popular modern-day translation based on the far more reliable Majority / Traditional text.

Gaither has extended the Homecoming brand over a wide variety of products, but a Bible is easily the most ambitious yet. Is this something you would use?

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69 Letters to the Editor

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  1. I’ll answer my own questions, but in the comments section this time, since it took enough post space to just ask the questions. ๐Ÿ™‚

    (1) It sounds like so much of the set list is repeats from the Trio projects that I’m disinclined to purchase the whole thing. That said, I do like Wes Hampton’s feature on “Jesus, I Heard You Had a Big House,” and the arrangement of “Only a Boy Named David” is so incredible that I’m likely to purchase at least that single song! They could single that one!

    (2) I might check out the Homecoming Bible and read through the notes, but I’m happy enough with my Defender’s Study Bible (KJV), featuring apologetics-related commentary from the late Creation Science legend Henry Morris upholding the authority and internal consistency of the Word of God, that I’m unlikely to switch.

  2. Uh, Bill, stick to music, you do that very well. Please leave the Bible to Bible scholars. Thank you very much. Thats all.
    Well, okay, NO!!! I would not buy a Gaither Bible!!! I will continue to use my MacArthur Study Bible. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Speaking of sticking to music, what are your thoughts on the first of the two questions? ๐Ÿ™‚

      • I am buying less and less of Gaither stuff because of so many repeats….

  3. 1. Yeah, I’m buying it, but I’m more an “automatic,” since I have every other GVB recording. I do look forward to hearing something different.

    2. Uh…no. Scofield Reference Bible here, 1611 KJV. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Henry Morris comes from a similar theological background to Scofield, I do believe. I use his instead because of Scofield’s compromises on the first few chapters of Genesis. (I really wish he had been solid there! ๐Ÿ™ )

      • Yeah, I definitely don’t take Scofield’s commentary as gospel. But the vast reference network found within is extremely helpful.

      • OK. I have had a number of good friends who were able to look past that.

      • My dad used to use that Bible. He uses a Thompson chain reference now, and so does my husband (there is a Spanish version).

        Those seem mildly scrambled to me; I’m happy with just a plain old Cambridge Bible with center reference and some alternate translations. Then I like to have a good commentary on a nearby bookshelf. My folks have Adam Clarke (Methodist commentary from the 1830s), and I really miss it. I was thinking last night about asking for that for Christmas.

        I’ve never been too interested in a study Bible, the kind that’s popular now with commentary and devotionals interspersed. I think I might find it distracting.

  4. Even though my kids are grown and I’m not teaching children’s choir any more, I was thinking about buying I Am a Promise because of You’re Something Special which is a very special song to me. But it wasn’t nearly as “sweet” as the original trio rendition. I haven’t looked to see if I could find the trio project it was on but maybe one of your readers will be able to tell me! I still might buy it.

    I will definitely consider the Bible because of the the extra material that they’re including. I like the NKJV.

    • Diana, the Trio first released the song on an album called Especially for Children in 1973. But it can be found on this compilation CD if you want it.

      • Thanks,Brian!

    • I might also purchase the Bible, if I find a good deal, just to see the extra content. But I wouldn’t switch over to it as my main Bible.

  5. As a parent with young children I will definitely consider purchasing the CD. I haven’t got a chance to listen to the promo yet but plan to.

    As for the bible that might be a “gametime” decision if I can see it in a christian bookstore and see the look and feel of it. I am glad that it is in NKJV too.

    On a side note…I like the new gravatar of you Daniel!

    Have blessed day!

  6. Uh, Daniel – Is that really you? Or did an NC mountain man hijack your blog?

    I thought Thomas Nelson did KJV … I have a KJV Smallest Bible from them that I believe they still offer. Or is it just not offered for study projects like that or something? You mean Bill can’t just snap his fingers and his Midas touch bring him whatever he needs? ๐Ÿ˜€

    • It’s really me. I decided to grow a beard. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Yes, Thomas Nelson prints some KJVs, but since they have a proprietary interest in the NKJV, it’s not surprising that they would be pushing it here.

      • Daniel Lee Golden…

      • Yeah and if he cut the beard off, but kept the hat, he would be Crocodile Mount.

      • Well, I sure don’t want to be a crocodile! Is there some cultural reference I’m missing here?

  7. Finally, I can listen to the GVB under the guise of keeping my kids happy. That should make road trips much more enjoyable.

    Daniel, somebody hacked your blog and replaced your picture with something that looks like a mixture of crocodile dundee and the unibomber.

  8. I’m inclined to buy the CD. I have a Gaither Trio album for kids that I think my sister had when she was growing. Besides, we have a near-one-year-old who I hope will enjoy them all.

  9. WOW! The Unibomber? I was thinking True Grit. Anyway, I will buy the CD. I am an automatic on Gaither products, but I also have Children and theyu will LOVE it. I will probably not purchase the Bible. I will stick to my ESV Macarthur!

    • I imagine Unibomber isn’t a compliment, so I no-commented that suggestion by, um, not commenting . . . but what is True Grit?

      I have a complete GVB collection other than this CD, so I imagine I’ll ultimately cave and get it at some point as part of a package deal with something else I really want (like the DVDs taped in Charlotte earlier this year). But my first inclination is to just get that one song.

  10. I like the Masonic Bible very neat to look through. I just have a regular Scofield KJV for everyday life. I think it will be neat to see this new Gaither Bible, the scriptures and testimonies could be a blessing to others. Also anxious to hear the new GVB sing Jesus Loves Me.

    • There is a Masonic Bible? ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

      • Yes……….

      • Yikes.

    • Is that Masonic as in the Shriners? Or does it have some reference to the old Hebrew text, or was that Masonetic? :zooms away to Google:

      • That’s Masoretic. (THAT would be cool. Scottish Rite and weird incantations, on the other hand…)

      • Aaah. I did find Masonetic on Google and it says something about tonic accents in Hebrew. Now I find Masoretic as well; yes, very interesting.

        Google sources (ha) say that the Masonic Bible is a KJV Bible with footnotes and info on Solomon’s Temple, etc. Hmmm. Sounds like some of what is being passed off for study Bibles today. (When my great-aunt had to go to large print, for a while the only one she had was a Jimmy Swaggart one someone had given her. It must have been a trying time.)

        OK. Back to topic. But I didn’t start this goose chase. ๐Ÿ˜€

      • I’m sure there has been many in the SGM industry current and past, would that change your perspective of them if you found out? Many lodges/temples used to hold SGM concerts. *Or so I have heard*

      • Oh, yes, I know there have been a number of fairly prominent SG industry people who were Masons.

        I think it can be more of a social club for the rank-and-file third-degree Masons, but it is a point of more than a little concern for thirty-second or thirty-third degree Scottish Rite Masons.

  11. Daniel,

    I was just making a poor attempt at humor. No harm intended. I was just thinking of a bearded figure and he popped into my mind.


    • Oh, OK, and no problem – apology fully accepted!

  12. KJV ONLY for me! I love GVB though. I have many Bibles and all are KJV. Though I do have a library of several thousand Bible study books and some of those use different translations. Has one old preacher once said, “you can gather your milk from many different sources but churn your own butter”.

    I would buy the GVB children’s CD!!!

    • I like that saying!

  13. I will definitely buy the Children’s CD (I have it pre-ordered already, lol) simply because I don’t know any of the songs (I’m from the Netherlands) and they sound really nice.

    I’m thinking about the Gaither Bible, but definitely not as my main Bible. I use the Dutch Bible (of course, as I am Dutch) and the NIV.

    I like your new look, btw. Rough and sturdy! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  14. I’d be more likely to buy the Bible than the CD. I guess I’m in the minority, though

    • I guess!

      What this feedback indicates is something I’d indeed suspected. Most SG fans are happy with the Bible they have – be it based on the version or based on the commentary – and unlikely to switch.

      I don’t think Gaither has much of a chance of gaining wide traction in any market of the Bible being one that’s frequently used by people in that market – even if there are people who will actually purchase a copy, out of curiosity.

      And that’s where the biggest weakness comes in. You see, Bibles only catch on and have long-term viability if people see their friends using them, and that sparks conversations. If a casual reader who already has another Bible they’re firmly committed to buys it and puts it on the shelf, that’s one sale but not a sale that prompts others!

      • Might it be that the target here is not necessarily on the internet? It could be people who feel a strong (maybe too strong) emotional connection to these artists, and will feel like they have them closer if they can share their favorite Scriptures every day. It seems like something that will be sold mainly on a product table and be the ultimate souvenir, even collecting multiple autographs from the featured folks. (An autographed Bible? Well, if you can’t have Peter and Paul…)

      • Oh, I’m sure they will sell some copies. I might even buy one as a souvenir. But I’m not sure those copies will get used daily and brought to church weekly.

  15. I expect the Gaithers are thinking of this new Bible more in terms of a reference work, rather than for regular personal use. For one thing, the additional material may well expand the size to a point that using it on a regular basis may not be practical. Last year, I ordered a new MacArthur NKJV Study Bible that was available in large print, only to discover on receiving it that it weighed somewhere in the vicinity of ten pounds. (Not only that, but while the Bible text itself was in large print, the references and commentary were in smaller print than a normal Bible would be printed in!) Needless to say, this Bible now occupies a place on my bookshelf that was originally intended for my old (and still currently used) NKJV.

    • Anything I’ve seen the Gaithers do is more directed toward average readers than toward an academic / reference audience. I’d be surprised if they intended this to be a reference work that sat on the shelf.

      • I doubt that Dr. MacArthur intended for my Study Bible to sit on the shelf either! ๐Ÿ™‚

  16. A self proclaimed gaithermusicaddict am I, so I have no choice but to purchase the GVB CD, not for my kids because I have none and I’m not gonna have any until I get married(which ain’t gonna happen anytime soon).

    I’ll purchase the Bible. I use so many bibles that I dont remember which one I used yesterday. I’ll add the Homecoming bible to my collection and i’ve got a feeling ’twill be my favourite. [edit – let’s not go there]

  17. I will likely not be purchasing the CD. I can see myself purchasing a song or two on iTunes, however. If I do not see myself listening to the CD more than once, I generally choose not to purchase the full thing.

    As for the Bible, I’m not quite certain. I would definitely be interested in the extra content and what the artists have to say. However, I am not certain I would actually purchase it as I cannot see myself giving up the Bible I love and use daily. I would imagine it will be something I browse through when I’m meandering around Lifeway. If it proves to be really good and something I would refer to again, I might considering making the purchase.

    I find it fascinating that they’re going about this venture of coming out with a Bible. Sure will be interesting to see how it is received. What will the Gaither company think of next? Seriously! Haha! I never would have imagined them coming out with a Bible.

    • I know! This would’ve been one of the last things I would have expected, too!

      • I’m not at all surprised there’s a Gaither bible coming out. When I worked in Christian retail, we could have started a pool to predict what sort of themed bible would come out next if we’d been OK with gambling.

        The most unusual bible I own is the Black Bible Chronicles.

  18. I will get the CD because i have all of the Vocal Band i excited? Not really.. I think i would be more so if they wouldn’t have actual kids singing on it.

    The Gaither Bible? No…

  19. Speaking of Gaither, here is something i just found on youtube- Tent Revival Homecoming and The Old Rugged Cross.

  20. I have all of the GVB’s things too. For those of you who have them, what formats do you have the self-titled, “Passin’ The Faith Along”, “New Point of View” and “One X 1?”

    I bought the first three on cassette brand new, and also “One X 1”, but later ordered “One X 1” on CD brand new. Later I tried to get a second copy and they were out of print.

    Also, do you have the alternate version of “No Other Name” which is available on “the Best From the Beginning?”

    • Oh, I did later get “New Point of View” on CD (SS) later on eBay.

    • The “alternate version” of No Other Name actually is just the same song starting part way thru. They faded into that song.

      • Actually, as memory serves the vocal arrangement is different. On the album cut they do more background type vocals.

    • I have self-titled, “Passin’,” “New Point,” and “One,” all on vinyl. I bought “Best From the Beginning” online somewhere and it was a CD.

    • I have self-titled and “Passin’ the Faith Along” on vinyl, but I converted them to mp3. I have “New Point of View” and “One x 1” on CD.

      • I did convert the first two to CDR as well. I have them both on cassettes (both bought new)and found SS copies of the LPs after the fact as well.

  21. I doubt I’d purchase either. I was an avid Gaither fan growing up and well remember the kids projects of long ago, but so many of the recent years products seem to just be re-makes of former hits.

    As for the Bible, I really like my Thompson Chain Reference Bible, as well as my Power Bible CD. . . so I’m not likely to add to that. I’m sure they’ll both be hits, though.

    • Dan – this one’s largely remakes, too. ๐Ÿ™‚

      • That’s what I figured. lol

  22. I might consider the children’s CD since there are children’s voices on the CD as well. I think that will make it more appealing to children.

    I expect there are a lot of people who will secretly buy the Bible and not admit to it in public.

    It doesn’t sound to me like the Gaithers intend this Bible to replace any study Bible. I don’t know if I would buy it or not. I’d have to see it first, and see if there is anything of particular interest to me.

  23. I’m automatic on GVB music purchases, so I will certainly purchase the CD. Although, I’m inclined to agree with Auke that the CD would be much more appealing if it was just Vocal Band singing the children’s songs. I was also disappointed with “Jesus, Hold My Hand” because I heard/saw the youtube video of TaRanda and the GVB singing it at Gaither Fest before I heard the audio clip of the song which has children singing her part as best as I can tell.

    I will probably refrain from purchasing the Bible, at least until I have more expendable income. And then it wouldn’t be to make it my main source for Bible study. It is an interesting concept though.

  24. Well i got my copy of I Am A Promise…and man..there’s kids singing on each song. Jesus Hold My Hand was sooo promising…loved the opening until the little tikes joined in the singing..don’t know what it is..but i just don’t like kids singing. I am promising you guys, this CD will gather dust on the shelf..but look at the bright side..i’m going for the complete discography of the Vocal Band..the parts the guys sing alone, sound absolutely great…hope they put out a regular GVB album soon, hope they will include ‘Jesus Hold My Hand’ on that one sans enfants…

  25. Just want to add this…i just listened ‘Jesus Hold My Hand’ all the way through, cause i stopped it first when the kids came crashing the party, so i missed Michael’s invigorating solo the first time around…man that brother still has the goods..and better yet he’s delivering.And might i add that the tracks on this album are superb too.Hope i didn’t come across as a GVB basher…i just don’t like kids singing…(think y’all got that by now) lol.

  26. stick on songs.

  27. well,i would not certainly buy the Gaither Bible because i see no reason since i got the original one.