The Imitation of Christ is one of the great spiritual classics of Christianity. Dr. Creasy's new reading of Thomas A Kempis' 1441 Latin Autograph Manuscript has become "the standard translation of this spiritual classic." The printed trade edition has been a best seller and was chosen as a Book of the Month Club selection. It remains an essential spiritual work for contemporary readers. This audio version read by Don Ranson captures the intimacy and depth of this superb translation.
Dr. Bill Creasy has translated Thomas à Kempis' highly popular devotional work, The Imitation of Christ. The classic text focuses on the interior life of a Christian and calls him to withdraw from the world. Don Ranson's performance is smart, deliberate, and formal. Listening to his deep voice, with its relaxed pacing, is a soothing experience. Because Ranson gives feeling to the words he speaks, the work's profound advice and life questions come to life; Kempis' pivotal 15th-century text maintains the gravitas it deserves.
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My favorite of the 5 versions I've tried
I have purchased five different versions of this classic masterpiece, in audio or Audible formats, trying to find a version I really like.
My favorite version (Logos Educational Edition, Bill Creasy) is narrated by Don Ranson, who sounds like an old gentleman with wisdom and maturity, with a deeper voice, and no distracting accent. It also feels like he is personally familiar with the text and is probably himself a strong believer in God and Christ. (I did not get that feeling with all narrators.)
The Don Ranson version also contains fewer archaic English words & phrases (For example something like, 'Whatever thou willest, giveth that thy will be mine and will mine will to will for thine, for thou art....' I mean that type of KJV Shakesperian language, which is in the David Cochran Heath version. I couldn't listen to the Joe McClane version long enough to know.)
My second-favorite version is with narrator Bob Souer, who also sounds older than the other three, and has a deeper, more impactful voice.
The version narrated by Joe McClane is my least favorite of the five, because of the speaker's distracting accent. But maybe another listener who loves thick Irish accents will enjoy it.
The other version I don't like is narrated by David Cochran Heath, with a U.S. Southern accent, and a very light-hearted & cheerful tone like "everything's fine and I'm super-positive, outgoing, & cheerful." To me, this tone does not match the deep, introspective subject matter (and probably not the mindset of the 13th century monks who were the source of these meditations & prayers.)
The version narrated by Sean Runnette (translated by William Benham) seems average to me, neither great nor irritating.
I am still keeping an eye out for a completely modern translations with zero archaic language that retains a careful, reverent, serious, calm reading of this weighty material, as if it were a monk who had sacrificed decades of his life to commit to finding the wisdom which he is now sharing with the listener.