All three of my girls are currently reading The Picture Bible. When I was young, I think I read through that book 10 times or more. It was a great way to learn the Bible stories and become familiar with the basic structure of the Bible, and since it was written in comic-story format, it kept my interest.
When I got a little older, I also liked Crusader Comics. Looking back now, I cringe a little bit at the theology taught in those comic books, but I remember reading them over and over again.
Back then, comic books were intended primarily for children, but as our society becomes more and more visually oriented, there are more and more comic books being put out for adults. They are actually called “Graphic Novels.”
I have often thought that it would be great if someone could do a graphic novel of the Bible, much like The Picture Bible, but without glossing over or cutting out the “difficult” portions of Scripture. What difficult potions? You know, the rapes, the murders, the sex, and the violence.
The Picture Bible, as great as it is, does not give an accurate picture about God, God’s people, or the violent nature of the Bible itself.
These violent events are in the Bible, and we do a great disservice to ourselves, to the church, to our witness in the world, and to future generations when we try to ignore such violence in Bible as if it never happened.
If we want to be honest with ourselves and with others about the God we claim to follow, we can begin by being honest about the book which we claim tells us about this God.
The Word for Word Bible Comic
So anyway, I was excited to learn about a new project currently underway to publish a Word for Word Bible Comic of the entire Bible. That’s right … the author plans to leave nothing out.
As the name suggests, the Word for Word Bible Comic will include every word of the Bible:
As part of drawing the Word for Word Bible Comic, the author has painstakingly studied the history, culture, and geography of the text to make sure his drawings are as accurate as possible:
The Word for Word Bible Comic even includes the violence inherent within the biblical text. Here is a scene from Samson, which I wrote a post about yesterday. I am uncomfortable with the violence in these portions of Scripture, but we cannot deny their existence.
Oh, as a side note, if you look at the image above, I really like how the author made Samson relatively skinny. You see how he is smaller in size than the Philistines surrounding him? I think this is historically accurate. Samson likely was not a beast of a man, or else why would the Philistines want to know the secret of his strength? If he had huge muscles, the source of his strength would be obvious.
Anyway, I am thrilled that Word for Word Bible Comic project is underway.
But isn’t all this violence gratuitous? Isn’t it unnecessary to show all the blood and gore? It is only unnecessary if you do not realize that this is the way the Bible is! It can easily be shown that the Bible is one of the most gruesome, bloody, and violent religious books that has ever been written.
If you don’t like to think about the violence in the biblical text, you might want to ask yourself why…
Although, I must say, I am a little curious to see how the Word for Word Bible Comic will handle the Song of Solomon. I don’t see how he can draw that book and not make it X-Rated …
On a similar note, I am quite curious to see how the Word for Word Bible Comic will deal with non-narrative texts such as the Pauline Epistles. There seems to be only so many images you can draw from these letters…
Introducing The Word for Word Bible Comic
Anyway, here is a bit more about this Word for Word Bible Comic project from the author/illustrator himself:
To learn more about Word for Word Bible Comic, check out the website here.
Also, if you want to help get this project off the ground, you can support the Word for Word Bible Comic Kickstarter project for the initial project goal of publishing the Book of Judges.
I will consider how I will get involved in supporting this project, and invite you to do the same! Go here to learn more.