Just Launched: Action packed Graphic Novel version of the Gospel of Mark

One of my favorite books in the Bible is the Gospel of Mark. I have taught through it several times, including on a short term mission trip to Liberia. I love how it vividly portrays Jesus’ ministry, capturing all that He did through a short and action packed narrative.

The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ …

From the start the account jumps right in, starting with the ministry of John the Baptist and Jesus’ own baptism.

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Jesus being baptized from the graphic novel by Simon Pillario (used with permission)

The Gospel, as noted theologian N.T. Wright explains is “the royal announcement that the crucified and risen Jesus, who died for our sins and rose again according to the Scriptures, has been enthroned as the true Lord of the world.” This is good news, not good advice and it needs to be shared because “something has happened as a result of which the world is a different place.”

The format of this gospel, with its focus on what Jesus is doing, readily lends itself to being illustrated in a graphic novel. And this format offers an opportunity to announce the good news, not only to Christians, but to people who may never have picked up a Bible, but would readily read a graphic novel.

And that is what Simon Amadeus Pillario illustrator of the Word for Word Bible Comic (link), is hoping to offer as he launches his KickStarter campaign.

The campaign page can be found here!

Through the graphic novel format Pillario hopes to present the stories of the Bible, using the actual words of Scripture, in ways that are “historically accurate, unabridged, and untamed”. There are no annotations, notes, or additions to the text of Scripture. When you pick up one of these novels you are reading the Bible. What you do get, with the text, are beautiful and carefully researched images that attempt to capture the power of the story in a historically accurate way. For more on the work that goes into each novel check out Simon’s blog.
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He has already successfully launched two campaigns on KickStarter (Judges and Joshua), so you can be confident that Simon will deliver what he promises. The best part about joining this campaign is that many options for backing it include receiving copies of the books Joshua, Judges, and Ruth. Two of these novels are available now, so, while you are waiting for the Gospel of Mark, you can enjoy some rewards right away.

I will leave you with this video. It captures some of Pillario’s thoughts on how he plans to illustrate all four of the gospels in such a way that there is a unity in how they present narratives that occur in more than one account.

Hard Hitting Bible Graphic Novels Hit the Shelves

On September 9th, Word for Word Bible Comic launched.

What’s that? You don’t know what Word for Word Bible Comic is?

Stop for a moment and imagine the stories contained in the Scriptures being presented in a graphic novel format in a way that is “historically accurate, unabridged, and untamed”.
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The key here is that these novels are unabridged. You are reading the words of Scripture and only the words of Scripture. There is no commentary or added text.

But what you do get is an amazing way to experience these stories.

Simon Amadeus Pillario illustrator of the Word for Word Bible Comic (link), has managed to bring out the intensity and vividness of the stories of the Bible with his incredible story boarding and full color images. Choosing the exciting era of the Judges (reviewed last year) and using KickStarter to fund its creation, Pillario has just launched the series making the Judges novel widely available (Amazon).

True to the text, Pillario also worked hard to be true to history. He chronicles the process of studying the historical time periods of his blog grappling with everything from clothes to architecture. When you read the story of Judges in the graphic novel format you are seeing things as accurately drawn as possible.

Of course some things are left to the imagination. We don’t know what the characters in the stories looked like. One of the things to figure out in the book of Judges was how to draw the hero Sampson. He is known for his strength. But should he be drawn with bulging muscles like the Hulk or perhaps more ordinary. You can read through the thought process on his blog (link).

You may be asking, doesn’t a series imply more than one novel? It does. The prequel to Judges – Joshua is also part of the series. Funded on KickStarter, it is still in progress.

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However, you don’t have to wait, once you have read Judges you can grab the second novel available in the series. It captures the  story of Ruth. Before there was Katniss of the Hunger Games, the Divergent Tris, and Force Awakens’ Rey, we find a strong female hero who leads with her loyalty and humility .

To celebrate the launch the Book of Ruth is available for free on the Kindle (link). But only until Sunday.

 

Can the Holy Spirit solve the problem with Vulcan Theology?

The last few posts have been inspired by several books on science I’ve been reading. They have explored the idea that we all come to the big questions in life with existing frameworks. These frameworks in turn lead to our holding various biases and presuppositions, which can result in our seeing what we wish to see rather than what is really there. I have adopted the term Vulcan Theology to describe this as it relates to interpreting Scripture.

As a result of these posts an interesting question arose. What is the role of the Holy Spirit in dealing with the Vulcan problem? If the Spirit provides illumination on a particular passage can that help us see it accurately?

This question invites us to first define the term illumination.

The Moody Handbook of Theology, defines illumination as “the ministry of the Holy Spirit whereby He enlightens those who are in a right relationship with Him to comprehend the written Word of God.” Going on to say that:

The believer is aided by the Holy Spirit’s ministry of illumination in guiding the believer to an understanding of divine truth (1 Cor 2:11-13).

J.I. Packer unpacks this term in Concise Theology: A Guide To Historic Christian Beliefs (link).

[Illumination] is not a giving of new revelation, but a work within us that enables us to grasp and to love the revelation that is there before us in the biblical text as heard and read, and as explained by teachers and writers.

Defining the work of illumination as the process in which the Spirit aids us in understanding the Scripture is a rather broad definition of the term. It does differentiate the work of illumination from other forms of guidance (ed. see this post and this one for more on that topic). However it still leaves open the question: does the Spirit help us arrive at the correct interpretation of a passage and thus eliminate Vulcan theology? Continue reading