Wednesday, January 30, 2008
The Manga Bible
Have any of you heard about the Manga Bible? Apparently it hasn't hit the book stores this far north, or I simply haven't noticed (most likely the latter.) At any rate it appears to be the latest attempt to market the Bible for today's youth. Essentially it is an adaptation of the Bible in the "Manga" style of Japanese comics that has become extremely popular of late. There are two versions of this "Manga Bible," one illustrated by Ajibayo Akinsiku (otherwise known as Siku) and written by Akin Akinsiku, both from Great Britain, and the other being the Zondervan Graphic Novels' edition by Korean manhwa artist Jung Sun Hwang and author Young Shin Lee. One reviewer noted "Hwang and Lee's irreverent, light-hearted take on Biblical stories...geared for younger readers... or at least a younger audience than the teen/young adult-skewed "Jesus is a bad ass" version of the OTHER Manga Bible."
Illustrating the Bible with cartoon-type illustrations is not new, nor is it objectionable. Even paraphrasing the Bible in such a format has it's place, if the story is accurately and faithfully presented. My concern is that this new "Bible," based on the above reviewer's comments, makes Jesus into just another comic book hero, instead of helping young people know the true Savior. While the author(s) may wish to present Jesus in a way that captures the young person's attention, do they end up making Him into a mere caricature of Himself; an image that bears little to no resemblance to the original? If you have any experience with this latest "Bible," I would be interested in hearing your observations and critiques.