Category: Bibles and Bible Guides
Wow! Prepare to read the Bible as you've never read it before — totally mind-blowing, the Word of God alive and active, cutting edge as sharp as a Samurai sword. I've read the Bible dozens of times but never before have I read the entire New Testament in a single sitting — though, to be fair, it has to be said this isn't the entire New Testament: it's selected highlights, snapshots from the Gospels, from Paul's letters and a stunning 4-page rendition of the book of Revelation.
And nor, it should be pointed out, is this a translation in any traditional sense of the word: it's rather, as the introduction describes it, "an adaptation" which "tells the story of Jesus' life as a man, living among us, and the formation and adventures of the first ever church, in graphic novel form."
So what is Manga? It's a Japanese comic book style, sharp-edged graphics, snappy dialogue, dramatic action — and, in this case, an encounter with Jesus at his most enigmatic: dynamic, powerful, hard-hitting. There's no "gentle Jesus, meek and mild" in these pages: on the contrary, Jesus enters each scene like a whirlwind, ripping his way into humanity's story:
Jesus is not cuddly in this Manga book. In the desert, he's actually more terrifying than Satan. He's hooded and his face is shaded. The Devil is more vanilla-flavoured looking - very, very plain. I've deliberately made Jesus more imposing than anyone else throughout the story, and darker. He's creepier.
Seems to me that this is a book you'll either love or hate. Bible purists will no doubt despair at the script, which plays fast and loose with the biblical text; but if you've got an ear for the street, if you're willing to revisit these stories with an open mind, then you're in for a fresh encounter with Jesus — and, for my money, it's an encounter not to be missed.
Old Testament and complete Bible coming soon...
Phil Groom, March 2007
Phil Groom is this site's Webmaster and Reviews Editor. He's a freelance blogger, writer and web developer who spent ten years managing the bookshop at London School of Theology alongside eight years writing web reviews for Christian Marketplace magazine before he came to his senses and went independent. You can find him on facebook or follow him on twitter @notbovvered.Hodder & Stoughton | Order from www.christianbookshops.org