Friday, 24 August 2012

Comic Strip Bibles

All world religions have inspired texts but only one, Manichaeanism, also had inspired images. Is a comic strip adaptation of the Bible a Bible? If all the words in the captions and speech balloons are taken directly from the original, then, by definition, they remain the words of the inspired text but the visual content of the panels does not thereby become inspired. And the text would have to be abridged, to say the least.

However, two translations, the Septuagint and the King James, have come to be regarded as particularly authoritative as though not only the authors but also the translators had been inspired so maybe a comic strip Bible with very good art could come to be regarded in the same way? Imagine if Michelangelo did it.

I used comic strip adaptations of the Bible when working as a Religious Education Teacher. The New Testament was one volume of Gospels followed by one of Acts with some material from Paul's Epistles. One pupil disliked the Gospels volume because it tried, unsuccessfully of course, to merge the four independent narratives into one. I agreed with him. Let us have the Four Gospels as a tetralogy, either with four artists or maybe with one for the Synoptics and another for the Fourth?

And the same for screen adaptations: one actor for Jesus in the Synoptics and another in the Fourth, with actors resembling computer reconstructions of what a First Century Palestinian Jew would probably have looked like. 

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