Let’s face it – the Bible is a difficult read for many people, even for faithful Christians. Engaging with God’s word is even more of a challenge for children, too many of whom from a young age decide that the Bible is boring. How to do you captivate young people with the Bible without straying from scripture?
The answer might be the Power Bible, a comic book series produced in book format. Originally published in Korea, Green Egg Media has released the series, featuring chibi versions of Biblical characters, in the U.S. And it’s a surprising triumph.
Volume one of ten-book series, which spans from creation to Revelation, focuses on the book of Genesis. Developed with loving care, this first comic is wide-ranging in it’s content – Adam and Eve, Noah, and the patriarchs are all there. Even lesser known individuals, like Methuselah and Lamech, make appearances.
The comic sticks closely to the Bible, which means that, especially in Genesis, there are plenty of passages that are very adult in nature, featuring violence, slavery, and other troubling subject matter. But the strength of the Power Bible is that it chooses to remain scriptural, illustrating even difficult passages, albeit with children in mind (ex. deaths happen off the page). There’s this dichotomy that occurs which is wondrous – the power of God’s word is continually emphasized in every page of the book, but humor and cute illustrations soften this version of the bible for grade school children.
Adults may enjoy it, too. I found certain passages particularly captivating, including the very beginning of the comic, which illustrates the creation story in a majestic and powerful way. The quality of the illustrations, writing, and editing are all very high, and I especially liked the beautifully done chapter breaks.
Book One also reads well as one cohesive account. Transitions between individual tales in this Genesis account are keenly done; it’s clear that you’re reading one large tale with many parts, rather than a disjointed story. This cohesiveness, though, also points out my one key issue with the book. Many recent children’s bibles and devotionals mention Jesus throughout Old Testament narratives, pointing out the significance of these stories in relation to God’s ultimate redemptive plan. This more straight-forward telling of the Bible does not.
Still, what the Power Bible does do is extraordinary – it appeals to the visual senses without dumbing down scripture. A comic book that does this has been sorely needed. The Manga Bible has received excellent reviews, but it’s not for young children. Another manga bible, simply titled The Bible, is not only aimed at older audiences, but was obviously created by those who don’t treasure the word. It’s worth pointing out again that the staff that created and edited the Power Bible obviously has much love for the material, and for children, who will enjoy it.
But don’t take my word for it – here’s my six-year-old son’s review after reading Book One:
If you can teach kids to love the word of God – not a commentary, not a devotional, but scripture itself – you’ve done something mighty. You’ve created an important work that going to change children’s lives – now and for eternity.
I have a critical eye for Christian work, especially that aimed at children, but as you can see in my review above, I highly recommend the Power Bible. If you’d like to purchase it, Green Egg Media has been kind of enough to offer a special promotion for Beneath the Tangles readers. When checking out, type in the code TANGLES50 to receive 50% off volume one, or TANGLESSET for 30% off the complete set of OT and NT comics.