February 10, 2008


In manga Bible, the tough guy is Jesus (Neela Banerjee, February 10, 2008, IHT)

Ajinbayo Akinsiku wants the world to know Jesus Christ - just not the gentle, blue-eyed Christ of old Hollywood movies and many illustrated Bibles.

Akinsiku says his Son of God is "a samurai stranger who's come to town, in silhouette," here to shake things up in a new, much-abridged version of the Bible rooted in manga, the Japanese form of graphic novels.

"We present things in a very brazen way," said Akinsiku, who hopes to become an Anglican priest and who is the author of "The Manga Bible: From Genesis to Revelation." "Christ is a hard guy, seeking revolution and revolt, a tough guy." [...]

Akinsiku, 42, who uses the pen name Siku, grew up in England and Nigeria in an Anglican family of Nigerian descent. He recently graduated from theology school in London. For years, he has worked as an artist, and a rendering of the Bible was the best way of glorifying God, he said by telephone from London.

While younger adults and teens are the most avid consumers of manga, Akinsiku said he had heard from grandmothers who picked up the book as a gift for their grandchildren. The book is meant to be a first taste of the Bible, which many feel too intimidated to read, Akinsiku said. Every few pages, a small tab refers to the biblical verses the action covers.

"For the unchurched, the book is to show that this thing, the Bible, is still relevant," he said, "because it talks about what human beings do when they encounter God."

Christian thinkers have tried to make the Bible accessible for centuries, scholars said. Stained-glass windows related Bible stories when Europe was largely illiterate. New printing technology in the 19th century made it possible to mass-produce Bibles, including illustrated versions, said Peter Thuesen, acting chairman of religious studies at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis.

Posted by Orrin Judd at February 10, 2008 8:54 AM

"Christ is a hard guy, seeking revolution and revolt, a tough guy."

2.3 "Thy kingdom come"
2.4 "Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven"

Everybody (with a brain) has their favorite Parable/Story.

Mine's the one where he tosses the money-changers from the Temple.

Posted by: Bruno at February 10, 2008 10:44 AM

Well, if he has 'toughened' up the Gospels, I would like to see how he treated Joshua and Judges (particularly Samson). All that swordplay! And Elijah, possibly the most 'samurai' character of all.

And what about the women? Are there sloe-eyed pictures of Miriam, Jezebel, Deborah and Esther (pretty samurai there), and Mary?

I had to chuckle when I read his statement about what human beings do when they encounter God. It's pretty clear from Scripture that most of what they do (at first) involves falling down and babbling. Not very tough, is it?

Posted by: jim hamlen at February 10, 2008 11:38 AM