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The Book of God (Graphic Novel) Review by Angie Wright

How We Got the Bible
Ben Avery and Javier Saltares
Kingstone Comics / Kingstone Media Group, Inc.
(352) 728-1414
PO Box 491600
Leesburg, FL 34749-1600

The Book of God shares with us how the Bible came to be created.  The beginning words, in a tribute to Dr. Henry H. Hailey, sets the tone for the intention of the book, “The Bible is not man’s account of his efforts to find God but rather an account of God’s efforts to reveal Himself to Man.” Set in the design of a graphic novel, the content is quite meaty.

This book is set in four parts. The Production of the Bible, The Process of the Bible, the Preservation of the Bible, and the Proof of the Bible. Each area digs deep with quotes, historical time lines, and questions that lead the reader to want to discover the answers on the next page. Starting with how the Bible has shaped the world history, governments and laws then moving to how the Bible is still shaping countries and cultures with the abundance of versions and massive availability.  The journey is with a main character who leads you through how the Bible was written from the Old Testament to the New with the authors and time lines.

We walk through how the canons were created, listening in to the men who left records of how different letters were included or left out. As we read we sit beside those who wanted to preserve the Bible. With the printing press we learn how those in authority wanted to ensure the preservation of the truth of scriptures were upheld. Each part of the book builds on the page prior with more questions as we turn to the next topic.

As we read through the proof of the Bible, one can clearly see the abundant evidence of written proof, pieces of parchment, of men who have walked before and made it their life mission to preserve the most ancient of texts. Individuals may have to decide what they believe about God after reading this book, but I believe that the truths brought forth in this graphic novel will lead one to realize that the Bible was created through time, by many authors, compiled by many groups. One will see the time drawn out between the first written words of the Old Testament to the times after Christ written in the New. If you or a loved one believes that one man sat down and created the Bible or a group of men created a Bible in the Middle Ages, this work will help to sort out the truth of the creation of what we now see as one book – the Bible.

I have spent in depth time learning about how the Bible came to be, which is why I was interested in this graphic novel for my boys. We read this book as a family during the fall holidays. My older son, 9th grade, took notes as he stumbled upon new to him information. My younger son, 6th grade, listened and helped with the verbal narrations in the car and at the dinner table. Items like the word paper coming from the word papyrus, struck them as interesting. Papyrus is the fiber paper that they created from plants. Biblion is Greek for Plant. Biblion became the name for book which led to the name of The One Book – the Bible.  Fun interesting facts like these pepper themselves through this little work spicing up each page. 

We enjoyed reading the book. We are studying the Ancients right now and this book fits in perfectly to share.  I am not the best out loud reader. I’m not consistent, and when I get excited about a book I tend to plow through. So I must confess that after Part Two I kept peeking and read ahead of the boys.  It is my intention as January leads on that we will continue with them through the end of the book together. I feel that this volume makes a great addition to our Biblical resources. It will set a firm foundation of truth for how the Bible was created and preserved.

As much as I enjoyed reading the beginning of the book, I was a bit disappointed in the end of the volume. They breeze over how all of the other translations were created. The book may lead one to believe that all of the versions have been created by discovered Greek and Hebrew texts from ancient times. And for young readers, this is probably enough. However, this book is meaty enough for older students and adults.  There is no mention of people like Westcott and Hort, who spent time not just creating new versions of the English texts, but of the Greek Texts, making many changes which affect many of our newer versions today.  I would encourage you to always read the introduction to your Bible at home to see who was involved in the translations, and which original manuscripts were used. I enjoyed the introduction to my New Living Translation, giving me list of contributors and several pages to let me know why and how the translation was made. My advice is to use caution when walking into a book store to choose a Bible for a loved one. Pretty covers and age appropriate text aside, take a moment to read what version you are giving for a specific loved one.  I so enjoy having such a wide choice of versions to fit many different needs, I just ask that you take the time to understand the version.  I think that The Book of God could have used one more part of how the Bible has changed to feed people over the last 50 years, instead of only devoting a page or two to say that there are many versions available.

As you can see, I have enjoyed reading this graphic novel. It was easy to track the conversations. I look forward to the boys finishing the book in the morning studies. I recommend this volume as a great addition to your studies.

Product review by Angie Wright, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, January, 2013