The Cartoon Gospel of John

Written by William P. Anderson * Illustrated by Richard L. Diesslin * Published by ACTA Publications

WILLIAM ANDERSON is Professor Emeritus of the History of Religious Thought at the University of Dayton.

RICHARD DIESSLIN is a cartoonist and holds an M.A. in Theological Studies from the University of Dayton.

The Cartoon Gospel of John (ISBN: 0-87946-273-6, 128 pages, four-color paperback, $12.95)

Why is the Bible the most purchased book in the world…and the least read?

No cartoons!

Jesus of Nazareth used parables - memorable stories that convey a greater meaning - to teach his Apostles. The Cartoon Gospel of John uses cartoons as "visual parables" to help readers uncover the sublime meaning of this Gospel and overcome its reputation as a dense, intimidating text. The Cartoon Gospel of John: A Serious Commentary with Visual Parables pairs concise, erudite commentary with entertaining and insightful cartoons. Together, these two approaches provide a serious yet accessible understanding of the Gospel of John for those beginning a study of the Bible, while also offering unique perspectives for those who have studied the text for years. The book doesn't simply highlight the best-known stories, but rather provides cover-to-cover insight into every passage of the Gospel.

Readers are led to a deeper understanding of stories and teachings from the Gospel, such as the encounter between the Pharisees and the adulteress, through commentary that not only explains what is going on but also how it fits into the larger context of the Gospel. The book explores the significance and motives of key characters and offers lucid insight into Jesus' philosophically "meaty" teachings, such as his challenge to the Pharisees: "Let anyone among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her."

On the opposing page to each commentary, the story is presented as an entertaining cartoon, the major storyline complimented by two recurring cartoon hecklers, Adam and Eve, who act as bystanders to provide classic one-liners and even a few double entendres that will amuse the seasoned Scripture scholar. These tasteful visual parables preserve a sense of reverence, particularly for Christ's Passion. One of the most moving illustrations is "Golgotha," which tells the story of the crucifixion in total visual silence, eliciting chilling yet awe-inspiring emotions.

The Cartoon Gospel of John is a great resource for young and old alike, and is recommended as a text for high school and college classes, a study aid for personal and group Bible study, or simply an entertaining read for anyone interested in coming to a greater understanding of this beloved Gospel.

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Copyright 2010 | rldes@aol.com



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