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
and the least read?
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
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.