About the Book: Paul the Apostle
When I chose to review this book I was unaware of the fact that it was futuristic. I was excited about the possibility of reading a graphic novel depicting the life of Paul. I was disappointed. At first glance of the book I was a little frustrated by the stance and demeanor of the Paul character. In fact, the picture is a direct contrast to the apostle Paul that I read about in the Bible. Paul was humble, prayerful, compassionate, and Christlike; he did not act like the tough guy represented on the cover or within the book. On several occasions the book misrepresents Paul; he is not all that has been misrepresented. By this point you probably recognize that I am not a fan of this graphic novel.
I think that a graphic novel is a great idea. It would have been better if the writers would have written a graphic novel portraying the first century. The futuristic concept makes no sense to me, and its kind of weird. The futuristic concept imposes to much on the original record and context. The authors took to much liberty with the story.
At one point in the novel a prison guard mocks Luke by suggesting that “you religious idiots are pacifists.” Luke responds, “you haven’t met Peter.” (P. 8) This leads to a false perception of Peter. I am disappointed because this book is written for young people. Later, Paul and Barnabas counsel Paul to speak the truth in love, suggesting that he had not done so previously. This is found nowhere in the biblical context that inspired the scene. It is a biblical principle that Paul exemplified. If there was any apostle who spoke the truth in love, it was Paul. There are scenarios where Paul and other Christians are squared off with one another. The characters are overly aggressive, which is more consistent with comics and graphic novels and less consistent with the biblical context and historical account. The account of Paul’s Macedonian vision is frightening; the illustration shows a large creepy shadow. Since the context is futuristic and “science fiction” the illustrations are freakish and ugly. I am certain that the writers and illustrators are very talented. I don’t want to undermine or insult their creative abilities and talents; I just don’t think that creating a biblical story within the genre of “science fiction” was a good idea, neither do my teenage sons.
I do think it’s a good idea to write graphic novels that are biblically and historically accurate, novels that are written and drawn within the proper context.
In exchange for an honest review BookCrash provided me a copy of Paul The Apostle, A Graphic Novel. I have written an honest review.