There exists no other text of great length and detail like that of the Bible that offers such profound interconnectedness and maintains the integrity of the story. On that point alone, the Bible should cause wonder within a person’s heart and mind. We live in an era in which tools, media, and resources are being utilized to present the Bible in a more dynamic way. Interactive apps, online reading aides, and a plethora of Bible are available for use by any person who desires them. Author and podcast host Aaron Armstrong, who is not limited to those talents alone, has endeavored to add to those tools with the production. With the help of illustrator Heath McPherson, they have produced Epic, a visual reproduction of the Bible
Essentially, Epic is simply a graphic novel version of the Bible. For many, a graphic novel is a comic book and most would not be able to notice a difference. Yet, there is something significant. While comic books tell short stories, a graphic novel endeavors to be a complete novel in graphic form with panels and illustrations. Thus, Epic is a visual telling of the Bible utilizing both words and pictures. Because of what it is, one should not expect the level of detail that is found in Scripture itself, but instead will find the ‘highlights’ of the Bible.
Because there simply is not enough space to represent all the stories (let alone all of the details) in Scripture, the authors follow sections. For example, the story of Elijah and Elisha are told in one chapter or in a later chapter one will find a summation of the letters. At times, this can result in a lack of continuity and gaps that readers may not fully understand (even if the authors reference them briefly as way of introduction). This is difficult because it sometimes does not show the continuity that is found with God’s story.
If the book is written for children, some of that lack of continuity can be overlooked. Yet, to be truthful, I am not sure who this is written for. For young children, Epic is a bit wordy. Yet, for adults, it is not complete enough. Perhaps there is an age in the middle (perhaps adolescents) that this is suitable for. From a personal perspective though, I am of the mindset that the age group that would receive the most benefit from this book should be in a traditional Bible and being taught the depths of God’s word. And so, while the author and illustrator have set a worthy goal to have readers understand the Scripture as a story and be compelled to share it, reading the Bible (even with help from others) can produce the same, and perhaps more as the Holy Spirit uses it.
If you are not familiar with Aaron Armstrong, he is a man who reads others and has others read him. His ability to craft words is exceptional and that comes out in his retelling of Bible stories. I know little of the illustrator, but his work is enjoyable. Together, they have produced a work that is beautiful and certainly glorifying to God.
On a personal level, I enjoyed reading the Bible from this perspective. However, to be truthful, I simply don’t understand the point, especially when we can go directly to God’s Word (yes, it is a translation) and get more out of it. I could certainly recommend Epic if there was a circumstance that it fit, I am just uncertain at this point what circumstance that is.
To learn more about this book or purchase a copy, click here.
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher at no cost to me for the purposes of review. However, my review was not influenced by the author, publisher, or anyone else associated with this book and is the result of my own reading of it.