We who preach the gospel must not think of ourselves as public relations agents sent to establish good will between Christ and the world. We must not imagine ourselves commissioned to make Christ acceptable to big business, the press, the world of sports or modern education. We are not diplomats but prophets, and our message is not a compromise but an ultimatum. A.W. Tozer

Thursday, April 3, 2008

What - Another "Bible"?!?!?!?!

Here we go again - another “Bible” version. And it gets just plain weird!

The Manga Bible uses a Japanese art form called “manga,” which is used in graphic novels, and which is popular with young people. It seems I’ve missed this one, because the New Testament has been out for a year. The complete Manga Bible is now available for your entertainment.

I learned about this corruption of God’s Word from two apologetics ministries: The Berean Call and Media Spotlight. The Manga Bible is illustrated and written by Ajinbayo Akinsiku (pen name Siku) and is published by Doubleday.

In Manga, according to Siku, Jesus is “a samurai stranger who’s come to town, in silhouette,” to shake things up. Siku also says, “We present things in a very brazen way. Christ is a hard guy, seeking revolution and revolt, a tough guy.” Neela Banerjee of the New York Times says in the Manga Bible the “heroes look and sound like skateboarders in Bedouin gear.” He also describes some other parts of Manga: “Abraham rides a horse out of an explosion to save Lot. Og, king of Bashan, looms like an early Darth Vader. The Sermon on the Mount did not make the book, though, because there was not enough action to it.” Apologist Al Dager says, “What they are producing is a great deception that changes the very nature of our Savior and engenders a spirit of violence in their readers.”

On the downright silly side, Manga’s Noah gets messed up in his count of the animals: “That’s 11,344 animals? Arggh! I’ve lost count again. I’m going to have to start from scratch!”

Oh, you’ll be interested to know Manga uses the text of Today’s New International Version of the Bible, a liberal gender-neutral “translation.” How very fitting; a corrupt “translation” for a corrupt “Bible” version.

The Manga Bible has been endorsed by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams; the same guy who supports another corrupted version called As Good As New. I guess Williams doesn’t like God’s Word as God wants it to be told. Of course Williams is the evolutionist who says non-Christians can go to heaven. Maybe he should read real Bibles!

Am I really over-reacting here? I see this as taking God’s Word very flippantly, very irreverently, and even blasphemously. The Word of God was never intended to be used as a comic book or a “graphic novel.” Nor was it ever intended to be corrupted into “Biblezines” such as Revolve, Refuel, Becoming, or the host of other “-zine” titles with the New Century Version of the Bible. Publishers are seeking a fortune corrupting God’s Word in an effort to make it “relevant” in our post-modern society where there are no absolutes. But the Bible as written is relevant in every culture and in every era and has reached every generation with the good news of the Gospel of salvation through Christ. It is only our self-focused generation that sees the need to make it “appeal” to our basest, fleshly desires.

I think a word of warning from the Scripture is very relevant for these publishers who use God as a way of enrichment: “Every word of God is pure; He is a shield to those who put their trust in Him. Do not add to His words, lest He rebuke you, and you be found a liar.” (Prov. 30:5-6, NKJV). And finally, I recommend everyone read Revelation 22:18-19. Although in context it is referring only to Revelation, it does show God’s attitude about messing with what He has given us in the Bible.