Jesus as An Action Hero

My son gave me a Bible for Christmas. In a home with many Bibles, a new Bible is still a great gift.

With Christmas on a Sunday this year, my husband, son and I opened our presents in the early afternoon. As a minister, I had left for Christmas Day church early and after closing up and driving home, it was noon.

Our son, Luke, is 21 years old and able to wait. He surprised me with his gift, a gift he chose himself, wrapped and put under the tree days before Christmas. My son gave to me The Action Bible.

“I knew you didn’t have this one,” he said.

He is right.

Jesus as action hero.


Among the three of us, we have 40 or so Bibles in our home: chronological, parallel, study, metal, story, beginner’s, illustrated, family, serendipity and the entire alphabet soup of translations.

This is the first Bible in complete comic book format.

It took me a moment to comprehend. I looked through the table of contents and turned to Genesis, the first book of the Bible, and found full color drawings and the white bubble of cartoon speech for God’s words, “LET THERE BE LIGHT!”

Queen Esther looks a little like Wonder Woman but with more clothes.

Samson is ripped and when he uses what is left of his strength to push the pillars of the temple down, there is a WHA-BOOM!

Jesus swings a powerfully righteous left uppercut turning over the merchants’ tables at the temple.

The Action Bible has its own website with coloring page files to download and print. You, too, can decide what colors the menacing Goliath will wear when fighting David!

I’ve used word searches, coloring pages, hidden pictures and other activity sheets to keep children’s hands busy before the start of a Sunday school class or program. Most were not as well drawn as these.

I know that some will label this a gimmick or a joke. I don’t think so. There is purpose and intentionality in the production of this Bible.

In the cover notes The Action Bible is called an “epic rendition” and not a translation of the Bible. It uses more than 200 dramatically illustrated narratives—Bible stories—and has put them in chronological order to help readers “follow the Bible’s historical flow.”

Here are colorful visuals and great stories told in a straightforward timeline with the occasional POW!

Good for them.

David C. Cook published The Action Bible: God's Redemptive Story in 2010. The artist and illustrator is Sergio Cariello, who has worked for Marvel and DC Comics.

I found that I was reading the stories while I checked out this Bible that is new to me. The Christmas story blended the stories in Matthew and Luke in a seamless order of events and kept the visitors from the east from arriving until Jesus was a few months old. Each section lists exactly what book of the Bible, chapter and verses it used to create the text.

Most impressive is the history it includes of the time between the two Biblical testaments. Hundreds of years passed between the end of what we call the Hebrew scriptures or the Old Testament and the Christian scriptures or the New Testament. Other than a scholarly Bible commentary, I don’t believe any other Bible we own contains this much history of that time and place.

Bravo. I appreciate the context and the continuity given as the transition is made. It is telling the stories, and these few pages help those who read it to understand what happened between the end of one testament and the start of the next.

The whole of the Biblical record is important. This Bible has left out the Psalms and the Book of Job, and a lot of other material. But it kept the stories.

The stories we remember: Daniel in the lions' den, Jesus walking on water, Saul falling from his horse, blinded on the road to Damascus. When I have asked people what they most remember from the Bible, it is the stories told and read.

When Luke was 3 years old, I bought The Beginners Bible, with a simple color drawing on each page and easy-reader words. The first day I read out loud to him to page 79. I don't know how many times I read through this Bible out loud to him. He has two other more adult Bibles he has opened and studied.

But I know he has heard the stories. I believe he has read some, too.

I hope he asks to borrow his gift to me.

Rev. Renita Marie Lamkin December 27, 2011 at 02:08 PM
Wow! Kemery! What an amazing gift. I haven't seen or heard of this 'rendition' and am so glad you've shared this with us.
Kemery Baldwin December 28, 2011 at 02:23 PM
You're welcome. An unexpected gift and I'll thank my son again for seeing this Bible and for some reason, thinking of me.
Steve Pokin December 30, 2011 at 10:15 PM
Interesting gift. Interesting column. If only we could make all Bibles "action" Bibles by putting them to use in our lives.


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