Bible Review 9:6, December 1993

The New Testament in the Comics

By Leonard J. Greenspoon

For Paul, as well as for the Gospels as they have come down to us, the most meaningful moments of Jesus’ life were his crucifixion and—beyond that—his resurrection. It is not difficult to understand, however, why contemporary cartoons and comic strips look elsewhere in the New Testament for their material. For popular entertainment, cartoonists, from traditional to avant-garde, have fruitfully and creatively sought their inspiration in two other events: the nativity and the Sermon on the Mount.

Modern critical scholars have noted significant differences, perhaps even contradictions, between the nativity accounts in Matthew and Luke, often constructing elaborate hypotheses to account for these variations. On the other hand, the lay public apparently has little difficulty combining and conflating the two stories into one continuous, if crowded scene, such as we find in Christmas plays.

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