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I suspect I am not alone in admitting that I was initially uncomfortable at the thought of seeing the Book of Genesis depicted in a comic strip—or, as it is commonly called today, a “graphic novel.” Scripture shouldn’t be dumbed down, and the Bible should shed light on our culture, not the other way around. Despite my initial misgivings, however, Gary Anderson, in his fine review “The Bible, Rated R ,” was able to convince me that, while it’s obviously no substitue for the original, R. Crumb’s The Book of Genesis Illustrated is able to creatively emphasize aspects of the Bible that might otherwise go unnoticed:

Crumb shows deep attention to the biblical text at many other points along the way. For example, he handles the various “begats” by listing the family members in a style that resembles a photo album of classmates or family. This is a beautiful way to depict a part of the Bible that many readers simply skip over because they are bored. But the family trees that are so basic to Genesis are anything but boring. They show us the relationships basic to the family God has elected to change the course of human history. For the Christian or the Jewish reader, this is a story about our ancestors.

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