Friday, May 2, 2008


For those of you who read comics/graphic novels, it's time you pick up one of the most interesting books you'll read. It's entitled Testament. Written by Douglas Rushkoff, Testament offers an interesting look into the world of the Old Testament. I'm borrowing all of it piecemeal from a friend of mine, and it's been some of the greatest comic-reading experiences I've had. First, let me tell you a very little about Douglas Rushkoff. He's one of the founders of Open Source Judaism and is an extensive writer on non-fiction topics like faith and the entirely fictional.

Now, let's return to a discussion on Testament. Testament, as I mentioned previously, explores the Old Testament/Torah. Instead of merely addressing its stories and writing them in comic book forms, it shows the stories as taking place in a time-space continuum that is ever changing and always occurring. All things at all times are, to a certain degree, simultaneously occurring to God/the gods in the case of the story. In this case, these all things refer to the Biblical stories of Abram, Jacob, Adam and Eve, Joseph, etc and to a semi-futuristic tale about a new global currency and a group of hackers and misfit college students trying to change it all and fight this new system. The stories are compelling and Rushkoff's interpretation of these Biblical stories is incredibly interesting and insightful. Let's do this through a for instance...

Rushkoff interprets the story of the binding of Isaac differently than I've ever seen. Instead of a test from God asking Abraham to kill's more of a test of his old faith. Prior to Abraham following the traditional Judeo-Christian God, he lived his life as many in his land had before him...following the ways of the old gods, which included child sacrifices in such horrific means as perscribed by Moloch. Abraham had Isaac and was going to, in the classical traditions, follow the old gods' ways of child sacrifices so that their retribution may be held at bay. Instead, his God stepped in and stopped the ritual saying that this was not the way. Human sacrifices were to no longer be performed and an animal sacrifice would suffice. Abraham was internally torn between the old ways he understood and which worked for him and the new ways of his new God who had proven to be true thus far, despite him falling short. It's an interesting view and one which would be consistent with the writing of this section.

This also points out the acceptance that there may be other gods in the way the Old Testament stories are written. But as Adonai is the God of the Gods, the God above all others, and commanded His people to worship Him above anything long as they do, it matters very little how many other gods exist.

This well written story/collection of stories spans much of the Old Testament and provides some amazingly well thought insight into The Bible and the nature of God. I'd suggest it for the religious and non-religious alike because even if you don't's so well written and so exciting that it's hard to put down.

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