Randy Alcorn, bestselling author of Heaven, Courageous and Safely Home released The Apostle in July. The graphic novel, volume ten in the Kingstone graphic novel Bible series from Kingstone Media, is based on the "epic life and missionary journeys of the Apostle Paul."
The book is a graphic novel, best described as a long comic book with sturdy pages and binding. The comic book style caricatures and balloon word captions tell the story. In The Apostle Alcorn frames the narrative with what is known about Paul, such as his familiarity with the competitive sports of running and boxing referenced in 1 Corinthians 9:26.
Then he used what is called artistic license to dramatize and create an imaginative account. "The biblical content of The Apostle is inspired by God," he writes. He added extra story elements "to show a personal side of Paul and to fill out the story" that reveal Paul struggled with sins and character flaws common to us all, for example, self-righteousness.
Readers first meet Paul, then known as Saul at Stephen's stoning before his life-changing encounter with Jesus on the road to Damascus where he assumed the name of "Paul which means 'little' or 'humble.'" The graphic novel concludes with the narrator saying, "That day the worst man in the world faced the best man" in the world. The fascinating story in between follows the biblical account in chronological order.
Lush, eye-appealing graphics inspire readers to learn what happens next in the easy-to-read balloon dialogue boxes. The creative imageries of first century Jerusalem, Christ's death on the cross, opulent vistas of Heaven, demons and more are realistic. I've reviewed many of Alcorn's books and have always known him to be an author who handles biblical content with love, reverence and respect and that hasn’t changed.
As Alcorn did with his graphic novel Eternity, he's done again with The Apostle; created a dramatic work of art that carries Christ's message of salvation to an unbelieving generation in words and artistry that can't be ignored.
This is another amazing graphic novel by the author of so many great fiction and non-fiction works. Randy Alcorn is a talented story teller and a godly pastor and friend, and his heart is throughout this book because his heart reflects the heart of Jesus. Of course Randy had a great story to work with, and the I believe he also had the leading of the Holy Spirit of God, but his re-telling of the writings by the Apostle Paul, is artful, masterful, and most important of all, Biblical.
I pray that every parent will get The Apostle for their youngsters from 8 to 18. I pray they will give them to their non-English speaking friends. I pray they will share it with their non-believing friends. It is an excellent vehicle to encourage reading, especially reading of scripture, so that understanding the Bible might be made easier for those who have not been exposed to it, or have been hindered by a lack of education or language.
—Roger Manning, Associate Pastor, First Baptist Church, Ferris, TX
First off I want to say that while this is entitled The Kingstone Bible volume 10, The Apostle this is a stand alone book. The book follows the life of the man once called Saul of Tarsus; who met the messiah on the Damascus road and was never the same. He changed his name to Paul and began his life traveling and sharing the Gospel and meeting those who responded in favorable and unfavorable ways.
Randy weaves a story of Paul’s life using the Bible and a little creative license. What comes forth is a completely amazing page turning story of one of my favorite Bible personalities. I never really thought about Paul’s acceptance of Christ meaning his family’s rejection of him. Eye-opening! Yet he willingly followed God anyway. Randy wrote the character of Paul in a way that I could truly see him, as a loving man that enjoys a good joke.
Any comic or graphic novel is truly a team effort! You first have Randy Alcorn who wrote the amazing story, then there are the men that brought Randy’s story to life on the page. Pencils by Javier Saltares, ink by Chris Ivy, colors by Ben Prenevost, letters by Zach Matheny. It takes a lot of work to bring a comic or graphic novel to life! This team did a fabulous job.
The Apostle is 160 pages of full-color, eye-pleasing graphics, and the story draws you right into the time frame of The Apostle. I honestly didn’t think Randy could do a better job than he did with his first graphic novel, Eternity. I was totally wrong! The Apostle is a spectacular book and would make a great addition to anyone’s comic book collection.
Jason S. Lockard
I just finished reading The Apostle by Randy Alcorn. Wow. It is 151 pages of beautiful graphic representations of the life of the former Christ and Christian hater (previously known as Saul) who, according to his own testimony, met the risen Jesus on a dusty road to Damascus, Syria in the first century. Alcorn has captured the essence of Luke-Acts in a graphic novel (a high quality, first class comic-strip presentation). And, in this case, the style and choice of art magnificently enhances the reader's experience in the first century biblical milieu.
The story is told from the vantage point of Luke, a physician (and documented companion of Paul), who many consider one of the best historians of his time. The content of the novel tracks very closely with the historical books of Luke and Acts but often surprises the reader with profound, yet plausible, Alcorn-imagined dialogue between Paul and Luke or others. For instance, Alcorn imagines the first encounter between Paul and Luke which is not mentioned in the primary source documents. One learns the background to Paul's athletic metaphors, and the conversion of Crispus, the synagogue ruler at Corinth, and gets a fascinating and powerful glimpse into the hiring of Tertius and the writing of the letter to the Romans (p. 98-102). He also vividly portrays the ensuing conversation after Paul's rebuke of Peter at Antioch. Nearly every page is eye-opening. I greatly appreciated the biblical citations at the bottom of each page which came in handy in checking the details of the story.
While reading The Apostle, one can feel the consuming hostility of Paul towards Christ (prior to meeting him), sense the anguish of Jesus at Gethsemane, smile at the good natured joking of Luke and Paul with each other, and be emboldened by the courage of Paul before his persecutors and as he faces the sword at the command of the crazed Roman emperor, Nero.
I highly recommend The Apostle for readers of all ages. It is firmly anchored in the biblical text, and is a great way to be sure your children want to read ALL of Luke and Acts. Alcorn has skillfully employed what might be called "sacred imagination" to lift the reader beyond a mere reading of the text. But most important of all, The Apostle shows how Paul demonstrated that no matter how great the sinner, the grace of God in Christ is greater. Indeed, the chief of sinners was saved; and the story of the work that Paul dedicated his life to, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God, continues today. Well done, Randy Alcorn.
—John Tolbert, posted on Amazon.com