07 April 2009

Bible Prints.

Please click on the image to see the enlarged view:

The hebrew inscriptions on the above Old Testament illustration are:
1. Left side: the name of God, "Yahweh." The vowels are removed because some Jewish people believe you should not write the name of God since it is so holy, so it actually says, "YHWH."
2. Right side top: "Hear, O Israel: the Lord is our God, the Lord is One." Deuteronomy 6:4. This is the Shema, considered the most important prayer in Judaism, and its twice-daily recitation is a mitzvah (religious commandment).
3. Right side bottom: The disembodied fingers of a human hand appear and write on the wall of the royal palace the words Mene, Mene, Tekel u-Pharsin for King Belshazzar. Daniel translates: "And this is the writing that was inscribed: MENE, MENE, TEKEL, and PARSIN. This is the interpretation of the matter: MENE, God has numbered the days of your kingdom and brought it to an end; TEKEL, you have been weighed on the scales and found wanting; PERES, your kingdom is divided and given to the Medes and Persians." Daniel 5: 24-28.

The Hebrew in the center of the Gospel illustration above (which really should have been either Aramaic or Greek) is the summary of the entire Bible, "For God so loved the World that he gave his one and only son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have everlasting life." This verse comes from the famous John 3:16 (I'm sure you've seen it in a football stadium somewhere). The old man pictured with Jesus is Nicodemus, one of the religious leaders who asked to meet with Jesus one night to better understand his teachings.

Now the story behind these (I always get asked lots of questions about them):
One night while I was watching the boring movie, the English Patient, I started drawing parts of the movie and as I drew I overlapped the sketches to form a collage. Months later when I had no work I decided to take this technique further and draw the entire Old Testament. I had no real plan, I used only ink and 9 days later I was complete.
The gospels took a much longer 2 months. Using what I had learned from the Old Testament illustration I planned ahead a bit more and took my time. It's funny, I have been to Israel since making these and now I look at them and think how different they would look if I had gone there first.
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