Thomas Römer, Professor of Old Testament/Hebrew Bible at the College de France, now appears as a character in a new graphic nonfiction book!

The book, Naissance de la Bible: Comment elle a été écrite [The Birth of the Bible: How it came to be written] (Brussels: Le Lombard, 4 May 2018) is the 23rd volume to be published in the series La petite Bédéthèque des Savoirs. Books in the series provide academic introductions in comic-book form to subjects as wide-ranging as artificial intelligence, the history of prostitution, feminism, rugby, liberalism, and human rights. In Naissance de la Bible, Thomas Römer and the illustrator Léonie Bischoff discuss the content of the Bible, how it came to be written, and the origins of the god Yahweh.

For example, in one part of Naissance de la Bible, Thomas Römer tells Léonie Bischoff that there are often different laws and different stories about the same subject in different places in the Bible. And some of these are contradictory. 

Léonie asks for an example, and Thomas Römer cites the “very curious story about King David” in 2 Samuel 24. In this story, God encourages David to make a census of his people, but then punishes him for it:

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Léonie finds this “bizarre” and not logical. Thomas Römer agrees, and explains that for this reason, a second version was written, which appears in 2 Chronicles 21:

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Thomas Römer explains that the two stories are much the same, but in the beginning of the version in 2 Chronicles 21, “it is not the god of Israel who gives the idea of ​​the census to David. On the contrary, it is Satan, the devil, who inspires him with this poor idea!”

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And so the book continues, as Thomas Römer introduces the Bible and its composition. Naissance de la Bible is very readable and informative, both for its target audience of high school-aged readers and also for older general readers wanting a quick introduction to the current academic understanding of the composition of the Old Testament/Hebrew Bible.

What’s more, Naissance de la Bible even features one of the more famous giants who appear in the Bible (or, more accurately, an ex-giant):