Item description for Eye Witness (Book One): A Fictional Tale of Absolute Truth by Robert J. Luedke...
Overview Amid the violence and chaos of the present day Middle East, remarkably preserved first century documents are discovered by seismic researchers beneath the foundations of present day Jerusalem. None of the experts called in by the Israeli government can decipher this mysterious text, so as a last resort they call in American archeologist, Dr. Terry Harper, known around the world as, "The Bone Man." What Dr. Harper finds through his translation., is a previously undiscovered, eyewitness account of Jesus' final week in Jerusalem. Will it confirm or discount the Gospel accounts of this event that have guided people for thousands of years? Only Dr. Harper has the key to unlocking this mystery...and sharing it may cost him his life! At its core, Eye Witness presents a unique and fully illustrated version of the Passion Story of Jesus, combined with a modern day political thriller.
Publishers Description Amid the violence and chaos of the present day Middle East, remarkably preserved first century documents are discovered by seismic researchers beneath the foundations of present day Jerusalem. None of the experts called in by the Israeli government can decipher this mysterious text, so as a last resort they call in American archaeologist, Dr. Terry Harper, known around the world as, The Bone Man. What Dr. Harper finds through his translation, is a previously undiscovered, eyewitness account of Jesus final week in Jerusalem. Will it confirm or discount the Gospel accounts of this event that have guided people for thousands of years? Only Dr. Harper has the key to unlocking this mystery and sharing it may cost him his life At its core, Eye Witness presents a unique and fully illustrated version of the Passion Story of Jesus, combined with a modern day political thriller and all in the graphic novel format, so popular with teen to young adult readers.This is the trade paperback edition of the first book in the Eye Witness graphic novel trilogy.
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Studio: Head Press Publishing
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 10.52" Width: 8.58" Height: 0.21" Weight: 0.85 lbs.
Release Date Jul 8, 2005
Publisher HEAD PRESS PUBLISHING
Series Eye Witness
Series Number 1
ISBN 0975892401 ISBN13 9780975892404
Availability 0 units.
More About Robert J. Luedke
Robert James Luedke, is creating (both writing and illustrating) the Eye Witness series of graphic novels, as a way to present the Gospels stories that is both appealing and approachable to young readers around the world. His goal is to entertain while also enlightening readers by combining the spiritual with the dramatic and the historical. As a lifetime skeptic, who in 1999 became a born again Christian, Robert has dedicated his God-gifted creative talents and 15 years of professional experience, toward using the format of graphic novels and comics to reach those who might not hear the Word otherwise.
Reviews - What do customers think about Eye Witness: A Fictional Tale of Absolute Truth?
Grabbing the youth Nov 13, 2006
I think this is a great method to reach out to the youth of today. A teen is likely to read this novel and have their interest peaked.
A good start but Book Two is even better .... Nov 11, 2006
The first book in this fully-illustrated adventure stars forensic archaeologist Dr. Terence Harper, "The Bone Man". When the skeptical Harper is summoned to Israel by his former best buddy to help authenticate a newly discovered artifact, he knows it must be something big. He doesn't have to wait long to find out just how big. As soon as he and his assistant arrive from the airport, they are led deep into the archaeology labs of the Israel Ministry of Antiquities and shown a 1st century AD document containing an eyewitness account of the activities of a Galilean named Jesus. Purportedly authored by a high-ranking member of the Sanhedrin, the report was commissioned by the Jewish governing body as a record of Jesus's blasphemous claims to be the Messiah.
Wow! I love this kind of story! I'm a long-time subscriber to Biblical Archaeology Review and believe without a doubt that Raiders of the Lost Ark is the best Indiana Jones movie. Indeed, the opening pages of Harper's all-night translation session in the ultra-violet lit labs of the Ministry of Antiquities are thrilling and eerie.
From the darkened lab we time travel back to the bright sunshine of 1st century A.D. Jerusalem and relive the story as set down in the account being translated by Harper. In general, the story and artwork are accurate according to currently accepted Biblical and archaeological standards. Laid out in visual fashion, however, the familiar gospel story takes on new life.
Luedke follows the interpretation that Judas was a Zealot who believed he was acting as God's instrument when he made his deal to turn Jesus in to the Sanhedrin. This is all kosher as one possible interpretation, but I'm uncomfortable with the last confrontation Luedke creates between Judas and Jesus in which Judas kneels at the foot of Jesus's cross and asks "Why me?" Jesus replies, "You are what you are. My friend." This exchange takes the interpretation too far outside the Bible's parameters for me - though it doesn't change Jesus's character as revealed in his compassionate prayer to "Forgive them for they know not what they do."
Another extrabiblical scene, however, does change a key figure's character too much for my comfort level. Luedke adds to the Garden of Gethsemane sequence a visit from Mary, Jesus's mother, who gives him the courage to face his fate. As if she knows what's coming. I disagree with this portrayal. Mary is the natural and earthly mother of God, but she is not His spiritual or heavenly mother. On the contrary, several times in the gospel accounts, Mary in her humanity does not know or understand her firstborn's mission.
Nevertheless as the story returns to modern-day Israel, the pace picks up -- as does reader frustration when high-powered government officials decide this document shouldn't be made public. Remember the ending of Raiders of the Lost Ark?
The last few pages of Luedke's story read like a thriller as Harper and his assistant try to outwit the officials. Tragedy and mystery follow until the last frame drops a whingdinger of a cliffhanger, which sets up the second book in the Eye Witness series Acts of the Spirit.
Overall this graphic novel is a visual and verbal feast. However, I think the story's framing method of modern-day-back-to-1st-century-back-to-modern-day slows the story down. Switching back and forth between present day and translated story might keep things moving.
I also think there are too many "manuscript" pages that include only the translated text. These long pages in small type with no illustrations make this graphic novel read more like a traditional novel, and the intended audience of young people may just skip over them. On the other hand, the manuscript clips that are distributed over illustrated action pages work much better.
One way to accomplish this as a story idea is to not have such an intact, well-preserved manuscript. If archaeologists were to find a document that had even half the details recorded in this one, it would be a monumental find. Even the Dead Sea Scrolls are in bits and pieces yet they've still had a huge impact on Biblical studies.
These comments aside, Eye Witness: A Fictional Tale of Absolute Truth is a rollicking romp through Biblical archaeology that will appeal to young and old alike.
Copyright Heather Hunt. All rights reserved.
What if they found another gospel today? Dec 10, 2005
What would happen if another document containing the eyewitness account of the last week of Christ's life was found today? Would it change the world to know there was another source of testimony to the validity of the gospels? Author Robert James Luedke has tackled this possibility in his graphic novel Eyewitness.
Doctor Terry Harper finds himself whisked across the globe at the request of the mysterious Joshua Rabin. Once there, he discovers that Rabin's team has discovered an ancient text inside an ossuary. No one else on Rabin's team has been able to translate it, thus the need for Harper's help. Within hours, Harper has the text deciphered and begins to read an eyewitness account of the last week of Christ's life. While we already have this in the gospels, this one is especially important because it's the first non-biblical source to corroborate the other versions of the story. Over the process of reading this moving text, Harper finds himself questioning his own beliefs and lack of faith.
I've been a comic book fan for almost thirty years and have a huge collection. I still remember the old Christian comics that came out in the mid-80's in an attempt to reach the modern market with the gospel message. Most were either too preachy or too amateur to reach anyone outside the Christian market. This self-published effort by Luedke does more to present the message in an interesting way than anything put out in a long time. While visualizing the Passion isn't something new, Luedke's pull on this is the incredibly detailed amount of research he's done into every aspect of society at the time of Christ. I was given more information in these pages than in many Bible Handbooks and study Bibles I've read. While the artwork here couldn't be confused with the "big boys" in the mainstream, it's good and pulls the story along at a tight pace. He also includes a glossary of terms and a map of Jesus's travels through Jerusalem. While I was familiar with almost all of it, it's easy to see where they would help someone new to the story keep up. The story starts out with a good "hook" and keeps you into it.
Unfortunately, I could easily see a few places where a professional editor could have helped. There are a few distracting spelling errors (for example, one major character's name is spelled two different ways in the same panel), and the tone of the book gets a little out of whack sometimes by touches of humor that are out of place (for example, after Peter cuts off the soldier's ear, the soldier says "Scuse me, has anyone seen my ear?"; at the Last Supper, John is called a "Rabbi's Pet" because he's the "beloved disciple", etc). These sometimes odd stretches for humor detracted from the story for me. Also, Robert has taken a little liberty with the gospels that I didn't follow (Mary, the mother of Jesus, appears in the Garden of Gethsemene during that final prayer to comfort Jesus; Judas talks to Jesus on the cross where Jesus tells him he had no choice in what he did, etc).
While the "author" of the manuscript is kept secret until the end, it becomes fairly obvious before it's revealed. I don't know if that's truly the way this figure died, but it was interesting reading. Likewise, the final pages of the book gave one final twist in Harper's story I never saw coming, and really enjoyed. The last panel is especially powerful. Great ending!
Robert says in the book that he created this concept after having an agnostic's view toward the Crucifixion, and then he decided to present the story in a format the youth of today are used to and comfortable with. Overall, I feel he's succeeded. My teenage son (a second generation avid comics fan) enjoyed the story and I can see the wide-range appeal of it. I congratulate Robert for going the extra mile and seeing this idea to fruition.