The Gospel of Joshua - An illustrated Bible
Since I was about 5 years of age, I always loved hearing stories of the Bible. Once I could read, the adventures and scary stories left me dreaming of a world I wish I knew. I think most kids found themselves in sports and other activities with friends. I didn't have many friends, I was a bit on the weird side and could hardly focus. I drew constantly and it hindered my school life to the point every year I thought I would fail.
Each year, I passed by the skin of my teeth. Let me be real in my posts, I need to be for your sake. I am writing this for everyone to share the life and experiences I have to offer. I'm not a genius, wise guru, or even a talented individual in any way, but I love people and think that humans are capable of some of the most beautiful expressions in the galaxy. We create myths and lore from dreams and wonders, religions and wars from fears and challenges, and we build monuments and cities through love and imagination. I would confidently say, even if we are not the highest form of intelligence in the universe, we are the most beautiful.
Not to say there isn't a bunch of clean-up of corruption and twisted junk in the world, but strip the bad and good, and we stand perfect. I know corruption is all around and many believers of the Faith feel that demons lurk around every corner. Let me back up a second before we continue. Even though I drew in school, my upringing in a very southern Pentecostal Holy Roller church, made my life pretty tough. At school and in teh secular world, life was fun and free, my art was able to be expressed as I pleased. In the church, where I was forced to spend three days a week and even more if revivals come through or special speakers. My father was like a worship pastor character and definitely loved the church community.
The church plays a huge role in my life and my life goal, dream if you will. I drew angels and demons fighting like Marvel characters and loved every bit of it. The church scolded me for my drawings and even my collecting of comic books. I was forced to toss them in the trash in front of my parents. Also my long journey of collecting Star Wars action figures, is still in their boxes. Then of course Pokemon and Magic the gathering were nearly taken, but I just hid it from them at my friend's house. So you can see that my imagination and need to draw it, was tampered with from the beginning. This is why I drew so much in school, it was the only place I could.
I dreamt of drawing the Bible and wondering why a book so ancient, never had a drawing for all these stories. Like where is the porno of Song of Solomons in the Bible or at the least a creepy deer, Nat-Geo style sex scene? Or how about Revelation and the horrors of all of that doom? Often it was Adam and Eve, Jesus on the Cross, and the disciples looking confused. Then, for modern Christian art, its a lamb and a lion or Jesus praying with his hand on a guy's shoulder. The art style was always so light and not always well done. I wondered deeply why skilled artists weren't drawing these things in more accurate or historical ways, or even in abstract ways. This is what lead me to this and what is to come.
The Gospel of Joshua, something probably blasphemous, but honestly, I could care less. I named it not actually for my name, that's a little ostentatious for my taste. The name Joshua is Yeshua in Hebrew, which is Jesus, so in a more subtle way and without sparking fury from some, I think Joshua is the way to go. My name just happens to be Joshua... Lamb. ;)
In my studies of ancient texts and the Bible, I have found that most of the scriptures are fantasy and exaggerated historical accounts to encourage the beliefs of the Israelites and other cultures of antiquity. I believe that much of the Bible holds valuable truths to its history but definitely not all and not the way it probably all went down. It was popular in ancient stories to push heavily on a political or religious agenda to maintain a people group. The GOJ (Gospel of Joshua for short) isn't about me or my ideas per se. This is a combination of ALL TEXT and ancient scriptures put in one book, the GOJ. It is though, my commentary visually with the art introducing major themes in these stories. I will give my thoughts off to the side, but nothing to be in the final print or version. I will keep most of the more intimate conversations here on the blog. It's not easy what I am attempting, but I know it will be something so valuable to believers, and that it may just change our lives forever. The first tester for this is Delilah and Samson.
Okay, let's state something real quick. I am not all-knowing and the more I learn, the less I actually know. I hope to explore esoteric and grimoires of all sorts in order to create a completely unbiased Bible for readers to absorb. This is very hard and I will surely run into tons of difficulties and hate for doing this, but people need to understand that this is not proving anyone's religion or the way they serve God wrong, nor is it to replace the Bible and commandments. It is just a version of the Bible I wish I had growing up and I want to create it for the world.
Delilah and Samson
Delilah holds a blade to cut the hair of Samson, as Philistines and men lay wait to pluck out his eyes and enslave him to their rule.
Samson was a Nazarene - According to the Bible, Samson's mother was visited by an angel who told her that her son was to be a Nazarite from birth. This meant that Samson was not allowed to drink wine, cut his hair, or touch anything unclean.
Samson's strength came from God - Samson was known for his incredible strength, which he used to defeat his enemies. However, it is important to note that his strength was not something he possessed naturally, but rather it was given to him by God.
Samson and women - Despite his great strength, Samson had a weakness for women. He fell in love with a woman named Delilah, who was bribed by the Philistines to discover the secret of his strength. Delilah eventually succeeded in discovering the source of his strength and Samson was captured by the Philistines.
Samson killed a lion - According to the Bible, Samson encountered a lion on his way to Timnah and killed it with his bare hands. Later, he returned to the same spot and found that bees had made honey in the carcass of the lion, which he ate.
Samson destroyed a Philistine temple - While in captivity, Samson was brought to a Philistine temple as entertainment. However, he used his great strength to bring down the temple, killing himself and many Philistines in the process.
Delilah was a Philistine woman - Delilah was a woman from the Philistine city of Sorek. She is best known for her role in the story of Samson, where she is portrayed as a beautiful and seductive woman who betrays him.
Delilah was paid to discover the source of Samson's strength - The Philistines were at war with the Israelites and wanted to capture Samson, who was a powerful warrior and judge of Israel. They bribed Delilah with silver to discover the secret of Samson's strength.
Delilah used her charm to discover the secret of Samson's strength - Delilah repeatedly asked Samson the secret of his strength and he lied to her several times. However, she persisted and used her charm to get him to reveal the true source of his strength - his uncut hair.
Delilah was responsible for Samson's capture and imprisonment - When Samson revealed the secret of his strength to Delilah, she cut his hair while he was asleep. This caused him to lose his strength and he was captured by the Philistines and imprisoned.
Delilah is not mentioned in the Bible after the story of Samson - Despite her significant role in the story of Samson, Delilah has not mentioned again in the Bible. Some scholars believe that this is because her character was not as important to the overall narrative as Samson's.
This drawing tries to encompass as much of the Delilah part as I can within a picture of this size. I wanted the focus to be on her stare and the twirl of the blade. Samson, hardly seen, was to be just visible below the eyes and created a sense of caution.
The three men creep at the back door, preparing to take Samson at any chance they can get. The cloaked man in the right of the image, by the bed, is meant to be the demon of lust. He lurks in the shadows, giving the mythical reminder that the story is one of God's gifts and utilizing that gift correctly. I tried to draw similar designs to what I studied from videos of archeological digs and pieces in museums. It is a task to find visuals of these artifacts to get full studies, even in 2023.
"Nazarite" comes from the Hebrew word nazir meaning "consecrated" or "separated", and may be ultimately derived from a root meaning "to vow", similar to Hebrew nadar. The word nazir is also sometimes used to refer to a prince, who fills a special position of secular power, and the cognate word nezer can refer to either the state of being a nazirite, or else to a physical crown.
The inking process will be quite the task, as I never really drew on such tinted paper before. I would like to make all my art moving forward available to the public for purchase. I want to make a living off my art and once that dream comes to fruition, hopefully making a family would be the next grand adventure. So, I will post where and how to get this art in the near future.
I started with Delilah. I referenced a photo of an Asian model and added slight alterations to her look and features to build a Philistine look. From the reports I have read, Philistines wore headdresses in their military attire, in which, I felt that the headband or something of the sort would be a common look for civilians. https://www.britannica.com/topic/Sea-People
So you can sea that there isn't much information on the Philistines and what they wore, so I took some liberty to draw out what I think the other cultures and including theirs may have looked like at the more extravagant design. I gave her bracelets and a nose ring.
Here I am designing a fun head band for Samson. I imagin if he had long hair, he would be one accustomed to a headband of some kind. Also here, I took my freedom with expressing various designs I combined from other drawings of the Israelites and the tribe of Dan, also not much info. In drawing him, I gave him jewelry and rings, and braided a lock of his hair. The reason is, that if we read Samson's story, we find his actions tell us what kind of man he was. Lavish, able to take any woman he pleased and was not afraid of the Philistines. He was devout in his faith and yet, tested it at every chance he got. His eyes lusted over women that possibly loved him and defended him, but ultimately betrayed him.
The story isn't just about Samson, it entangles God and women all the same. We see now that Samson has a range of emotions and issues. He is no longer the strong man, but a whimsical clown, thinking he was invincible.
Drawing the details of what may be inside his home, like plants and herbs. He may be a man who enjoyed the company of a woman in many ways, so having the home feel ready for such things was the tone I wanted to present.
Putting in the outlines for the bricks, but refraining from details. I will create the details and motion of each stone with the ink pen.
The final sketch before I ink the details in. The idea is to cover the image with detailed line-work, yet still keep a story visible for the viewer.
It's been fun thinking of all the attributes I want for this one scene. I love the way the Bible tells his story, but I dug deeper into the study of the Sea Peoples, the Danites and culture of those days. When you explore what it would mean for a man to not cut his hair, or to have supernatural strength to bring down a whole building, killing more Philistines in that than all his attempts. What was the pillars made of? Were they already cracked? How did they fit that many people in a building? Why was this building dependent on these two pillars? Was it a blade from the kitchen or one of meaning? Why would Samson allow this? Were the women beautiful or was he attracted to their personality? The questions go on and on and I am trying to softly and cautiously trying to represent them in my art.
So for my first piece, Delilah and Samson, I hope you enjoyed this blog. I will get better I promise.