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Is there anything wrong with cartoon portrayals of biblical accounts?

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There is nothing in the Bible stating that drawings or cartoons of Christian stories or Bible stories are wrong. Jesus loved little children, and it is children who most benefit from cartoon portrayals of Bible characters. It is hard to imagine, given what we know of Jesus, that a drawing or cartoon of Daniel in the lions’ den, Paul’s shipwreck, or Jesus feeding the five thousand would be offensive to the Lord—especially when the purpose of such cartoons is to help educate children about the Bible.

Some people object to cartoon portrayals of Bible stories based on the Bible’s prohibition against making graven images (Leviticus 26:1). However, this command relates to objects of worship, not artwork. The Bible does not say that respectful depictions of God or biblical characters in art are wrong. God actually commanded that the veil in the tabernacle be “woven with an artistic design of cherubim” (Exodus 26:31), so drawings of angels are not sinful. For centuries, people have been telling one another stories that illustrate biblical and moral truths; Jesus told parables. In oral storytelling the hearer gets a mental picture of the characters described. Cartoons or visual portrayals of Bible stories are just a modern version of this time-honored tradition.

Others caution that cartoon portrayals of Bible characters can be confusing to children who may associate cartoons with fictional stories. If a child grows up learning that cartoons and comic books are "not real," then he or she may indeed have trouble discerning the truth that a Bible story is real when depicted in a cartoon or comic book format. This concern is valid, and Bible teachers should make sure their young students know the Bible story is true and that the cartoons are simply illustrations.

As with most things, the heart is God’s main concern (Psalm 51:17; 1 Samuel 16:7). Whatever we do that does not come from faith, the Bible says, is sin (Romans 14:23). So, if watching a cartoon about Christian history or Bible stories bothers a person’s conscience, for whatever reason, to that person it is sin. But if someone else is okay with visual depictions of Bible stories and has no objections from conscience, for that person it is not sin.

In reaching people with the gospel and teaching children the stories of the Bible, we use a variety of tools. One of those tools might be cartoon illustrations of Bible characters and events.

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Is there anything wrong with cartoon portrayals of biblical accounts?
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This page last updated: March 8, 2023