Thursday, June 27, 2013


(Continued from The Tower Of Babel)

A pivotal story in THE BIBLE is that of Abraham, who became, at a very advanced age, a father, and through the generations that followed, the father of not one but two separate groups of people.  It's also the point where THE BIBLE turns from what may be pure allegory or mythology, into the beginning of an unbroken history of the Jewish people.  It still continues to feature "supernatural" elements, but also has more of a feel of actual "history" about it.

It's also the point where the film THE BIBLE... IN THE BEGINNING has, for me, always turned dull, boring and interminable.  Having seen a more recent version that was none of those things, I tend to put the blame either on the script, the director, or the lead actor.  (Which means, Richard Harris did a much better job than George C. Scott!)

The one part of that film's "Abraham" section that is watchable is the part that covers the story of "Sodom And Gomorrah".  Although over the years this has been covered separately, it is embedded in the middle of the story of "Abraham".  This is not unlike how Edgar Allan Poe's poem "The Haunted Palace" appears in the middle of his short story, "The Fall Of The House Of Usher", or how his poem "The Conqueror Worm" was added to the middle of a revised version of his short story, "Ligeia".  (Yes, I love making wild comparisons like this!)

So it is that, after skipping the story twice early on, "Abraham" makes it debut in July 1956, in a stand-alone episode focusing almost entirely on "Sodom And Gomorrah".  A year later, the 2nd version, in August 1957, relates events that take place before the previous one.  You can see how this could get confusing.  That includes for me.  It's not until the 3rd time around, in 1963, that we get a more "complete" retelling of the story of "Abraham".  Do I collect these episodes purely in the order BOYS' LIFE published them, or re-arrange them on these pages to reflect point-by-point story chronology?

It got stranger when the story's 4th version in BL in 1967 had less detail, and skipped "Sodom And Gomorrah" completely... until a year later, when "S&G" popped up as a stand-alone episode, out-of-sequence, IN BETWEEN the stories of "Joseph" and "Moses".  Had it been omitted accidentally?  (It's been known to happen.)  Or did someone decide, after-the-fact, to slip it in?

What I find additionally intriguing is how chaotic and turbulent the month of  
April 1968 was... a perfect time for the magazine to publish a new version of
"Sodom And Gomorrah".

July 1956  /  art by IRVING NOVICK
April 1957  /  art by IRVING NOVICK
August 1963  /  art by IRVING NOVICK
September 1963  /  art by IRVING NOVICK
October 1963  /  art by IRVING NOVICK
November 1963  /  art by IRVING NOVICK
January 1964  /  art by IRVING NOVICK
January 1967  /  art by CURT SWAN
February 1967  /  art by LOU FINE
March 1967  /  art by LOU FINE
April 1968  /  art by LOU FINE
(Continued in Part 2)

Copyright (C) BOY'S LIFE Magazine
Restorations by Henry Kujawa

Read the entire STORIES FROM THE BIBLE series from the beginning!

For More:
Read the Wikipedia page on Book Of Genesis
Read the Wikipedia page on Abraham
Read the Wikipedia page on Sodom and Gomorrah

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