I am hardly alone in the world in saying that the central narratives of the Old and New Testaments -- especially the four life stories called Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John -- drew early at my mind and have kept their magnetism for me. In my case, their hold has lasted undiminished nearly six decades. Before I could read I often turned the profusely illustrated pages of Hurlbut's Story of the Bible,
imagining what tales had produced such swarming pictures. By the age of eight, I had begun making drawings of my own from the knowledge I gained in reading the tales with my new-won literacy and yielding to the pull of their...