Thanka Art: a Bible for Tibetan Buddhists
All Nations has produced the only complete Biblical Thanka set known to be in existence. A Thanka is a particular kind of Buddhist art form that tells stories. In the same way we use a written alphabet text to encode our sacred messages, the Tibetan Buddhists use this kind of art form to pass on values, stories, and information. A Thanka story is "read" in a spiral from the center of the painting outwards, and is usually painted on a large canvas.
For three years, our missionaries worked with a local Tibetan artist to create a Thanka for every book of the Bible, so that Tibetan Buddhists could hear about Jesus in their own heart language: not a "Western" Jesus but one native to their land and native to their people.
Pictured below is a Tibetan Buddhist nun who became a Christian after seeing the Genesis Thanka. She still lives in her reclusive Buddhist monastery to be a witness of Christ to her friends there. "Now when I get up," she says, "I put on my robe to signify the blood of Christ. And I'm staying here so that others might have a chance to hear about Jesus!"
It is our hope that ministries will make use of the Thankas to reach out to the 17 million Tibetan Buddhists worldwide. To that end, we are making low resolution copies of all of the Thankas available for free. High resolution copies and canvas prints of the Thankas are also available for a suggested donation which will benefit church planting efforts. Contact us for more information about making use of this unique tool! And below is a gallery of the complete Thanka set. Click "Show more" and on the individual Thankas to see them in detail.