Green Bible stresses eco- passages, some may see red
The Bible has gone green.
HarperOne has published a Green Bible that highlights with green ink over 1,000 references to the earth and what the publishers say is a scriptural mandate to care for it. The inks are soy-based on recycled paper (of course!).
“The Green Bible will equip and encourage people to see God’s vision for creation and help them engage in the work of healing and sustaining it. With over 1,000 references to the earth in the Bible, compared to 490 references to heaven and 530 references to love, the Bible carries a powerful message for the earth,” HarperOne says on its web site about the publication.
The Green Bible is one new piece in the chain connecting the “creation care” movement, which has linked U.S. evangelicals across the political spectrum, Catholics who stress the social teachings of their church and Orthodox leaders, among others.
The movement has been galvanized by the challenge of climate change and other pressing environmental issues and their impact of the poor — and “God’s creation.”
“The poor and the vulnerable are members of God’s family and are the most severely affected by droughts, high temperatures, the flooding of coastal cities, and more severe and unpredictable weather events resulting from climate change,” Archbishop Desmond Tutu says in a brief foreword to “The Green Bible.”
Highlighted lines in The Green Bible include the opening passages of Genesis and this one from Leviticus that says “You shall not strip your vineyard bare.”
But many environmentalists and scientists will no doubt question the ecological utility of some of the highlighted passages.
Take this one highlighted from Deuteronomy: “If you come on a bird’s nest, in any tree or on the ground, with fledglings or eggs, with the mother sitting on the fledglings or on the eggs, you shall not take the mother with the young. Let the mother go, taking only the young for yourself…”
I doubt if you will find a single modern biologist who would support the removal of chicks from their nests as a conservation strategy.
“The Lord bless you and keep you” is highlighted under the Priestly benediction in Numbers. One wonders what explicit ecological message is contained in that passage?
Will The Green Bible make some readers see red?