The Green Bible, and why it confuses the crap out of me.

I was, once again, reading Time.com (why, I have no idea, but it seemed like a good idea at the moment), and an article caught my eye.  “The Good Book Goes Green, With Scriptures for the Prius Age“.  Since I drive a Prius, am I required to buy this version of the Bible?  The article indicates that this special NRSV bible “…calls attention to more than 1,000 verses related to nature by printing them in a pleasant shade of forest green, much as red-letter editions of the Bible encrimson the words of Jesus.”

I understand that HarperCollins, the publishing company which will release this bible on 7 October, just wants to make money on the green ticket, much like any other company these days.  Hell, even Sean and I wanted to get in on the emissions trading market by selling Green Tickets (a laughable cause, to be sure, but I think we’d make a killing).  The description of the Green Bible on the HarperCollins website reads:

The Green Bible will equip and encourage you to see God’s vision for creation and help you engage in the work of healing and sustaining it. This first Bible of its kind includes inspirational essays from key leaders such as N. T. Wright, Barbara Brown Taylor, Brian McLaren, Matthew Sleeth, Pope John Paul II, and Wendell Berry. As you read the scriptures anew, The Green Bible will help you see that caring for the earth is not only a calling, but a lifestyle.

I’m surprised that they have an essay from Pope John Paul II, and that they neglected to mention St. Francis of Assisi (who was mentioned in the Time article).  St. Francis was more of an ardent animal lover, and not really a nature lover per say.  At least this is an accepted translation for Catholics (we have three translations that the Church approves of, I believe).  But, just because the Church accepts the NRSV doesn’t mean Catholics should run out and purchase the Green Bible.  We know we have to take care of the Earth, and that it is our responsibility.  You can argue that we have no such responsibility, and spiritually, maybe we don’t.  But, we do have a responsibility to our children and grandchildren to provide them with the best environment we can.  With the rise of global temperatures, loss of various species, and sharp rise in cancer (sometimes attributed to carcinogens in the environment, thanks to some companies cutting environmental corners), we should do our part in trying to prolong the demise of our planet.

All in all, don’t rush out to purchase a Bible that will highlight environmentally-slanted scripture.  Having Jesus’s words ‘encrimsoned’ is one thing, but having a soy-based environmental Bible printed for Prius-driving Christians is another bag of worms entirely.  Maybe, as Christians, we should focus living our lives according to Christian tradition, and not subscribe to the Golden Calf Green Religion being thrust upon us by popular culture.

I’m sorry, but my faith comes first, and even if some may think that “being green” is included in that list of duties, I need to secure my basic fundamentals before I can branch out and multitask.  I’m slightly offended that they came out with this Bible. *steps off soap box*

(Oh, picture thieved from Time.com here)

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3 thoughts on “The Green Bible, and why it confuses the crap out of me.

  1. Taking care of the earth is a responsibility that some sectors of the Christian church have long-neglected. If some non-Bible readers purchase this, and see the ecology-related verses highlighted in green, perhaps they’ll dig a little deeper to see what other themes the Bible speaks to. (Though I’m not entirely sure they will.)

    Most believers would assert that the central theme of the scriptures is Jesus. Prophecies and foreshadowing of his coming. His life and times, including his claim of equality of God. The movement he began. His anticipated return. That sort of thing. So maybe a “Jesus Bible” is needed more than a green one. But since they can’t really play with the text, hopefully all the trendy Bibles are Jesus bibles.

    I wrote on something similar at the beginning of the weekend:
    http://paulwilkinson.wordpress.com/2008/09/18/the-bible-as-fashion-accessory/

  2. I don’t really understand why anyone would have a problem with this printing of the Bible. There are hundreds if not thousands of different styles and printings of the Bible out there, each one speaking to specific type of believer.

    Just because this one doesn’t speak to you or your priorities, doesn’t mean it won’t speak to someone else.

    Condemning a print for excluding parts of the Bible I could understand, but that’s not the case here. They’ve not altered the text in any way, they’ve merely pointed out certain passages. If it’s not your cup of tea, don’t buy it!

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