Is the gospel green? The publishers of The Green Bible, which has more than 1,000 scriptural references to the earth and caring for creation highlighted in green ink, believe so.
Published in 2008 by HarperCollins, The Green Bible is not another translation but a new edition of the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible. The editors have highlighted passages they deemed to be of significance to environmental and ecological issues, similar to the “red-letter” editions that print Jesus’s direct statements in red.
The Green Bible contains a foreward by Archbishop Desmond Tutu and essays from respected theologians and conservationists worldwide, including Ellen Davis, professor of Bible and practical theology at Duke Divinity School, Pope John Paul II, and Wendell Berry.
The new edition also contains inspirational quotes from Christian teachings, a topical index, and a study guide. It is printed on recycled paper, using soy-based ink, and sports a cotton/linen cover.
“The awareness of the physical world as God’s creation is pervasive in the Bible — both the flourishing as well as the destruction or threat of destruction to creation,” says Davis. “You see it throughout the Old Testament, as well as in the New Testament, although it is less pronounced there.”
Davis says the publication of The Green Bible marks the growing recognition in the last decade that faith communities need to be part of the solution to the environmental crisis and have resources to address the problem.
“Scripture is saying that we are embodied and physically located people in our relation to God,” she explains, “and the well-being of physical creation is not separable from the integrity of our relationship to God. If our notions of spirituality deny the physicality of the larger world on which our lives depend, then we are deluding ourselves.”