HarperOne has released The Green Bible. It is a new Bible that focuses on environmental stewardship. The verses that refer to the environment have green text. This is the same approach as the red letter bibles that have red letters when Jesus speaks. I am not a big fan of either of these versions. We shouldn’t be taking any given Scripture and elevating it above other Scripture. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 says, 16All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; 17so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work. All Scripture is inspired by God, not just the ones that promote our agenda.
As Christians, we need to be good stewards of what God has given us. This Bible for me goes beyond that. It attempts to mislead people by overemphasizing environmental verses. It claims that there are twice as many verses about the earth in the Bible than there is about love. Anytime the Bible even uses the words earth or world it is green letters. So they have verses in green that have absolutely nothing to do with caring for the earth. John 3:16 is green because it has the word world. A person who is not a believer could look at this verse and totally miss the true meaning. God did not send His Son to save this planet. The world is referring to people, not plants and animals. Skewing these verses this way will cause people to miss the true meaning of certain passages.
Another problem I have with this Bible is that it uses the NRSV translation. This is a translation that has adopted a gender neutral language. They fear the traditional way of translating could lead to linguistic sexism. In other words, this is a politically correct Bible. In several places this translation replaces the word virgin with young woman. With that being said, it is not surprising that Brian McLaren is a contributor to The Green Bible.
I am all for praising God’s creation. My problem is that it seems like there is a trend moving towards worshipping His creation. The earth has become an idol for many. They become so consumed with global warming and saving the trees, that they forget about brothers and sisters in Christ being martyred in places like Orissa. In an attempt to push a social Gospel, they tend to forget the Gospel while pushing for social justice. We need to be more worried about seeing people saved, than we are about saving trees.