The Errors behind the Green Bible

 

In order to encourage more people to care for and protect the environment, the publisher Harper Collins last year produced The Green Bible. Utilizing the New Revised Standard Version, they printed all passages in the Bible that they felt related to creation and nature in green colour so as to emphasize how God cared about the natural world He had created. There are over 1,000 such passages in The Green Bible, e.g. most of chapters 1 and 2 of the Book of Genesis, the part where Jesus cursed the fruitless fig tree, and verse 22 of Romans chapter 8 etc. To enhance the promotional effect, the publisher got Archbishop Desmond Tutu of the South African Anglican Church to write a foreword, and also included many essays from prominent Catholic and Protestant personalities so as to highlight their concern for environmental protection. They pointed out that humanity had wantonly and erroneously utilized natural resources in their quest for economic development, and abused the authority God had given them to manage the earth, thereby destroying the natural wonder that God had created. Man should repent for these sins, and rededicate to protecting the earth. The Green Bible is printed on recycled paper with soy-based ink, and the bindings are cotton/linen, which conform totally to the spirit of environmental protection. When all countries of the world are starting to pay heed to protection of our diverse ecosystem, environmentalists are using God・s words to support their ideal, and publishers are happy to seize this commercial opportunity to make a dollar.

 

Ever since the snake tempted Eve in the Garden of Eden, that crafty Old Snake had delighted in using God・s words to arouse people・s attention and interest, and then usurp, augment, alter, and twist the Lord・s words so as to gradually deceive people into turning away from God. The Lord scolded those false prophets who had stolen and perverted His words, saying, :・Therefore,・ declares the Lord, .I am against the prophets who steal from one another words supposedly from me・KBut you must not mention 'the oracle of the Lord ' again, because every man's own word becomes his oracle and so you distort the words of the living God, the Lord Almighty, our God.; (Jeremiah 23:30, 36) Those environmentalists seriously warped the original meaning of the Bible when they employed the Bible and misappropriated God・s authority to push their own ecological agenda. It is not a bad thing to endorse the message of environmental protection. But using God・s words for promotion is a grave affront to the Lord.

 

Since the advent of The Green Bible, no one from the Christian community has pointed out the errors behind its publication, because the publisher did not alter any of the content, but merely :greened; certain passages. In the face of the serious problems confronting the environment and natural habitats of the whole earth, what is wrong with adding certain calls for environmental protection into the Bible? This writer believes that the most critical issue with The Green Bible is that it redirects people・s focus from the person of Jesus Christ, who saves sinners, to the need for people to save the environment. It induces them to fixate on certain secondary teachings of the Bible, and overlook the more important Truths such as the revelation of the Lord・s work of salvation, the mystery of the Way becoming flesh, the Gospel of the redemption of Jesus Christ, the testimony of the Church, the work of the Holy Spirit, the manifestation of the Kingdom of God, and the judgment at the end of days etc. All these truths are more important than environmental protection. Paul admonishes us to learn from and understand the Bible, for :the holy ScripturesKare able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.; (2 Timothy 3:15)

 

There is this warning in the Book of Jude: :In the last times there will be scoffers who will follow their own ungodly desires K But you, dear friends, build yourselves up in your most holy faith and pray in the Holy Spirit.; (Jude 18, 20) :Scoffers; can be translated as :manipulators;. At the end of days there will be many who will use the Bible or our faith as their object of manipulation for the purpose of private gain or money. We must cautiously scrutinize and learn to differentiate so as not to be misled.

 

By: Daniel To