Wednesday, May 7, 2008

The Poverty and Justice Bible

Since I was finally well enough to be back at church last Sunday, between greeting folks like a long-lost friend and trying to keep an eye on Jack and Sophie as they zig-zagged around people's legs in the crowded foyer, I happened to glance down at a table of literature.

The cover story of magazine called Word in Action, put out by the Bible Society here in England, caught my eye. Together with World Vision, they've just published The Poverty and Justice Bible which highlights verses about God's passionate concern for the poor and oppressed. Included in the Bible is a 32-page study guide encouraging not just an "Aha!" realization but action.

According to The Poverty and Justice Bible website:
It was US pastor and writer Rick Warren who laid the foundations for The Poverty and Justice Bible. He'd discovered that there were 2,000 verses on poverty -- and couldn't believe he'd never noticed before.

U2 frontman Bono, in his talk to the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington DC in November 2006, pointed out that the only time Christ is judgmental is on the subject of the poor. He also referred to the 2,000+ mentions of poverty in the Bible, saying, "That's a lot of airtime!"

It took a team of Bible Society researchers poring over the Contemporary English Version to identify every verse that's specific about God's take on social injustice. These range from Old Testament prophecies to Jesus' radical teachings. Just about every page has some emphasis on justice and fairness.

It's on the global agenda for politicians, activists and opinion formers. But fighting poverty and tackling injustice is no new concept for the 21st century. This Bible is proof that, on issues of social justice, God has plenty to say.

When it comes to poverty and justice, God got there first.

I'm not sure if this Bible is available yet outside the UK, but since many of us believers are becoming more aware, concerned and outspoken about justice issues worldwide, I wanted to pass the Word.

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Updated to add: I just found this order form on Bibles.org, a ministry of the American Bible Society.

1 comment:

Shannah Hayley said...

Thanks for the info on this, Laura! If you don't visit Sojourner's website (www.sojo.net), you should. They focus on these very issues, and have for some time.

Glad you are all feeling better. The week-long flu made its rounds here in Dallas Jan-Feb. It was the sickest I've been since having malaria!

Shannah
www.shannahhayley.blogspot.com