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New tool for ‘green’ Christians: ecofriendly Bible

Printed on recycled paper with soy ink, the new edition highlights more than 1,000 passages in green.

By Jane LampmanStaff writer of the Christian Science Monitor / October 19, 2008

Can a “green” Bible bring more of the Christian community into the growing “creation care” movement? Many people of faith, including young Evangelicals, hope so.

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This past weekend, Christian college students from across the US kicked off an effort to become catalysts for environmental action on campuses and in churches. The student-initiated Renewal network, which gathered at Eastern University in Pennsylvania, has a new resource to help them: an ecofriendly version of the Good Book published this month by HarperOne.

Produced with soy-based inks, recycled paper, and a cotton/linen cover, “The Green Bible” highlights in green more than a thousand passages relating to God’s love for creation and the role of humans in caring for the earth.

“It’s beautifully put together. I appreciate that they used sustainable materials,” says Anna Jane Joyner, Renewal’s coordinator. “It’s a great compilation of different resources.”

Along with the biblical text, the book includes a set of essays by theologians and conservationists (including Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Brian McLaren, and Pope John Paul II). There’s a concordance on environmental subjects and a study guide on “green” biblical themes for use by individuals and church or campus groups.

“Many younger people very much feel it is part of the Christian message to take care of the world,” says Michael Maudlin, coproject editor for HarperOne. “So we wanted to give them a primer to help people understand that Earth care is part of the mandate God gives us.”

For others working to spur a church awakening on environmental issues, the new Bible is a welcome development.

“It helps rectify a misperception that this is not a biblical issue,” says Peter Illyn, an evangelical pastor who founded an environmental stewardship group called Restoring Eden to foster awareness across the denominational spectrum. (The Green Bible comes in the New Revised Standard Version, which is accepted by Protestants, Roman Catholics, and the Orthodox.)