Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Evangelicals Not Keen on Green Bible

Important Update below:

As you may of heard a Green Bible has been published.
U.S. evangelicals say they are divided over a new "Green Bible" which embraces environmentalism and a need to protect the earth.

The Green Bible, which has been endorsed by secular groups such as the Humane Society and the Sierra Club, shows people that "God is calling us to care for the world around us," said Rusty Pritchard, editor of Creation Care Magazine, a publication for evangelicals.

Other evangelicals are concerned the Green Bible will mislead Christians because it does not interpret Scripture literally, said James Taylor, a founding elder at Living Water Christian Fellowship in Palmetto, Fla.

"These groups don't have a religious focus; they have a desire to spread their environmental message," Taylor said of the essayists who contributed to the Green Bible, which contains a foreword from Anglican Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

I just love it when I hear evangelicals use phrases like "interpret Scripture literally". They obviously have no clue where "the Scripture" came from. I think most of them believe that "the Scripture" was brought from heaven by an angel in A.D. 1611 when it was first published. Most of them refuse to recognize that it is an elegant but often inaccurate translation of a hodge-podge of Hebrew and Greek documents that were written by any number of people between 900 B.C. and A.D. 120. The Old Testament or Hebrew Scriptures first appeared around 900 B.C. but wasn't formally declared holy until a group of rabbis got together in Jamnia in 100 A.D. and decided it was the "good book". Likewise, the Christian Bible or the New Testament wasn't cobbled together until the fourth century when a bunch of Catholic priests got together in Carthage and decided what to keep and what to throw out of "the Scripture". It should be noted that some really great, but not PC, stuff was left out such as the Shepherd of Hermas and the Gospel of Saint Thomas. The bottom line is that "the Scripture" the fundamentalists are all worried about being interpreted literally is something that gets its authority from the Jews who rejected Jesus and the Catholic Church whom they abominate as the Scarlet Woman of Revelation.

If you ever want to have an interesting discussion with a fundamentalist over the history around the King James Bible you might ask them how the feel about the accuracy of the translation from the Septuagint (the Greek version of the Old Testament) or how they feel about the exclusion from the New Testament of the Acts of John, the Didache, the Apostolic Constitutions
or the various epistles of Clement, Ignatius and Polycarp.

Update: Mike (webpage) a obviously knowledgeable guy on such things, very properly took me to task on my simplistic comments on the history of the King James Bible. I should have put a disclaimer in that I am not nor will I ever be a biblical scholar and that I was trying to remember something from the early seventies and quite poorly to boot. I apologize to Mike and anyone else who takes exception to my errors. If you want the straight scoop on all this please read Mike's comments. It was very generous of him to take the time to share with us and set me straight.

Thanks Mike and come back sometime when I am not ignorantly treading in your space. I share recipes every once in a while and most of those are pretty accurate and tasty.

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