Bible Society, 2009
By Andrew Johnson, social justice minister at West End Uniting Church, Brisbane.
Launched by the Prime Minister in Parliament House in September the Poverty and Justice Bible seeks to reverse the approach taken to scripture by Jim Wallis of Sojourners.
Mr Wallis, during his time at seminary, famously cut out all references to poverty and justice as proof of the incompleteness of the bible without those sections.
This new edition of the bible, a joint project between The Bible Society and World Vision, highlights those passages in bright orange.
With over 2000 verses it makes a powerful point about the centrality of justice to the gospel.
The Australian edition of this bible comes with a journal, which provides weekly resources for reading and reflection on the themes of poverty and justice.
It also highlights significant justice days throughout the year, an invaluable tool for those in local ministry.
Using the Contemporary English Version, a version particularly designed to be read aloud, those at the launch were treated to a dramatic reading of the Sermon on the Mount.
This edition of the bible adds a useful addition to the growing range of ‘themed bibles’ available in Christian bookstores.
However, when reading scripture we should never forget that it is not only those verses highlighted which tell us of the story of God’s justice.
The whole scripture tells of God’s salvation story, a story of justice and peace, a story which constantly of God’s abhorrence of poverty and desire for abundant life for all.
Whenever we read scripture in whatever edition we read, we should always be reminded of Luther’s passion to let scripture speak for itself.
If we do that we will be constantly reminded of God’s call to justice and peace.