Reading Through a Green Lens
September 13, 2020
Sandra Wong

My first Bible has special meaning to me. I was a freshman in high school and started attending a local Chinese Southern Baptist Church. One of the youth leaders saw that I did not have a Bible of my own and gave me a New American Standard Bible. I carried it faithfully every Sunday to service and underlined and highlighted in it during Sunday school. Despite its frayed edges and wrinkled pages now, it still holds a special place for me because it symbolizes the start of my journey with God.

In Christmas 2006, my parents-in-law gave me a Quest Study Bible which is a New International Version translation. My father-in-law painstakingly made and attached tabs for each book of the Bible to make it easier for me to reference. Whenever I open this Bible, I remember the love and care that took place in preparing this gift for me.

There are hundreds of English versions of the Bible which is derived from the Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek languages. The most commonly used translation is the King James or New King James Version, followed by New International Version (NIV), and then the New Revised Standard Version. The King James version is considered the most literal translation whereas the NIV uses more modern language and may be easier to understand. With all these different versions of the Bible, it may be hard for one to choose. Some of you may have several different translations of the Bible on your bookshelves.

I would like to introduce to you a version of the Bible you may not have heard of before. It's called The Green Bible. It's actually a New Revised Standard Version Bible. But once you flip through the pages, you will quickly notice something different about this Bible. Many passages are highlighted in green. These green-colored passages encourage the reader to see God's involvement with Creation. There are over a thousand references to the earth and caring for creation in the Bible. Highlighted texts illustrate how all parts of creation - land, water, air, plants, animals, and humans - are interdependent. Most importantly, the green texts show how we are called upon to care for God's creation. Our scripture for today's sermon is in fact all highlighted in green.

Each translation of the Bible can be used in its own way to help the reader understand the meaning behind the message. I encourage you to try reading through a green lens using the Green Bible. It may provide new insights and discoveries of the Bible you thought you already knew.

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