England's Bible Society has released an edition of the Bible that highlights the more than 2,000 passages that reveal God’s sorrow over poverty and injustice, and His command to believers to act to eradicate them.
The Poverty and Justice Bible was developed after some major evangelical leaders, including Rick Warren, admitted that they had overlooked the Bible's overwhelming message of care and compassion for the poor.
According to the website: "Almost every page of the Bible speaks of God's heart for the poor. His concern for the marginalised. His compassion for the oppressed. His call for justice."
The Rt. Rev. Dr. Tom Wright, bishop of Durham and Bible Society’s president, said, “Poverty and injustice are two of the biggest issues of our day, challenging the minds of politicians and social activists around the world.
“The imbalance of global wealth, famine, water shortages, exploitation and corruption are all issues that invoke outrage – and demand attention. But The Poverty and Justice Bible shows that, in speaking out on these issues, God got there first.”
Far from being irrelevant, the Poverty and Injustice Bible demonstrates that God’s Word has “something to say about issues that resonate today”, the bishop added.
“This Bible connects with the very fabric of today’s world, with all its problems and messiness – and has something powerful to say,” he said.
Bible Society was inspired to develop the new Bible after Pastor Rick Warren, author of bestselling The Purpose Driven Life, admitted that had missed more than 2,000 verses that speak of God’s heart for the poor despite studying theology and being a pastor for decades. He claimed that Christians risked losing their credibility if they failed to speak out against poverty and injustice.
Christian leader and commentator Tony Campolo added, “Here’s proof that faith without commitment to justice for the poor is a sham, because it ignores the most explicit of all the social concerns of Scripture.”
Bible Society staff and experts spent months debating and sifting through the Contemporary English Version (CEV) Bible to pull out the verses that say something about God’s attitude to poverty and justice. The result was more than 2,000 sections, with almost every page from Genesis to Revelation emphasizing just and fair behavior.
The Poverty and Justice Bible includes a 32 page study guide and fifty Bible studies "highlight how concern for the poor and the oppressed form part of the DNA of our faith."
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Here is the website for the Poverty and Justice Bible.