In the original book The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, author L. Frank Baum describes the beauty of the hometown of the wizard, the Emerald City. The city is so named because everywhere you look everything is emerald-colored. Pull together all the beauty of the Judy Garland film and imagine it all tinted green. Not only the walls of the buildings, but the various confections, clothing, and even people and animals. It is all made possible because upon entering the city you are fitted with a pair of emerald-colored glasses that are locked on behind your head.
Even the Wicked Witch herself looks normal in the Emerald City. Afterall everyone in town would appear to have skin of different hues of green. Spotting the witch among the crowd would be decidedly more difficult, but not impossible. What then happens with “prophecy-colored glasses”?
In a small meeting room on deck 5, a group of Federation officers take some time away from their important duties onboard the Starship Enterprise to reflect on something more infinite than space itself. The group has been working through the Gospel of Mark and all the while reflecting on the sufficiency of grace and the role of Christ in his universal plan of salvation.
Inspired by the sharp confrontation in chapter 8, Lt. Worf decides to read from the KLV (Klingon Language Version of the Bible). “This particular version,” he explains, “gives special strength to Jesus’ rebuke of Peter because of our rich, warlike tongue:”
peghHa’ ghaH, SoQvam maqtaHvIS.
ghaH nge’pu’DI’ pe’tlhoS, ghaH qunchoH.
- Mark 8:32
So hang the hopes of members of the Klingon Bible Translation Project. The endeavors of this group of devout Trekkers claim that their “goals do not include missionary work, but this is a project worthy of [their] efforts for purely secular reasons.”
Printed on recycled paper, using soy-based ink with a cotton/linen cover, the Green Bible is the project by HarperCollins to bring environmental responsibility and the teaching of Scripture in to one beautiful package. Within the text of this edition of the NRSV, verses that are about the earth and the environment are printed in green ink to highlight the Bible’s comments on taking care of the planet.
Yet under this cover is a message that arguably undercuts aspects of the overall message of the Word of God. What’s the harm in putting two good concepts together, you may ask? Should Christians not be concerned about the environment, it being God’s creation and all?
Perhaps it is not as ubiquitous as it once was, but there was a time where one could rarely attend a sporting event, or even view it on television, for that matter, without seeing someone in the crowd with a sign that simply said “John 3:16.” No, this is not a proposition for a date or a reference to someone with a numerical last name, but it is a reference to a specific verse in the Bible, one that is as familiar as the Pledge of Allegiance:
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
There is something very interesting about this verse: “the world.” That suggests that we are talking about quite a few people. Interesting that it did not say “women” or “children” or “men.” Curious that there would be such a broad scope of God’s love.
Forgive my impertinence, but I really thought that the Bible was not gender specific.