Let There Be Highlights
A Framing Analysis of The Green Bible
Keywords:Bible, environment, framing, green, Scripture, theology
In 2008, HarperCollins released The Green Bible, a reprint of the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible that highlights in green-lettered text all verses purporting to demonstrate God’s concern for the environment. I conducted a framing analysis and criticism examining how the GB frames the Scriptures in terms of the environment and found the following frames present: anti-dominion theology, stewardship, creation care as justice, the importance of the Sabbath, Jesus’ redemption of creation, and the Bible’s usefulness as a guide to green living. I contrasted these frames with the actual green verses highlighted by the GB and found that the environmental frames created by the essayists do not consistently match the highlighted verses. Because of the inconsistent and contradictory nature of the green highlighting, I question the GB as a guide to green living, for both the environmentally conscious and lovers of the Scriptures.
Bernstein, Ellen. 2008. ‘Creation Theology: A Jewish Perspective’, in The Green Bible 2008: I:51-57.
Childs, Jr., James M. 2009. ‘The Ecology of Moral Authority: A Response to James A. Nash, “The Bible vs. Biodiversity: The Case against Moral Argument from Scripture”’, Journal for the Study of Religion, Nature and Culture 3: 254-59.
Creswell, John W. 2013. Qualitative Inquiry and Research Design: Choosing among Five Approaches (Los Angeles, CA: Sage Publications).
Davis, Ellen F. 2008. ‘Knowing Our Place on Earth: Learning Environmental Responsibility from the Old Testament’, in The Green Bible 2008: I:58-64.
Deane-Drummond, Celia. 2009. ‘Response to James A. Nash “The Bible vs. Biodiversity: The Case against Moral Argument from Scripture”’, Journal for the Study of Religion, Nature and Culture 3: 271-78.
DeLashmutt, Michael W. 2011. ‘Church and Climate Change: An Examination of the Attitudes and Practices of Cornish Anglican Churches Regarding the Environment’, Journal for the Study of Religion, Nature and Culture 5: 61-81.
Derakhshani, Tirdad. 2008. ‘Updates Aim to Put the Bible in Vogue’, The Philadelphia Inquirer, December 23.
DeWitt, Calvin B. 2008. ‘Reading the Bible through a Green Lens’, in The Green Bible 2008: I:25-34.
Djupe, Paul A., and Gregory W. Gwiasda. 2010. ‘Evangelizing the Environment: Decision Process Effects in Political Persuasion’, Journal for the Scienti_c Study of Religion 49: 73-86. Doi: 10.1111/j.1468-5906.2009.01493.x.
Green Bible, The. 2008. (New York: HarperCollins).
Grossman, Cathy L. 2008. ‘New Bible Has a “Green” Theme: Conservation Ideas Highlighted’, USA Today, October 9.
Hertog, James, and Douglas McLeod. 2001. ‘A Multiperspectival Approach to Framing Analysis: A Field Guide’, in Reese, Gandy, and Grant 2001: 139-61.
Horrell, David G. 2010. ‘The Green Bible: A Timely Idea Deeply Flawed’, The Expository Times 121.4: 180-86. Doi: 10.1177/0014524609354743.
Jacobs, Alan. 2009. ‘Blessed Are the Green of Heart’, First Things 5.193: 19-22.
Jenkins, Willis. 2009. ‘After Lynn White: Religious Ethics and Environmental Problems’, Journal of Religious Ethics 37.2: 283-309. Doi: 10.1111/j.1467-9795.2009.00387.x.
Kearns, Laurel. 1996. ‘Saving the Creation: Christian Environmentalism in the United States’, Sociology of Religion 57: 55-70. Doi: 10.2307/3712004.
Laidlaw, Stuart. 2009. ‘Green Bible a New Tool for Earth’s Believers: Green Bible Gives Theological Backing from Old and New Testaments to Eco-Friendly Believers’, The Toronto Star, April 22.
Lakoff, George. 2010. ‘Praxis Forum: Why It Matters How We Frame the Environment’, Environmental Communication 4: 70-81.
Lampman, Jane. 2008. ‘New Tool for “Green” Christians: Ecofriendly Bible’, Christian Science Monitor, October 20.
Lewis, Charles. 2008. ‘Where Fire and Brimstone Is Sustainable Fuel: The Green Bible’, National Post, December 4.
Lindenberg, Siegwart, and Linda Steg. 2007. ‘Normative, Gain and Hedonic Goal Frames Guiding Environmental Behavior’, Journal of Social Issues 63: 117-37. Doi: 10.1111/j.1540-4560.2007.00499.x.
Lindseth, Gard. 2004. ‘The Cities for Climate Protection Campaign (CCPC) and the Framing of Local Climate Policy’, Local Environment 9.4: 325-36. Doi: 10.1080/1354983042000246252.
Maxwell, Joseph A. 2013. Qualitative Research Design: An Interactive Approach (Los Angeles, CA: Sage Publications, 3rd edn).
Miller, M. Mark, and Bonnie P. Riechert. 2001. ‘The Spiral of Opportunity and Frame Resonance: Mapping the Issue Cycle in News and Public Discourse’, in Reese, Gandy, and Grant 2001: 107-21.
Nash, James A. 2009. ‘The Bible vs. Biodiversity: The Case against Moral Argument from Scripture’, Journal for the Study of Religion, Nature and Culture 3: 213-37.
Nerlich, Brigitte, and Nelya Koteyko. 2009. ‘Carbon Reduction Activism in the UK: Lexical Creativity and Lexical Framing in the Context of Climate Change’, Environmental Communication 3: 206-23.
Northcott, Michael. 2009. ‘Loving Scripture and Nature’, Journal for the Study of Religion, Nature and Culture 3: 247-53.
O’Neill, Saffron J. et al. 2010. ‘Disciplines, Geography, and Gender in the Framing of Climate Change’, Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society 91.8: 997-1002. Doi: 10.1175/2010BAMS2973.1.
Pew Research Center. 2010. ‘Few Say Religion Shapes Immigration, Environmental Views’. Online: http://pewforum.org/politicis-and-elections/few-say-religionshapes-immigration-environment-views.aspx.
Prelli, Lawrence J., and Terri S. Winters. 2009. ‘Rhetorical Features of Green Evangelicalism’, Environmental Communication 3.2: 224-43.
Reese, S., O. Gandy, and A. Grant (eds.). 2001. Framing Public Life: Perspectives on Media and Our Understanding of the Social World (Mahwah: Erlbaum).
Religion Brie_ng. 2008. The Washington Post, November 8.
Religion News Service. 2008. ‘New Adventures in Bible Publishing’, Christian Century 125.23: 16.
Robb, Carol S. 2009. ‘Biblical Authority to Advocate for Biodiversity: A Response to James A. Nash’, Journal for the Study of Religion, Nature and Culture 3: 238-46.
Scheufele, Dietram. 1999. ‘Framing as a Theory of Media Effects’, Journal of Communication 49: 103-22. Doi: 10.1111/j.1460-2466.1999.tb02784.x.
Sherkat, Darren E., and Christopher G. Ellison. 2007. ‘Structuring the Religion–Environment Connection: Identifying Religious In_uences on Environmental Concern and Activism’, Journal for the Scienti_c Study of Religion 46: 71-85. Doi: 10.1111/j.1468-5906.2007.00341.x.
Sleeth, J. Matthew. 2008. ‘Introduction: The Power of a Green God’, in The Green Bible 2008: I:17-24.
Tankard, James. 2001. ‘The Empirical Approach to the Study of Media Framing’, Reese, Gandy, and Grant 2001: 95-106.
Tutu, Desmond. 2008. ‘Foreword’, in The Green Bible 2008: I:13-14.
Van Biema, David. 2008. ‘The Bible Goes Green for the Prius Age’, Time, September 18. Online: http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1842268,00.html.
Van Buren, Harry J. 2007. ‘Care for People and Creation: The Role of U.S. Christian Institutional Shareholder Activists in Extractive-Industry CSR’, Greener Management International 52: 77-90.
White Jr., Lynn. 1967. ‘The Historical Roots of Our Ecological Crisis’, Science 155.3767: 1203-7. Doi: 10.1126/science.155.3767.1203.
Yordy, Laura R. 2010. ‘Witness to God’s Redemption of Creation’, Worldviews 14: 206-15. Doi: 10.1163/156853510X507310.
Zaleha, Bernard Daley. 2009. ‘James Nash as Christian Deep Ecologist: Forging a New Eco-theology for the Third Millennium’, Journal for the Study of Religion, Nature and Culture 3: 279-89.
How to Cite
© Equinox Publishing Ltd.
For information regarding our Open Access policy, click here.