We have all kinds of Bibles that vary in language, size, appearance, focus, audience and even translation. There is seemingly a Bible for every kind of person. For some, the King James Version has been dethroned, replaced with Eugene Peterson’s The Message or some other version with less thees and thous. Still, the Bible is chosen because it speaks to you or me. Our goal is singular in scope.
But, what if there were a Bible that focused our attention on our togetherness, our oneness, our sameness? That was devoted to our aimless prejudices and wandering stereotypes? That redirected us back to love?
What if there was a Bible that highlighted the importance of our commonality as believers and that challenged the notions of separation and segregation in our relationships? What if we reflected more deeply on the words and ways of Jesus for the purposes of reconciling our differences? If we took those words written in red and used them to correct our lives? Because it doesn’t matter if we understand the Bible better due to more accessible language if our relationships remain closed off to other cultures.
Not to be confused with inclusive language that acknowledges everyone, this hypothetical multicultural Bible would emphasize the goals of our relational God. Pointing out again and again the tie that binds us together, this divine Thread that holds us all together, that hands stretched out on a cross that invited us all to love God together. Of course, we would have to use some color other than red to call attention to these passages of Scripture. Still, I think it an important contribution to our apprenticeship with Christ.
It has to be more than a Bible study or a Sunday school lesson. If we believe in “one Lord, one faith, one baptism,” then we must become one people (Ephesians 4.5). We start turning to Galatians chapter 3 and reading verses 27 and 28 in our multicultural Bibles.