God’s Justice began in Hyderabad, India, where Joseph D’Souza and the Good Shepherd/ OM India Ministries wanted a Bible that would highlight God’s passionate concern for justice. This led to an international convocation in Hyderabad of approximately thirty-five people, all involved in justice issues in their home countries. Such organizations as international Justice Mission, Compassion and World Vision were represented.
After meeting for the better part of the week, the convocation agreed that a Bible emphasizing the theme of justice was needed. But it must be an international effort; Westerners, alone, could not speak for the global church. And it must be a Bible that offered deep and timeless commentary, rather than superficial or trendy slogans.
It fell to me to lead this effort editorially. I spent the better part of a year traveling on five continents and testing ideas with Christian leaders. I also read widely. The key task was to gather the fifty-six writers who have produced God’s Justice. I began with my contacts from a generation of reporting internationally on behalf of Christianity Today magazine and the Lausanne Committee, as well as service with the Langham Partnership. I extended the network outward using my contacts’ recommendations.
These writers—biblical scholars and activists—come from every continent. They were given guidelines as to format but great freedom as to content. I want to especially thank Havilah Dharamraj and Christopher Wright for their great and generous help. When I was befuddled in the editing process, they came to my rescue, several times.
God’s Justice represents a new kind of Bible, not only because of its emphasis on the story of God’s justice, but also because of its truly international character. For two thousand years we have known that God’s kingdom represents members of “every tribe and language and people and nation” (Rev 5:9), but only now has it been possible to gather them to work on a common publication. This is a new and wonderful day.
it takes a great team to produce a Bible such as this, and I have been privileged to work with outstanding colleagues such as Nate Young who, along with Sharon Oleniczak, designed both the cover and the interior pages. John Sloan, editor par excellence, served as a great liaison with Zondervan, while Daniel Johnson copyedited and Verlyn Verbrugge and Nancy Erickson did theological and biblical review.