God’s Justice Bible is organized into seven volumes, maintaining an order and flow familiar to traditional Bible readers.
The first five books of the Bible begin with God creating a “very good” universe. Immediately this beautiful beginning is shattered by human rebellion, which leads to astonishing violence and injustice.What can God do to restore his creation? He begins to set things right by calling Abraham, promising his blessing that will ultimately bless the whole world. Abraham and Sarah’s offspring grow into the people of Israel. They are rescued from slavery and oppression by God, who, through Moses, leads them to the promised land. On the way, God sets down a body of law, a foundation for a new nation meant to embody justice. These laws are such a prominent feature of the first five books that this volume is sometimes called Torah, or Law.
The history books start with Israel’s entrance into Palestine. There the nation is governed by judges, until God appoints Saul as Israel’s first king. Kings dominate Israel’s history thereafter, beginning with the great reigns of David and Solomon. Troubles follow and the kingdom splits in two. Despite occasional revivals, the two nations descend into sin and injustice. As punishment, they are conquered and exiled by the Assyrian and Babylonian empires. Has God’s plan to set the world right failed? Only after generations living in exile do some of God’s people return to Palestine and begin again.
1 & 2 Samuel
1 & 2 Kings
1 & 2 Chronicles
The people of Israel are not just a government and an army, and their lives are more than the history books tell. The story of God’s justice includes psalms of worship, love poetry, collections of wise proverbs, and philosophical reflections. Artistry, beauty and wisdom show the depths of God’s work in his people as he molds them into a community of love and justice.
Song of Songs
God speaks to his people through prophets. On God’s behalf they condemn injustice to God and neighbor, often through poetry. Prophets address all nations but particularly tell Israel to live up toGod’s call and thus experience his blessing – a blessing aimed at the whole world. Prophets also speak of the future, when God will set everything right, punishing evil and causing his creation to flourish. The prophets are the ethical and spiritual conscience of God’s people; their words pulse with justice.
The Gospels – four portraits of Jesus – show God himself coming to us as a human being, the climax of the story of God’s justice. Both Jesus’ teaching and his actions demonstrate God’s rule on earth as he calls people everywhere to join him and be transformed. Jesus’ way of justice is surprising and unexpected. When he triumphantly enters the capital, Jerusalem, he is put on trial and executed. He then comes back to life triumphant over the forces of evil and death. Departing, he turns his work over to his followers. The book of Acts follows the gospels with an account of Jesus’ life continuing through his people, inspired by the Holy Spirit.
Followers of Jesus grow and spread as the good news of his life is passed on. Letters from their leaders – Paul, primarily, but also Peter, John, James and others – remind Jesus’ followers of what God has done and continues to do in them. The new churches are God’s dwelling place on earth, and the focal points where he is beginning to transform the world. The letters offer encouragement and direction to communities charged to be God’s agents of justice.
1 & 2 Corinthians
1 & 2 Thessalonians
1 & 2 Timothy
1 & 2 Peter
1 -3 John
The book of Revelation reveals the hidden nature of God’s battle to set the world right. Meant to encourage believers who are suffering, it reveals the deeper significance of the pain and encourages them with a vision of the final flourishing of God’s creation. Using strange and sometimes difficult symbolism, Revelation shows the tumultuous struggle against evil, with a very fitting ending.