Sunday, June 20, 2010

The Life with God Bible

Five years in the making, The Life with God Bible (formerly published as the Renovaré Spiritual Formation Bible) seeks to recover the dynamics of Scripture for the spiritual transformation of the people of God: past, present, and future.

It provides a view of God’s community through history, the ups-and-downs, ins-and-outs of a with-God life.While other study Bibles serve as resources for sermon exposition, higher criticism, or personal devotion, the The Life with God Bible helps us capture the reality of living with the Trinitarian community in the ever-present kingdom of God. It recasts the Bible as the primary written resource for informing our minds and transforming our spirits in Christlikeness.

As part of making the Bible more accessible for the process of intentional formation in Christlikeness, The Life with God Bible includes:

• major essays and graphic representations highlighting 15 expressions of the With-God Life;
• essays and notes for each book of the Bible;
• 50+ character sketches giving a sense of the ways key Biblical figures lived with-God;
• an index of places various spiritual disciplines appear in the Scripture.

Sample readings from the The Life with God Bible.
The Life with God Bible Preview - Reading 13
The Notes to John
A Selection by Marva J. Dawn

John 1 - Selected Verses
"And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father's only son, full of grace and truth. (John testified to him and cried out, 'This was he of whom I said, "He who comes after me ranks ahead of me because he was before me."') From his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. The law indeed was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ." (1:14-17)

1:14a The Word became flesh and lived among us. Glorious mystery again: That God should become human! Imagine if a shoemaker would become a shoe! The Greek word translated "lived" more literally says "pitched his tent" or "tabernacled," which invites us to ponder all the biblical passages about God's glory descending upon the Israelites' tabernacle in the wilderness to signify his presence among them. Compare

Rev. 21:3, which extends the hope that someday we will know God again as intimately, face to face, as the disciples did being with Jesus. How can we learn to live that hope more deeply now?

1:14b-17 his glory ... full of grace and truth. Three of the cords from John's webbing (see Introduction) here converge. Though the word grace occurs only in 1:14 and 16-17, this theme underlies the entire Gospel. "Glory" and "truth" both occur in many contexts; each time the words invite us to notice connections, to expand our understanding of how God's glory is revealed and of how his truth undergirds all of life, and to learn skills for recognizing untruthful glories in order to become more devoted to the only glorious truth. Reflect on how the truth of God's Word enables us to sort and judge all the other truths the world offers. How does seeing more of the fullness of God's glory form us for deeper discipleship?

"No one has ever seen God. It is God the only Son, who is close to the Father's heart, who has made him known." (1:18)

1:18 No one has ever seen God. The theme that the Son makes the Father known is fleshed out throughout John. As we constantly ponder each Gospel segment, what do we learn about God from what Jesus does and says, from how he treats people, from his humanity and divinity together? What difference will each insight make in how we respond to our own life situations?

"This is the testimony given by John when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, 'Who are you?'" (1:19)

1:19 This is the testimony. John 1-2 presents a series of short, positive interchanges with various members of Jesus' new "crew." Notice that these first disciples are on a voyage of discovery, as indicated by the escalation in experiences and by the names with which they speak of or to Jesus. John hints at this growing awareness of who Jesus is by his notation of seven days (see 1:19, 29, 35, 43, and 2:1), culminating in the first "sign" and the disciples' full belief. How has our own understanding of Jesus grown since we first met him? The awareness that people are at various stages of comprehension frees us to be agents drawing them ever towards new visions and names that lead to belief.

"He confessed and did not deny it, but confessed, 'I am not the Messiah.' And they asked him, 'What then? Are you Elijah?' He said, 'I am not.' 'Are you the prophet?' He answered, 'No.'" (1:20-21)

1:20-21 I am not the Messiah. Perhaps we all sometimes fall into the trap of thinking that we're the Messiah. What can foster the sort of humility we need to let God work through us instead?

"Then they said to him, 'Who are you? Let us have an answer for those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?'" (1:22)

1:22 (19, 24) Who are you? These verses give the first hint of opposition to those who testify to Jesus. How does John demonstrate the power of humility and truth-telling to free us from our fear of enemies?

"They asked him, 'Why then are you baptizing if you are neither the Messiah, nor Elijah, nor the prophet?' John answered them, 'I baptize with water. Among you stands one whom you do not know, the one who is coming after me; I am not worthy to untie the thong of his sandal.'" (1:25-27)

1:25-27 I am not worthy. Still today people wonder what right Christians have to do what we do or say what we say if we're not big shots. What opportunities does God give us simply to point to Jesus? (See also 1:29-34.)The The Life with God Bible includes the efforts of:
Renovare has a 50% off special through July 1st.
General Editors - Gayle Beebe,
We currently are using this book as a springboard for daily devotions on facebook as a part of The Passionate Participation in God Project at

Sign up for the group and the free daily devotional today.

No comments: