The Bible is a story about trees. It begins, or nearly enough, with two trees in a garden: the Tree of Life, the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. The pivotal event in the book comes when a man named Jesus is hanged on a tree. And the last chapter of the last book features a remade Jerusalem: “In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.” If you understand the trees, you understand the story.
The words and images here are presented in no particular order: this is a mosaic rather than a narrative. Clicking on the arrow at the top right of each content page will take you randomly to another page on the site.
Also, this mosaic is a work in progress: more text and images will be added to it over time.
This site is one of the lesser fruits of the Project on Lived Theology. I am greatly indebted to Charles Marsh, the founder and Director of PLT, and to the other members of the Virginia Seminar, who have greatly enriched my life in recent years.
My name is Alan Jacobs. Any text and images on this site that are not explicitly credited to others are created by me.
The Gospel of the Trees by Alan Jacobs is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
There is a remarkable image in the closing pages of Scripture that has become a touchstone for the way my colleagues and I think about faith and culture. Amid its descriptions of the New Jerusalem, Revelation includes “the tree of life, bearing 12 crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations” (Rev. 22:2). The tree holds out hope that whole cultures will be healed and mended, becoming places where people can flourish. And it sets an agenda for faith as a way of life that contributes to that flourishing, in anticipation, here and now.