From Genesis to Christ, the Bible testifies to God’s love and concern for animals. The same self-centeredness that led to the violence and abuse that has marked human relations also caused the abuse and exploitation of animals. The Bible, argues the author, calls upon human beings to stop their violence and abuse of each other and all other creatures. It promises that when they do, the sorrow and the suffering that marks life on Earth will give way to the joy and peace that God ordained at the creation of the world. In these compelling essays, Rev. J. R. Hyland explores the Old and New Testament and reveals the prophetic voices that called for compassion over killing, and humane concern for all of God’s creation.
“Hyland, an evangelical Christian minister active in prison ministry, migrant farmworker rights, female equality issues, and animal rights, attempts to locate animal-rights thinking in the Bible and thereby justify the animal rights movement to Bible-believing Christians. She contends that the Latter Prophets (Isaiah, Jeremiah, Micah, and Hosea) opposed not only religious formalism but also specifically the animal sacrifice of the Temple cult. She asserts that the pre-Fall Edenic images of Genesis and the Peaceable Kingdom vision of Isaiah 11:4–9 represent God’s Kingdom as it was, will be, and ought to be now. None of God’s creatures is carnivorous by nature; sin brought meat-eating into Eden and caused the widespread cult of animal sacrifice. Hyland necessarily struggles against St. Paul’s view of Jesus’ crucifixion as an atoning sacrifice, for the sacrificial death of Jesus implicitly justifies animal sacrifices. Her tone is often preachy and hostile toward most scholars who find little concern with animal rights in scripture. These scholars, however, are correct; the Bible just does not concern itself with the humane treatment of animals. Thus, while her writing is clear, her conclusions are not compelling.”—Library Journal
“[T]ells the intriguing story of the progressive unfolding and understanding of God’s revelation about animals.”—Richard Alan Young, author
“Books like God’s Covenant with Animals bring the peaceable kingdom one step closer to earth.”—Rev. Gary Kowalski
“She speaks with great authority, combining scholarship and passion with a prophetic voice.”—Stephen H. Webb, author