The barren branch

Posted: 14th May 2008 by ElShaddai Edwards in Uncategorized

John 15:1-6 (Revised English Bible):

I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. Any branch of mine that is barren he cuts away; and any fruiting branch he prunes clean, to make it more fruitful still. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Dwell in me, as I in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself, but only if it remains united with the vine; no more can you bear fruit, unless you remain united with me.

I am the vine; you are the branches. Anyone who dwells in me, as I dwell in him, bears much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. Anyone who does not dwell in me is thrown away like a withered branch. The withered branches are gathered up, thrown on the fire, and burnt.

I found the photo above (source: Corbis) to be a haunting companion to this verse – the image of barren vines lined up like a row of crosses in the moonlight is quite striking.

  1. ElShaddai. I was curious about the REB’s use of dwell in this passage. Isn’t dwell a bit archaic? Could it say, “Anyone who lives in me, as I live in him (or her)?

    Also, we have a chance to give a Bible to the Queen of Thailand (think unreached nation/Buddhist peoples). Where could we get a nice leather bound REB (not a study Bible)? Thanks, Brian

  2. I’m sure that “dwell” was a leftover from the NEB, for which it would have been acceptable and certainly a step forward from the KJV’s “abide in me”. I do think there’s a meditative aspect to “dwell” and “abide” that’s not captured by “live”, but I don’t know if that’s something John was going for… The HCSB has “remain in me”, which suggests an existing relationship. That would be appropriate for Jesus talking to the disciples with him, but how does a new believer read that?

    Interesting that you ask about a leather REB – there have been several leather REBs on eBay over the past few weeks – looks like someone is clearing out old inventory. They’ve all been editions without the Apocrypha books, but I’ve seen commentary that those are supposed to be a bit better made vs. the ones with the Apocrypha (different binderies).

    The eBay ones have been going for $60-70; here’s a link to an active auction. You could try contacting the seller and see if they have any more unlisted copies for sale.

  3. Nathan Stitt says:

    I bought my REB from this website. The price is pretty good and it would make a decent presentation Bible I think.


  4. Thanks for the link, Nathan. That’s a pretty fair price.

  5. Valerie says:

    Profoundly moving.

    I liked this so much that I made it the first page that shows on my Journal. Makes me reflect on it every time I open the program. Thank you.

  6. Thank you, Valerie. It’s good to know that someone else was as struck by the imagery as I was!