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Mark Hicks What is the Fillmore Study Bible? We all have our favorite study Bible—Oxford Annotated, Harper Study, New Interpreter's. But none of us has a study Bible with footnotes and annotations from Charles Fillmore's lifetime of study and spiritual insight. The Fillmore Study Bible is just that—a Bible with notes and study helps embedded along side of the text, which provides students an easy way to understand the essential metaphysical truths that Charles Fillmore and his students found in scripture.

Why is this important? Many or most people today learn their theology by reading the annotations and commentary of study Bibles. These study Bibles have a theological point of view, typically Catholic, Evangelical or Liberal Protestant. While these Bibles have varying qualities of scholarship, none of them are useful for the student of metaphysics. The Fillmore Study Bible makes this method of study available to the Metaphysical Christian.

What is the Fillmore Bible Society? As we create the Fillmore Study Bible, we will also be creating the Fillmore Bible Society. You are invited to collaborate with us by assembling a set of annotations and footnotes for at least one chapter of the Bible. Those who collaborate become members of the Fillmore Bible Society. In time this project will be run by Fillmore Bible Society membership who will hire an executive director and manage a peer review committee for ongoing annotations and commentary.

How can I collaborate? The process is building out a set of annotations, chapter by chapter. So the Fillmore Study Bible will be built piece by piece, in a collaborative fashion, much like my daughters used to assemble a jigsaw puzzle each Christmas. Your job as a collaborator is to read the existing commentary, assemble a set of annotations for a particular chapter of the Bible and send them in. My experience is that it takes a few hours to research and write up annotations for a given chapter. My experience is also that it is immensely rewarding to see one's annotations live online.

What are acceptable annotations? Annotations are extremely concise snippets of commentary from the writings of Charles Fillmore, the Metaphysical Bible Dictionary, Unity publications, and writings from Fillmore students such as Elizabeth Sand Turner, Ed Rabel, Eric Butterworth and others. They convey what the Fillmores and their students have written. Later on, when we have completed these foundational annotations, we will establish a peer review committee to review contemporary reflections and extended commentary. But, for now, the goal is to convey as concisely as possible, in the original language, what the founders wrote. Exceptions are permitted if they directly address confusion about what the original authors of commentary or of the biblical text intended to say.

What happens then? For the time being, I will be the reviewer. If your annotations are not what I have in mind, I'll let you know and I will work with you to fix whatever problems I see. Next, I will format the online text of the Bible and place your annotations as footnotes, giving you credit at the bottom of the page for your collaboration. I'll also add you as member on the Members of the Fillmore Bible Society page. Finally, we will note the progress in the "project dashboard" where each completed chapter is highlighted in yellow.

Fillmore Study Bible Gospel of John How will we get this study bible published? Annotations will first be published online, as you can see in John 1. Online annotations can be printed for a particular chapter by clicking on the "Printer Friendly Version" button or by selecting the link for a downloadable PDF at the bottom of the page. So any given chapter of the Fillmore Study Bible becomes printable right away. Later, when entire books of the Fillmore Study Bible are completed, we will make them available as printed volumes, as we now have with Fillmore Study Bible: The Gospel of John. Click through, you can order it on Amazon right now. One day, when we have completed all chapters, we will finally assemble them into a single volume study Bible.

Who has the copyright? The Fillmore commentary and the American Standard Version are in the public domain. We are releasing under a Creative Commons Attribution license the permission of using our work in extracting and formatting commentary and applying it to the biblical text. The Creative Commons license is as close to the spirit of the Fillmores as one could be in today's media world. Our goal is to express the principle of giving and receiving in service to Metaphysical Christians. Also, I am in process of requesting from the National Council of Churches permission to use the New Revised Standard Version Bible for printed volumes. If we receive such permission, we may need to revisit the copyright.

Will the Fillmore Bible Society gather as a group? Yes. We will shift the one-day miniconferences we've been having as Metaphysical Bible Gatherings to meetings of The Fillmore Bible Society. The format will be the same but the speakers and their topics will be tied directly to what we have learned in creating and publishing the Fillmore Study Bible.

How can I follow the progress? If you would like to stay in touch with this work and to receive an email when new chapters are formatted and footnoted, then click here and choose “News about the Fillmore Study Bible” on the form. If you are already subscribed to our mailing list, then you can add yourself to this special list by choosing “Update Subscription Preferences” at the bottom of each email.

“Go, little book, go.” Annie Rix Militz, an early collaborator of the Fillmores, once prefaced one of her books as follows: “Go, little book, go.” That's how I feel about this project. But it's more than a book. It's our book, our collaboration, our movement. So I say “Go, little book, go.” I hope you will join me in this audacious endeavor.

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First Sunday in Advent, December 2, 2018