The Holy Bible on Blacks
"These twelve Jesus sent forth,
and commanded them, saying, Go
But he answered and said, I am not sent but to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. Matthew 15:24
The problem with this, of course, is that artwork and mummies from the pyramids show that the Egyptians who built the pyramids were White, and that no known reputable scholar insists that "mizraim" means "blacks". There are allusions to Egyptians calling themselves "children of the sun", but this was a religious refererence and not a reference to their race..
The Evidence of Black People in the Bible
By Dan Rogers
Id like to begin by giving a little bit of background of the message that Im going to relate to you. Back in 1992, I was studying an introductory class to the Old Testament at Emory University in Atlanta. As I read the works of many Old Testament scholars for that class, I noticed something I had not noticed previously. I became aware that many Old Testament scholars, particularly European scholars of the 18th, 19th and into the 20th century, had written their commentaries and talked about the Old Testament from the perspective that there were no people of color mentioned in the Bible. This seemed very strange to me. I began to look into this topic more deeply and studied it for about a year. I attended various lectures. I interviewed different people. I talked to Noel Erskine, director of African-American studies at Emory University. I talked to Dr. Charles Copher who has spent his whole life in the field of African- American studies and is Professor Emeritus at the Interdenominational Theological Seminary in Atlanta, Georgia. I talked to others and I began to do some research. I began to realize that this was a very difficult and a very controversial subject.
Some of the terms that I will use in talking about the topic of whether or not there is evidence for black people in the Bible are terms that have been used by historians, ethnologists and Bible commentators of years past. Perhaps theyre not the terms we would like to use today. But they are terms that have been used historically. Terms such as Caucasian, Caucasoid, Oriental, Negro, Black, Hamitic. These terms have been used in an effort to differentiate between various Euro-American ideas of the origin of blacks.
I would have to conclude from my own study of them that much of this research is based on Eurocentrism and racial prejudice. And the ideas of these mostly Old Testament scholars from the 18th, 19th and even into the 20th century, particularly in Europe and some in America, have been used in an attempt to biblically justify black slavery and the subjugation of black peoples. I know when I first read these things they brought tears to my eyes and caused me anguish. But as a white person in a white country it also gave me a better understanding of and a greater appreciation for the black experience in the United States of America.
Ive given you the background for this discussion. My purpose has to do with the fact that European artists and Bible commentators of the past several centuries have painted and described all biblical characters as white, even God. In European paintings, in European theological writings, God is white and so is everyone else. It is sometimes difficult for people of color even to identify with the Christian Bible because, according to some scholars, there are no black people mentioned.
What does the Bible have to do with people of color? Is it a book by a white God for his special white people? In fact, this line of reasoning, that there are no black people mentioned in the Bible, has formed the basis for an argument of exclusion of blacks and the justification of slavery in the United States during the 1800s. My purpose is to present evidence of the black presence in the Bible and to demonstrate that Gods Word involves, concerns, and speaks to all people.
Im going to argue today for a black presence in the Bible. I realize that its extremely difficult to deal with the subject of a black presence in the Bible. Its complicated by the fact that its impossible to arrive at a conclusion that comes anywhere near universal acceptability on all points. However, I believe that there is a consensus today among scholars who take the Bible seriously and who are not blinded by Eurocentrism or racial prejudice.
Let me talk about some of the difficulties that there are with this topic. We have a traditional view, which has been influenced by ancient rabbinical interpretations. These interpretations sometimes take precedence over the text being interpreted. So, when rabbis interpret certain Old Testament texts as referring to people of color or black people, some scholars have said, How can we trust rabbinical tradition? We know that rabbinical tradition is not always accurate. We know that they use a highly interpretative hermaneutic called midrash. How can we be sure that when rabbis say black, rabbis mean black the way we think of black? How can we know? Does rabbinical literature when it mentions black people mean Black people or does it mean people of generally darker skin? Do they mean something else and is that only a tradition? Then there are differences between ancient and modern concepts of what constitutes black when as a color term it is applied to people. For example, here are some ancient concepts. The concept of the significance of the color attributed to the Hamites and the Elamites in the table of nations, thats in Genesis 10:6-14, 1 Chronicles 1:8-16. Now the words used among the list of peoples descended from Ham are in some ways in the Hebrew, Arcadian, Sumerian languages related to the color black. But what does this mean? Knowing ancient customs, it could be argued that people in ancient times were called what they were and you have many of the descendants of Ham being identified with terminology and words that would be translated as black. What does this mean? For example, in modern times in one congregation I pastored we had two very fine, wonderful families and the heads of those households were Mr. Black and Mr. White. Mr. White was black and Mr. Black was white. Mr. Black, who was white, used to talk about his lovely grandchildren who were Blacks. People would shake their heads. So my point is that the scholars are correct that just because someone is called black does not necessarily prove they are black, or if theyre called white theyre not necessarily white. However, the argument can also be made, Well, in ancient times language was used a little differently from that. These names have derived differently in modern times. In ancient times people were given names that pretty much reflected their character or who they were or what they were, how they appeared. But theres an argument and a tension there that makes certainty very difficult. You also have the testimonies of ancient Hebrew, Greco-Roman and early Christian writers with respect to the color of the ancient Egyptians and Ethiopians. Now some ancient Hebrew writers, some Greco-Roman, and some early Christian writers say that the Egyptians and Ethiopians were black. Some scholars would say, Yeah, but what do they mean black? What is black? How black were they? Were they darker than those doing the writing? Did they mean by being black the same thing that we mean today by the term Black or did they mean something else? So while there is evidence talking about people whose skin color is black, many scholars will argue that its interpretative. They will also argue that the paintings, the wall drawings, the hieroglyphics of the ancient Egyptians and Ethiopians which picture Egyptians and Ethiopians as black in color is a stylized artistic rendering that has nothing to do with their actual skin color. So you see how very difficult, and how very complicated this subject becomes.
Now, some other difficulties. There are modern concepts. And our modern concepts are the confused and often contradictory modern Euro-American definitions of Blacks and Negroes. Wed say today, Whats a Black and what is a Negro, what do you mean by Negro, what do you mean by Black? These terms, when you think about it, become very difficult. Perhaps some of you know Mr. Steve Botha, who is regional pastor of the Worldwide Church of God in New York City. Mr. Botha is what we would call in skin color, white, Caucasian. Hes from South Africa. And so when people ask Mr. Botha what are you, he says, Im an African American. And indeed he is. But you say thats not what most people mean by African American. Well, what do you mean by African American? We generally mean someone who is black. What if they didnt come from Africa? You see these terms that we often take for granted, when you begin to do research and try to argue something convincingly, become very difficult to work with. This is why its difficult to argue for a black presence in the Bible. But it can be done because there is sufficient evidence and data available. I am going to argue based on the evidence and data available and hope to make a very powerful, persuasive, and cogent argument.
Are all Black people literally black? Are they Negroid in physical appearance, that is in anthropological and physiological definition? Some would say some Negroes are much fairer in skin color than some Caucasians. And undoubtedly thats true. There are also socio-legal definitions of black Negro based on the percentage of African or Negro blood someone has in their ancestry. Now you may think that sounds preposterous but up until not long ago there were certain states that had laws that stated that someone was a Negro if they had as much as one drop of Negro blood. Their physical appearance did not matter. You begin to realize some of the difficulties of trying to say who are black people. Because when you try to identify black people in the pages of the Bible, you will find white people wanting to argue about whats black.
We also have the views of some modern critical scholars with regard to this subject. These modern scholars disagree about the relative significance of color terms in the biblical text. As I mentioned already, just because it said that they were black does not mean they were black. This is possibly so. But they also have this concept that all people in the Bible were Caucasians. That there are no black peoples, no Asian peoples mentioned in the Bible. That the Bible writers had no knowledge of what we might call Asian or Negroid peoples. Some cholars suppose that Asians and Blacks were unknown to biblical writers. This is where we are. This is what makes our challenge very difficult. However, there clearly exists in Judeo-Christian history various traditions regarding the origin of Black people.
There are six basic views of the origin of black people according to the Judeo-Christian tradition. Id like to share those with you briefly. Theres the pre-Adamite, the Adamite, the Cainite, the Noahite (which is also known as the old Hamite), there is the new Hamite and there are various ideas that certain people in Black culture have presented in modern times. I feel these are important for all people to understand. If were not familiar with this we should be, so we can know why certain things have happened and why certain things are the way they are. If you dont understand this, you really cant even get a glimmer of what its been like to be black and what it continues to be like to be black in this country and why there are certain attitudes and certain beliefs and certain prejudices. So, I hope this will inform everyone.
The pre-Adamite view says that blacks, particularly so-called Negroes, are not descended from Adam. This is a very powerful statement. In Acts 17, the Apostle Paul said that we all come from one ancestor. Most manuscripts say we all come from one, with the implication being one heredity, one heritage, one ancestor physically. Some manuscripts say of one blood. This would argue that all people are of the same bloodline. That we have a common ancestor. But the Pre-Adamite view says no black people did not descend from Adam. This view appears to have its origin in the works of such authors as Paracelsus in 1520, Bruno in 1591, Vanini in 1619 and one of the most prolific writers Peyrère in 1655. This pre-Adamite view reached a high level of sophistication with the 19th century scholar Winchell who relied heavily on Peyrère and his famous book written or at least published in 1880, Pre- Adamites are a Demonstration of the Existence of Men Before Adam. Now heres what all of these scholars, commentators, writers were saying, all of them European, of course. Blacks belong to a black race created before Adam and from among whom Cain found his wife. And therefore Cain, because he married into one of these pre-Adamic peoples became the progenitor of all black people. What they mean by this and they explain it in detail in their writings, is that black people, people of black skin, especially Negroes, are non-human because they did not descend from Adam but descended from some pre-Adamic creation. And only entered into the human race by intermarriage.
During the 15th and 16th centuries in Europe, this view took on accretions and ramifications and interpretations began to be made based on this theory. Bible writers, Bible commentators, preachers, theologians and lay people began to regard the Negro as the beast of the field in Genesis 3. Some believed that a Negro male was actually the one who had tempted Eve in the Garden of Eden. Thus, the serpent actually represented a pre-Adamic Negro male who tempted Eve to sin. This idea is advanced in a book by Jay Carrol entitled The Negro A Beast, a Justification of Slavery. The idea that came out of this is that since people of color, particularly Negroes, came from a pre-Adamic race, they were not truly human but were animals. While they looked like humans, they were not human and they had no soul. Because they had no soul they were a beast like any beast of the field. In fact, thats what Genesis 3 is talking about, every beast of the field, thats talking about black people. Therefore, since black people have no souls and because black people are beasts and animals in Genesis we are told that God gave humans dominion over the beasts and the beasts are to help the humans to work the fields and to do the hard labor and the work. And this theological premise was used in churches, preached in sermons in the United States of America particularly in the southeastern United States, to reassure all the good Christian folk that slavery was not only appropriate, but the will of God, rooted firmly in a proper understanding of the Bible in the book of Genesis.
You can also, if you like, read some of the writings of Josiah Priest who was a friend of Joseph Smith of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. In 1851, J. F. Brennan wrote a book called A Bible Defense of Slavery, where he sets forth his view that Cain was the child of the relationship between Eve and the serpent. That Eve and the serpent had sexual relations and the result of that cohabitation was Cain, who was black. Thats the pre-Adamite view.
Second, the Adamite view. The Adamite view is the orthodox Jewish, Christian and Islamic view. It is based on Acts 17:26, which states all have come from Adam, all have come from Gods creation. We are all children of God by creation.
Third view, the Cainite view indicates that Cain started white but he got in trouble and was turned black. And that was the origin of all black people from Cain. According to some of the Midrashim of the rabbis writing in both the Babylonian and Jerusalem Talmud, because Cain offered an unacceptable sacrifice, the smoke from this unacceptable sacrifice blew back on him and it turned him black. Naturally then, all of his children were black after that. Another rabbi says that God beat Cain with hail until he turned black. According to a common Euro-American belief, God cursed and/or marked Cain by turning him black. This theory was promulgated and made very popular by Joseph Smith and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, commonly known as Mormons. Theyve had to deal with this theory that has been promulgated in the past in their fellowship.
In a 12th century European text of Beowulf, Cains descendants are depicted as blacks. What this shows is that in 12th century Europe it was understood in Europe at this period that Cain was black and that his descendants were black.
How did Cains black line get through the flood? The answer that appears in Mormon literature of the past is that Ham married into the line of Cain. This notion was based on a misreading of the text of Genesis believing it to say that Noah was pure in all of his generations. They interpreted that as a genealogical statement and this interpretation was used to support their antipathy toward interracial marriage. So they had to protect the lineage of Noah and taught that God would have wiped out all the black people in the flood, but Ham went and sinned and he married a descendant of Cain and brought these black people through the flood.
The fourth view is the Noahite or old Hamite view. Again some of this can be traced to writings of the rabbis in the Talmud. According to the Talmud (and views set forth by ancient rabbis later adopted by Jewish and Christian interpreters and divided into several revisions especially among white southerners and pre-Civil War United States), Ham violated Gods prohibition against mating on the ark. And because he could not resist mating he was turned black.
Another teaching that originated from rabbinical interpretation and was preached in the southeastern United States prior to the Civil War was that Ham mated with an animal on the ark and produced a black offspring and thats where all black people come from. Another teaching was that Ham and/or Canaan were turned black as a result of Noahs curse in Genesis 9:24-27. Because God cursed Canaan, that curse was to go upon all of Canaans descendants and the curse was 1) that they would all be turned black and 2) that they would be servants to white people. Again we see here an attempt to interpret the Bible in a way that justifies the institution of black slavery in the United States.
Fifth view, called the new Hamite view. This is a 19th century intellectual critical view that holds that Hamites were all white rather than black with the exception possibly of Cush. (Cush is a Hebraic term and probably Arcadian as well, it means black one, Cush=black.) Scholars, particularly in 19th century Germany, said even if Cush were black in color, he must be regarded as white. He was a Caucasoid black. Why? Why must he be? Because, in their view, Negroes were not within the purview of biblical writers. Even many modern biblical scholars hold to this view. Please keep in mind as you read commentaries and books about the Bible, particularly those interpreting the Old Testament, that there remains to this day some racial prejudice and racial misunderstanding and people can be ignorant as I certainly was the first time I studied the Old Testament at seminary and was not even aware of this. But theyre coming at an angle that does not reflect an accurate representation of black people. So use caution when reading commentaries, and other biblical interpretations of the Old Testament. This view has influenced many of those writers. For example, Martin Noth, probably considered one of the top Old Testament scholars of all time, says in his book, The Old Testament World, published in 1966 on page 263, The biblical writers knew nothing of any Negro people. Negro people are completely unknown in the Bible.
The sixth view is various views held by some in the Black community. Now naturally theres been a reaction among black theologians and black peoples to say, NO! to the notion of some European, white scholars. However, as is typical with us human beings, we tend to go to extremes. So various black views have taken the other extreme where everyone in the Bible was black. And as Dr. Copher professor of African American Studies at Interdenominational Theological School in Atlanta says, This view is patently outlandish. He spent his whole life in African American studies, studying this issue. Ive heard him lecture. Ive talked with him personally. Hes a very wonderful man. Hes devoted his life to this study. And he would say, being a representative of the African American community in the United States himself, that these views are outlandish. That this is just an overreaction and another extremism. Dr. Copher would argue in the same way that Im arguing today.
Lets look at some evidence for black presence in the Bible. Heres the evidence. Heres what makes the argument. There are traditions of Cain and his descendants through Ham being black. Rabbinical writings, Jewish writings attribute blackness to Ham. Again youve heard the arguments of why thats not always accepted, but lets take it as a piece, just a piece of evidence that rabbis writing all during the second testament period identified Cain, Ham and all of their relatives as people of color, as black.
Second piece of evidence: Considering geographic locations of people groups mentioned in the Bible. The Hamites mentioned in Genesis 10:6 the Bible locates in Africa, Central Africa and in Asia in what today wed probably call India, Malaysia, that general part of the world. What would we find there today and what does history tell us of the peoples who have inhabited Central Africa and parts of southern Asia? They have been and are black. So geographically, the Bible places these people with the name black, with the tradition of being black, in geographical regions which historically we see even to this day have traditionally been the abode of black people. There was a land of Ham in Canaan and the designation of Egypt as the tents and land of Ham. Theres the location of Ethiopia and Egypt all of which are referred to biblically in terms that reflect people who are black. The name Cush from the Hebrew when it was carried over into Greek became ethiopia which means black people. We even have the reference in the book of Jeremiah, . . . can the Ethiopian change his skin? Egypt was called mizraim, another word that some scholars say connects to a certain coloring of being dark or black in the land of Egypt.
Third evidence: Terms, adjectives and proper names indicative of color used in the Bible. For example, Cush is the most common term designating color in reference to persons, people or lands used in the Bible. Its used fifty-eight times in the King James Version. It is the Hebrew term for black. The Greek and Latin transliteration is Ethiopia. In classical literature, Greek and Roman authors describe Ethiopians as black. Archaeology has found these people to be black. You have Canaan, Put and Mizriam. If you have a New Revised Standard Version and you read Genesis 10 in the table of nations and the descendants of Ham it will not say Mizriam, it will translate it to our English usage, Egypt. Egypt is the English representation of Mizriam. Mizriam was a descendant of Ham. Kedar was one of the sons of Ishmael, whose mother was Egyptian and who himself married an Egyptian. And the name Kedar means to be black, swarthy, very black, dark skinned. Of course, some scholars would argue that he got his name because they used the black wool from black sheep to make black tents and thats why they were called the people of Kedar blackness. You see all points have to be considered. But Im going with the weight of evidence. Im arguing point by point by point by a weight of evidence for the black presence in the Old Testament.
Now, based on what Ive just said, lets look at some examples here: Genesis 10 Nimrod son of Cush, the black, founder of civilization in Mesopotamia. Genesis 11 Abram was from Ur of the Chaldees, a land whose earliest inhabitants included blacks. The people of the region where Abraham came from can be proven historically and archaeologically to have been intermixed racially. This could lead us to suppose that Abraham and those who came out of that area with him were also racially mixed. Genesis 14 Abrams experiences in Canaan and Egypt brought him and his family into areas inhabited by black peoples. Both archaeological evidence and the account in I Chronicles 4 tell us that Canaan was inhabited by the descendants of Ham. Further black presence can be found in the accounts of Hagar, the Egyptian, Ishmael and his Egyptian wife, and Ishmaels sons especially Kedar. The Kedarites are mentioned many times in Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel and Nehemiah and the word itself is a word that means blackness. Genesis 41 further black presence in the patriarchal period appears with Josephs experiences in Egypt. Joseph marries an Egyptian woman, Asenath, descended from Mizriam. If she were an Egyptian woman she was descended from Mizriam. If she were a descendant of Mizriam, she was Hamitic. If she were Hamitic, chances are she was black. Do you follow me? She was the mother of Ephraim and Manasseh. So Joseph married an Egyptian woman, Asenath, by whom he had Ephraim and Manasseh. In the enslavement in Egypt, the land of Ham becomes the Israelite home for a long time and intermarriage occurs. Exodus 2:5, I Chronicles 4:17, Leviticus 24:10-16, I Chronicles 2:34 all show that intermarriage occurred between the Israelite peoples and the people of the land. Numbers 12 Moses marries a Cushite, an Ethiopian. Exodus 2:19 Moses is identified as an Egyptian by Jethros daughters. He looked like an Egyptian. Was it the clothes he wore or was it the tint of his skin? We cant say for sure. Moses family intermarried with Hamites. Some of his descendants were perceived to be black. The grandson of Aaron was named Phineas, which means, translated from the Egyptian through the Hebraic dialect, the Negro or the Nubian, depending upon which translator you go by. Elis sons (Eli was a descendant of Aaron), were Hophni and Phineas. The Egyptian name, Phineas, means black. Exodus 12:38 tells us a mixed multitude came out of Egypt. Many slaves in Egypt were Egyptians. History tells us they were also Cushites, Hamites, people from Central Africa, and Israelites. When the slaves came out of Egypt they were indeed a mixed multitude of peoples. And Numbers 11:4 tells us that along with intermarried Israelites many of the slaves who left Egypt with Moses were intermarried and they became the twelve tribes of Israel that inhabited the land. But they were a mixed racial people. Can I prove that absolutely 100%? No. I dont have Poloroids. But what Im arguing today is that the weight of evidence, carefully compounded, indicates this very strongly and the burden to resist this evidence is on those who would deny it. The weight of evidence is in this direction, in my opinion.
In 2 Samuel 18 we have Ha-Cushi, Hebrew for the Cushite. Hes the one who carried the news of Absaloms death to David. Davids private army was composed partially of Philistines who were descendants of Ham. Theyd come out from Crete. There were blacks from Ethiopia. There were Egyptians. There were Cretans and others from early times. According to Brunson and his book, Black Jade, many of the soldiers that David hired as mercenaries were black because it was very common for black people to hire out as mercenaries. You have to understand that in the early world, history tells us that in the earliest days of civilization most slaves were white and most rulers and dominant peoples were people of color. They hired themselves out to other nations as mercenaries. So Brunson argues that much of Davids military was composed of these mercenaries from Ethiopia and other places.
According to Josephus, Solomon had a wife from Egypt who was an Egyptian princess. There was also the Queen of Sheba, who reigned over lands from India to Ethiopia. Many early Christian writers considered Solomons Egyptian wife and the Queen of Sheba to be black. Egyptians and Ethiopians are mentioned often in the prophets. For example, I mentioned Jeremiah 13:23, . . . can the Ethiopian change his skin. Zephaniah 1:1, Zephaniah is called a son of Cushie. Gene Rice in his book, African Roots, holds that Zephaniah was black, at least on his mothers side. He was related to King Hezekiah on his fathers side and Rice believes that because he was indeed named after one of his ancestors, and literally named, Rice argues that Zephaniah was black. Matthew 1:3 we find Tamar was a Canaanite, of Hamitic ancestry. She was the mother of Pharaz and Zara, the tribes of rulership in Judah. We have Luke 23:26, that talks about Simon a Cyrenian. The Cyrenians, geographically, are black. Acts 8 talks about the Ethiopian eunuch and people can argue what he was. Was he a Jew? Was he this? Was he that? He came from Ethiopia. Ethiopia is a black region. Could he have been black no proof absolutely, only an indication. In Acts 13 we read of Simeon, called Niger. Thats the Latin term for black. Again he was called Simeon the Black, the black man. But why was he called the black man? We dont know for sure. He could have been black in skin color. There is also Lucias of Cyrene and again Cyrene is a geographical location of black people. So here even into the New Testament I would argue that there is some evidence for a black presence.
My conclusion is this: On the basis of references to the Hamites and Elamites in the table of nations, in rabbinic literature and in Hebrew tradition, and because the geographical location of these peoples who are called black in the Bible are today and have historically been the locations of black people, I argue that the references to the Hamites and Elamites in the Bible are references to black people. If you use the confused modern Euro-American definition of black or Negro where they try to say that anyone with any percentage of Negro blood is Negro, then I submit to you that a whole lot of people in the Bible are black, are Negro. Since ancient Hebrew, Greco-Roman, and early Christian views are that the color of the Egyptians and Ethiopians was black, I believe they knew what they were talking about and were not using the term figuratively. I would conclude that they were not deceived by ancient paintings on walls but that they knew black when they saw black. I believe that they could tell black people when they saw them. I believe they could tell white people with black paint as opposed to black-skinned people, particularly when you have so many from so many different cultures writing this way. There was not some conspiracy here. Hebrew, Greco-Roman and early Christian writers all say the same. Also when you bring in all the Hebraic words that have to do with blackness, darkness of color, and again these words apply to the same peoples that weve identified time and time again as black in some way and residing in geographical areas from which black people are known to have come. There is modern scholarly opinion that refutes Martin Noth and others and that argues for a black presence in the Bible. It is a growing belief among African American, white and Asian biblical scholars that this has been misinformation that has resulted from a Eurocentristic and white prejudice for hundreds of years in the interpretation of the Bible. This misinformation has been maliciously and deliberately used by some to subjugate and to justify the enslavement of black people through the misuse of the word of God.
Once Euro-American white prejudice is laid aside I believe it can be argued cogently that there is a black presence in the Old Testament and a background of it in the New Testament. If you notice the people weve talked about, if youve read the Old Testament text and the people who were descended from Ham, you know that were talking about people who were slaves and people who were rulers. They were court officials and perhaps even authors of parts of the Old Testament. Some were lawgivers, some were prophets. They were black people from black lands. And individual black persons, I argue, can be seen numerous times in the text.
The New Testament tells us that God is not partial. The New Testament tells us that God has made all people of one ancestry. The Old Testament tells us that God has made all humans. All humans, male, female, black, white, red, yellow, are all Gods children. They are made in the image of God with the potential that God has given through Jesus Christ to all people. Paul tells us that there is neither Greek nor Jew, bond nor free, rich nor poor, black, white, red, yellow, but we are all one through Jesus Christ. I believe that Gods Word concerns, involves and speaks inclusively to all people.
Id like to conclude in this way. Karl Barth was called the greatest theologian of the 20th century. One day some newspaper reporters, media people, were gathering around him. These were people who knew nothing about the Bible, but they knew that Karl Barth was the greatest theologian of the 20th century. One of them very naively stuck a microphone in Dr. Barths face and said, Dr. Barth, could you sum up for us the significance and meaning of the Bible? And, of course, snickering began because this guy is so stupid to ask this question to Dr. Barth, who just wrote this great, multi-volume book on church dogmatics. Dr. Barth surprised everyone when he said, Yes, I believe I can. The Bible can be summed up in this way, Jesus loves me this I know for the Bible tells me so. Id like to sum this discussion up, borrowing a little bit from the wisdom of Karl Barth, by saying what is the conclusion of this very important matter that we need to understand? The conclusion, I believe, is this: Red and yellow, black and white, we are all precious in his sight. God loves all the people of the world.
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