Sunday, February 22, 2015

COLORS OF LOVE: Black Roots in the Bible, Part 2

Source: Newsweek III
(Jan. 11, 1988) 46-52
I've always loved studying the bible.  Who wouldn't with the richness and depth of the characters it chronicles.  And you can't beat the story lines.  Everything an avid reader like myself looks for: mystery, intrigue, love, and adventure!  

Still I have to say it sure got a lot more interesting, once I found out there were colored  folks in there!  No, I'm not being politically incorrect, it's really a point of clarity. Someone once said when asked: Where are the black people in the bible? That a better question is:  Where are the white people? you know geographically what part of the world the bible stories come from?   Its roots are smack dab in Africa and the Middle East!  In fact the very first book, Genesis tells us that the Garden of Eden was at the site of four great rivers:  Pishon of Havilah; Gihon of Cush; Hiddekel (Tigris) near Assyria and the Euphrates (Gen. 2:8-14). Generally speaking, the Fertile Crescent.  The countries of Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, and Iraq are situated along this area.

Even considering that the Great Flood changed the topography of the earth and makes it impossible to say for sure where the Garden of Eden is located.  It still gives us an African and Middle East reference point for our bible stories. We can say much about these countries, past and present but for the most  part they have retained their ethnic identities of black and brown people.

Let's cut to the chase.  Here are some recognizable names of Colored people in the Bible.  We can identify them by the origins of their names; birth places, and like today, their ancestry.  If you'd like to do your own research, check out a list of books I recommend at the end of this blog:

  • Queen of Sheba (I Kings 10:1; 2 Chron. 9:1; Matt. 12:42)
  • Zipporah, Moses' Cushite wife (Num. 12:1)
  • Ebed-melech, eunuch that saved Jeremiah's life (Jer. 38:7-13; 39:16)
  • Ethiopian Eunuch (Acts 8:26-40)
  • Hagar, Sarah's handmaiden (Gen. 16:1, 3)
  • Pharoah Tirharkah (2 Kings 19:9)
  • Asenath, Joseph's Egyptian wife (Gen. 41:45)
  • Simon of Cyrene, carried Jesus' cross (Mark 15:21)
The Bible is multicultural.  A book for all colors.  God's grace knows no color line. We all come from common ancestral parents which makes us brothers and sisters.  Redemption is free to ALL who will accept Jesus as Savior.  Let's practice living together in peace right here on earth for certainly we will be doing so in heaven as ONE NATION OF PEOPLE (Rev. 21:24-27).


Additional Resources:

--Beyond Roots: In Search of Blacks in the Bible, Dwight McKissic
--Beyond Roots II: If Anybody You Who I am, Dwight McKissic
--Are Blacks Inferior To Whites, The Dispelling of an American Myth, Tony Evans and
Dwight McKissic
--The Black Biblical Heritage: 4000 Years of Black Biblical Heritage, John L. Johnson
--Black Presence in the Bible and the Table of Nations, Walter McCray