Are you curious about black history in the Bible? Do you feel like the Bible is lacking in people of color? Believe it or not, the Bible is full of racial diversity, and is not a purely European construct. Much of the Old Testament is actually centered around Africa and those of African descent, and we see that in the opening chapters of Genesis, which describe the location of Eden.
“The name of the first is Pison: that is it which compasseth the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold… And the name of the second river is Gihon: the same is it that compasseth the whole land of Ethiopia.” – Genesis 2:11-13
Both Havilah and Ethiopia were founded by descendants of Cush, the son of Ham. Most scholars agree that Ham was the father of the African nations. While it is commonly taught and accepted that Eden was located in the Middle East, the Bible seems to indicate that it may have been closer to Africa, or maybe even in Africa.
While it is not often taught in schools or in church, African genetics are some of the most diverse in the world, with skin tones ranging from Albino to very dark, hair color ranging from black to blonde, and eye color ranging from brown to blue. That is important because the African race holds the genetics to generate every other race on the planet, but it doesn’t work the other way around.
If this is your first time studying black history in the Bible, we understand that it can be difficult figuring out where to start. So in order to make your journey as easy as possible, I’ve put together this guide to help you get started.
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What “Black” History Is All About
Too many people often confuse the word “black” as a literal reference to skin color, but that is not the case. Someone can be considered “black” even if they are mixed.
- Halle Berry
- Tiger Woods
- Barack Obama
They are all considered black, even though they are mixed and have lighter skin. The 4 people in the picture to the right are also considered “black” by black people, even though they have white skin. It’s all about racial heritage, and not necessarily skin color. This site’s goal is to bring awareness to the “black” presence and contributions to the Bible and Christianity as a whole.
Where Should I Start?
It’s always best to start at the beginning and build from there. In this case, I’m referring to the lineage of Ham, the middle son of Noah. While the majority of Ham’s children and grandchildren settled Africa, you might be surprised to discover that it was his son Canaan and his grandson Nimrod that were instrumental in settling the Middle East. From there I would suggest reading about the following:
- The Founding of Egypt
- The Founding of Ethiopia
- The Founding of Sudan
- The Founding of Libya
- The Founding of Israel
These five countries form the foundation from which most of the Bible takes place. Not only are they important geographically, but they also play very important roles in Bible prophecy.
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