Over 25 years ago, I began my freshman year at Wayne State University, in Detroit, Michigan. As a Christian college student, I wanted to make a difference for Christ on the campus, particularly with my fellow African-American students. So, I began sharing my faith. As I did this, “Afrocentrism” (also known as “Africentrism”) was in vogue on the college campuses. Many of my peers were getting into the serious study of our history and culture, as persons of African descent. Within this context, some of them began to see Christianity as a European invention, and therefore, something that was not culturally relevant. As I would attempt to witness to them about Jesus, they would often dismiss my message, saying, “Christianity is the White Man’s Religion,” or, “The Bible is the White Man’s Book.”

This sent me on a tailspin, and I began to question the relevance of my personal faith and my ability to effectively give an “apologetic” (or a defense) for Christianity. When the dust settled, I began to research the Black or African presence in the Bible, as well as other aspects of “Black Apologetics.” I read several books on this topic that motivated me to hold on more tightly to the faith that was passed on to me by my parents, Carl and Mary Bowman. What I found radically changed my view of “the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints,” as it related to the cultural context in which I found myself. My research also gave me a new-found confidence as I interacted with people from various backgrounds.

Starting with the Book of Genesis, I set out to discover if there were any Black people in the Bible, and, to my surprise, I found that White people (Europeans) did not come into prominence until the New Testament. The first 39 books of the Bible, and beyond, were filled with people of color; people who looked like me. I began to see how “Black” the Bible really was.   As I think back on this time, it was then that I came to fully appreciate that all human beings, regardless of color or class, have been “fearfully and wonderfully made” by our great Creator. I also came to embrace the fact that the Christian faith and the Bible are for everyone; not just “the White man” or a select few. Herein, I would like to share a sliver of what I found.

Imagine that we are members of a local church having a cookout, and the honored guests are Black characters from the Bible. I’d dare say that many of us would be surprised by who shows up, much like the parents in the movie, “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner?”, when Dr. John Prentice showed up. This would especially be true if we were operating from our modern social constructs of “race” or “Blackness.” Keep in mind that “race” or our concept of what it means to be “Black” did not exist in the Bible days. This was socially constructed much later, for the purpose of dividing us. With this in mind, here are some people who might RSVP, and show up for the cookout . . .

Adam, where are you?

Many reputable archeologists, both atheists and people of faith, believe that the continent of Africa is “the cradle of civilization.” Assuming this is true, and I believe it is, the

Garden of Eden was in Africa. So, one could argue that, based on our definition of Blackness, Adam was Black. However, not only is there an argument for this based on Archeology, but Biology, as well. If you’re like me, you believe that the Bible, in its entirety, is the Word of God. In it, Adam is held up as the one in whom all humans find their origin. That being the case, Adam would have had the genetic makeup required to produce every “race” of people. Consequently, one could deduce that Adam was a person of color.

“Diary of a Mad Black Woman”

Zipporah was the wife of Moses, the man through whom God delivered the Israelites and gave the Law. In Exodus 4:24-27, it is recorded that Zipporah circumcised their son, Gershom, touched Moses’ feet, and referred to him as “a bridegroom of blood.” One gets the idea that “momma” wasn’t happy. Someone has said (not me) that “a mad Black woman will cut you.” Lest I digress, a study of Zipporah’s ethnicity reveals that she was from the land of Cush; that is Northeastern Africa; in the area we would refer to as Ethiopia (see Numbers 12).

Paul and His Boys

Come with me to an historic ordination service, as men of God were being commissioned as missionary preachers. Acts 13:1-3 tells us that, in the Church at Antioch, “prophets and teachers” laid hands on Barnabas and Saul (now known as Paul), setting them apart for the ministry. Clearly, 2 of the men on the “ordination council’ were Black: Simeon, whose nickname was Niger (which means “Black”), and Lucius of Cyrene. Cyrene (which was in Northern Africa/present-day Libya) was the same place where Simon, the man who carried Jesus’ cross, was from (see Matthew 27:32; Luke 23:26; Mark 15:21). In Acts 21:37-39, we find that Paul, a Jew, was mistaken for an Egyptian. News flash: Egypt is in Africa, not Europe or Asia, as some would like us to think. Egyptians do not look like the characters in Cecile B. DeMille’s famous movie, “The Ten Commandments.”   Egyptians were, and still are, people of color. For Paul to have been mistaken for an Egyptian, he had to have had a relatively dark complexion, not merely “a good tan,” as some say.

Jesus, is that you?!

Let’s go back to our metaphorical church cookout. You mean Jesus, our Lord, Himself, could show up, as our honored guest?! Yep! Now, let’s not get it twisted! Jesus was a Jew. It is important to acknowledge this, in light of biblical prophecy. However, many of the ancient Hebrews were dark-skinned people. Consider, the Falasha Jews of Ethiopia, who still exist today. One thing we do know about Jesus is that he wasn’t what we would call “White.” After all, it was to Egypt that Joseph took the Christ Child and Mary to escape King Herod’s reach (see Matthew 2:14). Furthermore, 4 out of the 5 women mentioned in Jesus’ genealogy, in Matthew, Chapter 1, were of African ancestry. They were Tamar, Rahab, Ruth, and Bathsheba. It is also interesting to note that Flavius Josephus, the Jewish historian and contemporary of Jesus, is said to have described Him as having “dark skin.” The bottom line is this: regardless of Jesus’ color or ours, we have a Savior who died, not just for “the White Man,” but for everyone. That’s why Paul said, For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”    

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14 Comments

  • Avatar brenda byrd says:

    Wow. .this is amazing. …..I did some research….for years my brother had been saying this because of the location of the Jews in the Bible …he would say always look at the setting is very important….so the internet and you tube had been good for research. ….i found out that African Americans are the Jews of the Bible…It was an eye opener. ..what I cant undetstand is why our chruch leaders…pastors… teachers of the Gods word has not taught this to God’s children ….they have went to school to learn the Bible…do you think it wasn’t taught to them either…or what?????thanks for the article it is very refreshing. ..there are so many deceptions out here …i would try to tell others. ..some would look at me like “are you crazy”….It’s really sad….but there’s only so far a person brain will go….to some that’s too far…but we have to have an open mind about everything. …thanks again. ..be blessed😇😇😇😇😇😇

  • Avatar BronzeLincolns says:

    Read deuteronomy 28:15-68 and tell me if that sounds familiar.

  • Avatar Jay says:

    I appreciate your heart, & the time that went into this, but the residue it leaves scares me. I hope my words are gracious & not inflammatory.

    In a time where it has become increasingly cool to openly demoralize people of color again, which has caused pepole of color to search for proof of our value & hold that up as picket signs screaming “Yall are wrong. Look how important we really are,” I fear conversations like this, not driving home the proper context of the Lordship & glory of Christ & the unity found there, are only fuel for the fire of black supremacy. Which is no different than the quest for white supremacy that we battle against today in Christ name.

    I don’t question your heart in this article. 1 because I don’t know you. 2 because I have come to have great respect for the men on the porch & so if they give you a platform that says a lot. Again, I see our people running from Christ to proclaim the importance of ‘blackness.’ & I think we have to be very careful not to take away from the Lords glory in order to highlight & protect our own. I’m a proud black man. But I’m more John 17 than pro black.

  • Avatar Teena V Ezell says:

    I know for sure that they are black people or if you will, people of color in the bible. I just decided to Google “is there black people in the Bible” just to see what comes up and I came across your website.
    I am very glad that I came across your website and to find that people lost searching like myself. There are so many things hidden from us is not even funny. I’m so glad that a lot of us are waking up!!!

  • Avatar Adam Crone says:

    I’m a white man. My Great grandparents are Sami. Indigenous People of the North. Laplanders. The Bible in my family was never a book about our people. My grandpa was polytheistic. I never read the Bible and thought that the people in it were the people I descended from. Our DNA is similar but Sub Saharan Africans don’t possess Neanderthal DNA. A lot of people alive, both black and white do now, but not originally. It’s not wrong that maybe genetically we are different. I find it wrong that people can’t accept that your Bible is your story. Indifference should be celebrated not feared. The story of your people needs to be set right. The world needs to know that a huge chunk of history is forgotten and never should have been. People think I’m a sellout for saying it’s not our book(Caucasus Region Descendants). But it’s not. It’s yours. Your story. Your fights. Your plight. Take it for all it is. Celebrate your history. Cry for for history. Embrace your history.

  • Avatar Saundra Watts says:

    There is one origination place humans period for all peoples, humans. Africa😁 Scientists may break human species into subgroups, dividing lines or whatever.. But we (humans), are one group, that subsets of people migrated from Africa to all other areas of the Earth. God instructed man tho do this. And the Earth is not hundreds of thousands of years old. It is more around 7000 yrs old. REAL scientists and researchers confirm this. See Creation museam, The Ark Experience or refernce the Circular Bible.

  • Avatar Louis Sanchez says:

    Th earth is 7000 years old? But thy find african bones frm 4.4 million years ago..??

  • Avatar Melody Moulton says:

    Bless you! It’s so refreshing to see someone (non black) who understands. Orphans always have questions…”why is this happening to me”…”who am I”…”what happened to my parents”, etc.”? The majority of blacks in the diaspora share this same desire to know our heritage and for the most part, we’re always ridiculed for it. I love and respect all mankind, but I still desire to know my heritage. It does give us a sense of pride, but not all of us misuse that awareness for evil. Bless you and thanks for your encouraging words!!!

  • Avatar KV says:

    We are sill God’s chosen people. You just hate us because you ain’t us. Stop acting like a little racist 5th grader and get over it. You admit that we are God’s chosen people yet you feel it is okay to talk about us like that? Best believe you will be judged, you will remember all of this nonsense that you are saying on the day of reckoning and we’ll see how God feels about you and how he deals with you.

  • Avatar KV says:

    You obviously know nothing about the bible. We will forever be God’s chosen people. Take your bullshit somewhere else.

    “For the Lord will have mercy on Jacob, and will yet choose Israel, and set them in their own land: and the strangers shall be joined with them, and they shall cleave to the house of Jacob.” [Isaiah 14:1]

    “Thus saith the LORD; If heaven above can be measured, and the foundations of the earth searched out beneath, I will also cast off all the seed of Israel for all that they have done, saith the LORD.” [Jeremiah 31:37]

    ^ it’s all in the bible.

    P.S. you want to talk about how we’re being punished by the white man, but have you read about how God is going to punish the white man? Lol… have a nice day.

  • Avatar KV says:

    You are the only delusional person here. The curses of deuteronomy 28 identify who the biblical israelites are (negroes), get over it and go cry somewhere else

    P.S. white skin is identified in the bible as LEPROSY…. remember that.

  • Avatar Will Virella says:

    Who told you I am black?

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