Most students of this subject are satisfied that the Bible story is about a Black community named Hebrews, Israelites, or Jews. However, many still wrestle with what this powerful revelation means to the modern Black Diaspora. Respected scholars such as James H. Cone, J. Deotis Roberts, Gayraud Wilmore, Jerome C. Ross, and others addressed this matter, in part, by drawing the conspicuous parallel between the biblical Israelites and the African Americans' constant struggles for liberation. This volume seeks not only to highlight the historical and theological peculiarities between the African American experience and that of the biblical Israelites but also to focus on the recent DNA-confirmed racial kinship that has connected these two communities over the millennia. The historical fact that the people of the Bible were people of color, mainly Black, does not afford Black people any special access to Yahweh than others of different racial backgrounds. But it challenges the Black community through the Black church to reimage its biblical heritage by appreciating Black people as central to the Bible story, to re-envision Black theology by weaving the ontological blackness of the biblical Israelites into Black theological constructs, and finally, to reawaken prophetic ministry by modeling the liberation ministries of Moses and Jesus.
However, for the Black church to rise to such a challenge requires a total repudiation of White evangelicalism, whose biblical hermeneutics, scriptural exegesis, theological constructions, and moral codes appear more committed to maintaining a status quo rooted in oppression, injustice, and domination than in the love ethic of Jesus. This ideology has lingered in some and prevailed in most Black churches for far too long. This book mandates the Black church to not only celebrate Black presence in the Bible but also to embrace the alternative biblical hermeneutic, scriptural exegesis, theology, and moral code more consistent with the biblical Hebrews' experience that mirrors the American Black experience.
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