This year, we will embark on a journey that takes us Behind the New Testament so that we can better understand what is inscribed in the New Testament.  Our first stop is an investigation of maps and how the cartography and treatment of the geography of Bible lands helped form a white Jesus.

Sallman's "Head of Christ"

When I co-authored  The African Presence in the Bible: Gospel Sermons Rooted in History , my great-grandmother angrily remarked, "You just insist on making Jesus Black!"  To which I replied, "I'm not making Jesus anything.  What needs to explained is how he  became white." For her and so many, the image of Jesus that hung in our living room was the truth.  To envision him in any other way was akin to blasphemy. However, through the erasure of African place names, the focal points of most Bible maps, and the predominance of European images for biblical people, we have been trained to accept a white Jesus. Even when we know that white Jesus is a false image, we may not have the information we need to contextualize our interpretation, preaching, and/or teaching.

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Here's what we will cover

  • The geographical connections between Africa and Palestine

  • Land divisions that dehumanized the majority of the world

  • How the ancient world classified human beings

  • How African places are disconnected from Africa

  • How whitewashing the Bible led to a white Jesus

Course includes

  • Video of Lecture

  • Recording of Q&A

  • Lecture handout

  • PDF of maps

  • PDF of ancient Egyptian artwork

  • Bibliography of sources

  • PDF of Key points and next steps