Racial Diversity and Bible Translations

Why it matters if your Bible was translated by a racially diverse group

The essay begins

For many Christians of color, the present is marked by wariness, not of Christianity itself but of our experience with it. Frederick Douglass spoke of the difference between hypocritical Christianity in America and the Christianity of Christ. He drew that distinction because early black encounters with the Bible were mediated. We were given enough of the text to keep us content in our plight. It wasn’t until black Christians began to read the Bible that we fully owned the Christian tradition.

The era of slavery is over. But centuries later, racial oppression remains a reality. Thus, some Christians of color have questioned how the Bible relates to the hopes of black folks, because some people at the source of our oppression were Christians. This has led to an explicit rejection of the Christian framework that informs some historic black social action.

For many black Christians, the distinction that Douglass made doesn’t always stand: The hypocritical Christianity of this land is Christianity. We are told the Bible encourages and justifies white oppression of black people and others because it was written with that intent.

Read the rest. Very thought provoking.  Personally, I have no idea what the racial make-up of the Zurich Bible of 2007 was nor the Luther Bible of 2017 nor the REB nor the NRSV.  And I actually have never even thought about it.  If Esau is right, maybe I should.  Or maybe he’s wrong.