Bible Emphasizes Roles of Blacks, Africa in History
� This King James Version's depiction of Moses, Jesus and Mary as dark-skinned instills pride in an ancient heritage.
By K. Connie Kang, Times Staff Writer
When real estate developer Karen Bunkley bought a copy of the Original African Heritage Study Bible for a class at Holman United Methodist Church in Los Angeles two years ago, she couldn't put it down.
The text is the King James Version. But, in a marked departure from traditional Bibles, it highlights all the passages that refer to Africa or Africans and includes commentaries putting such history and culture into context. It also contains maps of Africa and illustrations of Bible characters � Moses, Jesus, Mary � all with dark skin and curly hair.
I've not seen this and can't comment on it. But here is what biblical scholar Vincent Wimbush has to say about it:
Vincent L. Wimbush, a professor of religion at Claremont Graduate University, says his view of the African heritage study Bible is "mixed."
"I see the project as a response � almost a desperate cry on the part of people away from the center of the discourse about the Bible," he said.
In trying to correct the "Europeanization" of the Bible, however, they may be making the same mistakes that Europeans made by whitening the Bible, Wimbush said.
"That just leaves us playing the same kind of the game: Mine is better than yours," he said. "I think that whole game is flawed, suspect and dangerous."