It's a good thing to identify with History, particularly with recent time occurrences. History can bring the good, the awkward, or sober reflections and birth a new way of approaching vital issues that affects our lives, henceforth. However, it all depends on each person's perception & point of view of the matter. Notwithstanding, History still stands sure.
The Bible is full of historical events which are often used as stories & metaphorical applications to preach and teach us in diverse ways, so the hearers can grasp the message comprehensively.
All thru the new testament, believers were told and taught historical events by the Apostles for one reason or the other, of how the Israelites disobeyed God & the consequences that followed, of how the hall of fame of great men of faith did exploits & God's way of doing things in general. Such stories were told not to intimidate or victimize the hearers but to draw their attention to past realities & strengthen their faith for a new dimension.
That being said, let's get to it
Africans who arrived in America as Slaves from 1619 onwards carried with them diverse religious traditions. Some were Muslims, some heard & learned of Christianity before coming to America, but the majority of them practiced African spiritual traditions.
Upon their arrival & as they settle in, some preachers encouraged slave owners to allow their slaves to attend worship services but should only be in separate gatherings led by white proslavery preachers. The African Slaves had to be seated in the back end of the building or the open balcony of a segregated church.
As this ill-treatment exploded in every sphere, the slaves were assured with a sense of hope & profound assurance that Jesus would return soon, that there is another life after this present life, that what is going on with the human body, the mortal realm, is just temporary. That there is eternity, that the slaves will be rewarded, and that they will experience peace, joy & comfort afterward.
(CAN YOU RELATE TO THIS REALITY EVEN TODAY?)
Let's keep reading...
Since there were several prominent Christians & Religious leaders who owned slaves, these men argued that the sermons on the injunction in the book of Ephesians and Colossians which states:
“Slaves, Obey Your Earthly Master,” would promote docility among enslaved workers. All Christian Slave owners insisted that the Israelites of the old owned slaves, so there's absolutely nothing wrong in doing the same.
Furthermore, in the 19th Century when the British Missionaries arrived in the Caribbean to convert enslaved Africans to Christianity they came with a new version of the Bible.
This Bible was called the "SLAVE- BIBLE"
It was heavily edited & abridged to appease the slave owners who had a major concern that if the whole Bible was introduced to the slaves they might initiate prompt resistance and gain freedom in no time.
Therefore, to cushion the effect of retaliation and to gain access to the slaves who worked on sugar plantations, a radically corrupted Bible was the best tool to accomplish this goal.
A typical present-day Bible contains 66 books but the Slave-Bible contained only 14 books...
Many old testament Books were totally deleted from the Slave Bible so as to stop any rebellious thinking by the slaves for freedom as the Israelites did in Egypt.
Scripture verses such as Jeremiah 22:13.....
"Woe to him who builds his palace by unrighteousness
his upper rooms by injustice, making his own people work for nothing, not paying them for their labor"
"Anyone who kidnaps someone is to be put to death, whether the victim has been sold or is still in the kidnapper's possession"
"There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither, male nor female, for ye are all one in Christ Jesus"
All these verses were deleted from the Slave Bible.
In replacement, other scriptures like Ephesians 6 vs 5,
"Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear & trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto the Lord".....
Colossians 3 vs 22....
"Servants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh; not with eyeservice, as men-pleasers; but in singleness of heart, fearing God".....were included & emphasized by the missionaries.
The Slave Bible was first printed in London, the U.K in 1807 on behalf of the "Society for the Conversion of Negro Slaves"
As of today, only 3 copies of the Slave Bible exists. 2 were kept in the United Kingdom & 1 is in the Museum of the Bible in Washington D.C. the USA
The exhibition section of the Slave Bible at the Museum is titled:
"Parts of the Holy Bible, Selected For The Use Of The Negro Slaves, In The British West-India Islands.
Please Note: The ultimate goal of the British Missionaries was not to tamper with the Bible but to convert the slaves. However, you cannot fix ERROR with ERROR, you can ONLY fix the error with THE TRUTH.
Fortunately, the "Slave Bible" did not stop the enslaved Africans in the Caribbean from fighting for their freedom but unfortunately, the wildly antithetical interpretation of the Bible about slavery only expands & lingers on even till date.
Lastly, I say this...
"One of the most precious & priceless things to lose in life is your FREEDOM. It could be in the form of incarceration, of speech or of the MIND, but the worst of this trio is the MIND. Once the mind is enslaved then you're COMPLETELY FINISHED FOR LIFE"
I hope you got some History from this short write up?