Part of the By the Oppressed, to the Oppressed: How the Marginalized Church Reads the Bible series

African Americans Understood Paul’s Words While Slave Owners Twisted Them (Lisa Bowens)

Discussing her book African American Readings of Paul: Reception, Resistance, and Transformation, Dr. Lisa Bowens identifies how people twisted the Scriptures written by the Apostle Paul to promote slavery and justify it as a Christian practice. But at the same time, Dr. Bowens explains, Black Americans were interpreting Paul’s writings for themselves, and throughout history, they still appealed to Pauline texts extensively to protest and resist their oppression, and ultimately to build a strong foundation for the American church.

Show notes:

  • 0:26 Hidden voices in Black Christian thought
  • 4:25 What does sScripture actually say?
  • 6:15 Nancy Ambrose and how Paul was preached to the enslaved
  • 10:18 1774 Slave Petition
  • 16:37 The slavery project and the broadening of the canon
  • 19:40 John Jea and the miracle of literacy
  • 25:40 Why we need to hear different voices
  • 29:50 Salvation is spiritual and physical
  • 34:37 For economic gain

Show notes by Dominique LaCroix

Image created by Rubner Durais

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