This just seems like built in bigotry. Probably going back to the times when tribes captured tribes in battle over land or water or food or whatever and held them as slaves.

There is no 'black race', any more than there is an 'oriental race' or 'white race' or 'any other color race'. Just the Human race. So any implications drawn are incorrect.

Melanin levels in the skin do not determine a race, just an adaptation to the environment by ones ancestors, just like "the epicanthic fold, the skin fold of the upper eyelid, covering the inner corner (medial canthus) of the eye", is thought to be an adaptation to a bright environment (snow covered bright), by people livng in more northern climates long ago. If there different Races we couldn't all breed together, could we. "Modern scholarship regards race as a social construct, that is, a symbolic identity created to establish some cultural meaning. While partially based on physical similarities within groups, race is not an inherent physical or biological quality.", and "race has no taxonomic significance ... all living humans belong to the same species, Homo sapiens, and (as far as applicable) subspecies, Homo sapiens sapiens." (Wikipedia for all references)

  • The history of few religions is devoid of bigotry. It's a very human habit and very difficult to overcome. It doesn't help when scripture identifies groups as "chosen" or "elect," thereby drawing a line between that group and all others. It's also very easy (and just as wrong) to judge thousands of years of history by today's standards - just as it will be easy for future people to judge us by their standards. A more productive question might be "what are religions today doing to overcome bigotry?" May 2 '18 at 19:07
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    Can you give examples of why you think race is specifically a Christian thing? May 2 '18 at 19:17
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    One could just as much ask, "Why do so many sciences insist there are inferior races of people?" Political science (Marx was a racist), Evolutionary science (Darwin was a racist), Psychology (Freud was a racist), Engineering (Ford was a racist), etc. May 3 '18 at 23:26

The idea of race is not a Christian construct. It doesn't derive from Christianity. It isn't supported by scripture. If you search for 'race' in the Bible it is only ever used to mean "human race" or "competition to see who is fastest".

Race is, as you say, a social construct, and while it was commonly thought to be useful in a society that also happened to have a majority of Christians, and was used by Christian during a time when race was universally thought to be a valid idea, there is no indication that it was Christianity that drove this. Plenty of atheists used the concept of race in the fifties and sixties.


Christianity neither insists nor seems to insist, in my opinion, that there are different races of humankind. Quite the opposite. In Paul's sermonette to the Athenians, he said:

And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place... (Acts 17:26, ESV)

The New Testament is unconcerned with skin color, and certainly as a way to group or characterize human beings. The major division of humanity discussed in New Testament theology is that between Jew and Gentile. There is a wide range of color within both sets!

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