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An Understanding of the Scripture by the African American People

He was in a very specific time in history in which his status was a lowly one. He was one of the dominated, rather than a dominator. He was a member of an oppressed minority and, as such, was a figure with whom AfricanAmericans could easily identify (Evans 1992: 84). Yet, he also was a transcendent figure, as Evans consistently noted. Thus, he was able to live in the state of oppression, but not be bound to it.

Jesus is not bound to the state of oppression because of his relationship to god. He is not only the Son of Man, the human aspect, but also the Son of God, vested with the power and transcendence of his Father.

Both Thurman and Evans seem to agree that the religion that Jesus brought into the world represented an entirely new way of dealing with human relationships. Rather than be nonresistant, or warlike, the individual and group is enabled to develop a condition of internal freedom, mediated by Jesus. This is both liberation and transcendence. While it does not allow the person to exit bondage  as the exodus story allowed  it provides a means for the person to stay in a difficult situation, while feeling internally free of it. As Evans indicated in a quote from Thurman, Christianity seems to serve the purpose of being a technique of survival for oppressed people (Evans 1992: 85).

Clearly this is important for the AfricanAmerican community in this country throughout most of its history. What is the sociohistorical context of the AfricanAmerican community? It has been an enslaved, dominated, and oppressed community for hundreds of years. Although the dream has been of complete liberation from bondage, the reality has generally been limitation to greater or lesser degree. Following the religion of Jesus, as interpreted by Thurman, may have allowed the community to continue to exist, rather than be destroyed, as it might have been with wides


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An Understanding of the Scripture by the African American People. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 00:44, December 01, 2015, from
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