The Theological Significance of Africa and Africans in the Bible



How to Cite

Holter, K. (2023). The Theological Significance of Africa and Africans in the Bible . Old Testament Essays, 36(1), 220–234. Retrieved from


The essay discusses the potential of the theological significance of the so-called “African presence” in the Bible, that is, biblical texts referring to entities that today would be labelled “African,” in particular, references to Egypt and Cush. The focus, therefore, is on the encounter between these texts and the socio-religious experiences and concerns of contemporary African biblical studies. The essay concludes that the presence of “Africa and Africans” has the potential of balancing the universalistic trajectory of the Bible. Without a concrete example such as “Africa,” universalism would be empty rhetoric and without a universalistic frame of interpretation, the “African presence” would face the danger of simply repeating—although this time from an Afrocentric perspective—the ethnocentric fallacy we have seen so much of by Eurocentricists in the past.




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