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In this comprehensive study, Keith Burton traces the story of biblical Africa and the place of the Bible in the land of Ham. Beginning with the Old Testament, he explores the geography of biblical ...
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In this comprehensive study, Keith Burton traces the story of biblical Africa and the place of the Bible in the land of Ham. Beginning with the Old Testament, he explores the geography of biblical Africa and moves beyond stereotypical discussions of African ethnicity and identity. He then chronicles the African presence in the church from the New Testament onward, paying particular attention to the growth of Islam in Africa as well as the impact of European colonialism and the slave trade. Coming to the modern era, he examines the achievements of African Christianity and visionary efforts to adapt and reclaim Christianity for the African context.
Burton invites readers to discover anew the relevance of the biblical narrative for African Christians as well as Scripture's influence on African Christianity. This invigorating work places the story of the Bible and African Christianity in a wider global context and challenges readers to think differently about history and the biblical world.
Posted July 8, 2008
The hallmark of this book is two-fold:  its redefinition of what territorially constitutes ¿biblical Africa¿ and  its identification of Put with sub-Saharan. Capitalizing on the tendency to equate Ham[ites] with Africa[ns] as evidenced by the common misconception that Noah¿s curse targeted Ham and thus the Africans, the author proposes that his readers consider the equation of ¿biblical Africa¿ with the ¿land of Ham.¿ Understood as such, ¿biblical Africa¿ would therefore encompass all the territories traditionally associated with the descendants of Ham as reflected in the ¿Table of Nations.¿ These regions include Saudi Arabia [associated with Seba, Sabteca, Sabtah, Dedan and Havilah], Yemen [associated with Sheba and Raamah], Iraq [associated with Babylon, Erech, Akkad, Calneh, and Assyria], Egypt/Sudan [associated with Misrayim], Ethiopia [associated with Cush], Libya [associated with the Lehabites, Naphtuhites,and Pathrusites], Crete [associated with Caphtorites], Israel/Palestine [associated with Canaan], Lebanon [associated with Sidon, Hivites,and Arkites], Turkey [associated with Hittites], Jordan [associated with Amorites], and Syria [associated with Arvadites]. In other words, an equation of ¿biblical Africa¿ with the ¿land of Ham¿ expands the definition of what encompasses Africa and who constitutes an African to include not just the continent of Africa and its dwellers, but parts of the Middle East and their respective citizens. Having argued for a broader definition of ¿biblical Africa¿ [part one, chapters 1-4] and catalogued the Africans in the Bible assuming the broader definition [part two, chapters 5-7], the book takes and maintains to the very end a historical slant during which the following historical topics are discussed: [a] the development of Christianity in biblical Africa [part three, chapters 8-10], [b] the growth of Islam in biblical Africa [part four, chapters 11-12], [c] the impact of European colonialism on biblical Africa [part five. Chapters 13-15] and [d] the place of the Bible in present-day biblical Africa [part six, chapters 16-18]. Even if the reader does not buy into the author¿s attempt to promote a broad definition of what geographically constitutes biblical Africa and consequently who composes an African biblically, this book remains a wonderful resource to students of church history and students of the Bible in general.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.