Black and White in the Bible
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Is White Good and Black Bad?

Flat wrong...

Probably because Rembrandt supplied the West with everlasting imagery, people tend to see Jesus as a Caucasian (comes from Caucasus, the name of a mountain region), but this is rather silly, to say the least. We have no direct statement about the color of Jesus' skin but it is highly unlikely that He was white.

Darkness of skin and darkness in general are nowhere near the same. In fact, all objects that are black, white or any color are dark (show me) but black objects have the ability to absorb light, and in turn radiate it. White objects don't. That may be why the color white in the Bible has a very dark co-notation:

Whiteness of skin, for instance, is most commonly related to leprosy, a disease that is often symbolically linked with pride. The moon, which is a deceptive pseudo-light, was known as the white-one. Jacob's tricky uncle Laban's name comes from the same root as the word for moon: White One (see our article on Laban in the Name Vault). Same as the word for 'brick' in the Tower Of Babel account. And in Matthew 23:27 Jesus compares hypocrites with white-washed tombs.

Darkness on the other hand is, besides the gloomy opposite of light and enlightenment, also a symbol for the unknown, the potential of a situation, or even openness and receptivity. In Genesis 1:1 the Spirit of God is hovering in complete darkness, about to excavate the potential of the void and formless earth. In Genesis 15:12 God causes a deep darkness to come over Abraham, just before He engages in the eternal covenant of which He is the only active partner.

Blackness of skin is little discussed in the Bible. The only occurrence is in the Song Of Solomon, which is a poem about a young girl who dreams about being married to the King of Jerusalem. This poem is commonly understood to be an allegory that reflects the relationship of God with His bride, who is the apex of all creation, the cream of the crop, the fulfillment of all that is graceful and worthy. In Song of Solomon 1:5 the bride says it plainly, "I am black and beautiful."

In the Bible black and white are not as clearly distinguished as they are in our language and culture, but everything considered, these issues appear to lean towards a meaning that is the opposite of what is commonly understood.

For more on the black bride theme in the Bible read our article on The Bride Of Christ.

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