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25515 Posts in 9752 Topics by 980 Members Latest Member: - Roots Dawta Most online today: 59 (July 03, 2005, 11:25:30 PM)
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| | |-+  The Origins of Christianity....In search of Truth
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Author Topic: The Origins of Christianity....In search of Truth  (Read 1641 times)
Jahirae
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« on: June 18, 2017, 06:02:40 PM »

Greetings,

Five years ago, I heard the song Sizzla- "No white God" that was the first challenge to the faith I knew all my life , Christianity. Years later I continued
under the assumption that this narrative by those within the rastafari community was challenging the Eurocentric images of Christ that we were made to believe and he was Indeed a black man, with open arms I accepted that Jesus Christ was indeed black, besides i placed no face to him prior to this discovery either way so I was "safe" to continue in said faith. However, My first two years in university became a challenge, I battled with swallowing the idea that Jesus Christ all together did not exist, That the Bible is a lie and that the way forward is returning to the origins of spirituality, which is the spirituality of My fore parents, African Spirituality. I was very much open to accepting that it is not exactly black or white but there exist complexities and I would have to sift out truth, but the contradictions became overwhelming. I decided to shed all that I thought I knew about religion. I held firm to the belief that Christianity was an ideology of the white man and I should have no ties to it. This once firm belief was rocked after reading The Groundings with My brothers by Walter Rodney. In this book the Chapter on African History and Culture dispelled the myth that Christianity was of the Europeans. It explained that it originated in Africa and was established by Ethiopian Orthodox Church, tracing it back to the union of Solomon and Sheba recorded in the Kebra Negast. The evil of the Europeans would be that they tried to devalorize this origin  by claiming this is nothing but a myth and that Christianity entered Ethiopia for the first time 300 plus years after the Birth of Christ. So therefore if this is the case, of course under the assumption that Walter Rodney is a credible source, does this mean that Christianity is indeed something Africans should practice and that we should not entirely discredit it as it appears to have truth? Or is it that the version we've been presented with is totally misconstrued and is something different to the Ethiopians? Can someone please clear this up for me or direct me to any reading material that can assist in bringing further clarity. Smiley Thank You
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Nakandi
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« Reply #1 on: June 18, 2017, 09:07:30 PM »

therefore if this is the case, of course under the assumption that Walter Rodney is a credible source, does this mean that Christianity is indeed something Africans should practice and that we should not entirely discredit it as it appears to have truth? Or is it that the version we've been presented with is totally misconstrued and is something different to the Ethiopians? Can someone please clear this up for me or direct me to any reading material that can assist in bringing further clarity. Smiley Thank You

I think there are several things to simultaneously consider here. Like the origins of the religion, why its African roots or contributions are hidden, then, the context in which it originated, its development across the globe and its relevance in its original form today.

Just because something is of African origin, it does not mean that Africans today should automatically practice it. In an attempt to fight colonialism and reclaim African identity, many think it is necessary to adopt ancient African ways. Though learning African history is very important for one’s development, understanding its role is just as important. A plethora of practices blossomed out of contexts that might not apply today, so that what was a truth then might not directly translate to current times. (The reasoning on tribal loyalty on this forum demonstrates that well.)

In my own journey I have learnt that organized religion isn’t even necessary. Although not directly about the topic of religion, I think this piece on truths is worth reading, “The Source of All Truth” http://www.rootswomen.com/articles/11092003.html

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Tyehimba
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« Reply #2 on: June 19, 2017, 02:06:32 AM »

I will have to reread that chapter in the Walter Rodney book to see exactly what he said.

It sounds as if you were exposed to different ideas, yet still have to do the historical research to clarify some of these issues.

Yosef Ben Jochannan, Gerald Massey, John G Jackson and Charles Finch all make a case for the African origins of Christianity. I have recognised that some people twist these findings and justify their practise of Christianity because it supposedly originated in Africa. However, what these scholars argue is that some of the main aspects of Christianity (e.g saviour, virgin birth, moral codes etc) originated in Africa. This is very different to saying that Christianity as we know it today originated in Africa. This is not what those who have done the research argue. Christianity is a relatively recent invention, and is a hodge-podge of things assembled from different places, often outside of a context which persons can make sense easily. The doctrines of St Augustine, (who supported slavery), and the political ambitions of someone like Emperor Constantine (Council of Nicea) played a key role in determining aspects of what constitutes modern Christianity, which was then imposed on people through conquest.

Even if persons make a case for Ethiopians having a long tradition in Christianity, this tradition is still relatively young when compared to the history of ancient civilizations in Africa. The best of African spirituality for me lies in the (much) earlier traditions, and not in the Ethiopian Christian traditions. Ancient people did not have a religion, in terms of how people today define what a religion is. I am also not big on the tendency to represent deities as white/light within the Ethiopian Orthodox Christian tradition.

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I battled with swallowing the idea that Jesus Christ all together did not exist, That the Bible is a lie
The history and reality is a more complex than this. The bible is not an original document. If one goes through it with a historical lens, one can easily see the ideas of ancient indigenous Africans in it. So it does contain certain truths. However, without understanding much history, I don’t think people can make sense of the better parts of it.

Given this, although painting the white Jesus black is a step in the right direction, this is not enough to overcome the problems inherent in using one contradictory hodge-podge of a book as one’s main guide to the universe.
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Jahirae
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« Reply #3 on: June 29, 2017, 03:22:06 PM »

Thank You Nakandi and Tyehimba for taking time to respond to me. Both posts clarified the misunderstandings I had about the bible and propelled me to do more research. I am currently learning about simple concepts in African spirituality and already seeing some of the connections being made in the bible. Evidently some are misconstrued or misinterpreted, example the concept of the Christ, thank you for your direction.
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Nakandi
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« Reply #4 on: June 29, 2017, 07:19:32 PM »

Dr. Yosef Ben Jochannan - The African Origin of Christianity
Dr. Yosef Ben Jochannan - The African Origin of Christianity - YouTube

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Jahirae
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« Reply #5 on: July 04, 2017, 02:25:27 AM »

Thank You Nakandi this was very helpful
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Tyehimba
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« Reply #6 on: August 15, 2017, 09:47:40 PM »

Quote
This once firm belief was rocked after reading The Groundings with My brothers by Walter Rodney. In this book the Chapter on African History and Culture dispelled the myth that Christianity was of the Europeans. It explained that it originated in Africa and was established by Ethiopian Orthodox Church, tracing it back to the union of Solomon and Sheba recorded in the Kebra Negast.

After rereading the chapter (4) in Walter Rodney's book Grounding with my Brothers, I suspect you misunderstood what he said. Rodney does not say that Christianity originated in Africa. He says that "The Christian nature of the Ethiopian kingdom is traced back to the union of Solomon and Sheba", and he also makes references in the next paragraph to Greek documents which state that in 330 AD, the king of Axum was converted to Christianity by Frumentius, a Syrian bishop. Rodney goes on to talk about the Eithiopian Orthodox Church and their unique features, but does not make the case for it being indigenous to Africa.
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Jahirae
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« Reply #7 on: August 16, 2017, 12:25:23 AM »

ok I'd have to read it over
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