Ask ARP: Where can I find a Bible with racially realistic portrayals?

Dear Anti-Racist Parent:

Do you have suggestions for children’s Bibles (or Christian-themed books) that have realistic and non-racist portrayals of Biblical characters and children represented in them? Any thoughts on the Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd-Jones? Any help would be greatly appreciated!

Heidi C.

From the Editor:

I am really out of my element on this question, but I imagine some of ARP’s readers can help. Every illustrated Bible I have seen has included images that remake Biblical characters in the image of the primary reader.

We’ve all seen the Eurocentric illustrations featuring silky blond and blue-eyed Jesus. I have long thought that this generally-accepted remaking of historical Jesus has played a central role in establishing Euro-supremacy in our culture. In response, many black churches have Bibles in the pew where everyone pictured is African in ancestry. Do Christian worshippers of other races do this too? I haven’t come across many Bibles, but I have yet to see one that makes an effort in historical, racial accuracy in its illustrations.

To try to answer your questions, I tried Googling..tried pouring through some of the illustrated Christian books on Amazon and other sites…I got nothing. Readers, does anyone have suggestions for Heidi?



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About Tami

Tami Winfrey Harris writes about race, feminism, politics and pop culture at the blog What Tami Said. Her work has also appeared online at The Guardian’s Comment is Free, Ms. Magazine blog, Newsweek,, Huffington Post and Racialicious. She is a graduate of the Iowa State University Greenlee School of Journalism. She is mom to two awesome stepkids and spends her spare time researching her family history and cultivating a righteous 'fro.
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