In the Bible we find the concept of race, but not how it is used today in the derogatory sense that has been called “racism”. In fact, when I looked up the term “racism” it could not be found in Webster’s 1828 nor even the 1913 dictionaries. What I did find in the 1828 dictionary is that race is defined as:
“The lineage of a family, or continued series of descendants from a parent who is called the stock. A race is the series of descendants indefinitely. Thus all mankind are called the race of Adam; the Israelites are of the race of Abraham and Jacob. Thus we speak of a race of kings, the race of Clovis or Charlemagne; a race of nobles” .
In my study I have learned that the Bible really only talks about 3 groups of people (races). We see (1) the Israelites — those born into Jewish families, (2) the Gentiles — those born outside of Jewish families, and (3) the Church — those reborn through faith in Jesus the Christ; these may be of Jewish or non-Jewish heritage.
So the term “racism” is a non-biblical term and something that has been coined to refer to “poor treatment of or violence against people because of their race; the belief that some races of people are better than others” . The use of the word racism (and bigotry) gets lots of press, take a look at these Christian quotes about racism.
Featured Quote “Racism is still with us. But it is up to us to prepare our children for what they have to meet, and, hopefully, we shall overcome.” ~Rosa Parks
From the King Family
I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality… I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word. ~ Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Racism springs from the lie that certain human beings are less than fully human. It’s a self-centered falsehood that corrupts our minds into believing we are right to treat others as we would not want to be treated. ~ Alveda King
I have a dream that one day little black boys and girls will be holding hands with little white boys and girls. ~ Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
I believe all Americans who believe in freedom, tolerance and human rights have a responsibility to oppose bigotry and prejudice.. ~ Coretta Scott King
From Preachers, Theologians & Other Christian Well Knowns
Racism and injustice and violence sweep our world, bringing a tragic harvest of heartache and death. ~ Rev. Billy Graham
Be not proud of race, face, place, or grace. ~ Charles Spurgeon
All human beings bear God’s image and must be respected for what each person is. Therefore, no external description of one’s being, whether based on race, ethnicity, gender or sexual orientation, can properly be used as the basis for either rejection or discrimination. ~ Bishop John Shelby Spong
If you judge people you have no time to love them. ~ Mother Teresa
From Other Easily Recognized People
The marvel of marvels is not that God, in His infinite love, has not elected all this guilty race to be saved, but that He has elected any. ~ B.B. Warfield
Let’s pray that the human race never escapes from Earth to spread its iniquity elsewhere. ~ C.S. Lewis
People know about the Klan and the overt racism, but the killing of one’s soul little by little, day after day, is a lot worse than someone coming in your house and lynching you. ~ Samuel L. Jackson
Perhaps travel cannot prevent bigotry, but by demonstrating that all peoples cry, laugh, eat, worry, and die, it can introduce the idea that if we try and understand each other, we may even become friends. ~ Maya Angelou
A white person listens to my act and he laughs and he thinks, ‘Yeah, that’s the way I see it too.’ Okay. He’s white. I’m Negro. And we both see things the same way. That must mean that we are alike….. So I figure I’m doing as much for good race relations as the next guy. ~Bill Cosby
Bigotry is the disease of ignorance, of morbid minds; enthusiasm of the free and buoyant. Education and free discussion are the antidotes of both. ~ Thomas Jefferson
I do the very best I can to look upon life with optimism and hope and looking forward to a better day, but I don’t think there is anything such as complete happiness. It pains me that there is still a lot of Klan activity and racism. I think when you say you’re happy, you have everything that you need and everything that you want, and nothing more to wish for. I haven’t reached that stage yet. ~ Rosa Parks
From the Bible
He that despiseth his neighbour sinneth: But he that hath mercy on the poor, happy is he. ~ Proverbs 14:21
Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. ~ Matthew 22:37–39
Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: ~ Acts 10:34
Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all. ~ Colossians 3:11
As we find in the Scriptures “… God is no respecter of persons” (Acts 10:34). When we are people after God’s own heart neither will we be respecters of persons. We will reject the idea of racism and bigotry.
Resources – Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, King James Version.  Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913) – The ARTFL Project. (n.d.). Retrieved March 17, 2015, from http://machaut.uchicago.edu/?resource= Webster’s&word= race&use1828=on.  Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913) – The ARTFL Project. (n.d.). Retrieved March 17, 2015, from http://machaut.uchicago.edu/?resource= Webster’s&word= race&use1828=on.