Event Title

Black Rebellion and the KJB

Presenter Information

Basheer Bergus

Location

Room A

Start Date

1-10-2011 4:15 PM

End Date

1-10-2011 5:30 PM

Abstract

The King James Version has come to be understood as an integral part of the English canon, serving numerous purposes throughout its 400 short years. While this translation solidified English as a language of both commerce and empire; it also provided justification for rebellion and revolution in the heart of the United States. Undoubtedly, the King James Version served radical abolitionists as both a blueprint and as inspiration for blunting oppression in antebellum America.

Historians disagree on the impact and reasoning of Nat Turner’s rebellion in which 56 white Virginians were killed; however any examination must put the King James Version on trial right alongside Nat Turner. In this text, Turner found a blueprint for rebellion, as well as biblical precedent for overturning the system of slavery. Deeply religious, John Brown too, found inspiration for his radical abolitionism in the King James Version. Both Turner and Brown recited biblical scripture until their last breath, thus grounding their actions in this long biblical tradition.

This paper seeks to closely examine the Turner and Brown rebellions, as well as both men’s speeches and writings in the context of the King James Version.

Comments

Dr. Basheer Bergus is an independent scholar of the Black Experience.

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Oct 1st, 4:15 PM Oct 1st, 5:30 PM

Black Rebellion and the KJB

Room A

The King James Version has come to be understood as an integral part of the English canon, serving numerous purposes throughout its 400 short years. While this translation solidified English as a language of both commerce and empire; it also provided justification for rebellion and revolution in the heart of the United States. Undoubtedly, the King James Version served radical abolitionists as both a blueprint and as inspiration for blunting oppression in antebellum America.

Historians disagree on the impact and reasoning of Nat Turner’s rebellion in which 56 white Virginians were killed; however any examination must put the King James Version on trial right alongside Nat Turner. In this text, Turner found a blueprint for rebellion, as well as biblical precedent for overturning the system of slavery. Deeply religious, John Brown too, found inspiration for his radical abolitionism in the King James Version. Both Turner and Brown recited biblical scripture until their last breath, thus grounding their actions in this long biblical tradition.

This paper seeks to closely examine the Turner and Brown rebellions, as well as both men’s speeches and writings in the context of the King James Version.