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  1. My task as a preacher / teacher of the Word of God is to:
    A. Study, learn, and seek to understand the teachings in the Bible.
    B. Communicate the message of the Bible to those who listen and learn.
    C. Interpret and make applications to our lives.


  2. We are about to study an issue that is multi-faceted.
    Bible – What does the Word of God teach on this matter?
    Social – What are the social issues which must be dealt with?
    Economic – Are there any potential economic hardships involved?
    Personal – How are our personal feelings and emotions affected?
    Prejudice – What prejudices do you have? Your family? Friends?
    Cultural – Are there any important cultural differences?
    Religious – How would this alter your involvement in the local church?


  3. The issue here is Deep Seated (one lesson will not erase it), Personal (affected by our experience and teachings); and Emotional (When our prejudices are disturbed, we are disturbed)


  4. REMEMBER – This study will focus on the Biblical teachings. There are many other factors that must enter into the decision of an inter-racial marriage.

Where did the races come from?

  1. In the beginning there was Adam and Eve.
    All humans descended from them. (Genesis 3:20)
    There were two main branches – the Seth’s and the Cain’s.

  2. Then came the flood. All humans were destroyed – except for eight people.
    Noah – his 3 sons – and their wives. (1 Peter 3:20)

  3. A study of the genealogies in Genesis 10 show the three branches
    Japheth – 2-5
    Ham – 6-20
    Shem – 21-32

  4. Study the map below.

From Baker’s Bible Atlas, Charles Pfeiffer, 1961, page 36.


  1. The following information came from Baker’s Bible Atlas, page 39. The chart outlines what can be found in Genesis 10













His 3 Sons


Their sons


Settlement areas


























Japheth went north








to settle in Europe








Russia, Scandinavia






Island people


























































Ham's family went






Lybia, N. Africa


south to Africa








and Arabia
















































Shem when east to
















Syria and Caldea.









Where did all the races (colors) of people come from?

There are several theories (None of them Biblical)

  1. Some believe that the three sons of Noah were different colors – Ham – black; Shem – brown; Japeth – white.

  2. After the tower of Babel (as languages were confused) the colors were also used to separate.

  3. Marshall Keeble – “Man is made from dust. There is red dust, black dust, white dust, yellow dust.”

  4. As men drifted, they adjusted to their environment – Africans became darker, Northern Europeans became very light.

  5. We do not know the origin of skin color or other physical features of the races.

The truth is that we do not know when or how the races developed.

  1. They could have developed before the flood and Noah’s sons were of different races.

  2. The races could have developed with the spread after the confusion of languages.

  3. Races could have slowly developed as they adapted to climate and environment.

God loves and seeks to save all men.

  1. John 3:16 “God so loved the world.”

  2. Matthew 28:18 “Go make disciples of all the nations.”

  3. Mark 16:15 “Go preach the gospel to every creature.”

  4. Acts 10:34-35 “In every nation”

  5. 2 Peter 3:9 “Not willing that any should perish.”

False Biblical Arguments to forbid Inter-Racial Marriages

  1. Acts 17:26-27
    – God made every nation to “stay in their place” (bounds of their habitation) – thus, they should not mix and mingle.
    Answers from this passage
    A. “One blood” – there is no difference in the blood of different races.
    B. “Dwell on the face of the earth” – That is the bounds of their habitation.
    C. “Seek the Lord” – God wants all to be saved, He is “not far from each one of us.”


  2. 1 Corinthians 15:39
    – “All flesh is not the same flesh.” Therefore, blacks are different from whites and they should not inter-marry.
    Answers from this passage
    A. One flesh for men, another for animals. This passage forbids marriage to a goat.
    B. All men are of one blood (Acts 17:26) and one flesh.


  3. Genesis 10:32
    – God separated them and they should remain separate.
    Answer from this passage
    A. Written long after Noah – includes all his families and nations.
    B. Next chapter shows – they did not scatter as God had commanded.
    C. They were divided by language and distance. They were not forbidden from visiting, traveling, learning another language, or mingling with others.

Prohibitions against Inter-Racial Marriage

  1. Exodus 34:11-16

  2. Deuteronomy 7:1-6

  3. Joshua 23:11-13; 16

  4. 1 Kings 11:1-11

  5. Ezra 9:1-4; 10:2-3

  6. Nehemiah 13:22-27

Clearing away the Rubbish

  1. The “Curse of Ham.” Many have taught that Noah put a curse on Ham and his descendants (Africans). Thus all blacks are to be slaves.

  2. NOT TRUE. The curse was on Canaan. This is the tribe that did NOT go to Africa.

  3. The Canaanites (today – Palestinians) are Arab, not black.

    A. Not all of Ham went to Africa.
    B. Not all in Africa are black – Egypt, Lybia, etc.

  5. There are two ways to cure a ham – sugar and smoke. This one must be smoked out.” Jack Evans in his debate with Vernon Barr on Race Relations and Inter-Racial Marriages.

  6. Ham” means black or burnt. Not true. “Ham” means hot, or warm.

  7. Study Joshua 9:1, 23-27
    A. These nations, including Canaan, formed an alliance.
    B. They deceived Joshua and Israel.
    C. Joshua said they would become servants to Israel – Draw water, hew wood.
    D. Verse 27 – “even to this day.”

  8. 1 Kings 9:15-21 Solomon made them servants of forced labor (21)

Proselyte – Others could become Jews

  1. Psalm 68:31 “Ethiopia will stretch out her hands to God”

  2. Acts 8:27 “a man of Ethiopia … come to Jerusalem to worship”

  3. Exodus 12:48-49 “stranger dwells with you and wants to keep the Passover”

  4. Genesis 17:9-13 “bought with money from any foreigner who is not your descendant”

  5. Galatians 3:26-28 “neither Jew nor Greek … you are all one in Christ Jesus”

Examples of Inter-Racial Marriages in the Bible

  1. Moses – Married an Ethiopian woman – Numbers 12:1-7

  2. Timothy – His mother a Jew, father a Greek – Acts 16:1-3

  3. Judah – married a Canaanite, named Shua – Genesis 38:1-2

  4. Rahab – Canaanite – Hebrews 11:31

  5. Ruth – Moabite – Ruth 1:16-17; 4:13

  6. Bathsheba – Hittite, wife of Uriah – married David – 2 Samuel 11

Other Issues to Consider

Cultural differences

    1. Holidays Kwanza vs. Christmas; Hanukkah vs. Christmas

    2. Phrases – Language – Terminology

    3. Customs – Cultural background

    4. Taste – Art, music, literature, home décor, clothing style

    5. How children are raised – taught – religious training, morals, values, respect

    6. Baptism – Will the children be sprinkled? Taken to Catechism?

Acceptance in society

    1. Impact on profession, business, etc.

    2. Society does not always treat others as they should.

    3. I am not condoning wrong attitudes – but we must be realistic.

Acceptance in both families

    1. Prejudice is not limited to any one race.

    2. Will each one be accepted at family reunions?

    3. Consider the families if – marrying older, younger, divorced, ex-convict

Acceptance of the children

    1. Half-breeds” – shunned by both families.

    2. School friends, name calling on the playground

Additional problems of adjustment in the marriage

  1. Stress Added stress because of the differences to overcome

  2. Cultural differences – Much deeper than color of skin or physical features

  3. Location – Where to live, work, social activities

  4. Religion – Attend worship, training for children,

  5. Holidays – Which ones, how observed, where, which family?

  6. Discipline – How to discipline, teach children, rules of the family


  1. All men were created in the image of God.
    God loves them and wants them saved.
    Christ died for all men, of every race, nationality, and ethnic background.

  2. Faith and obedience to the same gospel save all men of all races.

  3. In the Bible, prohibitions of inter-racial marriage were religious not racial.

  4. The Bible does not forbid inter-racial marriage.

  5. There are other factors that may make such marriages unwise or even wrong.

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