What the Bible Says About Justice
The Bible is an ancient and highly influential text, which has long been appropriated and misused by those in power to justify systems and structures of injustice. In this collection of resources we share writings and other media from leaders and organizations in the Kairos Center network that help expose this misuse of the Bible and at the same time show how the Bible is full of good things to say about the poor. These resources lift up the organized struggle against injustice as it is presented in the Bible and show how poor people’s struggles throughout history and today are guided by and help to (re)discover the liberatory intent and content of the Bible.
Why does this matter?
In the US, beginning from the earliest contact with European colonizers to the present day, the Bible has been drawn on and twisted to support all manner of evil and injustice. It has been used to justify conquest and genocide, to blame the poor for their poverty, to divide and degrade people, to insight violence and war, and more. In current times we have seen a resurgence and intensification of nationalistic and white supremecist ideas backed by wildly distorted interpretations of Biblical texts. If we hope to overcome the the systemic evils facing our nation and world we must confront and challenge this theology and Biblical understanding, which underpins the (im)moral policies and structures of our society and has emboldened violence, stoked fear, and deepened division across the US and in other parts of the world.
To confront these forces we read the Bible from the perspective of the poor and dispossessed. This perspective helps to make clear that the Bible, taken as a whole, is a collection of stories and lessons from and for poor and oppressed people in their organized fight for a better world and against the forces that violate and kill life. The resources we have collected here have been gathered from poor-folks, workers, artists, movement leaders, scholars, and more. They help discredit the distorted and destructive uses of the Bible, reclaim the power and legacy of the Bible as it has emerged through struggles of the poor, and restore a vision of how community can be built on truth, justice and love.
Using these resources in your community
- Read or watch these resources together with a group in your community and discuss.
- How has the Bible influenced or shaped the response to injustice in your community?
- What are the sources of moral authority in your community?
- Invite some of your local faith communities to use some of the Bible studies or worship materials.
- Lead a month-long study during Advent or Lent with one of the study guides.
- Host a watch party of Freedom Church of the Poor (Sundays, 6pm ET) and follow up with group or one-on-one discussions.
- Follow the Kairos Center on social media to access our latest content.