BOOKS TO HELP YOU DEAL WITH HEBREW ISRAELISM
We have gathered a large amount of resources related to the “Hebrew Israelites” and their theology: websites, video/audio resources, journal articles, dissertations and books. There are no publications dedicated to the modern incarnation of Hebrew Israelitism with its uber-aggressive street “preaching” tactics. No books deal with the recent upsurge in self-publishing, whether it is through books or online materials. No books hash out all the distinctions among the different modern sects. No books give a theological analysis or gospel-based solutions. There are no books which wholly support a biblical approach. However, there are books which support pegs in an overall argument, below are some examples.
BOOKS BY CHRISTIANS WHICH TOUCH ON THE SIGNIFICANT ISSUES
There are Christian books which touch on relevant subjects to countering many Black Hebrew Israelite claims regarding the Sabbath Day ; The Law; The African Church; the black church in the US; bigotry, diversity, and ethnicity. Some books which are helpful in this regard are The Blessing of Africa: The Bible and African Christianity by Keith Augustus Burton; Africa and the Bible by Edwin M. Yamauchi; Beyond Roots: In Search of Blacks in the Bible and Beyond Roots II: If Anybody Ask You Who I Am: A Deeper Look at Blacks in the Bible, both by William Dwight McKissic, Sr.; A History of Christianity in Africa: From Antiquity to the Present by Elizabeth Isichei; How Africa Shaped the Christian Mind: Rediscovering the African Seedbed of Western Christianity by Thomas C. Oden. There are a few online resources as well.
As you can tell, there are no Christian books strictly on the “Hebrew Israelites”. However, there are a few apologetic books which mention them OR discuss them for a few pages: Black Man’s Religion Black Man’s Religion: Can Christianity Be Afrocentric? by Glenn Usry and Craig S. Keener and Urban Apologetics Urban Apologetics: Why the Gospel is Good News for the City by Christopher W. Brooks. There is a demand for this material but very little supply. By God’s grace, we will see a new generation of urban apologists who help rectify this situation soon.
ISSUES CONCERNING BLACK OR URBAN CHRISTIANS (6)
Urban Apologetics: Why the Gospel is Good News for the City – Christopher W. Brooks (2014)
Black Man’s Religion: Can Christianity Be Afrocentric? – Glenn Usry and Craig S. Keener (1996)
How Black is the Gospel? – Tom Skinner (1970)
Beyond Roots: In Search of Blacks in the Bible – William Dwight McKissic, Sr. (1990)
Beyond Roots II: If Anybody Ask You Who I Am: A Deeper Look at Blacks in the Bible – William Dwight McKissic, Sr. and Anthony T. Evans (1994)
Introducing Black Theology: Three Crucial Questions for the Evangelical Church – Bruce L. Fields (2001)
AFRICA IN THE BIBLE AND IN CHRISTIAN HISTORY (3)
The Blessing of Africa: The Bible and African Christianity – Keith Augustus Burton (2007)
Africa and the Bible – Edwin M. Yamauchi (2004)
A History of Christianity in Africa: From Antiquity to the Present – Elizabeth Isichei (1995)
A PRIMER ON THE REAL HISTORY OF THE NATION OF ISRAEL (1)
Israel and the Nations – FF Bruce (1963)
UNDERSTANDING THE LAW AND THE OLD COVENANT (4)
Five Views on Law and Gospel – Stanley Gundry, editor (1999)
What Do Jewish People Think About Jesus? – Michael L. Brown (2007)
40 Questions About Christians and Biblical Law – Thomas R. Schreiner (2010)
From Sabbath to Lord’s Day – DA Carson, editor (1999)
A BIBLICAL VIEW OF PEOPLES AND CULTURES (6)
These next books are all excellent books for getting a biblical perspective on people groups, culture, and ethnicity. These books lay out a biblical anthropology and then apply that to the issues of ethnic divisions in our world. They are helpful in understanding how the Bible (and therefore the Creator) views people and what that means for the church. This is important because “Hebrew Israelites” tend to have an unbiblical view of nations and it shows up in their extremely bigoted view of others.
One Human Family: The Bible, Science, Race and Culture by Carl Wieland and One Race One Blood: The Biblical Answer to Racism by Ken Ham and A. Charles Ware cover some of the same territory but also add an additional help: science. Both books are written by authors with a background in creation science and they apply both Scripture and some basic scientific facts (such as genetics) to issues of people and ethnic groups. These are a unique resource and relate to the implied “Hebrew Israelite” claims about genetics (generally speaking, their apologists only rely on genetics only when they think it supports them).
From Every People and Nation – J. Daniel Hays (2003)
One Race One Blood: The Biblical Answer to Racism – Ken Ham and A. Charles Ware (2010)
Bloodlines: Race, Cross and the Christian – John Piper (2011)
One Human Family: The Bible, Science, Race and Culture – Carl Wieland (2014)
One New Man: The Cross and Racial Reconciliation in Pauline Theology – Jarvis Williams (2010)
Christ and the Dominions of Civilization – Love L. Sechrest (2009)
BOOKS BY ACADEMIC HISTORIANS AND SOCIOLOGISTS
Three standard (or they should be!) works in this field are Chosen People: The Rise of American Black Israelite Religions by Jacob S. Dorman and Thin Description: Ethnography and the African Hebrew Israelites of Jerusalem by John L. Jackson, Jr. are published by Oxford and Harvard, respectively, and are excellent at giving the historical rise of these groups. The latter work even has four pages on “camps”; the names given to different sects of Hebrew Israelites with their separate local chapters. The third book is the encyclopedic Black Judaism: Story of an American Movement by James E. Landing on Carolina Academic Press.
Surprisingly, there is a considerable amount on this subject by non-Christian authors, often by secular black or Jewish scholars. Some are helpful, but none go deep into exegesis. None offer spiritual answers. Hardly any deal with the current adherents who have gained strength the past few decades; the more militant who use street-style tactics and “do-it-yourself” methods more than their forebears. Here are some of this class of book: The Church of God and Saints of Christ: The Rise of Black Jews by Elly M. Wynia; Brother Love: Murder, Money and a Messiah by Sydney P. Freedberg; Black Jews in Africa and the Americas by Tudor Parfitt; The New Ship of Zion: Dynamic Diaspora Dimensions of the African Hebrew Israelites of Jerusalem by Martina Koenighofer; The Black Jews of Africa: History, Religion, Identity by Edith Bruder.
BOOKS BY “HEBREW ISRAELITE” AUTHORS
Most books written from the “Hebrew Israelite” perspective are not professional. Still, these writings represent the group’s (varied) beliefs on key matters. Many are self-published; some are only digital books. Other books are not “Hebrew Israelite” authors proper but are either friendly towards their positions or have been co-opted by their apologists. A great example is Satan’s Angels Exposed by Arabic Christian Salem Kirban. The book was even distributed by Pentecostal evangelist Morris Cerrullo. Yet, it is in the online resource library of a “Hebrew Israelite” group known as The Gathering of Christ’s Church (see video below for some BHI insider recommends).
A few books by “Hebrew Israelites” of the more explicit variety include The Power to Define: God, The Black Man and Truth by Ben Ammi and especially Hebrew Israelites for Dummies: The Family of Messiah by “The Judahite”. The latter is poorly type-set and difficult to read due to its extremely “helter skelter” layout. Even though it is not very systematic, it does cover the big issues most important to the modern “Hebrew Israelite” and has a liberal dose of graphics, picture and even Internet memes – it is a very visual book and that makes it helpful. By far the closest I have seen to a “Hebrew Israelite” systematic theology is The Hebrew Israelite Manifesto: Operation, Let My People Go! by Prophet Travis Refuge. It’s over 300 pages and laid out in a reasonably logical step-by-step fashion.
Notable publications by “allied” authors are: From Babylon to Timbuktu: A History of Ancient Black Races by Rudolph R. Windsor; Lost Tribes and Promised Lands: The Origins of American Racism by Ronald Sanders and We The Black Jews: Witness to the “White Jewish Race” Myth by Yosef ben-Jochannan. These books are the most frequently recommended books on “Hebrew Israelite” affiliated websites – they are close to standard works and many members have read at least one. They give the members a basic vision of world history. However, they are older and do not represent some of the contemporary nuances in the movement the past decade.
BOOKS BY EX-MEMBERS
A small but important class of book – these all-too-brief ones by ex-members: A Burden Has Been Lifted by Frede’ Rica; Israel’s Secret Cult: The Incredible Story of a Former Member of the African Hebrew Israelites of Jerusalem by Mahaleyah Goodman; Why I Abandoned the Hebrew Israelite Religion by Hannah Spivey. One more book of this type is My ID … Ignant & Dissfunkshunal! A Memoir: Life in the Yahweh Cult and the Witness Protection Program by Khalil Amani weighs in at a whopping 372 pages!
BOOKS BY AUTHORS WHO HAVE STUDIED GENETICS RELATED TO JEWS
These last books touch on genetics but in a much more in-depth way and from a non-Christian (but still helpful) perspective. Legacy: A Genetic History of the Jewish People by Harry Ostrer, Abraham’s Children: Race, Identity, and the DNA of the Chosen People by Jon Entine and Jacob’s Legacy: A Genetic View of Jewish History by David B. Goldstein are secular academic and stellar works which give the actual science and genetic studies which – if properly synthesized and applied – will refute many of the “Hebrew Israelite” claims about who and who isn’t a physical descendant of Abraham.
Book Reviews: Vocab Malone often leaves mini-reviews on Amazon. This as a public service of sorts: people looking into this will know what is good and what is bad, or at least they will have a warning or endorsement. People can also comment on Amazon reviews, so it is a way for adherents to engage and defend or critique the book. Simply look for book reviews by VOCAB MALONE.