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Is God Black?

God is often depicted as an elderly white man with a flowing beard, but is that really what He looks like? In recent years, the question of God’s skin color has become a topic of debate. Some point to Jesus and his physical characteristics in accordance with historical accuracy. Others believe that the true essence of God transcends race and physicality. This article will explore the evidence available to determine if God is black, drawing from biblical texts, historical context, and theological interpretation.

Does God have a color?

No, God does not have a color, as God is spiritual in form. While humans take a physical form, God is not bound by matter, so He does not appear the same way as humans. The Bible does not describe God as having a physical form but as existing beyond the material and physical limitations of the world. As such, God does not carry color attributes.

Consider John 4:24, which states, “God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” This verse emphasizes that God’s essence is spiritual rather than physical, highlighting the belief that God exists beyond human conceptions of matter and form. Furthermore, God is above time (2 Peter 3:8), above space (Jeremiah 23:24), and above matter (Colossians 1:16-17).

When God was still on earth with mankind (from the Garden of Eden until 400 years before the New Testament), He often appeared as fire and the accompanying colors of fire, as displayed in Exodus 3:4-8 and Exodus 19:18-20. In 1 Kings 19:11-13, God appeared as a low whisper after a fire.

Additionally, when God came to the Tabernacle in the Wilderness, it was His (Shekinah) glory that covered the meeting tent of the Tabernacle in Exodus 40:34-35. Here’s the full verse:

“Then the cloud covered the tent of meeting, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. And Moses was not able to enter the tent of meeting because the cloud had settled on it, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle.”

At the dedication of Solomon’s Temple, as recorded in 1 Kings 8:10-11, God appeared as a cloud. Here’s the full verse:

“And when the priests came out of the Holy Place, a cloud filled the house of the Lord, so that the priests could not stand to minister because of the cloud, for the glory of the Lord filled the house of the Lord.”

As you can see, God does not appear as a color but in physical manifestations that humans are not capable of, often as a burning bush, a whisper, or a cloud. Often His spirit appears as light. Even Jesus said in John 14:6, “I am the way, the truth, and the light…” When the Holy Spirit came to settle on the apostles, He appeared as “tongues of fire” according to Acts 2:3-4.

God appears as a presence, not as a definable color; He’s invisible. Consider 1 Timothy 6:16, “who alone is immortal and who lives in unapproachable light, whom no one has seen or can see…” God is light, and light often appears white to humans but can appear as many other colors depending on the wavelengths. However, this is not white like a skin tone but more the absence of color. As such, God is beyond color.

What race is God?

While God chose a favorite people, He never stated that He was like those people. Instead, God transcends human categories of race, ethnicity, and other physical characteristics, including color. However, as we are created in God’s image and likeness, the description goes far beyond the color of skin, instead showing we are all in the same form as God, not the same skin tone.

Everyone in the world is part of the same race, the human race. Instead, we are made in God’s likeness and image in a different manner than in the color of our flesh. In Hebrew, the word image comes from the word “צֶלֶם” (tselem), which refers to a non-physical resemblance or representation. Instead, humans are a reflection of God’s character and attributes in a non-physical, spiritual, or functional sense.

Furthermore, the word likeness in Ancient Hebrew was “דְּמוּת” (demuth), which reinforces the concept of image by emphasizing the idea of being like God in certain capacities or attributes, such as moral awareness, rationality, and the ability to relate to others. These words do not point to physical attributes, leading us even further away from describing God as taking on any human characteristics.

Next, the Bible emphasizes the universality of God’s relationship with all of humanity, instead of Him associating with one specific racial group or ethnic group. While in the Old Testament, God chose the Israelites as His people, this was because following every race would have led to far too long a set of scriptures! Following only the Israelites allowed God to focus the Bible on His desire to share His instructions with us. If God had written about every race, the Bible would have grown in size by the thousands!

Does the Bible say Jesus was Black?

The Bible does not provide a detailed physical description of Jesus Christ, including His skin color. This has led to different interpretations and depictions of Jesus’ appearance throughout history. Most likely, He would have taken on the characteristics of His earthly family, such as olive or brown skin from His Mother Mary, who was of Asian descent like all Israelites. He would have had dark hair and eyes more than likely too.

It’s important to remember that the Bible emphasizes Jesus’ divine nature and His teachings rather than His physical appearance. The Bible focuses on Jesus’ message of love, compassion, and salvation, rather than His ethnicity or appearance. Therefore, the Bible does not explicitly state that Jesus was black, white, or any other race. Instead, it encourages believers to focus on Jesus’ teachings and strive to live according to His example.

What do we know about God?

God is often described as transcendent, meaning God exists beyond the limitation of the material universe. He is also described as all-powerful, all-knowing, and present everywhere, and immanent, which means He is involved in and cares for the world and its people. Here are some scriptures for each:


  • Psalm 147:5: “Great is our Lord and mighty in power; his understanding has no limit.”
  • Hebrews 4:13: “Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.”


  • Psalm 139:7-10: “Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.”
  • Jeremiah 23:24: “Can anyone hide in secret places so that I cannot see them?” declares the LORD. “Do not I fill heaven and earth?” declares the LORD.


  • Genesis 18:14: “Is anything too hard for the LORD? I will return to you at the appointed time next year, and Sarah will have a son.”
  • Revelation 19:6: “Then I heard what sounded like a great multitude, like the roar of rushing waters and like loud peals of thunder, shouting: ‘Hallelujah! For our Lord God Almighty reigns.'”


  • Acts 17:27-28: “God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us. ‘For in him we live and move and have our being.’ As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.'”
  • Colossians 1:17: “He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.”

Moreover, we know God is a spirit (John 4:24) instead of a physical being. We also know God is eternal (James 1:17), unchanging (Malachi 3:6), has a plan for the world (Jeremiah 29:11), and for its people (Ephesians 1:11). The Bible goes on to tell us of God’s love (John 3:16), justice (Deuteronomy 32:4), mercy (Ephesians 2:4-5), and holiness (Isaiah 6:3).

In summary, the biblical portrayal of God encompasses His supreme power, presence, knowledge, moral purity, justice, and boundless love and mercy. These attributes are woven throughout the narrative of the Bible, revealing a God who is both transcendent and imminently involved in the world and the lives of those He has created.

What Really Matters?

The essence of God, as described in the Bible, is characterized by His love, justice, mercy, compassion, and faithfulness. These attributes are evident throughout the Old and New Testaments and are central to understanding God’s nature. God is known not by His physical attributes but by spiritual attributes such as His character and the relationship He seeks with humanity.

Beyond God’s attributes, the biblical perspective suggests that God’s understanding and perspective transcend human comprehension, encapsulating the entirety of existence across time and space. This divine transcendence means that God perceives the grand tapestry of creation, history, and individual lives in its entirety, whereas humans are only capable of discerning fragments or ‘tiny puzzle pieces’ of the vast mosaic of reality.

Scriptures such as Isaiah 55:8-9 underscore this profound difference between God’s ways and human understanding: ‘For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,’ declares the LORD. ‘As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.’ This passage emphasizes the immense gap between God’s infinite wisdom and the finite human perspective.

In this context, faith involves trusting in God’s vision and wisdom, even when individual circumstances might appear perplexing or challenging. The biblical call to trust in God despite limited understanding is rooted in Proverbs 3:5-6: ‘Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.’ This trust is based on the belief that God, with His transcendent wisdom and love, is steering the course of events towards a good and just conclusion, even if the full picture remains beyond human grasp.


In conclusion, the question of whether God is Black transcends physical descriptions, as God is not a physical being but a spiritual one. Instead of focusing on His physical attributes, we need to emphasize His spiritual qualities, such as love, justice, mercy, and holiness. Thinking of God in human form detracts from His more significant attributes that truly matter, such as His sovereignty and His love for us.”

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