By Oswald Sobrino, J.D.; M.A. (Econ.); M.A. (Theo.); M.L. (Master of Latin), doctoral student, University of Florida.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Let My People Go

A Negro church in a corn [i.e. cotton] field, ...Image by The Library of Congress via Flickr
Recently, I described my way of approaching the Synoptic Gospels in a coherent framework, namely, to view them as fulfilling the Exodus (or New Exodus) theme of the Hebrew Bible, with Jesus as the definitive New Moses, greater than the old Moses, definitively ushering in the rule of God (see Related articles below).

The thought came to me that an old Negro spiritual can contain more insight into the panorama of salvation history dramatized in the pageantry of the canonical books of the Bible than many a learned tome full of arcane quotations in Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek, or German. How ironic and how fitting that an expression of faith by slaves can be a very good and often superior summa of the Bible. I think the Man of the Gospels would have liked that reversal.

When Israel was in Egypt's land: Let my people go,
Oppress'd so hard they could not stand, Let my People go.
Go down, Moses,
Way down in Egypt land,
Tell old Pharaoh,
Let my people go.
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