His scholarly work helped lift the presence of black people in the Bible.
Cain Hope Felder was an American biblical scholar who served as the editor of The Journal of Religious Thought at the Howard University School of Divinity and also as the professor of New Testament language and literature.
As reported by ChristianityToday, he was among the first scholars who analyzed both the testaments of the Bible and researched to find the way in which black people were mentioned in the book. According to his works, "In fact, the Bible contains no narrative in which the original intent was to negate the full humanity of black people or view blacks in an unfavorable way. Such negative attitudes about black people are entirely postbiblical."
He writes: “Black people are not only frequently mentioned but are also mentioned in ways that are favorable in terms of acknowledging their actual and potential role in the salvation history of Israel.”
He claimed that Jesus would most likely be black in modern America, and would not at all look like the ones portrayed by Hollywood. "We do not accept the fact that they have to look like white Hollywood stars," he said in an interview. Adding that Jesus and his parents would in all probability be a "mixed stock of people, certainly with African ancestry."
His scholarly works talked about the ways in which the religious texts were read and interpreted to erase the significance of black people from history. He challenged the stereotypes and raised questions against the prevalent image of God and presented evidence to support his views. He passed away at the age of 76 but his contributions would never be forgotten.