Sojourner Truth, an Introduction
by Dianne D. McDonnell
(or Sojourner Truth and Understanding the Bible)
Sojourner Truth was a freed slave in the 1800’s and could not read or write. She was a zealous Christian, and eventually, also a Sabbath keeper. She wanted to hear what the Bible said, but she wanted only what was written. When she asked adults to repeat what they had just read they always launched into their own ideas. She wanted only the words themselves repeated, so she found that children were her best readers as they repeated as often as necessary and didn’t add their own words.
Do we sometimes let people explain away what the Bible says? I like her way of thinking. Let the Bible speak for itself! Yet there are two additional steps to fully understanding what is being said when it seems a bit confusing or seems to be contradicting another verse.
First step: understand the context, which starts with reading all of what was written in that passage. Then look at the time frame, and where the action was happening.
Secondly: check on the accuracy of that verse’s translation which was a step not available to Sojourner Truth, but is a luxury we have available to us today. With software like PC Study Bible, we can check how accurately a verse is translated. Englishman’s Search is useful to see how the same word is translated in other places in the Bible. Both content and translation accuracy are vital to fully understanding some of the more difficult passages. Sojourner Truth wanted accuracy, truthfulness, and understanding. So do we!
Dianne McDonnell is the founder of Freedom Ministry.