The Bible and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Fifty-eight years ago, USA civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. helped organize the 1963 March on Washington, DC, where he delivered his famous I Have a Dream speech, in which he included several biblical references:
- Amos 5:24 (NIV): “But let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream!”
- Isaiah 40:4-5 (KJV): “Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain….”
- Psalm 30:5 (NIV): “…weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.”
- Galatians 3:28 (NIV): “There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”
Here’s a transcript of “I Have a Dream,” and you can watch it below:
Read the following Bible Gateway Blog posts, in which we examine the Bible verses and themes that permeate Dr. King’s most famous public addresses:
- The Bible Passages Behind Martin Luther King Jr.’s Message—a look at biblical imagery in some of Dr. King’s most famous sermons.
- Why Didn’t They Stop? Martin Luther King Jr. on the Parable of the Good Samaritan—Dr. King’s take on one of Jesus’ most convicting parables.
Delve deeper into the topics of race, ethnicity, and justice in the Bible by signing up for Bible Gateway’s two-week devotional Fearfully and Wonderfully Made: A Devotion About Race and Ethnicity. It walks through key Bible passages that inform our understanding of race, racism, and God’s love for all of humanity. Click to sign up.
January is also National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month. Deepen your understanding of God’s heart for justice by signing up to receive Encountering the God of Justice, the free 7-day email devotional from International Justice Mission (the global organization that protects people in poverty from violence). Dig deeper into Scripture and hear real stories of redemption and rescue from survivors of human trafficking.
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