Rare Bible Justifying Slavery Now on Display in DC

A rare Bible used to justify slavery, one of only three known copies, is now on display in D.C. 

Known as a "slave Bible," the 212-year-old book that can be found at the Museum of the Bible was used to justify human bondage and mollify slaves in the British West Indies during the 19th century. 

This version of the Bible highlights some passages and axed others. The book was originally published in London in 1807 and was handed out by a missionary group.

"They removed portions that could inspire hope for liberation," said Seth Pollinger, a museum director. 

While guests can't flip through the book, they can see multiple scriptures from the Bible. 

"One of the references here is to Ephesians 6: 'Servants, be obedient to them ... that are your masters, as one in the flesh as onto Christ,'" Pollinger said.

Beyond scripture, the slave Bible does not include the book of Psalms and other stories of deliverance.

The exhibit was curated to help visitors cope with the emotions they may feel as they see it. 

The Bible is set to be on display through April, in collaboration with the Smithsonian and Fisk University, a historically black institution. 

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