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-The Black Mark of Cain

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INTRODUCTION

There are several theories involving the mark given by
God to Cain to protect him after he killed his brother Abel.
This “mark” has been the subject of speculation for centuries
and especially in recent years with movies, books and TV
shows using it as their subject. The theories are all quite
different, some being logical, others harmless fantasies and
one in particular that has proved very harmful to the human
race. This seminar does not seek to divine what the “mark”
actually was, for the writer himself is not sure, but it does by
citing all evidence and facts try to challenge or disprove that
theory which is still causing damage today, even by the tiny
minority who teach it.
Firstly we must ensure that the subject matter is
available and worthy of examination. Taking the Bible
literally, metaphorically or figuratively is a subject for
another seminar but we find in the works of Timothy a literal
invitation to study the words of God: “study to show thyself
approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be
ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of Truth” (2 Tim.2:15).
And also: “all scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is
profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for
instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be
perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works” (2
Tim.3:16-17). Thus we have full approval to study and
dispute this theory.

WHAT THE BIBLE SAYS

The exact Biblical translation of the dialogue between
Cain and God naturally varies between each version of the
Bible. Here are the three most prominent editions.

“Cain then said to Yahweh, 'My punishment is greater than I
can bear. Look, today you drive me from the surface of the
earth. I must hide from you, and be a restless wanderer on
earth. Why, whoever comes across me will kill me!'
'Very well, then,' Yahweh replied, 'whoever kills Cain will
suffer a sevenfold vengeance.' So Yahweh put a mark on
Cain, so that no one coming across him would kill him.” (The
New Jerusalem Bible GENESIS 4:13- 4:15)
.
And the LORD said unto him, Therefore whosoever slayeth
Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold. And the
LORD set a mark upon Cain, lest any finding him should kill
him.” (The King James Bible GENESIS 4:14- 4:15)

“Then the Lord said to him, “Not so! Whoever kills Cain will
suffer a sevenfold vengeance.” And the Lord put a mark on
Cain, so that no one who came upon him would kill him.”
(The New Revised Standard Bible Genesis 4:14 – 4:15)

As we can see the versions are all really quite similar. The
actual word translated as “mark” is ‘owth which could mean
a sign, an omen, a warning or a remembrance. This covers
almost everything making the mark impossible to identify,
for it may have been visible or invisible, material or spiritual,
hereditary or reserved only for Cain.

THE BLACK MARK THEORY

The harmful theory in question is that the sign made by
God was the color black branded on Cain, making him the
ancestor of all the coloured peoples. This belief holds sway in
various protestant churches and among a tiny minority of
people with in the Catholic Church. Most other religions as
well as atheists and agnostics dismiss this theory as illogical
and racist.

-PROTESTANT

The protestant congregations take their argument from
the King James Bible translation. “But unto Cain and to his
offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and
his countenance fell. And the LORD said unto Cain, Why art
thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen?” Genesis
4:5-4:6) The argument is that the words “countenance
fallen” signify that he turned black. However the word
“countenance” in English means the face “he had an evil
countenance”, though it comes from the French word
“contenir” meaning behavior and then from the Latin word
“continentia” meaning restraint or control. None of these
meanings can possibly mean the changing of the color of the
entire body. They may mean a changing in the face and a
change in behavior but certainly not a coloured change or an
entire body change. These racist interpretations of scripture
did not exist before European colonization. The Baptists and
other protestant groups were the first missionaries to most
of the black countries and it became part of their Doctrine to
refuse the ordination of any Black people and also gave
them the “right” to use them as slaves. Further “revelations”
within these groups, primarily the Mormons, further
supported the damning doctrine and it was not until 1970’s
that the doctine was removed from all protestant
catechisms.

-CATHOLIC

The Catholic Church has never supported slavery in any form
and was one of the foremost religions in the fair treatment of
these people and the election of colored people into the
Church. However there is still a minority of Catholics who
have an argument for the “black mark of Cain”
Unlike the protestant divisions, the Catholics have no
Biblical evidence to support their argument. They merely
interpret the “mark” as being black but this is an assumption
and an attitude that could actually mean that the mark was
any color, as the color of the first people’s skin is never
described.
The next argument is that which cites a quote from an
early day saint and doctor of the Church, Ephrem the Syrian
(306-378). In his book “A Commentary on Genesis” Saint
Ephrem writes “Abel was as light as light itself and Cain was
as dark as dark itself”. As an argument for the black mark of
Cain this is yet another piece of “evidence” which is not
evidence. This phrase in the commentary is written BEFORE
Cain killed Abel, so obviously this could not have been
referring to the Mark. Ephrem was talking about the
brothers’ characters or personalities. Abel was as good as
goodness itself, and Cain as bad as badness itself. If he were
truly talking about color then in the eyes of the unscientific
Ephrem Abel would have been bright yellow!
The third and most racist argument circulated by these
people is taken from the private revelations of Blessed Anne
Catherine Emmerich (1774-1824) and contained in her book
“The Dolorous Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ according to
the Meditations of Anne Catherine Emmerich”. "Cain's
posterity gradually became colored. Ham's children also
were browner than those of Shem. The nobler races were
always of a lighter color. They who were distinguished by a
particular mark engendered children of the same stamp; and
as corruption increased, the mark also increased until at last
it covered the whole body, and people became darker and
darker. But yet in the beginning there were no people
perfectly black; they became so only by degrees" [12]. In the
first place the passage contradicts one of the main
arguments of the Catholics for the black mark. To explain
the many varying degrees of color across the world their
argument is that Cain was originally black but the color was
“watered down” through the years by intermarriage to thus
come to the present situation with reds, yellows, and a
thousand different shades of black and brown. But Emmerich
says that Cain’s descendants got BLACKER as they
committed more sin and not lighter. It is irrational to only
believe in half of what a person writes, if the reader beliefs
that what Emmerich writes is fact regarding the mark then
he must therefore also agree in what she says about the
color getting lighter. Therefore they contradict themselves
and must either drop Emmerich as evidence or find some
other explanation for the different shades.
Using Emmerich as Catholic evidence is also flawed as
these words come from PRIVATE revelation. A saint or
blessed person is made so because they lived a holy life.
What they wrote down in books as their own opinion or as
private revelation has no impact on their status as saint,
unless it goes against doctrine. In the Catholic Church there
is a significant difference between private revelation and
public revelation. Catholics are required to accept and
believe in public revelation but there is no such attachment
to private revelation. Anyway can have a supposed
“revelation” and it will not be condemned by the Church
unless it goes directly against Catholic Doctrine. It will
remain unapproved, and all of Emmerich’s revelations are
unapproved.

SUPPORTING ARGUMENTS

-THE CURSE OF CAIN AND THE FLOOD

Another argument dismissing this theory lies in the
treatment of the Curse of Cain, if the mark was hereditary
then it is even more plausible that the curse was. The “Curse
of Cain” refers to the passage “'What have you done?'
Yahweh asked. 'Listen! Your brother's blood is crying out to
me from the ground. Now be cursed and banned from the
ground that has opened its mouth to receive your brother's
blood at your hands. When you till the ground it will no
longer yield up its strength to you. A restless wanderer you
will be on earth.' (New Jerusalem bible Genesis 4:10-4:12)
However many black people all over the word are farmers
and it was for this very purpose that the slavery market was
instituted. Also how did the Mark survive the flood? Only the
righteous man Noah and his sons where allowed to live.
According to the arguments Cain’s descendants where all
evil, not to be redeemed till Christ came, so the “blackness”
could not have survive the flood.

-PEOPLE BEARING THE BRAND

By the Catholic’s argument all colored people come
from Cain. Jesus came from the Middle East so was therefore
not the tall, elegant, light skinned, blue eyed individual as
portrayed in western society. The average Semite at the
time of Christ was only about 5’1 with olive skin and dark
hair matching dark eyes. By taking the argument that all
colored people came from Cain then not only the 56,000
Africa Black saints (in groups), from the early church, but the
hundreds since then all over the world including St Anthony
the Great, St Augustine, St Monica, St Martin De Porres, as
well as 3 African popes, the current 47 colored cardinals and
Jesus Christ himself are all descendants of Cain.

-THE SIGN OF A CURSED RACE

The last scattered argument is that the black people
are obviously descendants of Cain as they are “cursed”.
Most colored nations are in third World countries. They
survive in poverty and misery; they depend on the
missionaries for the word of God and live in constant strife
and fear. Yet the most Catholic countries in the world are
these countries. Many of them have fallen into disrepair
because of the white man. The drunken aboriginals in
Australia, the dying soldiers in Cuba and the starving people
of India were all in some way destroyed by the white man
and have come to their present situation because of them.

-WHERE DOES BLACK SKIN COME FROM?

It is no accident that black people are in these
equatorial countries, they were not banished there as having
the mark of Cain but anyone who lived in those countries
would gradually have become dark skinned. The more of the
skin pigment melanin a person has, the darker they are and
the colder the climate the less melanin produced. However
this is just a general rule, due to the migration of people in
different stages of history light skinned groups have
managed to survive at the equator by way of social
adaptation. The same can be said of dark skinned groups
living at subtropical latitudes. However their ancestors would
have lived in regions suitable for their skin.

CONCLUSION
In conclusion we see that the theory that the black people
are doomed and cursed with the Mark of Cain can be easily
condemned. However unfortunately the people who have
taught this theory and are still teaching it have caused
terrible damage. The treatment of blacks today in Australia
and Africa and indeed all over the world had been influenced
by this theory. The cruelty experienced by the black slaves
and the mindless killing of the Indians and aboriginals have
come from those of the “nobler race”. Even more tragic has
been the great loss of souls, what person could allow himself
to enter a religion where he is despised merely because of a
theory that he is a descendant of the first murderer. How
could a just God take a huge race of people and set them
apart as evil? The poorer less educated Africans and other
colored people would have been confused and lost and felt
helpless against a curse they could never escape. Perhaps
they are not the ones who are cursed.
It has been the white nations who have enslaved
thousands of people, caused world wars, committed the
greatest atrocities in history by the death camps and who
allow abortion, euthanasia and divorce to run rampant in
their countries. We sell our global warming agendas, ruin
economies with our greed and silence our people with “free
speech”. Those in the third world countries may be
materialistically poor but when it is a matter of morality, that
which Cain lacked, then it is certainly the white people who
are the cursed ones.
The argument is false, the “evidence” miss quoted and
the final “conclusion” of the Mark being black is as likely as
the Mark being of any other color. It is simply a cruel, racist
argument contrived by those who do not understand the
main principles of Christianity and use it to degrade the less
fortunate of this world. God does not show favoritism."
(Romans 2:11) and he “And hath made of one blood all
nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth” (Ac
17:26). We are all equal of the eyes of God, and so it should
be in the eyes of man too.
There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave
nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in
Christ Jesus. (Galatians 3:28)

By
Carmel Reeves