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The origin and development of the Native Baptists in Jamaica and the influence of their biblical hermeneutic on the 1865 Native Baptist War

By Devon Dick


This study investigates the Native Baptists and the dynamics between their\ud Biblical hermeneutic and the 1865 Native Baptist War. This work outlines, for\ud the first time, the origin, structure and development of the Native Baptists. This\ud study also discerns the main themes of the Native Baptists as equality and justice\ud and their Biblical hermeneutic as a hermeneutic of liberation. The main thesis is\ud that the Native Baptists' interpretation of Scriptures and Scripture -related\ud sources influenced the nature and scope of the 1865 Native Baptist War.\ud To achieve the goals of this study, this writer relied heavily on archival and\ud contemporary documents. One of the major features of this study is that, for the\ud first time, it provides an in-depth analysis of a major original source, which the\ud first Native Baptists wrote about themselves. Another unique feature is the\ud meticulous analysis of Paul Bogle's marked hymns, letter and speech and George\ud William Gordon' s speeches in the House of Assembly.\ud In order to examine and outline the origin, structure and development of the\ud Native Baptists, this writer was informed by the social history of religion\ud approach. And to reflect on their themes and Biblical hermeneutic this writer\ud attributed the use of the Reader -Response approach to the Native Baptists.\ud Using these approaches, this writer discovered, contrary to the dominant position\ud in scholarly writings on Native Baptists, that the Native Baptists were orthodox,\ud well organized, engaged in marches for justice and desired the liberation of the\ud oppressed and the oppressors. This work gives a more accurate picture of who\ud the Native Baptists were and how their interpretation of the Bible and sacred\ud literature contributed to the way things happened in the 1865 Native Baptist War.\ud A further study of the Native Baptists needs to determine if there is a co-relationship\ud between the demise of the Native Baptists' institutional structures\ud and the seeming retreat of present-day Baptists from political activism

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