Palestine: The Bible is Not a Baton

A Palestinian pastor throws an intellectual hand grenade into the body of knowledge on Palestine/Israel.

Sam Bahour
7 min readSep 15, 2023


Dr. Rev. Mitri Raheb

The opening line of Decolonizing Palestine: The Land, the People, the Bible says it all: “For Palestinians, including the Palestinian Christian community, Palestine is a real land with real people.” It seems self-evident, but in a time when more people are in love with some majestic idea of Israel/Palestine rather than the real Israel/Palestine, it needs to be reiterated. This short read debunks many falsehoods that have taken root in parts of the Christian community over time and have been kept alive by constant watering by the State of Israel and the Zionist movement.

This latest contribution to the body of knowledge on Palestine/Israel reads like an intellectual hand grenade — an argument in a steel encasing, divided into bite-size pieces of the core elements of the Palestinian’s struggle for justice and freedom. When this unique publication is released, it will witness an impact bound to spread far and wide, causing disarray in many corners of the Church.

Who wrote and is throwing this incendiary device into the discourse? None other than Dr. Rev. Mitri Raheb, a Palestinian public figure, pastor and theologian, author, social entrepreneur, and friend.

Decolonizing Palestine: The Land, The People, The Bible
By: Mitri Raheb
Orbis Books (2023), $24.00, Pages: 184

Dr. Rev. Raheb is a one-of-a-kind Palestinian. He is the Founder and President of Dar al-Kalima University in Bethlehem and co-founder of Bright Stars of Bethlehem in the USA. A widely published Palestinian theologian, Rev. Raheb served as the senior pastor of the Christmas Lutheran Church in Bethlehem from June 1987 to May 2017 and as the President of the Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land from 2011–2016. Among other involvements, he is a founding member and author of Kairos Palestine.

As he states at the outset, “This book is not the theoretical exercise of a theologian living in an ivory tower. The issues at stake in this book pose an existential question to the Palestinian people in general and the Palestinian Christians in…