Bible References in Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” Speech

Today is the 48th anniversary of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s famous “I Have a Dream” speech. Like many of King’s speeches and sermons, it contains numerous references to Bible passages.

Here’s the speech (see also a text transcript):

Did you catch the quotes from these Bible verses?

  • 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….”

King makes more subtle references to at least two other Bible passages as well. Did you notice these?

  • 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.”

If you’re interested in the Biblical foundations of King’s fight against injustice, see our earlier post about Bible passages used in Martin Luther King, Jr’s speeches and sermons.

Related posts:

  1. The Bible passages behind Martin Luther King, Jr.’s message
  2. In praise of the King James Bible
  3. Appreciating the King James Bible, 400 years later
  4. King James Verse of the Day and email reading plan now available!

Posted by Andy

Filed under History