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The Bible is an ancient collection of sacred texts that provide guidance and insight into many aspects of life, including the complex issue of slavery. The Bible contains verses that both condone and condemn slavery, depending on the circumstances, and it also provides guidance on how to treat slaves humanely. This article will explore some of the Bible’s passages about slavery and their implications.”And you shall not rule over him ruthlessly but you shall fear your God. Both your male and female slaves whom you shall have, shall be of the nations that are round about you; of them shall you buy slaves. Moreover, of the children of the strangers who sojourn among you, of them you may buy and of their families that are with you, which they begat in your land; and they shall become your property. And you may will them to your sons after you, to inherit as a possession forever; of them may you take your slaves forever. But over your brethren the children of Israel, you shall not rule one over another with rigor.” -Leviticus 25:43-46

Slavery in the Bible

The Bible is one of the oldest texts in existence, and it contains a wealth of information about slavery. Slavery is mentioned numerous times in both the Old and New Testaments, with references to slavery in nearly every book of the Bible. While there are different interpretations of what exactly is meant by slavery in the Bible, it is clear that it was an accepted part of life at the time.

In the Old Testament, slavery was seen as a way to support oneself and one’s family. People could buy and sell slaves as a means of providing for their family. Slavery could also be used as a form of punishment for certain crimes. The law even stipulated that some slaves should be freed after seven years, although this was not always followed.

In the New Testament, Jesus speaks out against slavery several times. He encourages his followers to treat slaves with respect, and he warns against mistreating them. He also emphasizes that slaves should not be mistreated simply because they are slaves, but rather they should be treated as people worthy of respect and kindness.

It is important to note that while slavery does exist in the Bible, it is not endorsed by God or Jesus. In fact, Jesus encourages his followers to treat all people with respect and kindness regardless of their status or social class. The Bible does not condone or condemn slavery; instead, it provides guidance on how to treat those who are enslaved.

Old Testament Verses on Slavery

The Old Testament of the Bible contains numerous references to slavery and the regulations surrounding it. Many of these verses describe how slaves should be treated and outline certain rights for them, including protection from unjust treatment. Some of the key passages in the Old Testament regarding slavery include:

  • Exodus 21:20-21 – “When a man strikes his slave, male or female, with a rod and the slave dies under his hand, he shall be punished. But if the slave survives a day or two, he is not to be punished; for he is his money.”
  • Leviticus 25:39-43 – “If your brother becomes poor beside you and sells himself to you, you shall not make him serve as a slave: He shall be with you as a hired worker and as a sojourner. He shall serve with you until the year of jubilee. Then he shall go out from you, he and his children with him, and go back to his own clan and return to the possession of his fathers. For they are my servants, whom I brought out of the land of Egypt; they shall not be sold as slaves. You shall not rule over him ruthlessly but shall fear your God.”
  • Deuteronomy 15:12-18 – “If your brother, a Hebrew man or a Hebrew woman, is sold to you, he shall serve you six years; but in the seventh year you shall set him free… You shall furnish him liberally out of your flock and out of your threshing floor and out of your wine press; as Yahweh your God has blessed you, you shall give to him.
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These verses show that in ancient times there were laws in place to protect slaves from being treated unjustly or cruelly by their masters. They also provide guidelines for how long someone should remain enslaved before they can be released from servitude. Additionally, these passages demonstrate that slaves were given certain rights such as being provided for liberally by their masters and having access to religious practices such as attending festivals or keeping holy days.

New Testament Verses on Slavery

The New Testament includes many verses related to slavery and its implications. Ephesians 6:5-9 is one of the main passages on slavery in the New Testament, which speaks of slaves being obedient to their masters. Colossians 3:22–25 similarly speaks of slaves being obedient to their masters and faithfully serving them with all respect. 1 Timothy 6:1-2 further commands slaves to obey their masters in all things, not just with eyeservice, as if they were only watching them, but with sincerity of heart and reverence for the Lord.

In addition, 1 Peter 2:18-20 emphasizes the importance of submission by slaves to their masters—even if their masters are harsh or unfair—in order to win them over through good behavior. Titus 2:9-10 advises slaves to be obedient and respectful so that they are a “credit” to the teaching about God’s grace.

The New Testament also speaks against injustice in relation to slavery. For instance, Philemon 1:8-16 tells the story of a runaway slave who had been wronged by his master and Paul was urging his master, Philemon, to forgive him and take him back as a beloved brother rather than a slave. It also instructs believers not to wrong or exploit any fellow believer who is a slave (Colossians 4:1).

The New Testament also emphasizes God’s love for all people—including slaves—and calls believers to treat everyone with love (Galatians 3:28) and show kindness (Ephesians 4:32). Moreover, it states that in Christ there is no distinction between slave or free (Colossians 3:11) and that everyone is equal before God (Galatians 3:28). It also gives instructions about how believers should treat those in slavery fairly and justly (Exodus 21:20-21; Leviticus 25:39-43; Deuteronomy 15:12-18).

Biblical Passages on Slavery

The Bible contains many passages regarding slavery, as it was a part of life in ancient times. It can be argued that the Bible does not condone slavery, but instead provides instructions on how to treat slaves fairly and justly.

In Exodus 21:20-27, God outlines the rules for owning slaves. It states that if a man purchases a Hebrew slave, he shall serve for six years and then be released free. If the slave wishes to stay with his master, he is to be pierced in the ear with an awl as a sign of his commitment.

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The book of Leviticus goes even further in regulating slavery by teaching that if a slave is mistreated by his master, he must be set free without any payment (Leviticus 25:39-43). It also states that masters must not mistreat their slaves or take advantage of them (Leviticus 19:20).

The New Testament also contains many references to slavery, including passages from Paul’s letters encouraging slaves to obey their masters (Ephesians 6:5-9; Colossians 3:22-25) and advising masters to treat their slaves well and with respect (Colossians 4:1; Ephesians 6:9).

In conclusion, while it can be argued that the Bible does not condone slavery outright, it does provide instructions on how one should treat slaves justly and fairly. By following these instructions, owners and masters can ensure that their slaves are treated humanely and respectfully.

Bible Quotes on Slavery

The Bible contains various references to the institution of slavery, both in Old and New Testaments. Although the Bible does not explicitly forbid slavery, it does provide guidance on how slaves should be treated. Here are some of the key Bible quotes on slavery:

Old Testament:
• Leviticus 25:44-46: “Your male and female slaves are to come from the nations around you; from them you may buy slaves. You may also buy some of the temporary residents living among you and members of their clans born in your country, and they will become your property. You can will them to your children as inherited property and can make them slaves for life, but you must not rule over your fellow Israelites ruthlessly.”

• Exodus 21:20-21: “If a man beats his male or female slave with a rod and the slave dies as a direct result, he must be punished, but he is not to be punished if the slave gets up after a day or two, since the slave is his property.”

• Deuteronomy 15:12-18: “If any of your people—Hebrew men or women—sell themselves to you and serve you six years, in the seventh year you must let them go free. And when you release them, do not send them away empty-handed. Supply them liberally from your flock, your threshing floor and your winepress. Give to them as the Lord your God has blessed you. Remember that you were slaves in Egypt and the Lord your God redeemed you…”

New Testament:
• Ephesians 6:5-9: “Slaves, obey your earthly masters with respect and fear, and with sincerity of heart, just as you would obey Christ. Obey them not only to win their favor when their eye is on you but like slaves of Christ…And masters, treat your slaves in the same way.”

• Colossians 3:22-25: “Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything; and do it not only when their eye is on you and to curry their favor but with sincerity of heart out of respect for the Lord. Whatever you do work at it with all your heart as working for the Lord…And masters, treat your slaves in the same way.”

What Does the Bible Say about Slavery?

The Bible addresses slavery in several ways, most notably by providing a set of laws and regulations that govern the treatment of slaves in the Old Testament. The laws in Exodus 21:20-21 state that a slave who has been sold to another master must remain with that master until the Jubilee year, when they must be released. The law also states that if a slave is injured while in the service of their master, they must be freed and given compensation. In addition, Exodus 21:26-27 states that if a man strikes his slave and kills them, he must be punished with death.

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The Bible also speaks to the issue of slavery in other ways. For example, Leviticus 25:44-46 tells us that slaves are to be treated as family members and provided with food, clothing, and protection from harm. In Deuteronomy 15:12-15, we are told to remember our past suffering as slaves and treat our servants with kindness. Finally, Ephesians 6:5-9 instructs slaves to obey their masters with respect and humility.

Overall, the Bible speaks out against slavery as an unjust institution and provides a set of laws and regulations for how it should be handled if it does exist. It also provides instructions on how slaves should be treated by their masters and encourages kindness towards those who are enslaved.

Principle of Slavery

Slavery has been a part of human history for centuries, and while it has been largely abolished in many countries, it remains a controversial topic. The Bible contains principles about slavery that can help us gain insight into how we should view and treat those who are enslaved. Here are some key Biblical principles of slavery:

  • The Value of Every Person: The Bible teaches that every person is created in the image of God, and thus has immeasurable worth and value. This means that no matter what their circumstances, all people should be treated with respect and dignity.
  • No Forced Labor: The Bible expressly forbids forced labor. It states that a slave should not be forced to work for someone else if they do not want to do so.
  • Fairness & Justice: The Bible calls for justice to be done in all matters, including those related to slavery. It states that slaves should receive fair wages for their work, and their rights should not be violated.
  • Compassion & Love: The Bible also encourages us to show compassion and love towards slaves. It calls upon us to treat them with kindness and mercy, just as we would treat any other person.

In addition to these principles, the Bible also provides examples of how people can free themselves from slavery through various means. For example, it outlines ways in which people can purchase their freedom or borrow money from others in order to purchase it. Ultimately, the Bible provides guidance on how we should view and treat those who are enslaved or oppressed.

Conclusion

The Bible contains many verses about slavery, and the interpretation of these verses is complex and varied. Nevertheless, the overall message is clear: slavery is not God’s will. Throughout the Bible, God consistently calls for justice and compassion toward those who have been enslaved, as well as justice for all people. The Bible also contains numerous passages that affirm the dignity of all people and call us to treat others with respect and kindness. We must continue to strive to follow these teachings today.

The issue of slavery is complicated and difficult to resolve, but the Bible provides an important foundation for understanding how we should think about it. By reading the verses about slavery in context, we can better see how they relate to our lives today and how they can help us think through some of the most pressing issues facing us today.

Ultimately, while we may disagree on how best to respond to modern forms of slavery, we should all be in agreement that it is wrong. The Bible reminds us that all people are created equal and have inherent value before God. As such, we must strive to do everything possible to ensure freedom and justice for all people in our world today.

Kim

Kim

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