Manual Bible View of Slavery, Examined

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What Does the Bible Say About Slavery?

But some missionaries may have also believed that it was only appropriate to teach enslaved people excerpts that reinforced their enslaved status. Museum of the Bible, which has a copy of the Slave Bible on display. There are only two other known copies. The first Slave Bible was published in , three years after the Haitian Revolution ended. That revolution was the only slave revolt in history in which enslaved people successfully drove out their European oppressors to formed a new nation, and it increased American and European paranoia that the people they oppressed would one day rise up against them.

In the U. The Slave Bible may have wanted to impart a similar lesson to its audience.

Bible Verses About Slavery

Passages that emphasized equality between groups of people were also excised. One letter calls the slaveowner Philemon to welcome back a certain Onesimus "no longer as a slave but as more than a slave, a beloved brother Is Paul calling for Onesimus to be set free, or simply for his master to receive him with love? Likewise, it strains the imagination that two modern translations of 1 Corinthians could vary so greatly, but consider this example.

While we may debate whether Paul encouraged the manumission of Onesimus and other slaves I think he did one thing is certain. Some ancient Jews and Christians did resist the practice. The Essenes, likely responsible for our Dead Sea Scrolls, apparently forbade members from owning slaves.

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The book of Revelation lists slaves among the luxury items that Roman commerce generated by exploiting other societies Most touchingly, very ancient documents indicate that some Christians literally sold themselves into slavery to purchase the freedom of others 1 Clement , while some churches collected money to buy slaves' freedom Ignatius to Polycarp ; Shepherd of Hermas There's a simple explanation for nineteenth century debates on slavery and the Bible: the Bible isn't exactly clear on the subject.

If anything, the Bible made it easier for slavery's advocates than for its opponents. On the other hand, Robert E. Putnam and David E. Campbell suggest that while religion contributed greatly in the motivation of abolitionists, their adversaries would have promoted slavery with or without religion. Marcus J. Jennifer A. Glancy, Slavery in Early Christianity.

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Do not be concerned about it. But if you can gain your freedom, avail yourself of the opportunity. Were you a slave when called? Even if you can gain your freedom, make use of your present condition now more than ever. Does Paul encourage slaves to embrace their captivity or to gain their freedom? Help us tell more of the stories that matter from voices that too often remain unheard.

Christian views on slavery

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Does the Bible Support Slavery? -

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