Here are three examples. Are there more?
(Bold emphasis mine.)
"However, you may purchase male or female slaves from among the foreigners who live among you. You may also purchase the children of such resident foreigners, including those who have been born in your land. You may treat them as your property, passing them on to your children as a permanent inheritance." Leviticus 25:44
"Slaves, obey your earthly masters with deep respect and fear. Serve them sincerely as you would serve Christ." (Ephesians 6:5 NLT)
"Christians who are slaves should give their masters full respect so that the name of God and his teaching will not be shamed. If your master is a Christian, that is no excuse for being disrespectful. You should work all the harder because you are helping another believer by your efforts. Teach these truths, Timothy, and encourage everyone to obey them." (1 Timothy 6:1-2 NLT)
Don't forget this jewel:
"When a man strikes his male or female slave with a rod so hard that the slave dies under his hand, he shall be punished. If, however, the slave survives for a day or two, he is not to be punished, since the slave is his own property." (Exodus 21:20-21 NAB)
Thank you, Mr. Bowman, for your input. I shall presume that this passage indicates to you that the Bible does condone slavery.
Biblical slavery was totally different than the slavery you're thinking of people volunteered themselves to work for others for food, shelter and protection and they were treated as family, and held other jobs outside of the home. Modern Slavery was brought on my evolutionary thinking(i.e. blacks are apes) I find it funny how that you left out how modern day slavery was abolished…with the bible.
I encourage you even I doubt you will to go back and read those verse in context. Does God ever say own slave because I approve or was it that his people were already owning slaves?
How exactly do you know what meaning of slavery everyone is thinking?
Since this is a discussion on God supporting or not supporting slavery in the Bible why would people bring up modern day slavery?
Lastly how do you know what slavery from thousands of years ago was like vs slavery from 150 years ago?
Because if they knew the differnce this question wouldn't be posted. It's called contextual research biblical and historical. You can do it too.
Your points are noted, Rhianni. Thank you. I would like to make one adjustment to your comment above. I hope to hold the topic of this discussion on the words in the Bible and, perhaps, to determine if some believe certain passages condone or condemn slavery. What is your position and what passage(s) led you to this conclusion?
You really want to understand the 'concept' you have created here about tying the bible to slavery.
All you have to do is look at history for an example. Does the bible condone slavery, yes it does. It does only because of the belief it's based on.
It promotes slavery openly because the perceived notion of chaos among mankind is realized by government and religious leaders. I say is absurd, if more people understood what their life meant. And learned to value life instead of destroying it.
Religion was created by man. The ultimate slavery tool.
I can see that you have mastered the meaning of your life and you are anxious to share your findings with others you feel are destroying theirs. However, you give me far too much credit because I have never in my life created a concept nor have I ever tried to tie the bible to slavery. I have already looked at the history of slavery and have no wish, at this time, to shed a historical light on its past or its origins. I am interested, however, in learning how other people see slavery when they examine it under a biblical light. By slavery, I mean as define in the dictionary as relating to physical bondage, control, or toil and not in the metaphoric connotation that implies mind or thought control of the masses.
If you believe that the bible condones slavery, as you say you do, then I would welcome your pointing us to the contents that led you to that conclusion. I hope that we can avoid, for now, just condemning the bible in its entirety for its very existence.
"Modern day slavery" was also SUPPORTED by the bible. Remember the story of Noah's son, Ham? Furthermore, did God ever condemn slavery, in the bible? You'd think he would have.
So, God just goes along with mankinds foolish wickedness, and gives them pointers on how to proceed?! What kind of a god is that? Seems like a silly, submissive god!!! Nonsense!
Your lack of bible understanding is astounding. Context is your enemy.
Given the fact that there are more than 38,000 Christian denominations it would appear to me that no one understands the bible. And your interpretations are just as ludicrous as the others.
You just refuse to accept that the book you base your nonsensical religion on, condones slavery.
So go ahead and get on your knees, and worship your slave approving god.
I prefer to stand on my feet and be free.
You may have something here, Getitrite! Can you give us the text and tell us why you think it supports modern day slavery?
I appreciate your comments. Thank you, Ms. Spiderpam.
I would like to establish that this thread begins with three biblical passages and a question. I did not state that the bible condones slavery. I asked if anyone thought it did and could point to passages that would support their thinking. I posed the question with the hope that I might learn two things: 1) Does anyone believe that the bible condones slavery and why; and 2) Are there any other passages in the bible that appear to condone slavery. I later added a third objective: 3)To learn if there any passages in the bible that condemn slavery or that suggest that God might disapprove of it. It would be presumptuous of any reader to think that I had any one particular definition of slavery in mind or that I left anything out of my opening statement intentionally or otherwise. I did, however, read these three verses in context and one of them clearly states, at least in this particular translation, “you may purchase male or female slaves from among the foreigners who live among you.” I am hoping that you will offer us some passages in the bible that condemn slavery or that suggest that God might disapprove of it. Having an opinion not supported by biblical text does not really reply to the question.
Besides Moses….1 Timothy, Deuteronomy 15 is another great reference. If you going to pose a question, that's great, but realize that biblical slavery was nothing like the slavery of 18 and 19th centuries. God never condones slavery. But men have free will. We all serve something or someone even today, but there is freedom in Jesus Christ.
Thanks, Ms. Spiderpam, for suggesting these references and for reminding me that slavery has evolved since biblical times. I respect your conclusion that “God never condones slavery.” Can you point me to a passage in the bible that supports this position?
Welcome to Hubpages, Child. I see that you are new and we are all in the same boat today. As you can see by reading the posts above, we are trying to discuss one simple question: Does the bible condone slavery? If you have an opinion about this, we would like to hear it and to see what passages you can suggest to us that support your position. Please let us know what you think.
Two of the ten commandments allow for slaves as normal - in one you are told that your slaves also should do no work on the sabbath, in another you are told not to covet you neighbour's slave. In both cases, it specifically mentions male and female slaves.
Way back then, I think you'd have looked far and wide to find an abolitionist! Like many of our best ideas, it took hold in the Age of Reason.
Thanks, Para, for your comments and your references to the ten commandments. I still can't immagine how Moses managed to get all of that text on two small slabs of rock.
I would go as far and say, "RELIGION" makes people slaves.
History has shown that religious leaders of the time of Christ, were enslaving people to do the work of god's will. How do you think some of the largest monuments in the world were built.
Pyramids took thousands upon thousands of slave labor. They were told what when to eat, when to drink and to worship whatever 'god', they were told to.
Religion is destructive to the human race and needs to be eliminated completely.
Religion tells you to put "GOD" before yourself- that defeats the nature of life.
The nature of life is for your survival. For you to live as long as possible. And, to do that- you MUST put yourself first.
Thank you, Cagsil, for your opinions. But do you have any examples of where the Bible condones slavery?
I do not believe that the Bilbe condones slavery. I think that due to the fact it is written during a time where slavery is a way a life, it incorporates the world around it in order to speak to the people of that world. The inherent message is belief. Whether or not it speaks to a slave or the master only means that it aims at the person. In order for the book to connect with all people, it addresses all the economic positions which existed at the time in which it was written. To say that it supports slavery by mentioning slaves misses what the message was by focusing on the subject.
Basic sentence structure: subject, verb, predicate.
By making a simply declarative statement, "She is good," is the focus of the sentence on the predicate or the subject? The pronoun has little effect to the meaning of the message. The purpose of the message is to point out the meaning. Good is far more important to the context of the message than the pronoun. because it explains the purpose of the statement
So by stating, "Christians who are slaves should give their masters full respect so that the name of God and his teaching will not be shamed." indictates that it is far more important to promote the respect of God and His teachings more than anything else. It addresses the slave, but the sentence is meaningless without the message.
Thank you, TWalker, for your comments about syntax and sentence structure. I sincerely believe you when you say that you do not believe that the Bible condones slavery. Although I don't challenge your beliefs, or anyone else’s for that matter, I am curious about how you arrived at your conclusion. How might I apply your comments about the difference between the subject of a sentence and its message when I read, “you may purchase male or female slaves from among the foreigners who live among you.” in Leviticus25?
Also, can you site any examples in the Bible that condemn slavery or indicate that God might disapprove?
Of course it condones slavery. You have exhibit A right there: The Scriptures!
Religions make people slaves of their own beliefs
That's the worst kind of slavery, because it involves the mind.
I'm very synthetic.
Life's too short, for wasting it in long posts
Deutoronomy 15: 12 If a fellow Hebrew, a man or a woman, sells himself to you and serves you six years, in the seventh year you must let him go free. 13 And when you release him, do not send him away empty-handed. 14 Supply him liberally from your flock, your threshing floor and your winepress. Give to him as the LORD your God has blessed you. 15 Remember that you were slaves in Egypt and the LORD your God redeemed you. That is why I give you this command today.
You are right, the Bible does not condemn slavery, but there are many principles and regulations for treating people and slaves in general. Although as someone pointed out, slavery was different then. People often sold themselves into slavery to cover a debt.
God is in the business of setting people FREE!
It was John Newton who wrote Amazing Grace, because he was a slave trader before he became a christian and afterwards realized how wicked it was.
In Acts we see Paul taking Christians as prisoners before becoming a believer.
Gods people were in Egypt and God set them FREE! Later they disobeyed and were sent to babylon to serve as slaves for 70 years before he miraculously delivered them again.
What matters most is if we are a slave to SIN. We can be set FREE if we receive Gods forgiveness and no chains can take that away. In the book "The Hiding Place" the nazis took jews and christians and killed them and used them as slaves, but the ones who found the Lord inwardly rose above the abuse.
34Jesus replied, "I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. 35Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. 36So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed
Thanks, UPStar, for contributing Deutoronomy 15. Your passage adds another kind of “slavery” to the discussion, the voluntary indenture of “a fellow Hebrew.” Clearly, this differs from the one defined in Leviticus25, i.e. a slave “you may purchase male or female...from among the foreigners...including the children of such” who could be treated “as your property, passing them on to your children as a permanent inheritance."
In the first instance, the text seems to acknowledge a contract of mutual convenience between fellow tribesman, including conditions regarding its life span and termination. I see no indication that it condones or condemns. Do you?
The second definition implies involuntary servitude as a property having the social status of a possession and no rights as a person. Perhaps someone will comment on this passage as well.
I must also add that it is wrong to say I am right. For I did not state that the bible does not condemn slavey. I mearly asked if anyone could suggest passages that might. Thanks again for your meaningful comment.
Even today we are all slaves to someone or something. I am a slave to the people that I work for. I am then provided with lifes abstinence. And then I have free will to trade this for other slave drivers of my choice, coffee, cigarets, sex, drugs, and yes even fishing boats. We are all slaves to something.
Didn't Bob Dylan have a song years ago that said "You gotta serve somebody. Now it may be the Devil or it may be the Lord, but you're gonna hafta serve somebody"
Jerami, my wish is that your slavery brings you less abstinence and more sustenance. Thanks for sharing your observations with us.
All I know is that the Bible was used for hundreds of years as a justification for slavery and for racism.
There's a lot more to the Bible than that. Just because someone uses it in wrong ways doesn't mean much. People have used hammers to hit people in the head but that doesn't make hammers evil. That isn't what they were intended for.
It's hard to know if the Bible condones or merely addresses slavery. If it does, then it does. I think it addresses what's already going on, people are slaves all over the world now too, it's a people thing not a God thing. And the Bible telling how to treat slaves doesn't mean God said we should go get some.
But it was used by some to promote slavery, that is all I am saying.
In defense of UW, religion at the time of Jesus Christ- the religious/spiritual leaders enslaved as many humans as possible, forced them to worship a 'god'. And, you know...they did.
The question is WHY did they? How can you force a free will thinking person to believe in a 'god'?
Well, the truth is you can't. You cannot force a person to have a religious belief of any kind. They have to do so freely and willingly.
So, How did they force people to worship their 'god'?
If you don't know- I suggest you do the research. I did, but me telling you isn't going to change the way you think. Even, though what I know mine is based on history already written.
I know your comment wasn’t directed to me, Tminut, but, with an apology to Uninvited Writer, I thought I might toss my chip into the pot too. I think that you may be absolutely correct and most people would agree, or nearly most would, that slavery is “a people thing and not a God thing.” I started this thread with a sincere, non-judgmental question, “Does the bible condone slavery?” I would hope that this question merits more than a simple “If it does, then it does.” I don’t pretend to know if it does or if it doesn’t. What do you think?
Uninvited, I invite you to suggest text you believe was used to justify slavery. If it is alright with you, I request that we leave racism for another time.
I am just going on what I have read of history and how it was argued that slavery was justified by the bible.
Slavery was contained in the bible, but during that time it is normal, what maybe normal before is not the current mode now because culture is ever evolving, some activities are weird before but now thay are normalized. Slavery is not needed now because of technology, machines replaced manual labor
Thanks so much for your input, Uninvited Writer. Your observations are always welcome.
The people who wrote the bible are in the age of slavery...
...and homophobia. Funny how people pick and choose which things are just "contextual" to the Bible and which are really "God's word."
Hi Maddie, thats true..
They don't like shellfish, garments made of blends or women on their period either....Where does it stop?
You're also supposed to starve until God says otherwise, a man can take his wife back if he commits adultery because he is allowed to have mistresses but a woman who commits adultery has to be put to death by stoning...
You know, I post on topics to help people understand and to gain knowledge about people, but many people seem to be waiting for something special.
Many in religion or have religious belief systems, seem to be waiting for their life to end, instead of living it like they are supposed.
The 'bible' puts our commandments to follow, as well, as doctrines. These things when looked at under a microscope, fall short and some defeat the purpose of life. Those who follow such things, in essence are killing themselves faster, because they are living their life against the true nature of life.
Life DEMANDS that you put yourself first, that you follow your own conscience and you answer to no one, because you are 100% completely self-responsible with your life and you understand the value of your life.
If you would like, I've recently published a new hub. It explains LIFE and your role. And, no I'm not self-promoting. To post what I put on the hub? Wouldn't be cool, as a post here.
I'll leave it at that.
Don't you know the whole "women on their periods" thing was to be NICE to women? Men were told "no, no, yukky, don't touch" so the women were sent off with their friends for a week and not allowed to be near (have to deal with) men, couldn't touch food (didn't have to cook), couldn't touch things in the house (no housework)... do any women really consider this a problem? :-)
Well then why didn't god bless us with more periods, lol. They didn't send them off to go hang out with their friends and stuff. They had to sit on the period box until they were done bleeding and then they had to wait three days before they could be touched.
I don't know about the other stuff but shute! I wish that were the case. ... monthly vacations!!! Woot!!!
How very clever of the women, finally proof that God is female!!!
Never heard of a period box, how bizarre. What I've read about is the womens' tent where they had to go, probably outside of the camp. And since women synchronize with the ones they spend time with, they would be off work at the same time as their friends and "sister wives".
I do want to add that it's not a total vacation since they would have to have the littlest kids with them probably. Also it would be a whole bunch of bi*chy, moody women with stomach aches. But still...
lol, tent, box, outhouse, toilet, rag... you say tomato, I say tomoto.
But, umm... woman do not always have their periods in sync.
But, umm... woman do not always have their periods in sync.
Well, no of course not, not everyone, but it would be often enough with a couple of friends I'd think. And it would be REALLY funny for the whole camp of women to be gone at once! LOL! What a mess that would be to come back to!
Thanks Sandra and TM. You comments got us through a difficult period.
Mankind has used bible scripture to justify doing most anything that they want to do. If they were not using the bible to find self justification they would pull something else out of the sky to justify doing what they wanted to do , or for finding reasons to not do what they did not want to do.
Wake up and realize the sky is full of excuses and alibis for anything that you want. Just pick one.
Don't say that God hates flys "if" I use the bible to swat flys.
You may certainly have a good point there, Jerami! Still, the question is not about using the bible to swat flies but using it to support or oppose slavery. Do you have an examples that touch on slavery that you can share?
Are flies considered unclean because I think I can make an argument for this fly thing.
There were definitely hygienic practices back then, some places had entire sewer systems. And it's not like women just walked around bleeding all over themselves, they did use cloths for one. There were also all sorts of rules about washing, using soap, all kinds of things.
About slavery, don't you think some people would do better as a slave? Those people who consistently make poor decisions for themselves, can't manage to take care of themselves, keep ending up in jail or rehab?
That is a valid point. And I would agree only if I get to be one of the "deciders" Now really! We already are in slavery to our bad choices. And "SOME" of those spoken of in scripture were also in bondage ot their or their parents bad choices.
You know, I really don't know. I was raised like most people here believing slavery is a crime against nature and humanity. But when I see how some people live, I'm not sure it would be so bad for some, especially if it's for a set amount of time. There have been a couple of times in my life when I wished I was in that situation because I had no idea what to do, how to survive, nothing. Signing up to be a servant/slave for a couple of years, no life-affecting decisions to be made was a welcome thought. Actually I guess I did, I joined the military when I was young but that wasn't one of my "at a total loss" times. I would have stayed too if I hadn't realized any of these men would have happily raped me, killed me to hide the evidence, and blamed it on "the enemy". Not exactly what you want from those who are supposed to watch your back.
Not only did the bible condone slavery, but punishment for them too!
The servant will be severely punished, for though he knew his duty, he refused to do it. "But people who are not aware that they are doing wrong will be punished only lightly. Much is required from those to whom much is given, and much more is required from those to whom much more is given." (Luke 12:47-48 NLT)
Greetings Ernest. I hope you are feeling much better these days. Thanks for adding a new passage from Luke12 to the discussion. While I can’t say for sure that I would equate “servant” and “slave” in this context, they are at least very close. And, I can see how some might take this passage as condoning slavery. As was pointed out earlier in this thread, passages dealing with how slaves should be, or were in fact, treated might not be taken by all to condone the practice of slavery but only to acknowledge its existence. I appreciate your dropping this comment on us. Have any other contributions?
More from the bible on slavery.
Christians who are slaves should give their masters full respect so that the name of God and his teaching will not be shamed. If your master is a Christian, that is no excuse for being disrespectful. You should work all the harder because you are helping another believer by your efforts. Teach these truths, Timothy, and encourage everyone to obey them. (1 Timothy 6:1-2 NLT)
If you buy a Hebrew slave, he is to serve for only six years. Set him free in the seventh year, and he will owe you nothing for his freedom. If he was single when he became your slave and then married afterward, only he will go free in the seventh year. But if he was married before he became a slave, then his wife will be freed with him. If his master gave him a wife while he was a slave, and they had sons or daughters, then the man will be free in the seventh year, but his wife and children will still belong to his master. But the slave may plainly declare, 'I love my master, my wife, and my children. I would rather not go free.' If he does this, his master must present him before God. Then his master must take him to the door and publicly pierce his ear with an awl. After that, the slave will belong to his master forever. (Exodus 21:2-6 NLT)
thank you, yes I can also offer this.
When a man strikes his male or female slave with a rod so hard that the slave dies under his hand, he shall be punished. If, however, the slave survives for a day or two, he is not to be punished, since the slave is his own property. (Exodus 21:20-21 NAB)
Pretty conclusive don't you think?
Slaves, obey your earthly masters with deep respect and fear. Serve them sincerely as you would serve Christ. (Ephesians 6:5 NLT)
Many thanks, Ernest. for the additional contributions. Your comments are indeed welcomed.
I suspect some commentators are answering a different question, e.g. does the bible advocate slavery? You could make a case that it doesn't.
But to condone is to 'not take the opportunity to condemn'. And I think we've seen plenty of examples where slavery is not condemned when it might have been. So I still think the answer is yes.
Based upon the definition you offer, Para, I would agree that there are more instances where the bible condones slavery. I have yet to find a passage that condemns slavery or suggests any level of disapproval. However, the fact remains that “slave”, “slavery”, “servant”, and “servitude” are used interchangeably from one translation/text to another, thus making any conclusion dependent upon which text you are reading.
In a broader sense, there is no way someone as uneducated as I can determine the extent that various translations have drifted from the original texts. There are dozens of modern translations, and dozens more not so modern, in the English language alone. Multiply this number by all of the languages in which the bible has been printed and you have a staggering variety of interpretations.
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