Why does the Bible support slavery

Does the Bible Approve Slavery?

There is a trend to see slavery as something of the past. However, it is estimated that more than 12 million people worldwide are now subject to slavery: forced labor, sex trafficking, inheritable property, etc. Just like those redeemed from the slavery of sin, the followers of Jesus Christ are believed to be the greatest champions of ending it today of human slavery. However, the question arises as to why the Bible does not speak out strongly against slavery. Why does it actually appear that the Bible supports the practice of human slavery?

The Bible does not specifically condemn the practice of slavery. It gives instructions on how to deal with slaves (Deuteronomy 15: 12-15; Ephesians 6: 9; Colossians 4: 1), but overall it does not prohibit slavery. Based on this, many believe that the Bible encourages all forms of slavery. What many do not understand, however, is that slavery in biblical times was very different from the slavery that was practiced in many parts of the world over the past centuries. Slavery in the Bible was not based solely on race. People were not enslaved because of their nationality or the color of their skin. In biblical times, slavery was more about social status. People let themselves be sold into slavery when they could not repay their debts or take care of their families. In New Testament times, doctors, lawyers, and even politicians were sometimes slaves to another. Indeed, some chose slavery because it was how they saw their needs met by their masters.

Slavery for the past few centuries has often been based entirely on skin color. In the US, many black people were treated as slaves because of their nationality; many slave owners actually believed that black people were subhuman. The Bible thoroughly condemns racial slavery by teaching that all human beings were created by God in His image (Genesis 1:27). At the same time, the Old Testament allowed and regulated slavery for economic reasons. The main problem with this is that the slavery permitted by the Bible has nothing to do with the racial slavery that has plagued our world for centuries.

In addition, both the Old and New Testaments prohibit the practice of kidnapping, which occurred in Africa in the 19th century. The Africans were rounded up by slavers, sold to slave traders and taken to the New World to work in plantations and farms. This practice is despicable according to God. According to the Law of Moses, the punishment for this crime was death: "Anyone who steals a person, be it to sell him, be it to be found with him, shall die of death" (Exodus 21:16) . Similarly, in the New Testament, slavers are placed in the ranks of those who are "ungodly and sinful," and are in the category of those who kill their fathers or mothers, murderers, adulterers, perverts, liars, and oath breakers (1 Timothy 1, p. 8-10).

Another crucial point is that the goal of the Bible is to point the way to salvation, not to reform society. The Bible often deals with problems from within. When a person experiences God's love, mercy, and grace in receiving His salvation, God will reform their soul and change the way in which they think and act. A person who experiences God's gift of redemption and deliverance from sin slavery as God reforms their soul will see that it is wrong to enslave another human being. She will see with Paul that a slave can be "a dear brother ... in the Lord" (Philemon 1:16). In turn, a person who has truly experienced God's grace will be gracious to others. So that would be the biblical ordinance on ending slavery.


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Does the Bible Approve Slavery?
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