129: Does The Bible Support Slavery?
Some people claim that the Bible supports slavery; or that it does not say enough in condemning the institution of slavery. Are those people right? In addition, many of those same people claim that the Bible’s stance on slavery proves that it is an antiquated irrelevant book. Are they right?
In this episode, Kenny dives into the topic of slavery, starting off with the clear Biblical condemnation of any act of selling a human and/or treating any person like property (see Exodus 21:16), so to say that the Bible does not condemn slavery is simply inaccurate.
Then Kenny specifically contrasts and highlights the distinction between the ancient Roman practice of slavery that would have surrounded the writers of the New Testament and the modern forms of slavery that we today are much more familiar with, such as the African slave trade of the 17th and 18th centuries. Understanding the historical context gives you better insight into the passages of the New Testament that relate to slavery.
Kenny finishes the episode with a quick examination of the Apostle Paul’s most intimate letter, his letter to his friend Philemon, which gives us deeper understanding into the Apostle Paul’s expectations of slave-owners in the first century.
Kenneth E. Ortiz (M.Div.) is a church planting resident at The Grove Church and Ph.D. student at Midwestern Seminary. He has 15+ years of vocational ministry experience. He’s also been a professor at Bethlehem College and adjunct faculty at Spurgeon College. Kenneth lives in Minneola, FL with his wife Malaina, they have two kids.