We may expect that the idea of one person owning another would be strongly censured in the Bible. What we find instead is a general acknowledgment of the existence of slavery, the use of slavery as a metaphor, and a theological trajectory that moved society in the direction of abolition without formally demanding it.Continue reading EVERYDAY LIFE IN BIBLE TIMES (SLAVE “TO BECOME OR TO BE FREED” PT 1 OF 2)
We judge what’s good by establishing a benchmark, which has been the task of moral philosophers since the invention of language. Several benchmarks currently compete: personal pleasure, social stability accepted norms (“do not inflict needles pain” is one example). following religious teaching. or obeying God. Continue reading HOW CAN WE KNOW WHAT “GOOD” IS? (3 JOHN 11)
The Bible does NOT condone slavery but recognizes slavery as part of the social structure of the times. Rather than attacking slavery directly, biblical guidelines weakened and undermined the institution from the inside by reminding Christian masters that they had a Master and were to treat slaves as brothers (Ephesians 6:9). For slaves, the dignity that came with freedom in Christ had a powerful long-term social effect. Continue reading DOES THE BIBLE CONDONE SLAVERY?
Ancient Israelites attached a severe social stigma to rape. A young woman victim was “ruined”-she became an outcast with no means of financial support and no prospects for a family of her own. So the law imposed on the perpetrator the responsibility of care for the victim-providing her a home and family-at considerable cost to him. Such an arrangement also reduced the need of the victim’s family to seek forcible revenge, thus sparing the culture much violence. Continue reading OLD TESTAMENT LAW REQUITES A MAN WHO RAPES A VIRGIN TO MARRY HER. WHY FORCE THE VICTIM OF SUCH A TERRIBLE CRIME MARRY THE PERPETRATOR?