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Articles about Slavery

Slavery, as the word is commonly used, is the forced ownership of one person by another. Forbidden in the Bible, slavery is a grievous denial of the incalculable worth of each person, and the denial that everyone has been created in God’s image. While slavery has been part of virtually every society in human history, and is worse today than at any time in history, this should not be. The Christian ideal – that each person is equal in the eyes of God – is the driving force behind efforts to abolish slavery.

Slavery has been a plague throughout all of human history, including today. Skeptics of Christianity point to the existence of slavery in ancient Israel as evidence that God is not the loving, self-sacrificing person portrayed in the rest of the Bible.

In a word, no. Of course, slavery is mentioned in the Bible, so let's look at the context. There were three kinds of slavery in vogue at that time: involuntary slaves, indentured servants, and bondservants.

The Old Testament speaks of slavery often, and lays out rules on how slaves were to be treated. This has caused some to become confused...but a basic understanding of the context for ancient near-eastern slavery shows that the Old Testament does not condone slavery. Let's look at some common assumptions:

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