This Weekend: Why Doesn't the Bible Prohibit Slavery?

I don’t have a satisfying answer.


I wish there was a chapter and verse.

I wish the Old Testament law had prohibited Israelites from owning slaves.

I wish Jesus and the apostles had simply and clearly told slave masters to give their slaves their freedom.

I wonder how our nation’s experience with slavery might have been different if there had been clear prohibitions.

But you won’t find that chapter and verse, so you find prominent Christian leaders in our history joining others in defending the practice and using the Bible to do it.

Challenging question for those of us who look to the Bible as God’s authoritative Word.

It’s a question we should be prepared to respond to.

Our text this weekend is Philemon—a twenty-five verse epistle in the New Testament written by the apostle Paul to a slave master on behalf of his runaway slave.

That’ll be our starting point. I hope to see you.

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