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Featured Slavery in the bible

Discussion in 'Biblical Debates' started by Dan Mellis, Jun 17, 2019.

  1. Dan Mellis

    Dan Mellis Thorsredballs

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    It's there. We all know its there. I'd like to get into it, listing the arguments I've heard and my refutations of each. I'd welcome people to point out flaws in ny understanding or refutations, and equally as interested to hear new arguments about it.

    1: It isn't slavery, it's indetured servitude.

    For your hebrew slaves, sure. That rule didnt apply to the slaves taken from other nations, who were bought and sold as property.

    2: It's an old testament thing, the new testament releases christians from the old ways

    Paul said "slaves, obey your masters, even the cruel ones." It's very much a new testament thing, too.

    3: every 50 years they had to let them go

    So? 50 minutes of slavery is immoral.

    4: In the context of the time there was nothing wrong with it

    There're three ways to come at this. The first is we're not in their time, so it's still wrong when preached in our time as the "truth". However, that may be a strawman argument. Another attack could be that if god does offer objective morality, it stands to reason that if it is immoral now, it was immoral then but they got it wrong. My preferred argument is that if you can write off that part of the bible due to historical context, then you can do the same with the notion if god (e.g. it was the only way they could explain the world they lived in and control their people)

    5: god is the law on morality, so slavery is moral even if we choose not to accept it.

    In that case, so is executing your wife for wearing two types of fabric. If you want to claim that slavery is moral because god said so, you'd be forced to accept every single thing in the bible as your only moral guideline. If you want to try and get me to accept that, you have to first prove that any god exists, then prove that it is the christian god.

    Again, more than happy to hear where my reasoning is flawed, please explain though so I can correct it.

    Also, I'm not interested in being preached at, so if you're thinking of doing that please don't (especially if you're gonna say that point 5 is correct. you can guarantee I'll burst a vessel trying to ignore those comments)
     
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  2. leov

    leov Well-Known Member

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    Slavery was not instituted by God. God just tried to put a human face on what man invented.
     
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  3. Dan Mellis

    Dan Mellis Thorsredballs

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    I'm not sure I understand - is the argument simply that god jas nothing to do with it? If so, cool but shouldn't he have been a bit clearer about the subject? I mean, if the goal is to achieve a moral set of humans.
     
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  4. leov

    leov Well-Known Member

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    Yes, basically this is what I mean. Consciousness change of humanity was / is the goal.
     
  5. Unguru

    Unguru I am a Sikh nice to meet you

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    Is this exclusively a Biblical thread or is it slavery in general?
     
  6. Cooky

    Cooky Veteran Member

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    Are you aware that God also allowed Jews to have multiple wives for a while, because he knew they lusted over the flesh?

    ...God never wants to be too heavy of a burden. Everything in due time. Step by step.

    Though, I will say, the Catholic Church rejected slavery long before the secular non-theists. That's a documented fact.
     
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  7. dybmh

    dybmh Terminal Optimist

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    @Dan Mellis ,

    1) Jewish People who strictly follow Jewish Law rooted in the Old Testament no longer have slaves of any kind: Jewish or Non-Jewish. Does any one want to re-establish slavery because of the Old Testament?

    2) Even when the laws of non-jewish ( aka Canaanite ) slavery were followed there is a lot more to it than is explicitly written about in the Old Testament. It is a legal matter. It would take a lot of expertise to parse the law and precedent in order to look back in time and derive how non-jewish slaves were actually treated. Just because the text says a person can treat the non-jewish slave harshly, doesn't mean that there aren't 3 or 4 or 20 different limits placed on this based on other verses in the text. A person would need to be an expert in order to judge the situation objectively.
     
  8. Skwim

    Skwim Veteran Member

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    So what? Dan Mellis never said god instituted it, so why are you even bringing up the subject? .

    Not sure what you mean by "put a human face on," but god did set up the rules for owning slaves, showing he was okay with it rather than not by condemning it.

    .



    .
     
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  9. Enoch07

    Enoch07 It's all a sick freaking joke.
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    Well this is true. Slavery was socially and morally acceptable in ancient times, it was just a part of normal everyday life.

    It is.

    You conveniently omit the fact it was Christian abolitionist who ended the slave trade in America.
     
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  10. leov

    leov Well-Known Member

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    "For I desired mercy, and not sacrifice;" Hosea 6:6, this is the engine behind OT.
     
  11. Brickjectivity

    Brickjectivity Turned to Stone. Now I stretch daily.
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    I think its illegal to kidnap but not to purchase slaves from other countries, yes. Why I'm not sure but presumably its only part of the story. There are no suggestions that it is moral but that freeing slaves is moral. Its a culture in which all citizens celebrate being escaped slaves in a mandatory all night reenactment. I think you'd need to look deeper before making conclusions about whether they think of slavery as a moral thing. I myself am not sure and don't know what the Talmud says. There are gaps that the Pentateuch doesn't expressly describe.

    He advises that to Christian slaves but to masters he advises to release slaves. He seems to think they should win them over to Christ under the circumstances. He does believe in freedom, and NT writers talk about freedom as an ideal. Presumably this comes form Jewish ideals.

    Jubilees. It is every seven years. Every 50 years the land leases are renewed, but every seven years slaves are released except for converts. Then you have the ear piercing ceremony where the person decides they want to become part of the family. Its unclear to me, but it appears to be a form of naturalization. Up to seven years of indenture are possible, and so the amount of money for that service is probably pro-rated based on how many years are left of the seven. For details you'd need to ask someone with Talmud study.

    No, there is something wrong with it. That is the whole point. This is a culture that every year celebrates escape from slavery. Every Hebrew is an escaped slave. Its highly likely that the slaves purchased from other countries are naturalized. There are hints of this in the text of the laws as I read them. Why would they have this culture of escape from slavery if they thought slavery was a moral thing? They also have a system of adoption that ignores lineage. You can see this in the genealogies. Your lineage doesn't actually come from DNA. Its not much of a leap to say that they were a very mixed race due to a practice of bringing people in and naturalizing. The stories of David emphasize how he is able to take a group of rag tag outcast individuals of various national pasts and turn them into a tight knit group. The symbols and stories emphasize diversity not so much slavery. I'd say the people here in this bronze age were surrounded by pillaging enslaving countries and were trying to improve things, and they did so successfully. I don't think they at all enshrine slavery as a moral good.

    You can imagine someone executing their wife for wearing two kinds of fabrics, but its not clear that is what happens. There is no claim that slavery is moral. Rather the claim is that slavery is bitter. I think you could take another look.


    I only point out some possible misconceptions. I don't think slavery is moral.
     
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  12. Subduction Zone

    Subduction Zone Veteran Member

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    They did so in spite of the Bible. The morality of people has improved over time. The vast majority of America was Christian. No other group would have had any effect. This is a bit of a red herring.
     
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  13. whirlingmerc

    whirlingmerc Well-Known Member

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  14. whirlingmerc

    whirlingmerc Well-Known Member

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    Suppose there is also something worse than economic slavery which is slavery to sin.

    One point is that God didn't ever approve of slavery.
    Joseph in Egypt even called it an evil when he was sold into slavery by his brothers.

    In some ways it was like 'allowing' divorce God said in Malichi 'I hate divorce' but
    because of hardness of hearts made constraints regarding it. The hardness of hearts being
    words used by Jesus about divorce.
     
  15. Subduction Zone

    Subduction Zone Veteran Member

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    If your God hates it so much then why not make a law against it? After all he could make a law against plaid (he may have a point there) yet he could not say "Hey! Don't buy other people!"

    You make your God look like a very weak god.
     
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  16. sooda

    sooda Veteran Member

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    The Jews were just Canaanites and they were never slaves.
     
  17. whirlingmerc

    whirlingmerc Well-Known Member

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  18. Subduction Zone

    Subduction Zone Veteran Member

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    Yes, we know, or at least a good number of us know that the Exodus never happened. But they did have slaves. The question is if they were God's chosen people why did God not tell them not to own people at the same time that he banned plaid?
     
  19. Subduction Zone

    Subduction Zone Veteran Member

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  20. whirlingmerc

    whirlingmerc Well-Known Member

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    With names like Asher or Menachem, the slaves sound a bit Jewish
    and does support the Exodus epoch
    Hebrews in Egypt before the Exodus? Evidence from Papyrus Brooklyn | APXAIOC

    quote
    A section of Papyrus Brooklyn 35.1446 contains a list of 95 servants, many of whom are specified as "Asiatic" or coming from western Asia (i.e. Canaan). The servants with foreign names are given Egyptian names, just as Joseph was when he was a household servant under Potiphar (Genesis 41:45). The majority of the names are feminine because domestic servants were typically female, while the male servants often worked in construction or agricultural tasks. Approximately 30 of the servants have names identified as from the Semitic language family (Hebrew is a Semitic language), but even more relevant to the Exodus story is that several of these servants, up to ten, actually have specifically Hebrew names. The Hebrew names found on the list include: Menahema, a feminine form of Menahem (2 Kings 15:14); Ashera, a feminine form of Asher, the name of one of the sons of Jacob (Genesis 30:13); Shiphrah, the name of one of the Hebrew midwives prior to the Exodus (Exodus 1:15); ‘Aqoba, a name appearing to be a feminine form of Jacob or Yaqob, the name of the patriarch (Genesis 25:26); ‘Ayyabum, the name of the patriarch Job or Ayob (Job 1:1); Sekera, which is a feminine name either similar to Issakar, a name of one of the sons of Jacob, or the feminine form of it (Genesis 30:18); Dawidi-huat a compound name utilizing the name David and meaning “my beloved is he” (1 Samuel 16:13); Esebtw, a name derived from the Hebrew word eseb meaning “herb” (Deuteronomy 32:2); Hayah-wr another compound name composed of Hayah or Eve and meaning “bright life” (Genesis 3:20); and finally the name Hy’b’rw, which appears to be an Egyptian transcription of Hebrew (Genesis 39:14). Thus, this list is a clear attestation of Hebrew people living in Egypt prior to the Exodus, and it is an essential piece of evidence in the argument for an historical Exodus.
    unquote
     
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