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The Bible condones slavey as seen in colonial America

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/21/2016 Category: Religion
Updated: 8 months ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 378 times Debate No: 87001
Debate Rounds (4)
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Full Resolution: The Bible condoned the enslavement and mistreatment of African Americans during the colonial era.

Round 1: Acceptance
Round 2: Arguments
Round 3: Con rebuts Pro's argument in Round 2 and vice versa.
Round 4: Both sides defend their original argument


I accept this debate.

Obviously, there is nothing written in the Bible about "the enslavement and mistreatment of African Americans during the colonial era."

So, I will be arguing that the Bible condones slavery in general. Furthermore, I will debunk the popular myth that American slavery differed from Biblical slavery in any significant way.

If you're satisfied with these terms, we may proceeed to Round #2.
Debate Round No. 1


Before we begin, we need to look at the types of people that Israelites enslaved.

The People who were enslaved:

Unlike the African slaves who were kidnapped from their homes by slave traders during the colonial era, those enslaved by the Israelites as recorded in the Bible fall under two categories:

1. The people of pagan nations in which the Israelites have conquered

The reason as to why these people have been enslaved was because of their wickedness. These pagan nations have committed atrocities of their own. Take for example Leviticus 18:21-24

“And you shall not let any of your descendants pass through the fire to Molech.... Do not defile yourselves with any of these things; for by all these the nations are defiled, which I am casting out before you.”

This means that they are literally burning children alive as offerings to a false god. If such nations are revolved around such actions taking the right to life and freedom from the children they burn, would it be morally justifiable to take away their freedom? Such things happen in our modern society today where we take the freedom of those who commit crimes like murder or theft by locking them up in jail and occasionally force them to do work such as community service. Yet, do people condemn such behavior. It seems more humane than to outright kill them.

2. Those who are unable to pay their debts or live in poverty could sell themselves into slavery

Although this may seem at first cruel or unusual punishment, you have to look at the historical context. Back before the time of bankruptcy laws or food stamps, how would a person deal with a debt that he cannot pay for in a way that is fair to both the loaner and the borrower. You could throw the debtor in jail, but such isn’t fair for the lender as he cannot be paid back as his borrower is in jail. The Bible records such happening on multiple occasions. Take for example Leviticus 25:47-49:

“Now if a sojourner or stranger close to you becomes rich, and one of your brethren who dwells by him becomes poor, and sells himself to the stranger or sojourner close to you, or to a member of the stranger’s family, after he is sold he may be redeemed again. One of his brothers may redeem him; or his uncle or his uncle’s son may redeem him; or anyone who is near of kin to him in his family may redeem him; or if he is able he may redeem himself.”

Note that the Bible also condemns those who were enslaved through kidnapping. Take for example Exodus 21:16

“He who kidnaps a man and sells him, or if he is found in his hand, shall surely be put to death.”

Rules and laws regarding the treatment of slaves:

There is substantial evidence that slaves were treated well. In Deuteronomy 15:12-17,

“And if thy brother, a Hebrew man, or an Hebrew woman, be sold unto thee, and serve thee six years; then in the seventh year thou shalt let him go free from thee. And when thou sendest him out free from thee, thou shalt not let him go away empty:Thou shalt furnish him liberally out of thy flock, and out of thy floor, and out of thy winepress: of that wherewith the Lord thy God hath blessed thee thou shalt give unto him. And thou shalt remember that thou wast a bondman in the land of Egypt, and the Lord thy God redeemed thee: therefore I command thee this thing to day. And it shall be, if he say unto thee, I will not go away from thee; because he loveth thee and thine house, because he is well with thee; Then thou shalt take an aul, and thrust it through his ear unto the door, and he shall be thy servant forever. And also unto thy maidservant thou shalt do likewise.”

First off, it states that within seven years of ownership, a master is to set his slave free. The second thing noted from this is that there is also a law for a scenario where a slave doesn’t want to leave his master implying that the relationship between master and slave is mutually beneficial.

Slaves are also provided protection under the laws from masters who would abuse them. One right a slave has is if a slave owner is cruel, the slave has the right to run away and the law condemns him to be returned. Deuteronomy 23:15-16

“You shall not give back to his master the slave who has escaped from his master to you. He may dwell with you in your midst, in the place which he chooses within one of your gates, where it seems best to him; you shall not oppress him.”

This biblical laws seems to explicitly contradict the fugitive slave law in the United States that required citizens to return African American slaves to their masters.

Might I also bring up Exodus 21:26-27

“If a man strikes the eye of his male or female servant, and destroys it, he shall let him go free for the sake of his eye. And if he knocks out the tooth of his male or female servant, he shall let him go free for the sake of his tooth.”

Conclusion: I have provided substantial evidence that the biblical laws regarding slavery go against the treatment and enslavement of African Americans during the colonial times in America.


The Holy Bible



Four Types of Slavery

The Bible defines four kinds of slave:

Type 1) Voluntary Temporary Indentured Hebrew Servants
Type 2) Voluntary Permanent Hebrew Servants
Type 3) Involuntary Hebrew and Gentile Criminals in Restitution
Type 4) Permanent Pagan Servants [3]

Israelite (Indentured Servant) vs. Non-Israelite (Chattel) Slaves

Israelite "slaves" received special status and treatment: "
If any of your fellow Israelites become poor and sell themselves to you, do not make them work as slaves.
They are to be treated as hired workers or temporary residents among you; they are to work for you until the Year of Jubilee. Then they and their children are to be released, and they will go back to their own clans and to the property of their ancestors. Because the Israelites are my servants, whom I brought out of Egypt, they must not be sold as slaves. Do not rule over them ruthlessly, but fear your God." [ Leviticus 25: 39 - 43 ]

Now read Leviticus 25: 44-46, which describes non-Israelite slavery: "Your male and female slaves are to come from the nations around you; from them you may buy slaves. You may also buy some of the temporary residents living among you and members of their clans born in your country, and they will become your property. You can bequeath them to your children as inherited property and can make them slaves for life, but you must not rule over your fellow Israelites ruthlessly."

This passage describes chattel slavery: "Chattel slavery is what most people have in mind when they think of the kind of slavery that existed in the United States before the Civil War, and that existed legally throughout many parts of the world as far back as recorded history. Slaves were actual property who could be bought, sold, traded or inherited." [4]

How to Beat Your Slaves

Non-Israelite slaves were not freed in the seventh year; they were slaves for life. Non-Israelite slaves were considered "property" to be bought, sold, and given away, and beaten. Yes, beaten: "Anyone who beats their male or female slave with a rod must be punished if the slave dies as a direct result, but they are not to be punished if the slave recovers after a day or two, since the slave is their property." (Exodus 21:20-21)

Protective Laws: Biblical and American

In the Bible, there are laws protecting slaves from excessive abuse. (Exodus 21:26-27, for example.) I will graciously assume that these protective laws applied to non-Israelite slaves as well.

Guess what? There were protective laws for black slaves in America, as well. Here's an excerpt from the Alabama slave code of 1833: "The general assembly…shall have full power…to oblige the owners of slaves to treat them with humanity, to provide for them necessary food and clothing, to abstain from all injuries to them extending to life or limb, and, in case of their neglect or refusal to comply with the directions of such laws, to have such slave or slaves sold for the benefit of owner or owners." Furthermore: "Any person who shall maliciously dismember or deprive a slave of life, shall suffer such punishment as would be inflicted in case the like offense had been committed on a free white person…" [5]

Anti-Slavery Bible Verses

There are none. "Jesus had many opportunities to disavow slavery. He never did." [1]

"It's hardly surprising then that it took almost two thousand years for Christians to twig to the fact that slavery is wrong. The spectacularly unreflective authors of the Bible had absolutely no problem with slavery whatsoever..." [6]

Ephesians 6:5 says, "Slaves, obey your earthly masters with deep respect and fear. Seve them sincerely as you would serve Christ." 1 Timothy 6:1 says, "All who are under the yoke of slavery should consider their masters worthy of full respect, so that God’s name and our teaching may not be slandered." These are New Testament verses.

Justifying American Slavery with the Bible

Prior to the Civil War, the Bible was widely used to justify slavery in the United States. Baptist leader and slave owner Richard Furman (d. 1825) laid the foundation for the biblical arguments that would be made in support of slavery leading up to the Civil War. While president of the State Baptist Convention, Furman wrote to the governor of South Carolina, "The right of holding slaves is clearly established in the Holy Scriptures, both by precept and example." [1]


Another prominent churchman, Alexander Campbell (d. 1866) wrote, "There is not one verse in the Bible inhibiting slavery, but many regulating it. It is not then, we conclude, immoral." [1]


Jefferson Davis, president of the Confederacy, claimed to follow what the scriptures said: "[Slavery] was established by decree of Almighty God ... it is sanctioned in the Bible, in both Testaments, from Genesis to Revelation." [1]


While some pre-Christian groups had outlawed slavery, Christianity continued it and expanded it worldwide. There were probably far more people enslaved (tens of millions) under Christian empires than in all pre-Christian empires combined….

Aside from unprecedented geopolitical and demographic developments, the major difference between previous eras of Christianity and the period between 1775 and 1900 was the marginalization of the Bible as a sociopolitical authority. That period witnessed the rise of biblical criticism, which undermined the authority and perceived reliability of the Bible in Europe and America. It was in that period that Americans invested their textual authority in a Constitution made by ‘We, the People’ instead of by a deity. Influential abolitionists such as Granville Sharp, William Wilberforce, Thomas Clarkson, and Frederick Douglass were part of that shift away from the Bible. Even if they did not all accept the new biblical criticism, they certainly realized the problems that using the Bible posed to abolitionism. [2]

[1] Victor Stenger in God: The Failed Hypothesis
[2] Hector Avalos in Slavery, Abolitionism, and the Ethics of Biblical Scholarship
[3] Bob Seidensticker, Yes, Biblical Slavery was the Same as American Slavery
[6] Michael Shermer in The Moral Arc

Debate Round No. 2


Israelite vs. Non-Israelite Slaves

While it is true that Israelite slaves have special laws protecting them, it has nothing to do with racism or nationality. They have more rights because they are the citizens of Israel. Much like how citizens in the United States can vote, run for office, protection from the Bill of Rights. There are laws in the Old Testament that state that foreigners should be treated as fairly as their Israelite counterparts.

Leviticus 19:34 states: “But the stranger who dwells among you shall be to you as one born among you, and you shall love him as yourself; for you were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.”

Deuteronomy 24:14 reads: “You shall not oppress a hired servant who is poor and needy, whether one of your brethren, or one of the aliens who is in your land within thy gates.”
The slaves you refer to in Leviticus 25 come from Israel’s pagan neighbors which I have pointed out have committed wicked atrocities such as burning children as human sacrifice to their gods. Enslavement is a rather humane option to the alternative of slaughtering them all. They waived their rights to freedom by committing such atrocities. These slaves weren’t purchased from some foreign slave trader as the Bible is clear in condemning such people by grouping them together with murderers, sexually immoral and such as in 1 Timothy 1:9-10:

Beating Slaves

This is no different than corporate punishment with children. It is only recently that such practices have become a topic of huge controversy. If the slave recovers from the beating after one or two days, one can conclude that such beating is not severe at all. Step into the shoes of a master. You have an Israelite slave that is in debt to you. Note that both have the right to run away and the law forbids them being returned in Deuteronomy 23:15-16. The Israelite has a debt that would be forgiven no matter how well he/she performs and he/she slacks off. What other option do you have?

Protective Laws

Well looking at how slaves were treated in the South, it is clear that these laws weren’t enforced and broken all the time. The Southern slave owners were hypocrites and the Bible reserves some of its greatest criticism for hypocrites. Take for example Matthew 7: 3-5

Pro makes a logically fallacious argument that the hypocrisy of the Southerners somehow reflect on the Bible negatively.

Anti-Slavery Bible Verses:

This argument is irrelevant as I am arguing that slavery in the Bible was much more humane as to how African American slaves were treated. The treatment of African slaves would break biblical laws.

The use of the Bible to justify slavery:

This quotes are again irrelevant as we are looking if the Bible itself, condoned the kidnapping and treatment of African slaves. Do hypocrites who cherry-pick verses from the Bible without taking in the context truly represent Biblical values?

As with your latter assertion that Christianity expanded and persisted the practice of slavery I can refute.

“here were probably far more people enslaved (tens of millions) under Christian empires than in all pre-Christian empires combined….”

Nothing more than a bare assertion without numbers to back it up. But such claim could be easily refuted. Around 12.5 million African slaves were sent to the New World between 1525 and 1866. However, the number of modern-day slaves in India easily exceeds that with 14 million slaves.[1] [2]

Slavery isn’t exclusive to Christian nations as slavery has existed in some shape or form on all continents. From Babylon to Rome, Oceania to India and China, slavery has existed [3]. If you look at the abolition of slavery timeline from wikipedia, Christian nations have been at the forefront of the movement [4].

1215: Magna Carta signed. Clause 30, commonly known as Habeas Corpus, would form the basis of a law against slavery in English common law.
~1220: The Sachsenspiegel, the most influential German code of law from the Middle Ages, condemns slavery as a violation of God's likeness to man.[9]
1256: The Liber Paradisus is promulgated. The Comune di Bologna abolishes slavery and serfdom and releases all the serfs in its territories.
1274: Landslov (Land's Law) in Norway mentions only former slaves, which indicates that slavery was abolished in Norway
1290: Edward I of England passes Quia Emptores, breaking any indenture to an estate, on the sale or transfer of the estate.
1315: Louis X, king of France, publishes a decree proclaiming that "France signifies freedom" and that any slave setting foot on the French ground should be freed. However slavery continued till the 17th century along France's Mediterranean coastline, the Provence.[11]
1335: Sweden (including Finland at the time) makes slavery illegal. An abolition of slaves setting foot on Swedish ground does not occur until 1813. (In the 18th and 19th Centuries, slavery would be practiced in the Swedish ruled Caribbean island of Saint Barthélemy.)
1347: non-free people were emancipated in Poland under the Statutes of Casimir the Great issued in Wi"7;lica
1368: China's Hongwu Emperor establishes the Ming dynasty and would abolish all forms of slavery. However, slavery continued in the Ming dynasty. Later Ming rulers, as a way of limiting slavery in the absence of a prohibition, passed a decree that limited the number of slaves that could be held per household and extracted a severe tax from slave owners.[14]
1416: Republic of Ragusa (modern day Dubrovnik, Croatia) abolished slavery and slave trading
1435: In Sicut Dudum, Pope Eugene IV banned enslavement of Christians in the Canary Islands on pain of excommunication. However the non-Christian indigenous Guanches could be and were enslaved during the Spanish conquest.[11]
Slavery Timeline
1537: Pope Paul III forbids slavery of the indigenous peoples of the Americas as well as of any other new population that would be discovered, indicating their right to freedom and property. However, only Catholic countries apply it, and state that they cannot possibly enforce what happens in the distant colonies (Sublimus Dei).
1542: Spain enacted the New Laws, abolishing slavery of Native Americans in 1542. But replaced it with other systems of forced labor such as repartimiento. Slavery of Black Africans was not abolished.[11]
1569: An English court case involving Cartwright, who had brought a slave from Russia, ruled that English law could not recognise slavery.
1588: The Third Statute of Lithuania abolishes slavery.
1595: A law is passed in Portugal banning the selling and buying of Chinese slaves.
1590: Toyotomi Hideyoshi bans slavery in Japan. However, it continued as a punishment for criminals.
19 February 1624: The King of Portugal forbids the enslavement of Chinese of either sex.
1683: the Spanish Crown legally abolish the slavery of indigenous Mapuche prisoners of war in Chile.

Pro also stated that the movement away from Christianity with the Enlightenment 1775 and 1900 is what lead Christian nations to turn from slavery. A quick look at Wikipedia’s timeline that I posted would show that many acts of abolition of slavery long predate this time period. Take the fact that the Declaration of Independence stated:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

Note also that some figures that Pro has pointed out such as William Wilberforce were influenced by devout Christians like Thomas Clarkson and John Newton along with his own conversion to Christianity. Here is what John Newton said to William Wilberforce:

“God has raised you up for the good of the church and the good of the nation, maintain your friendship with Pitt, continue in Parliament, who knows that but for such a time as this God has brought you into public life and has a purpose for you.” [6]




Now I will rebut Pro’s arguments.

Did the Israelites only enslave "wicked" pagans?

The purchase of slaves from other nations was expressly permitted by God in Leviticus 25: 44-46. These people were not enslaved due to “wickedness”; they were simply bought. They are referred to as “property.” Unlike Israelite indentured servants, they can be made “slaves for life.”

Yes, the Israelites purchased slaves from foreign slave traders

Referring to Leviticus 25, Pro says:

These slaves weren’t purchased from some foreign slave trader** as the Bible is clear in condemning such 1 Timothy 1:9-10.

Let’s examine 1 Timothy 1:10. In the NIV, this verse refers to “slave traders.” Let's look at some other translations. The NKJV refers to "kidnappers"; not "slave traders." The KJV refers to “menstealers." In the Bible, kidnapping was considered an abominable practice, whereas buying and selling slaves was okay. Heck, the Old Testament has instructions (from God, no less) on how to sell your daughter into slavery. (See Exodus 21:7-11) In this verse, Paul is condemning kidnapping; not the slave trade.

** Who do you buy slaves from, if not a slave trader?

There is no stipulation about "wickedness"

In Round 2, Pro states, “The reason as to why these people have been enslaved was because of their wickedness.” In Round 3, Pro asserts, “The slaves you refer to in Leviticus 25 come from Israel’s pagan neighbours which I have pointed out have committed wicked atrocities…” Really? You're telling me that the Israelites went to another nation and purchased these slaves from a slave trader because of their "wickedness"? Dream on. In reality, there is no stipulation about “wickedness” in Leviticus 25:44-46 or anywhere else in the Bible. It does not say, “Your male and female slaves are to come from the nations around you; from them you may buy slaves if they are wicked people who burn children.” Sorry.

The Israelites killed children, too

Pro applauds the Israelites for enslaving pagans: “Enslavement is a rather humane option to the alternative of slaughtering them all.” Sure, I guess? Except the “enslavement” option wasn’t always on the table. Check out Deuteronomy 20:16-18:

When you march up to attack a city, make its people an offer of peace. If they accept and open their gates, all the people in it shall be subject to forced labor and shall work for you. If they refuse to make peace and they engage you in battle, lay siege to that city. When the LORD your God delivers it into your hand, put to the sword all the men in it. As for the women, the children, and the livestock and everything else in the city, you may take these as plunder for yourselves. And you may use the plunder the LORD your God gives you from your enemies. This is how you are to treat all the cities that are at a distance from you and do not belong to the nations nearby.

But wait, there’s more:

However, in the cities of the nations the LORD your God is giving you as an inheritance, do not leave alive anything that breathes. Completely destroy them — the Hittites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites — as the LORD your God has commanded you. Otherwise, they will teach you to follow all the detestable things they do in worshipping other gods, and you will sin against the LORD your God.

So, the punishment for child-sacrificing pagans was genocide; not slavery. “Do not leave alive anything that breathes” means that women, children and babies would have been slaughtered by the Israelites. The so-called “humane" Israelites murdered their fair share of children. The Bible reserves some of its greatest criticism for hypocrites.

Re: Exodus 21:16

Of Exodus 21:16, the Net Bible says, “The implication is that it would be an Israelite citizen who was kidnapped and sold to a foreign tribe of country (like Joseph).” The Pulpit Commentary says, “Kidnapping, or stealing men to make them slaves, was a very early and very wide-spread crime…Most kidnapping was of foreigners; and this was a practice of which the laws of states took no cognizance, though a certain disrepute may have attached to it. But the kidnapping of a fellow-country-man was generally punished with severity.” Compare Exodus 21:16 with Deuteronomy 24:7:

If someone is caught kidnapping a fellow Israelite and treating or selling them as a slave, the kidnapper must die. You must purge the evil from among you.

Biblical slavery had everything to do with nationality

Pro argues, “While it is true that Israelite slaves have special laws protecting them, it has nothing to do with racism or nationality. They have more rights because they are citizens of Israel.” Notice the contradiction here? If they have more rights than non-Israelites because they are citizens of Israel, they have more rights because of their nationality.

Protective laws don't necessarily protect slaves from abuse

Regarding protective laws, Pro says, “Looking at how slaves were treated in the South, it is clear that these laws weren’t enforced and broken all the time.” Yes, American slaves were horrifically abused in spite of protective laws. That's my point: the existence of protective laws in the Bible does not ensure that the slaves were actually well-treated.

Debate Round No. 3


Violation of Debate Structure:

In the first round, I have explicitly stated that Round 3 is where:

“Con rebuts Pro’s argument in Round 2 and vice versa”

It is clear that Pro uses this round to rebut some of my arguments from my rebuttal in Round 3. He even quoted parts of my rebuttal towards the end of his argument. He should have saved such arguments as they fit Round 4’s description:

“ Both sides defend their original argument”

I suggest that voters take this into consideration when you cast your votes.

Wicked Pagans:

Leviticus 18:21 was to illustrate the kind of practices that these pagan nations were practicing. These people aren’t innocent, therefore it is fair to take their freedom.

Foreign Slave Traders:

My real question to you is if the Paul condemns kidnapping, where did the slave trader get the slaves? These slaves could have been in poverty and sold themselves to slavery to have food and shelter as the Bible has recorded on multiple occasions. You also seem to cherry-pick your translations.

Stipulation about “wickedness”

Deuteronomy 20:17-18

“17 Completely destroy them—the Hittites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites—as the Lord your God has commanded you. 18 Otherwise, they will teach you to follow all the detestable things they do in worshiping their gods [ex. burning children as human sacrifice], and you will sin against the Lord your God.”

The Israelites killed children, too:

This argument is nothing more than a red herring fallacy as this debate is about slavery in the Bible and not "genocide".

Re: Exodus 21:16

There are plenty of commentators who would argue against this. The ones you have provided are insufficient to prove that this is what the Bible is referring to. Take for example Gill’s Exposition for the Entire Bible:

“And he that stealeth a man, and selleth him,.... One of the children of Israel, as the Targums of Onkelos and Jonathan, and so the Septuagint version: but though this law was given to the Israelites primarily, yet was made for men stealers in general, as the apostle observes, who plainly has reference to it, 1 Timothy 1:9,”

Or in the Pulpit commentary you have brought up also stated:

“though the words of the present passage are general, and forbid the crime altogether”

Biblical slavery had everything to do with nationality:

I will not address this part of your rebuttal as this argument has made in violation of the debate structure.

Protective laws don't necessarily protect slaves from abuse:

Will not address for the same reasons as stated above.



The Alabama slave code of 1833 states that slaveowners must “abstain from all injuries to them [slaves] extending to life or limb.” So, beating your slaves was not allowed. In fact, the law enjoins slave owners to treat their slaves “with humanity.” But we all know that African-American slaves were horrifically abused in spite of these laws. Why? Because slaves were viewed by their owners as “property”; not human beings.

Like the African-American slaves, the Israelite’s foreign slaves were considered “property.” Beating your slaves was permitted by the Mosaic law, on the grounds that slaves are the “property” of their owners. However, there are a few stipulations: (1) Don’t beat your slaves to death. (2) Don’t beat your slaves so badly that they’re disabled for more than two days. (3) Don’t damage their eyes or teeth, otherwise they go free. Note that slaves were beaten “with a rod.” See Exodus 21:20-21, Exodus 21:26-27, and Leviticus 25:44-46.

But who were these foreign slaves? Were they all a bunch of depraved, infanticidal villains?

Well, there were people who sacrificed children back in those days. These people were the Canaanites. The Canaanites worshipped a god known as Molech. They sacrificed children to Molech to "ensure financial prosperity for the family and future children.” [1] Yahweh was opposed to this practice: “ shall not let any of your descendants pass through the fire to Molech, nor shall you profane the name of your God: I am the LORD.” See Leviticus 18:21.

The Israelites never enslaved the Canaanites; they exterminated them. See Deuteronomy 20:16-18: “However, in the cities of the nations the LORD your God is giving you as an inheritance, do not leave alive anything that breathes. Completely destroy them — the Hittites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites — as the LORD your God has commanded you.” My opponent argues that the Israelites only enslaved infanticial pagans. This verse proves him wrong**. Hopefully now it's clear why I brought it up.

So, who did the Israelites enslave, if not the Canaanites?

When the Israelites attacked a city, they would first make its people an “offer of peace.” If the “offer of peace” was accepted, “all the people” in the city would become their slaves, and would be “subject to forced labour.” Women, children, and livestock could be taken as “plunder.” By the way, “plunder" is defined as “property acquired illegally and violently…in a time of war or civil disorder.” So, the Israelites enslaved women and children. Women and children, they thought, were equivalent to livestock.

Israelites purchased slaves from other nations. They are expressly permitted to do so by God, in Leviticus 25:44-46. Foreign slaves didn’t get the cushy deal the Israelites gave their fellow countrymen. Their
treatment was largely unregulated. We know that they were slaves for life. According to Exodus 21:4, the children of slaves were born into slavery, as it was with African-American slaves. They were beaten, just like African-American slaves.


** I have no idea why my opponent brought this verse up in Round #4, as it totally undermines his argument that the Molech-worshippers were *mercifully* enslaved by the Israelites. Deuteronomy 20:17-18 is an explicit commandment to SLAUGHTER the Canaanites; not enslave them. What were you thinking?
Debate Round No. 4
10 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by squonk 8 months ago

You didn't respond to two of my arguments as they were "in violation of the debate structure" but I'm genuinely interested if you have any response.
Posted by squonk 8 months ago
One last note: you took Deuteronomy 24:14 out of context.

It says: "You shall not oppress a hired servant who is poor and needy, whether one of your brethren or one of the aliens who is in your land within your gates."

"Not oppress a hired servant" means "By detaining his wages from him when due, which is the meaning of oppression here, as appears from the next verse." [1]

See Deuteronomy 24:15:

"Each day you shall give him his wages, and not let the sun go down on it, for he is poor and has set his heart on it; lest he cry out against you to the Lord, and it be sin to you."

Posted by squonk 8 months ago
Oops. I kept referring to you as "Pro" when you're not Pro. My bad.
Posted by squonk 8 months ago
"If the slave recovers from the beating after one or two days, one can conclude that such beating is not severe at all. Step into the shoes of a master."

I just want to say, it's amazing what disgusting lengths Christians will go to justify the Bible. Step into the shoes of a MASTER? What kind of sick f*** are you? I hope you're kidding. I hope that, in real life, you'd have some compassion for the slave...y'know, the HUMAN BEING who is being considered "property." When's the last time you were beaten so badly that it took two days to recover from it? You call that "not severe at all"?
Posted by squonk 8 months ago
Yes, that is basically what I will argue.
Posted by NothingSpecial99 8 months ago

I apologize as I could have worded the resolution better. What I am trying to argue, is that although the Bible talks about slavery, the laws in the Bible that governed slavery shows that Biblical slavery was rather humane and nothing like how African American slaves were treated. From your opening statement, you seemed to engage the resolution in a way that is fine with me as you are arguing against what I've stated in this comment. Will your arguments follow this logic or something similar:

P1: The Bible condones slavery
P2: the treatment of African slaves was similar or same as biblical slaves
C: The Bible condoned the treatment of African American slaves.
Posted by PTW 8 months ago
Why OH why, would any intelligent person consider the bible an authority on morals etc!?. After all it is a work of pure fiction, written by many hands, added to, edited , over many hundreds of years!.That goes for all religious texts!!.
Posted by JayShay 8 months ago
Good luck to both of you
Posted by squonk 8 months ago
I'd debate this as well.
Posted by JayShay 8 months ago
Considering this debate. I'm a bit confused what the resolution is. Are you arguing that the Bible does not condone slavery in general, or are you arguing that the Bible does not specifically condone the mistreatment of African Americans?
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