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The Bible and slavery: Ask a Christian

Skynet
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2/25/2015 7:29:13 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
I hear this objection a lot. It's usually not in a genuine question form, though, just accusatory. If you've got questions about slavery in the Bible, whether you're a Christian, Atheist, or other, I'll take them here.
One perk to being a dad is you get to watch cartoons again without explaining yourself.
FaustianJustice
Posts: 6,205
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2/25/2015 10:08:52 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 2/25/2015 7:29:13 PM, Skynet wrote:
I hear this objection a lot. It's usually not in a genuine question form, though, just accusatory. If you've got questions about slavery in the Bible, whether you're a Christian, Atheist, or other, I'll take them here.

Wouldn't it stand to reason that antislavery rules be part of the 10 commandments?
Here we have an advocate for Islamic arranged marriages demonstrating that children can consent to sex.
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Proving_a_Negative
Posts: 88
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2/26/2015 12:13:18 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 2/25/2015 7:29:13 PM, Skynet wrote:
I hear this objection a lot. It's usually not in a genuine question form, though, just accusatory. If you've got questions about slavery in the Bible, whether you're a Christian, Atheist, or other, I'll take them here.

Why did god allow slavery? Why did god allow beating your slave close to death? Why did god treat some people as property? Please explain using quotations from the bible. I will find some if you don't think these happened in the bible.
RuvDraba
Posts: 6,033
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2/26/2015 12:51:59 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 2/25/2015 7:29:13 PM, Skynet wrote:
If you've got questions about slavery in the Bible, whether you're a Christian, Atheist, or other, I'll take them here.

Okay, Sky. Are you an accredited historian or a philologist (i.e. a student of ancient language)?

If not, how can you construe the meaning of the Bible in its original context on a socially nuanced matter with any intellectual authority?
Illegalcombatant
Posts: 4,008
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2/26/2015 12:55:35 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 2/25/2015 7:29:13 PM, Skynet wrote:
I hear this objection a lot. It's usually not in a genuine question form, though, just accusatory. If you've got questions about slavery in the Bible, whether you're a Christian, Atheist, or other, I'll take them here.

Why should any one believe who hasn't being brainwashed or has a legion on their pre frontal cortext believe the alleged perfect word of a supernatural being who is all knowing, all powerful, just, wise & loving has no problems telling people in explicit terms what not to do (don't eat the shell fish, don't eat pig) yet when it comes to slavery didn't see it as fit to be so explicit in giving a don't do slavery command ?
"Seems like another attempt to insert God into areas our knowledge has yet to penetrate. You figure God would be bigger than the gaps of our ignorance." Drafterman 19/5/12
bornofgod
Posts: 11,322
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2/26/2015 8:24:07 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 2/25/2015 7:29:13 PM, Skynet wrote:
I hear this objection a lot. It's usually not in a genuine question form, though, just accusatory. If you've got questions about slavery in the Bible, whether you're a Christian, Atheist, or other, I'll take them here.

There's more slavery going on now than ever before. Ask any corporate slave.
JJ50
Posts: 2,144
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2/26/2015 8:27:59 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 2/25/2015 7:29:13 PM, Skynet wrote:
I hear this objection a lot. It's usually not in a genuine question form, though, just accusatory. If you've got questions about slavery in the Bible, whether you're a Christian, Atheist, or other, I'll take them here.

And you are an expert on the topic are you?

The guy Paul probably encouraged slavery when he told slaves to honour their masters. No doubt that may have been used as an excuse for the evil slave trade!
Skynet
Posts: 674
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2/26/2015 9:21:26 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 2/25/2015 10:08:52 PM, FaustianJustice wrote:
At 2/25/2015 7:29:13 PM, Skynet wrote:
I hear this objection a lot. It's usually not in a genuine question form, though, just accusatory. If you've got questions about slavery in the Bible, whether you're a Christian, Atheist, or other, I'll take them here.

Wouldn't it stand to reason that antislavery rules be part of the 10 commandments?

No. There are restrictions and rules about slavery in the Mosaic Law. Slaves and debts are to be released every 7 years, and 49? years. Slaves may become slaves for life if they do so of their own volition (they couldn't take care of themselves on their own, or life was better serving in a wealthy house than as a beggar or rural farmer and so refused to leave come the year of Jubilee.)
One perk to being a dad is you get to watch cartoons again without explaining yourself.
dhardage
Posts: 4,545
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2/26/2015 9:41:11 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 2/26/2015 9:21:26 AM, Skynet wrote:
At 2/25/2015 10:08:52 PM, FaustianJustice wrote:
At 2/25/2015 7:29:13 PM, Skynet wrote:
I hear this objection a lot. It's usually not in a genuine question form, though, just accusatory. If you've got questions about slavery in the Bible, whether you're a Christian, Atheist, or other, I'll take them here.

Wouldn't it stand to reason that antislavery rules be part of the 10 commandments?

No. There are restrictions and rules about slavery in the Mosaic Law. Slaves and debts are to be released every 7 years, and 49? years. Slaves may become slaves for life if they do so of their own volition (they couldn't take care of themselves on their own, or life was better serving in a wealthy house than as a beggar or rural farmer and so refused to leave come the year of Jubilee.)

That only applies to other Jews. Non-jews can be owned for life. Read the entire chapter and explain that and why a master can beat his slave within an inch of his life as long as it takes him a day or three to die and it's ok with Mosaic law.
popculturepooka
Posts: 7,924
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2/26/2015 9:52:15 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
Why not, as a Christian, just admit that there are sometimes bad things in the bible that people sometimes mistakenly attribute to God (like thinking he approves of slavery) and just move on with it? I seriously don't get the impulse of many Christians to just defend *everything* as God ordained just because it's recorded in the bible. It's pretty obvious that that can't be the case if one just reads the Psalms which has the author expressing some pretty ugly attitudes about the Jews' enemies that are incompatible with God's attitudes toward his "enemies". Why not just taking it as a recording of a genuine expression of raw, human emotion (not as necessarily a correct response to a situation) and learn from it?
At 10/3/2016 11:49:13 PM, thett3 wrote:
BLACK LIVES MATTER!
Skynet
Posts: 674
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2/26/2015 10:18:18 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 2/26/2015 12:13:18 AM, Proving_a_Negative wrote:
At 2/25/2015 7:29:13 PM, Skynet wrote:
I hear this objection a lot. It's usually not in a genuine question form, though, just accusatory. If you've got questions about slavery in the Bible, whether you're a Christian, Atheist, or other, I'll take them here.

Why did god allow slavery? Why did god allow beating your slave close to death? Why did god treat some people as property? Please explain using quotations from the bible. I will find some if you don't think these happened in the bible.

First off: God does allow slavery. Why? The default human position is to be a slave to something. People are slaves to their own desires and appetites. You'll serve money, a goal, a feeling, or impressing people, and submit yourself to that end:
(For many walk, of whom I have told you often and now tell you even with weeping, as the enemies of the cross of Christ. Their end is destruction, their God is their belly, and their glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.)'
Philippians 3:18-19

If you're in debt, you are a slave. When I refinanced my mortgage, I received a release of indenture from the Township. I MUST give a set amount of my labor (converted to money) to pay the bank every month. Is that not slavery?
The rich ruleth over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender.
Proverbs 22:7

Beyond that, God created humans and the Universe for his own purposes. We have no claim of independence from our master. Where would we go? Our existence depends on his intervention.
So Paul stood in the midst of the Areopagus and said, "Men of Athens, I observe that you are very religious in all respects. For while I was passing through and examining the objects of your worship, I also found an altar with this inscription, "TO AN UNKNOWN GOD." Therefore what you worship in ignorance, this I proclaim to you. The God who made the world and all things in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands; nor is He served by human hands, as though He needed anything, since He Himself gives to all people life and breath and all things; and He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their habitation, that they would seek God, if perhaps they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; for in Him we live and move and exist, as even some of your own poets have said, "For we also are His children." Being then the children of God, we ought not to think that the Divine Nature is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and thought of man. Therefore having overlooked the times of ignorance, God is now declaring to men that all people everywhere should repent, because He has fixed a day in which He will judge [c]the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead."
Acts 17:22-31
No authority beyond God can be appealed to. He has the right to our lives. Christians are the ones who bow to that authority and admit we are slaves. In that submission, we are treated as friends, as he originally intended for the relationship to be.
No longer do I call you slaves, for the slave does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I have heard from My Father I have made known to you.\
John 15:15
We're all property, whether to another person, a government, an institution, or chains we've created in our own desires.

Why did god allow beating your slave close to death?

Because he's property. But if they're going to beat them that bad, that's a big risk to the slave owner. If they DO kill them, that's the death penalty for the master. If they injure them severely, the slave must be set free.
"When a man strikes his slave, male or female, with a rod and the slave dies under his hand, he shall be avenged. But if the slave survives a day or two, he is not to be avenged, for the slave is his money."
"When a man strikes the eye of his slave, male or female, and destroys it, he shall let the slave go free because of his eye. If he knocks out the tooth of his slave, male or female, he shall let the slave go free because of his tooth.

Exodus 21
One perk to being a dad is you get to watch cartoons again without explaining yourself.
Skynet
Posts: 674
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2/26/2015 10:21:19 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 2/26/2015 12:51:59 AM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 2/25/2015 7:29:13 PM, Skynet wrote:
If you've got questions about slavery in the Bible, whether you're a Christian, Atheist, or other, I'll take them here.

Okay, Sky. Are you an accredited historian or a philologist (i.e. a student of ancient language)?

If not, how can you construe the meaning of the Bible in its original context on a socially nuanced matter with any intellectual authority?

If ancient texts cannot be accurately understood, even when translated into our language, how can we understand anything of history? By your reasoning, the Rosetta Stone and Annals of Tacitus are useless.
One perk to being a dad is you get to watch cartoons again without explaining yourself.
Skynet
Posts: 674
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2/26/2015 10:28:42 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 2/26/2015 12:55:35 AM, Illegalcombatant wrote:
At 2/25/2015 7:29:13 PM, Skynet wrote:
I hear this objection a lot. It's usually not in a genuine question form, though, just accusatory. If you've got questions about slavery in the Bible, whether you're a Christian, Atheist, or other, I'll take them here.

Why should any one believe who hasn't being brainwashed or has a legion on their pre frontal cortext believe the alleged perfect word of a supernatural being who is all knowing, all powerful, just, wise & loving has no problems telling people in explicit terms what not to do (don't eat the shell fish, don't eat pig) yet when it comes to slavery didn't see it as fit to be so explicit in giving a don't do slavery command ?

All Theists have brain defects or are brainwashed? Careful, that's something that can be investigated. How many CAT scans have you conducted of Christians, and what were the results? How many have you submitted to psychological evaluation to determine if they were brainwashed? What were the results?

The ceremonial laws only applied to those who participated in the Mosaic Covenant, which was voluntary. You didn't have to take it, and you could leave the country whenever you wanted. The ceremonial and moral laws were to:
1. Provide limits on society and order.
2. Demonstrate to the other nations the requirements of Holy God could not be met by human works. They required constant sacrifice for breaking the Law. Extra grace from God was required for the restoration of the relationship with him beyond mere rule following and national citizenship.
One perk to being a dad is you get to watch cartoons again without explaining yourself.
Skynet
Posts: 674
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2/26/2015 10:45:43 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 2/26/2015 9:41:11 AM, dhardage wrote:
At 2/26/2015 9:21:26 AM, Skynet wrote:
At 2/25/2015 10:08:52 PM, FaustianJustice wrote:
At 2/25/2015 7:29:13 PM, Skynet wrote:
I hear this objection a lot. It's usually not in a genuine question form, though, just accusatory. If you've got questions about slavery in the Bible, whether you're a Christian, Atheist, or other, I'll take them here.

Wouldn't it stand to reason that antislavery rules be part of the 10 commandments?

No. There are restrictions and rules about slavery in the Mosaic Law. Slaves and debts are to be released every 7 years, and 49? years. Slaves may become slaves for life if they do so of their own volition (they couldn't take care of themselves on their own, or life was better serving in a wealthy house than as a beggar or rural farmer and so refused to leave come the year of Jubilee.)

That only applies to other Jews. Non-jews can be owned for life. Read the entire re chapter and explain that and why a master can beat his slave within an inch of his life as long as it takes him a day or three to die and it's ok with Mosaic law.

You are right, and I know, that does only apply to Jewish slaves.
It's OK in the Law because it's OK with God. What moral standard are you using to say it's not right to beat your slaves? If we're comparing moral standards here, let's get all the cards on the table. You know the Mosiac Law, now let me see your moral law and explain why it has authority to tell God or even me I'm wrong.
One perk to being a dad is you get to watch cartoons again without explaining yourself.
RuvDraba
Posts: 6,033
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2/26/2015 11:45:40 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 2/26/2015 10:21:19 AM, Skynet wrote:
If ancient texts cannot be accurately understood, even when translated into our language, how can we understand anything of history? By your reasoning, the Rosetta Stone and Annals of Tacitus are useless.

Meaning is created by text, context and subtext. Yet without a solid understanding of language, times and culture, you only get text. That's fine when the context is shared, and the language is written without much subtext. However...

Have you read much Elizabethan English? It's early modern English, so by your counter-argument, everyone should understand its meaning correctly on first read. Yet how much do you understand? Please could you explain for us, the nuanced meaning of the following passage:

Go, bind thou up yon dangling apricocks,
Which, like unruly children, make their sire
Stoop with oppression of their prodigal weight:
Give some supportance to the bending twigs.
Go thou, and like an executioner,
Cut off the heads of too fast growing sprays,
That look too lofty in our commonwealth:
All must be even in our government.
You thus employ'd, I will go root away
The noisome weeds, which without profit suck
The soil's fertility from wholesome flowers

This passage is only 420 years old, in comparison to the Bible, whose youngest passages are four times that in age, and whose oldest passages are about seven times that, and from a place and time with customs and politics none of us can readily imagine -- unless we're historians or philologists.
dhardage
Posts: 4,545
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2/26/2015 11:46:44 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 2/26/2015 10:45:43 AM, Skynet wrote:
At 2/26/2015 9:41:11 AM, dhardage wrote:
At 2/26/2015 9:21:26 AM, Skynet wrote:
At 2/25/2015 10:08:52 PM, FaustianJustice wrote:
At 2/25/2015 7:29:13 PM, Skynet wrote:
I hear this objection a lot. It's usually not in a genuine question form, though, just accusatory. If you've got questions about slavery in the Bible, whether you're a Christian, Atheist, or other, I'll take them here.

Wouldn't it stand to reason that antislavery rules be part of the 10 commandments?

No. There are restrictions and rules about slavery in the Mosaic Law. Slaves and debts are to be released every 7 years, and 49? years. Slaves may become slaves for life if they do so of their own volition (they couldn't take care of themselves on their own, or life was better serving in a wealthy house than as a beggar or rural farmer and so refused to leave come the year of Jubilee.)

That only applies to other Jews. Non-jews can be owned for life. Read the entire re chapter and explain that and why a master can beat his slave within an inch of his life as long as it takes him a day or three to die and it's ok with Mosaic law.

You are right, and I know, that does only apply to Jewish slaves.
It's OK in the Law because it's OK with God. What moral standard are you using to say it's not right to beat your slaves? If we're comparing moral standards here, let's get all the cards on the table. You know the Mosiac Law, now let me see your moral law and explain why it has authority to tell God or even me I'm wrong.

Simple empathy and what I learned from my parents. As far as a moral code, you should be looking to those wonderful, simple rules attributed to Jesus of Nazareth. Love thy neighbor as thyself. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Judge not for you shall be judged by that selfsame measure. Do not speak of the mote in thy neighbor's eye until you remove the plank in yours.

See, those rules which I find to be the best way to live would make slavery impossible because I DON"T WANT TO BE A SLAVE and I doubt that most other people do. What your God supposedly said was OK was refuted and made immoral by the rules HIs some laid down. Seems rather self-contradictory to me.
Skynet
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2/26/2015 2:23:15 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 2/26/2015 11:45:40 AM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 2/26/2015 10:21:19 AM, Skynet wrote:
If ancient texts cannot be accurately understood, even when translated into our language, how can we understand anything of history? By your reasoning, the Rosetta Stone and Annals of Tacitus are useless.

Meaning is created by text, context and subtext. Yet without a solid understanding of language, times and culture, you only get text. That's fine when the context is shared, and the language is written without much subtext. However...

Have you read much Elizabethan English? It's early modern English, so by your counter-argument, everyone should understand its meaning correctly on first read. Yet how much do you understand? Please could you explain for us, the nuanced meaning of the following passage:

Go, bind thou up yon dangling apricocks,
Which, like unruly children, make their sire
Stoop with oppression of their prodigal weight:
Give some supportance to the bending twigs.
Go thou, and like an executioner,
Cut off the heads of too fast growing sprays,
That look too lofty in our commonwealth:
All must be even in our government.
You thus employ'd, I will go root away
The noisome weeds, which without profit suck
The soil's fertility from wholesome flowers

This passage is only 420 years old, in comparison to the Bible, whose youngest passages are four times that in age, and whose oldest passages are about seven times that, and from a place and time with customs and politics none of us can readily imagine -- unless we're historians or philologists.

You could ask a question about the topic at hand and evaluate my actual answer rather than dismissively accusing me of not being knowledgeable enough to give an answer.
One perk to being a dad is you get to watch cartoons again without explaining yourself.
RuvDraba
Posts: 6,033
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2/26/2015 2:34:57 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 2/26/2015 2:23:15 PM, Skynet wrote:

You could ask a question about the topic at hand and evaluate my actual answer rather than dismissively accusing me of not being knowledgeable enough to give an answer.

I did. I have asked you to accurately evaluate your knowledge of the nuances of Bronze Age slavery, the cultural and political history of the Israelites, and the issues facing Hellenised Jews under Roman occupation, and your knowledge of the ancient languages in which the books of the Bible were originally written.

I have also asked you on what basis you could claim intellectual authority on a complex and nuanced topic entirely alien to modern-day people who've grown up in an era of Human Rights, affirmative action, the principle that all humans are essentially the same species, and who've inherited the legacy of the US Civil War?

How do you ensure your own cultural context doesn't contaminate your reading?

What specific expertise do you bring to this subject, and why should anyone listen to you, of all people? Why read possibly naive, ignorant and culturally-biased opinions about the Bible's attitudes to slavery, rather than getting some facts about how things were in the time of the Bible's authors?

I think they're all fair questions.
iSpy
Posts: 41
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2/26/2015 2:45:55 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
First off: God does allow slavery. Why? The default human position is to be a slave to something. People are slaves to their own desires and appetites. You'll serve money, a goal, a feeling, or impressing people, and submit yourself to that end:
(For many walk, of whom I have told you often and now tell you even with weeping, as the enemies of the cross of Christ. Their end is destruction, their God is their belly, and their glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.)'
Philippians 3:18-19

If you're in debt, you are a slave. When I refinanced my mortgage, I received a release of indenture from the Township. I MUST give a set amount of my labor (converted to money) to pay the bank every month. Is that not slavery?
The rich ruleth over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender.
Proverbs 22:7

Come on. There's a pretty significant difference between voluntarily entering into a legal agreement with a bank for the purpose of paying off your home versus being shackled and removed from your family and loved ones and forced into physical labor for no compensation.

To compare your hardships with someone who lived that sort of life is offensive and entirely disingenuous.
Skynet
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2/26/2015 3:20:51 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 2/26/2015 2:34:57 PM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 2/26/2015 2:23:15 PM, Skynet wrote:

You could ask a question about the topic at hand and evaluate my actual answer rather than dismissively accusing me of not being knowledgeable enough to give an answer.

I did. I have asked you to accurately evaluate your knowledge of the nuances of Bronze Age slavery, the cultural and political history of the Israelites, and the issues facing Hellenised Jews under Roman occupation, and your knowledge of the ancient languages in which the books of the Bible were originally written.

I have also asked you on what basis you could claim intellectual authority on a complex and nuanced topic entirely alien to modern-day people who've grown up in an era of Human Rights, affirmative action, the principle that all humans are essentially the same species, and who've inherited the legacy of the US Civil War?

How do you ensure your own cultural context doesn't contaminate your reading?

What specific expertise do you bring to this subject, and why should anyone listen to you, of all people? Why read possibly naive, ignorant and culturally-biased opinions about the Bible's attitudes to slavery, rather than getting some facts about how things were in the time of the Bible's authors?

I think they're all fair questions.

It doesn't matter if I had down-syndrome and a 1st grade education. If I have the answer, I have the answer. Do you have a question about the subject rather than accusations about my education level disguised as questions?
Now, if I can't answer a question, that will be a good indication I'm not educated on the subject.
On the other hand, if my credentials on the subject were impeccable, would you be totally submissive to my answers without researching how accurate they are? I'm guessing no. So ask me a question or no, and double check my answer, which is what you should be doing no matter what my education level.
One perk to being a dad is you get to watch cartoons again without explaining yourself.
RuvDraba
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2/26/2015 3:42:33 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 2/26/2015 3:20:51 PM, Skynet wrote:

It doesn't matter if I had down-syndrome and a 1st grade education. If I have the answer, I have the answer.

Spoken like a first grader.

Skynet, if you want to pronounce on (A) the beliefs of modern Christianity about slavery, you have every right to, because that's what you actually study.

But if you want to pronounce on (B) the ideas of ancient Biblical authors about slavery, then you need to have educated yourself in that, and as my earlier passage of Elizabethan English illustrates, one can't do that insightfully on ancient texts without studying the authors, their times, their language and concerns.

If you haven't done that, then you're conflating one subject with another, and it's not unreasonable to demand academic and intellectual honesty from the discussion.

You have a right to discuss religion and slavery, but without an historical or philological education, your title is inappropriate. It should have been:

Modern Christianity and Slavery: Ask a Christian.

In summary, the Bible is an anthology of historical documents on culture, politics, morality and metaphysics, painstakingly preserved by Jews and Christians. The world owes both faiths a great debt for their curation, but your faith doesn't own the meaning by virtue of its belief, and you can't pronounce on it with any authority unless you have scholarship in its history.
EtrnlVw
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2/26/2015 4:59:06 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 2/26/2015 9:52:15 AM, popculturepooka wrote:
Why not, as a Christian, just admit that there are sometimes bad things in the bible that people sometimes mistakenly attribute to God (like thinking he approves of slavery) and just move on with it? I seriously don't get the impulse of many Christians to just defend *everything* as God ordained just because it's recorded in the bible. It's pretty obvious that that can't be the case if one just reads the Psalms which has the author expressing some pretty ugly attitudes about the Jews' enemies that are incompatible with God's attitudes toward his "enemies". Why not just taking it as a recording of a genuine expression of raw, human emotion (not as necessarily a correct response to a situation) and learn from it?

I think some of this is reasonable, I never understood the rigidness of religious thought and non religious as well especially with the OT. I mean I get it and people want to know why there is questionable morals and behavior in a so called Book of God but I don't know what the shock is, these scripts were written during one of the most brutal and ignorant stages in Human history and of course it is going to reflect that in it's writings it doesn't make it anything less than what it is.
Anyways it wasn't just the Jews it was ALL of them, all of them did barbaric and stupid things it was what they were born into only some of them under more conviction than another possibly. Even "Gods people" can do stupid things and the Bible is honest about this it makes no real attempt to cover it up.

Christianity though is not necessarily dependent on ones beliefs concerning OT scriptures, people forget what Christ actually did. That religious way of life is what Jesus came to abolish and He did it in the face of the religious system and they killed Him for it. Salvation and communion with God is the theme of what Jesus taught, and our relation with God is built upon that.
Sorry I just thought this was an interesting post.
popculturepooka
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2/26/2015 9:23:49 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 2/26/2015 4:59:06 PM, EtrnlVw wrote:
At 2/26/2015 9:52:15 AM, popculturepooka wrote:
Why not, as a Christian, just admit that there are sometimes bad things in the bible that people sometimes mistakenly attribute to God (like thinking he approves of slavery) and just move on with it? I seriously don't get the impulse of many Christians to just defend *everything* as God ordained just because it's recorded in the bible. It's pretty obvious that that can't be the case if one just reads the Psalms which has the author expressing some pretty ugly attitudes about the Jews' enemies that are incompatible with God's attitudes toward his "enemies". Why not just taking it as a recording of a genuine expression of raw, human emotion (not as necessarily a correct response to a situation) and learn from it?

I think some of this is reasonable, I never understood the rigidness of religious thought and non religious as well especially with the OT. I mean I get it and people want to know why there is questionable morals and behavior in a so called Book of God but I don't know what the shock is, these scripts were written during one of the most brutal and ignorant stages in Human history and of course it is going to reflect that in it's writings it doesn't make it anything less than what it is.
Anyways it wasn't just the Jews it was ALL of them, all of them did barbaric and stupid things it was what they were born into only some of them under more conviction than another possibly. Even "Gods people" can do stupid things and the Bible is honest about this it makes no real attempt to cover it up.

Christianity though is not necessarily dependent on ones beliefs concerning OT scriptures, people forget what Christ actually did. That religious way of life is what Jesus came to abolish and He did it in the face of the religious system and they killed Him for it. Salvation and communion with God is the theme of what Jesus taught, and our relation with God is built upon that.
Sorry I just thought this was an interesting post.

Good post. I agree with you, pretty much. Although I slightly disagree with you on the OT part. I think the OT is very important, just not in the way many evangelicals think it is. I think the "bad stuff" in the Bible is there as lessons of what we are supposed to NOT do (i.e. think that God approves of slavery or is complicit in the institution), and it shows us just how badly humans can and do mess up. After all, the bible is recording human interactions with God - mistakes and all. One shouldn't feel compelled to defend slavery just because it's in there and the Bible is allegedley morally inerrant.
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annanicole
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2/26/2015 9:56:27 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 2/26/2015 9:23:49 PM, popculturepooka wrote:
At 2/26/2015 4:59:06 PM, EtrnlVw wrote:
At 2/26/2015 9:52:15 AM, popculturepooka wrote:
Why not, as a Christian, just admit that there are sometimes bad things in the bible that people sometimes mistakenly attribute to God (like thinking he approves of slavery) and just move on with it? I seriously don't get the impulse of many Christians to just defend *everything* as God ordained just because it's recorded in the bible. It's pretty obvious that that can't be the case if one just reads the Psalms which has the author expressing some pretty ugly attitudes about the Jews' enemies that are incompatible with God's attitudes toward his "enemies". Why not just taking it as a recording of a genuine expression of raw, human emotion (not as necessarily a correct response to a situation) and learn from it?

I think some of this is reasonable, I never understood the rigidness of religious thought and non religious as well especially with the OT. I mean I get it and people want to know why there is questionable morals and behavior in a so called Book of God but I don't know what the shock is, these scripts were written during one of the most brutal and ignorant stages in Human history and of course it is going to reflect that in it's writings it doesn't make it anything less than what it is.
Anyways it wasn't just the Jews it was ALL of them, all of them did barbaric and stupid things it was what they were born into only some of them under more conviction than another possibly. Even "Gods people" can do stupid things and the Bible is honest about this it makes no real attempt to cover it up.

Christianity though is not necessarily dependent on ones beliefs concerning OT scriptures, people forget what Christ actually did. That religious way of life is what Jesus came to abolish and He did it in the face of the religious system and they killed Him for it. Salvation and communion with God is the theme of what Jesus taught, and our relation with God is built upon that.
Sorry I just thought this was an interesting post.

Good post. I agree with you, pretty much. Although I slightly disagree with you on the OT part. I think the OT is very important, just not in the way many evangelicals think it is. I think the "bad stuff" in the Bible is there as lessons of what we are supposed to NOT do (i.e. think that God approves of slavery or is complicit in the institution), and it shows us just how badly humans can and do mess up. After all, the bible is recording human interactions with God - mistakes and all. One shouldn't feel compelled to defend slavery just because it's in there and the Bible is allegedley morally inerrant.

"The times of ignorance therefore God overlooked; but now he commandeth men that they should all everywhere repent" (Acts 17: 30)

"For if that first covenant had been faultless, then would no place have been sought for a second." (Heb 8: 7)

Thus God recognized, and knew all along, that the first covenant (the OT from which these folks are quoting) was faulty and made amenable to a time of ignorance. The rule then was "an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth."

I wouldn't debate the morality or immorality of selling people, usually defeated tribes, into slavery. The folks who did so were either atheists or pagans and adhered to the rule "to the victor belong the spoils".

Atheists are in the rather peculiar position of claiming that:

(1) In battle, one tribe could kill member of another tribe without much conflict with morality, but

(2) The same tribe could allow members of the weaker tribe to live, sell them off into slavery, and thereby committed an immoral act. Or they could keep them as slaves and commit an immoral act.
Madcornishbiker: "No, I don't need a dictionary, I know how scripture uses words and that is all I need to now."
FaustianJustice
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2/26/2015 10:11:52 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 2/26/2015 9:21:26 AM, Skynet wrote:
At 2/25/2015 10:08:52 PM, FaustianJustice wrote:
At 2/25/2015 7:29:13 PM, Skynet wrote:
I hear this objection a lot. It's usually not in a genuine question form, though, just accusatory. If you've got questions about slavery in the Bible, whether you're a Christian, Atheist, or other, I'll take them here.

Wouldn't it stand to reason that antislavery rules be part of the 10 commandments?

No. There are restrictions and rules about slavery in the Mosaic Law. Slaves and debts are to be released every 7 years, and 49? years. Slaves may become slaves for life if they do so of their own volition (they couldn't take care of themselves on their own, or life was better serving in a wealthy house than as a beggar or rural farmer and so refused to leave come the year of Jubilee.)

Yes, to other followers of the Mosaic law. That doesn't relate to foreigners, or taking slaves as spoils of war. In any case: if God was against it, why should He suffer it, even amongst His chosen people?
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Skynet
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2/26/2015 10:19:47 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 2/26/2015 9:52:15 AM, popculturepooka wrote:
Why not, as a Christian, just admit that there are sometimes bad things in the bible that people sometimes mistakenly attribute to God (like thinking he approves of slavery) and just move on with it? I seriously don't get the impulse of many Christians to just defend *everything* as God ordained just because it's recorded in the bible. It's pretty obvious that that can't be the case if one just reads the Psalms which has the author expressing some pretty ugly attitudes about the Jews' enemies that are incompatible with God's attitudes toward his "enemies". Why not just taking it as a recording of a genuine expression of raw, human emotion (not as necessarily a correct response to a situation) and learn from it?

Not everything in the Bible is meant to be taken as a good example. There are lots of bad examples, and we're expected to know the difference, and it isn't unclear.

However, I can't let my cultural ideas cloud my interpretation. If God says it's OK, it's OK.

About God's attitude toward his enemies:
And the Ancient of Days took His seat;
His vesture was like white snow
And the hair of His head like pure wool.
His throne was ablaze with flames,
Its wheels were a burning fire.
"A river of fire was flowing
And coming out from before Him;
Thousands upon thousands were attending Him,
And myriads upon myriads were standing before Him;
The court sat,
And the books were opened.
Then I kept looking because of the sound of the boastful words which the horn was speaking; I kept looking until the beast was slain, and its body was destroyed and given to the burning fire.

Daniel 7

"Do I have any pleasure at all that the wicked should die?" says the Lord God, "and not that he should turn from his ways and live?"
Ezekiel 18:23

God insists on carrying out justice for wrongs, so much so that there is a river of fire and punishment flowing forth from him in which he casts the evil.
But before he does so, most people have an undeserved chance to live and repent, because he doesn't want to punish us if he doesn't have to. (He only has to because he demands it because he can't tolerate evil perpetually.)

God calls us to serve him and eachother, and to submit to the authorities which he empowers. We were created to serve. We will find something to serve.
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Skynet
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2/26/2015 10:37:12 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 2/26/2015 11:46:44 AM, dhardage wrote:
At 2/26/2015 10:45:43 AM, Skynet wrote:
At 2/26/2015 9:41:11 AM, dhardage wrote:
At 2/26/2015 9:21:26 AM, Skynet wrote:
At 2/25/2015 10:08:52 PM, FaustianJustice wrote:
At 2/25/2015 7:29:13 PM, Skynet wrote:
I hear this objection a lot. It's usually not in a genuine question form, though, just accusatory. If you've got questions about slavery in the Bible, whether you're a Christian, Atheist, or other, I'll take them here.

Wouldn't it stand to reason that antislavery rules be part of the 10 commandments?

No. There are restrictions and rules about slavery in the Mosaic Law. Slaves and debts are to be released every 7 years, and 49? years. Slaves may become slaves for life if they do so of their own volition (they couldn't take care of themselves on their own, or life was better serving in a wealthy house than as a beggar or rural farmer and so refused to leave come the year of Jubilee.)

That only applies to other Jews. Non-jews can be owned for life. Read the entire re chapter and explain that and why a master can beat his slave within an inch of his life as long as it takes him a day or three to die and it's ok with Mosaic law.

You are right, and I know, that does only apply to Jewish slaves.
It's OK in the Law because it's OK with God. What moral standard are you using to say it's not right to beat your slaves? If we're comparing moral standards here, let's get all the cards on the table. You know the Mosiac Law, now let me see your moral law and explain why it has authority to tell God or even me I'm wrong.

Simple empathy and what I learned from my parents. As far as a moral code, you should be looking to those wonderful, simple rules attributed to Jesus of Nazareth. Love thy neighbor as thyself. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Judge not for you shall be judged by that selfsame measure. Do not speak of the mote in thy neighbor's eye until you remove the plank in yours.

See, those rules which I find to be the best way to live would make slavery impossible because I DON"T WANT TO BE A SLAVE and I doubt that most other people do. What your God supposedly said was OK was refuted and made immoral by the rules HIs some laid down. Seems rather self-contradictory to me.

If you read Mark 12 and the Parable of the Tenants, Jesus himself refers to the OT prophets as bond servants, or slaves, of God. In Mark, Jesus also sets the example of being a servant to others and instructs the disciples that if they want to be the best disciples, to be the lowest servant. God has called everyone to be slaves to him and eachother. It's what he requires and with good cause: He esteems the humble. Plus he knows if we get caught in the cycle of trying to outdo eachother in acquiring power and position for ourselves, where else do wars and oppression come from? Submit yourself as a slave to God and then others. If someone has acquired slaves, he has the legal right to beat them, but he'll answer in the hereafter for not being humble if he does not recognize that his slave and he will soon be equalized by death and judged by someone who does not care what title you did or didn't have in life.
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Skynet
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2/26/2015 10:53:02 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 2/26/2015 10:11:52 PM, FaustianJustice wrote:
At 2/26/2015 9:21:26 AM, Skynet wrote:
At 2/25/2015 10:08:52 PM, FaustianJustice wrote:
At 2/25/2015 7:29:13 PM, Skynet wrote:
I hear this objection a lot. It's usually not in a genuine question form, though, just accusatory. If you've got questions about slavery in the Bible, whether you're a Christian, Atheist, or other, I'll take them here.

Wouldn't it stand to reason that antislavery rules be part of the 10 commandments?

No. There are restrictions and rules about slavery in the Mosaic Law. Slaves and debts are to be released every 7 years, and 49? years. Slaves may become slaves for life if they do so of their own volition (they couldn't take care of themselves on their own, or life was better serving in a wealthy house than as a beggar or rural farmer and so refused to leave come the year of Jubilee.)

Yes, to other followers of the Mosaic law. That doesn't relate to foreigners, or taking slaves as spoils of war. In any case: if God was against it, why should He suffer it, even amongst His chosen people?

God isn't against it, per Se. Being free from servitude under another human is preferable, but being a servant of God is all about submitting our will to his. It's only preferable because, really, in a few decades, both slave and master will be naked and without property or body, judged equally before God. Debts have to be paid, and if your two hands are all you have, working in your lender's house is better than being dishonest and not being true to your word and paying it back. Proverbs is full of advice about staying out of debt, so slavery is not encouraged, but it is recognized as reality. I've been an addict before, I'm in debt, and I've taken oaths with the military. I know what being owned is, and it's not just working on a plantation.
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FaustianJustice
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2/26/2015 11:02:18 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 2/26/2015 10:53:02 PM, Skynet wrote:
At 2/26/2015 10:11:52 PM, FaustianJustice wrote:
At 2/26/2015 9:21:26 AM, Skynet wrote:
At 2/25/2015 10:08:52 PM, FaustianJustice wrote:
At 2/25/2015 7:29:13 PM, Skynet wrote:
I hear this objection a lot. It's usually not in a genuine question form, though, just accusatory. If you've got questions about slavery in the Bible, whether you're a Christian, Atheist, or other, I'll take them here.

Wouldn't it stand to reason that antislavery rules be part of the 10 commandments?

No. There are restrictions and rules about slavery in the Mosaic Law. Slaves and debts are to be released every 7 years, and 49? years. Slaves may become slaves for life if they do so of their own volition (they couldn't take care of themselves on their own, or life was better serving in a wealthy house than as a beggar or rural farmer and so refused to leave come the year of Jubilee.)

Yes, to other followers of the Mosaic law. That doesn't relate to foreigners, or taking slaves as spoils of war. In any case: if God was against it, why should He suffer it, even amongst His chosen people?

God isn't against it, per Se. Being free from servitude under another human is preferable,

Just like not killing them, not stealing from them, not coveting their goods, not bearing false witness....

but being a servant of God is all about submitting our will to his. It's only preferable because, really, in a few decades, both slave and master will be naked and without property or body, judged equally before God. Debts have to be paid, and if your two hands are all you have, working in your lender's house is better than being dishonest and not being true to your word and paying it back.

I genuinely don't think we are on the same level about slavery, here.

Proverbs is full of advice about staying out of debt, so slavery is not encouraged, but it is recognized as reality. I've been an addict before, I'm in debt, and I've taken oaths with the military. I know what being owned is, and it's not just working on a plantation.

I also can't help but notice that with each of those examples, a certain matter of free will pre event needed to have transpired, leading me back to my 'genuinely don't think we are on the same level about slavery" remark.
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debate_power
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2/26/2015 11:06:03 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 2/25/2015 7:29:13 PM, Skynet wrote:
I hear this objection a lot. It's usually not in a genuine question form, though, just accusatory. If you've got questions about slavery in the Bible, whether you're a Christian, Atheist, or other, I'll take them here.

Yo, what be up with the Bible and slavery, dawg?
You can call me Mark if you like.