Slavery and Freedom in the Bible

Critics of the Bible forget that it also advocates liberty. It’s the Grand Arc of the Biblical Narrative, from Genesis to Revelation. Let’s see if we can discover universal truths from these historical, culture-bound slave laws.

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Does Torah Really Order Girl to Marry Her Rapist against Her Father’s Will?

Scripture: Deuteronomy 22:28-29 and Exodus 22:16-17. Is the titled question true? Or are there circumstances that clarify what was really going on? A parallel case in colonial Philadelphia is also included here.

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7. Torah and Slavery: Marrying Captives of War

Scripture: Deut. 21:10-14. War was a fact of life in the ancient Near East. When a soldier whose army was victorious saw a woman he was attracted to, what could he do? The Torah regulates this cultural fact.

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6. Torah and Slavery: Foreign Slaves

Scriptures: Lev. 25:44-46 and Deut. 23:15-16 (and Exod. 21:16, again, with its parallel Deut. 24:7). As we have observed in this series, slavery was a cultural fact of the ancient Near East. When an Israelite bought a foreign slave or a foreigner residing among them, what were his obligations to care for them and what rights did the slaves have? This post also has two parallel cases in colonial Virginia.

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4. Torah and Slavery: What Happened When Masters Punished Their Slaves?

Scriptures: Exod. 21:20-21, 26-27; Lev. 25:43, 46. There were two cultural (and unpleasant) facts in the ancient Near East, long before the Torah existed: (1) Masters hit their slaves to punish them, and (2) slaves had secondary status. How does the Torah intervene and regulate those two pre-existing facts? (I also include cases of a servant girl dying allegedly from a beating and a servant boy who was flogged for theft, in colonial Philadelphia.)

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3. Torah and Slavery: Impoverished Father Sells His Daughter to Be a ‘Secondary Wife’

Scripture: Exod. 21:7-11. In a culture of arranged marriage and widespread poverty, fathers in the ancient Near East did this long before the Torah existed. Now the Torah has to intervene and tell the men what the daughter’s legal rights were. This post also looks at polygamy.

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2. Torah and Slavery: Israelite Indentured Servants

Scriptures: Exod. 21:2-6; Lev. 25:39-42; Deut. 15:12-18. The Torah balances out fairness with generosity, yet it is still obviously situated in the ancient world–its own cultural context. It is always best to evaluate these ancient texts on their own terms and in their own times. Let’s see what we can discover. For comparison, this post includes the case of an indentured servant in colonial Philadelphia.

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1. Torah and Slavery: Abraham, Sarah, and Hagar

Scripture to be studied: Gen. 16:1-4. Hagar was a handmaid to Abraham’s wife, Sarah. Critics claim that Abraham could have sex with Hagar whenever he wanted because she was a slave. This post also looks into polygamy. It also includes a case of a slave woman named Lucy and her three children in 1827-1828, South Carolina, America, just for a comparison.

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Spiritual Sonograms: God Loves You and Your Baby

Whether you want your baby or not, God loves him or her, and he loves you. God can turn your Plan B into his Plan A, and make it better than your plans. Keep your baby, if you have an unplanned pregnancy.

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Five Myths about Marijuana and You

These myths appear in college papers and online. The users are eager to believe they don’t have a problem, so they have invented an entire mythology about this plant. Here are only five myths and the arguments to explode the myths.

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Is America Doomed?

After election 2022, the titled question is still valid. I normally write on the Bible and theology nowadays, but occasionally I still include a cultural and social article from a biblical point of view. There is hope but only in God.

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How to Rescue America with These Images

Lies and exaggerations and distortions flow through the web and media and harm our society. They must be countered. If not, America will decline–at first slowly, and now rapidly–by moral rot. I also offer some biblical truths. You may certainly copy the images and post them in social media.

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So What’s Wrong with Socialism, Anyway?

Have you ever heard a student or young adult ask it today?  It’s still going strong in Europe and numerous countries around the globe. What if Leftists were to rebrand their ideology and hide it under a current political party in American politics? Therefore, it’s important to take a closer look at it.

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Is It Just to Deploy National Guard to Stop Mayhem?

That is, is it the morally right thing to do? That question goes beyond current events in America in 2020. What is the government allowed to do, if it intends to restore peace and order? What does the Bible say?

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Should Christians Fight or Flee Persecution?

What if the Church is targeted for persecution by the government or by large groups of extremists, but the government does not come to the aid of Christians? For example, rioting Muslims in Nigeria or Sudan attack churches on a wide scale. Can Christians defend themselves, because the State does not come to their aid?

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Do Christians Have to ‘Keep’ the Ten Commandments?

Do we ignore the Old Law so we can be free to live as we wish in the New Covenant? What about Christian Sabbath keeping? What does the Bible really say?

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2. The Gospels: Was Jesus a Pacifist?

To answer that question, we look at four episodes in the Gospels: John the Baptist and some soldiers; Jesus and a centurion; an apparent command to use a sword against a disciple’s family; and two swords during Jesus’ arrest.

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How to Forgive Adultery and Fornication

Sometimes the church can be self-righteous and condemn a sinner in the name of holiness, ignoring mercy. Or it can be permissive in the name of mercy, ignoring holiness.

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Revenge in the Old and New Testaments: Eye for Eye, Tooth for Tooth

Does the Old Testament demand literal retaliation for a wrong? Should an eye or a tooth be gouged or knocked out—physically? What about the teaching of Jesus? Does he raise our vision to a higher calling? How do we forgive a tort or a physical injury? How do we get compensated for damages?

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Works Cited

Here is a list of the principal works referenced or used at this site. More will be added as time goes on, so please check back.

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