No??slavery?in scripture

2014-06-08 15:00

J Prinsloo

Pretoria

Referring to Percy Mabandu’s article titled “What’s the Bible doing at the inauguration” (City Press, June 1 2014), the issue of slavery is mentioned as one of the discrediting factors to this book.

Only the first section of a much longer paragraph is cited. Further reading will illuminate the context.

It is also written: “Masters, treat your slaves the same way, giving up the use of threats, because you know that both you and they have the same master in heaven, and there is no favouritism with him.” (Ephesians 6:9). And: “Masters, treat your slaves with justice and fairness, because you know that you also have a master in heaven.” (Colossians 4:1).

It is easy, from a superficial reading of the text, to take one verse from scripture to build a case; or worse, to build a twisted theology that justifies oppression and violence.

I challenge Mabandu to cite one verse in the Bible that endorses slavery. Often descriptions of everyday situations in ancient culture get confused with dogmatic assertions.

What the Bible does is describe the reality of its day, and how both master and servant should conduct themselves within less-than-perfect circumstances.

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