Slavery In The Bible – The Good Book Part 1

The Good Book

Yesterday I went shopping for some good old processed meat. I got stuck behind a frustrated shopper who could not find what he was looking for, I interrupted him mid rant asking If I could please pass through. He smiled at me an exclaimed humorously: “I almost said a word that’s not in the bible”.
The bible has long since been held as an infallible standard for what constitutes a good moral life and society. Whoever holds this notion has clearly not read the bible in its totality. This series outlines some fan favourites for corrupt ideals endorsed by biblical text.

The Good Stuff

Ok, so the bible like any other religious text does have some good “Don’t Be a Douche Bag Advise”. Don’t commit murder, don’t steal, this is generally good advice but it’s in no way dependent on the bible itself. There are places in the world that are entirely free from organized religion that subscribe to these values. All useful “Good Stuff” advocated for by the bible is inherently human values and are in no way exclusive to an understanding or even knowledge of the Bible. Let me repeat this, isolated groups of people that have never seen or heard of Mr Jesus and he’s good book live perfectly civil lives without raping and killing one another. Let me repeat it again, there are 7 billion people on Plazanet Earth of which 2 billion are Christians, 5 Billion of these people believe in something else or nothing at all, and they seem to be doing rather well on the rape ’n steel scale. Some exclusively atheist regions have reported the lowest crime rates and highest standards of living compared to their religious counterparts.

Slavery In The Bible

Now interestingly, my intention was to do all this in one article, but it turns out that the bible is so bad that I will have to break this down into a series of topics covering the various atrocities advocated for in the bible starting with good old Slavery!
There are a ton of references to slavery in the bible, many theists have attempted to dismiss them as indentured servitude but it’s a well-established fact that slavery was a common practice as recent as the 1800’s…. It just does not seem reasonable to believe the bible is referring to a type of “socially acceptable slavery”. When taking the text in context it becomes abundantly clear that it refers to people as property!

Leviticus 25:44-46 NLT
However, you may purchase male or female slaves from among the foreigners who live among you. You may also purchase the children of such resident foreigners, including those who have been born in your land. You may treat them as your property, passing them on to your children as a permanent inheritance. You may treat your slaves like this, but the people of Israel, your relatives, must never be treated this way.

Exodus 21:2-6 NLT
If you buy a Hebrew servant, he is to serve you for six years. But in the seventh year, he shall go free, without paying anything. If he comes alone, he is to go free alone; but if he has a wife when he comes, she is to go with him. If his master gives him a wife and she bears him sons or daughters, the woman and her children shall belong to her master, and only the man shall go free. But if the servant declares, ‘I love my master and my wife and children and do not want to go free,’ then his master must take him before the judges.[a] He shall take him to the door or the doorpost and pierce his ear with an awl. Then he will be his servant for life.

Exodus 21:7-11
If a man sells his daughter as a servant, she is not to go free as male servants do. 8 If she does not please the master who has selected her for himself,[a] he must let her be redeemed. He has no right to sell her to foreigners, because he has broken faith with her. 9 If he selects her for his son, he must grant her the rights of a daughter. 10 If he marries another woman, he must not deprive the first one of her food, clothing and marital rights. 11 If he does not provide her with these three things, she is to go free, without any payment of money.

Exodus 21:20-21
When a man strikes his male or female slave with a rod so hard that the slave dies under his hand, he shall be punished. If, however, the slave survives for a day or two, he is not to be punished, since the slave is his own property.
Ephesians 6:5
Slaves, obey your earthly masters with deep respect and fear. Serve them sincerely as you would serve Christ.

1 Timothy 6:1-2
Christians who are slaves should give their masters full respect so that the name of God and his teaching will not be shamed. If your master is a Christian, that is no excuse for being disrespectful. You should work all the harder because you are helping another believer by your efforts. Teach these truths, Timothy, and encourage everyone to obey them

Not So Good After All

Need I say more? I believe I do, in this series I will be outlining a bunch of bad bible verses that advocate for Rape, War Crimes, Genocide, Misogyny and Homophobia to name but a few. Now let’s put it out there, I’m not saying that all who endorse the biblical teaching automatically endorse these values. But the undeniable fact that the bible does openly endorse them, means that it does not come close to qualifying as a useful moral standard. Its legal & social constructs are entirely outdated and obsolete.

The Fallibility Of The Bible

Most religious adherents would proclaim the word of god to be absolute. So, cherry picking parts of the bible at least by fundamental standards is largely unacceptable. Even in part 1 of this series it’s clear that there are parts of the Bible that no modern human can reasonably accept. These values are simply wrong, so we must default back to our biological moral compass to make sense of the bible in terms of what too and what not too accept. This is what most religious adherents do without even noticing it, otherwise they would all indeed be running around bagging some slaves and killing first borns like it’s still in fashion. This only serves to show that our sense of empathy is sufficient to lead a quality life, and the bible is not only False & Wrong but also entirely useless in modern society.

Next up we look at  Rape In the Bible.

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