Slavery in Biblical times


#1

Okay, since the bible mentions slavery many times and some critics even say it condones it, was slavery different back then? I’ve heard scholars say that slavery was more based on unpaid debts (if you were in debt, you were a slave until it was paid) or that it was based on being captured in war or a criminal.

This leads me to the question of why do critics of Christianity feel that the bible condones race based (chattel) slavery? If anything the Church has stood against it in some senses. If I remember the church was against the original slave trade, but they were ignored by the Spanish and Portugese. Also, even in regards to American slavery, the Church was against having black slaves, but American bishops in the South (and probably north) didn’t follow these rules (I heard something to this effect while listening to Fr. Mitch Pacwa. If I’m incorrect please correct me).

So why do critics like the idiotic Dan Savage :mad: say that the Bible was okay with race based slavery? Anyone with a brain can look up and see that slavery wasn’t based on race until about 500 years ago


#2

[quote="WildCatholic, post:1, topic:322133"]
Okay, since the bible mentions slavery many times and some critics even say it condones it, was slavery different back then? I've heard scholars say that slavery was more based on unpaid debts (if you were in debt, you were a slave until it was paid) or that it was based on being captured in war or a criminal.

This leads me to the question of why do critics of Christianity feel that the bible condones race based (chattel) slavery? If anything the Church has stood against it in some senses. If I remember the church was against the original slave trade, but they were ignored by the Spanish and Portugese. Also, even in regards to American slavery, the Church was against having black slaves, but American bishops in the South (and probably north) didn't follow these rules (I heard something to this effect while listening to Fr. Mitch Pacwa. If I'm incorrect please correct me).

So why do critics like the idiotic Dan Savage :mad: say that the Bible was okay with race based slavery? Anyone with a brain can look up and see that slavery wasn't based on race until about 500 years ago

[/quote]

Ummm . . . .because Dan Savage hates the Church and Truth?
I find it interesting that he devotes so much time to leading people astray. What a blessing he wasn't ordained!


#3

There were multiple forms of slavery in the ancient worlds, within the Roman empire. The folks who represent slavery in those days as somehow different than modern times are typically using domestic/household/personal slaves as an example. It was milder, less often abuse, etc. However, it still entailed a lack of freedom.

But the Roman Empire, especially in Italy, had the equivalent of what we would hink of as plantation slaves also. Here, there were large scale enterprises, mining, agriculture, construction, etc, who utilized slave labor in the most brutal fashion. One can suppose there were a lot of similarities between American slavery and this slavery.

As for slavery being racial based, it was not that. But it was certainly based on ethnicity or “nationality”. Large percentages of conquered populations, at times, were forced into slavery. And example of this would be the Jews after all three of the Roman-Jewish wars.


#4

You may find this older CAF thread helpful.

Most (though not all) slavery in ancient times involved either the holding of conquered foes or indentured servitude. There was no such thing as a "welfare state." If you were poor, you either found food, shelter and clothing or died, with no governmental recourse available. Some individuals or even families would indenture themselves to survive.

This puts some context to how Sacred Scripture discussed how masters and slaves should behave for each other, since Old Testament Scripture does differentiate from these types of slavery and chattel slavery--the kind used against Africans in early America, who were treated as objects without any rights whatsoever.


#5

Thanks for the insight. I kind of thought that’s how it was. I always knew it was kind of like being a debtor. Also, if I remember, some slaves were very well educated. I think Socrates was educated by slaves, as were most important Romans.

What bugs me is that we have this vision of slavery as black vs. white.


#6

[quote="WildCatholic, post:5, topic:322133"]
Thanks for the insight. I kind of thought that's how it was. I always knew it was kind of like being a debtor. Also, if I remember, some slaves were very well educated. I think Socrates was educated by slaves, as were most important Romans.

What bugs me is that we have this vision of slavery as black vs. white.

[/quote]

The vision you speak of is due to the tendency of Americans to see themselves falsely as the cultural center of the world. Slavery has different meanings. Understandably, the country's history, culminating with the Civil Rights movement brought racism to greater exposure so its active and passive nature could be greatly diminished. However, political correctness has overcharged the term here in the States, making ancient distinctions harder to clarify.


#7

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