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  1. Genesis 14 sunday school lesson
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  3. Does the Bible Condone Slavery?
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Related Content. Author: Dwight Peterson. The book observes and calls into question the scholarly practice of constructing a community behind the Gospel of Mark and by implication, other Gospels as well and using that community to control appropriate interpretation of Mark. It presents and critiques particular exemplars of this practice, and briefly suggests other ways to ground the interpretation of Mark. Critical conclusions are then drawn, after which the recent work of Joel Marcus is discussed.

A final chapter briefly suggests ways forward. Constructing communities behind Gospels and using those communities as interpretive keys in Gospel interpretation is a widespread scholarly practice. To date, no full length critique of the practice has been published. This book fills that lacuna. The Making of the New Testament Documents.

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Author: E. Earle Ellis. Do we really know who wrote the New Testament documents? Do we really know when they were written? Scholars have long debated these fundamental questions. A man clothed in soft raiment? Behold, they which are gorgeously apparelled, and live delicately, are in kings' courts. A prophet?

Genesis 14 sunday school lesson

Yea, I say unto you, and much more than a prophet. And he went into the Pharisee's house, and sat down to meat. And he saith, Master, say on. Tell me therefore, which of them will love him most? And he said unto him, Thou hast rightly judged. I entered into thine house, thou gavest me no water for my feet: but she hath washed my feet with tears, and wiped them with the hairs of her head.


And when he had said these things, he cried, He that hath ears to hear, let him hear. And they launched forth. Then he arose, and rebuked the wind and the raging of the water: and they ceased, and there was a calm. And they being afraid wondered, saying one to another, What manner of man is this! I beseech thee, torment me not. For oftentimes it had caught him: and he was kept bound with chains and in fetters; and he brake the bands, and was driven of the devil into the wilderness.

And he said, Legion: because many devils were entered into him. And he suffered them. And he went his way, and published throughout the whole city how great things Jesus had done unto him. But as he went the people thronged him. When all denied, Peter and they that were with him said, Master, the multitude throng thee and press thee, and sayest thou, Who touched me? And he desired to see him. And he took them, and went aside privately into a desert place belonging to the city called Bethsaida. And they said, We have no more but five loaves and two fishes; except we should go and buy meat for all this people.

And he said to his disciples, Make them sit down by fifties in a company. Peter answering said, The Christ of God. And they kept it close, and told no man in those days any of those things which they had seen. Bring thy son hither.

And Jesus rebuked the unclean spirit, and healed the child, and delivered him again to his father. But while they wondered every one at all things which Jesus did, he said unto his disciples, 44 Let these sayings sink down into your ears: for the Son of man shall be delivered into the hands of men. And they went to another village. But he said, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father. Go not from house to house.

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  • Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil.

    And it came to pass, when the devil was gone out, the dumb spake; and the people wondered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more. I tell you, Nay; but rather division: 52 For from henceforth there shall be five in one house divided, three against two, and two against three.

    And he said unto them, 24 Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able. And he took him, and healed him, and let him go; 5 And answered them, saying, Which of you shall have an ass or an ox fallen into a pit, and will not straightway pull him out on the sabbath day? The first said unto him, I have bought a piece of ground, and I must needs go and see it: I pray thee have me excused.

    Then the master of the house being angry said to his servant, Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in hither the poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind. He that hath ears to hear, let him hear. And he divided unto them his living. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him.

    Does the Bible Condone Slavery?

    And they began to be merry. And he said unto him, Take thy bill, and sit down quickly, and write fifty. And he said, An hundred measures of wheat. And he said unto him, Take thy bill, and write fourscore. But this law does not exist in isolation, either from other passages regarding the treatment of foreigners, or from the culture to which it was given. It is quite easy to criticize a law from over 3, years ago from the comforts and standards of a twenty-first century liberal capitalist democracy, with a worldwide community that is more or less concerned about human rights.

    But we must remember that this was not the world into which God spoke when he gave Leviticus Ancient Israel was a tiny part of a much larger world, were a robust and often ruthless international slave trade existed. Of course, one option would have been for God to have forbidden his people to participate in it, and that would have meant that those slaves would have been sold in other lands, where there was no understanding of the basic dignity of all human beings created in the image of God and where slaves were less than full persons.

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    Such individuals would have often found themselves in conditions similar to the Israelites in Egypt, as human chattel forced into backbreaking and degrading labor, with no Sabbath rest, and no laws defending the worth of the sojourner and the alien, let alone those purchased from slave caravans. You shall treat the stranger who sojourns with you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God. This is why land—even land that had been sold—was to be returned to its owners in the years of liberty i.

    Given these considerations, we can see how slave purchase provided a place for individuals enslaved in other countries to be integrated into Israelite society, and to be blessed by the Lord as a part of the covenant community. God constantly reminds the Israelites that they are not to mistreat slaves as they were mistreated in Egypt Exod ; ; Lev ; Deut ; ; ; ; , And we should also bear in mind that nothing in the prohibition against returning fugitive slaves Deut —16 restricts the law to Hebrew debt servants. Slavery in the New Testament The situation with New Testament slave texts is significantly different than what we find in the Old, and it is not hard to see why.

    As noted earlier, the Old Testament law was given by God to govern his people Israel, and it expresses the moral will of God for a specific people at a specific time and for a specific purpose. It was given in order to provide the national law for Israel, a theocratic nation under the sovereign rule of God. In the New Testament, God is not at work establishing a political entity, but is rather redeeming a people for himself, called out from every nation. Accordingly, God gives his people instructions on how to live in already existing social structure.

    Christian slaves are addressed directly in Ephesians —9, Colossians —25, and 1 Peter — In all these passages, emphasis is placed on obedience towards masters and serving faithfully as an act of obedience to God. The short book of Philemon is addressed to a Christian slave owner whose escaped slave, Onesimus, had come into contact with Paul while Paul was in prison. During the course of their interaction, Onesimus became a Christian and had been discipled by Paul. Due to the diplomatic way in which Paul makes his requests in this letter, it is not entirely clear if Paul is urging Philemon to free Onesimus.

    But he does seem to imply this when he states that he wishes Onesimus would remain available to him in order to help in his ministry 13— An individual could also sell himself into slavery in order to live an easier life than he had as a freedperson, and even to advance socially. They were subject to seizure and arrest in ways that freedpersons were not. Their occupation was determined by their master.

    They had to live where their master decided. In Roman society, slaves could own property and other slaves, they were not enslaved based on the color of their skin it was not a racist institution , and slavery was often temporary. While there were certainly very degrading and dehumanizing forms of slavery in the Roman world e. Roman Emperors used slaves to manage imperial estates and often placed them in charge of important tasks, such as lighting, tailoring, wine-keeping and tasting, and cooking. The slaves addressed in Ephesians 6 and Colossians 3, as well as Onesimus in Philemon, would have been household slaves, as is evident by the placement of these texts amongst advice to household members i.

    Some were brutally abused, while others enjoyed very kind treatment, such as was shown by the centurion who sought Jesus on behalf of his slave who had fallen sick Luke — Of course, fair treatment of slaves was not purely altruistic; masters benefitted from slaves who were content. Many feel justified in criticizing Paul, or Peter, or Jesus, for that matter, for not being staunch abolitionists. However, such objections reflect modern sensitivities and a lack of appreciation for both the historical realities in the first century and the transformative nature of the gospel.

    The possibility of wholesale abolition was not available until much later in history, and then it was the result of the theological convictions of Christians, based on the very texts in question.

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    Nevertheless, it should be noted that at least twice in the New Testament, the institution and practice of slavery is condemned. But we need to realize that this is a modern conviction that may have not been obvious or desirable at earlier points in human history. Moreover, it was well-understood that freedom in the Roman world often meant a lower standard of living for freed slaves. Another clothed me, another supplied me with shoes, another fed me, another looked after me in sickness; and I did only a few services for him.

    But now a wretched man, what things I suffer, being a slave of many instead of to one. They lived under a powerful authoritarian state, and were virtually powerless to change government policies. Were any of the New Testament writers to incite slaves to rise up against their masters, they would essentially have been compelling them to death, probably by crucifixion, as was the fate of the 6, who revolted with Spartacus a century earlier. There were also laws restricting manumission, such as the lex Fufia Caninia, instituted by Caesar Augustus in 2 BC, which set limits on the number of slaves that masters could free: only two out of three, half of between four and ten, and a third of between eleven and thirty.

    Application of the ethics of the kingdom of God to the community of believers resulted in a counter-culture that transcended, and in some ways abolished, social hierarchy. Jesus himself assumed the role of a slave, and this in turn influences the way Christians related to one another. You call me teacher and Lord, and you are right, for so I am. For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you. Truly, truly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him.

    It shall not be so among you. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Another dimension to the radical transformation that takes place within the Christian community is the leveling of all individuals to the level of brother and sister. If a Christian owned a slave, the highest duty to which that master could be called was not to set the other free but to love the slave with the selfgiving love of Christ.

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    Following the example of Christ, they plowed a counter-culture based not on worldly social stratification, but on oneness within the body of Christ. Even leadership within the church was to be based on Christian maturity, rather than connections and impressive worldly credentials. It is not beyond dispute that this is the same Onesimus from Philemon, but several scholars of considerable standing have argued that this is precisely the case: F.

    Some commentators, following Jewish tradition Gittin 45a , restrict this to foreign slaves who have fled for refuge to Israel, claiming that the wording of verse 17 suggests this Peter C. I remain unconvinced of this. There is no clear designation of the slave in question as a foreigner, as is the case in Lev , the only passage in the Mosaic law that speaks unambiguously of foreign slaves.

    Moreover, there are a variety of reasons why an escaped Israelite slave may wish to dwell in a town not his own. William W. Hallo and K. Lawson Younger, Jr. This would have been the responsibility of the town judges to decide. Here we have one of the many reasons why there is so much stress in the Old Testament on using judges who will not take bribes or otherwise pervert justice. As noted above, this is not what the Hebrew text says.