Archive for the ‘Bible Atrocities’ Category

h1

Article: Slavery In The Bible (2/5)

July 13, 2007

Slavery In The Law Of Moses

This article examines which of the various forms of servitude common to the Ancient Near East existed under the Law of Moses, and how they were regulated:

* Chattel slavery (definition)

* Indentured servitude (definition)

* Bride sale (definition)

* Vassalage (definition)

Article here.

Advertisements
h1

Article: Christians And Slavery (1/3)

July 12, 2007

Due to the strong support provided for the African slave trade by many Christians, and the well known historical resistance of Christians in the Southern States of the USA to the abolition of slavery, Christianity has acquired an unfortunate reputation for sanctioning and even encouraging slavery.  Whilst it is certainly true that Christians have been responsible throughout the centuries for sanctioning, encouraging, and even enforcing slavery, it is also true that there has existed at the same time a strong Christian resistance to slavery.

The following is a brief historical review of Christian opposition to slavery from the 1st to the 19th centuries. Much of the following material has been taken from Edward Roger’s comprehensive work ‘Slavery Illegality in All Ages and Nations‘ (1855).

1st-2nd centuries AD: Polycarp and Ignatius, Christian leaders, free their slaves

3rd century AD: Christians in Asia Minor ‘decried the lawfulness of it, denounced slaveholding as a sin, a violation of the law of nature and religion. They gave fugitive slaves asylum, and openly offered them protection’ (following the commandments in the Old and New Testaments)

3rd century AD: Cyprian, bishop of Carthage condemned a local slaveholder in uncompromising terms, condemning slavery as incompatible with Christianity:

‘You, man of a day, expect from your slave obedience. Is he less a man than you? By birth he is your equal. He is endowed with the same organs, with the same reasoning soul, called to the same hopes, subject to the same laws of life in this and in the world to come. You subject him to your dominion. If he, as a man, disregard or forget your claim, what miseries you heap upon him. Impious master, pitiless despot! You spare neither blows nor whips, nor privations; you chastise him with hunger and thirst, you load him with chains, you incarcerate him within black walls; miserable man! While you thus maintain your despotism over a man, you are not willing to recognize the Master and Lord of all men.’

2nd-4th centuries AD: Christians throughout the empire regularly collect money and go to the slave markets, buying slaves and setting them free immediately afterwards

4th century AD: The emperor Constantine gives bishops the authority to free slaves and forbids the separation of families who are, but maintains the old Roman punishments against runaway slaves, as well as the punishments masters were permitted to inflict on their slaves

Article here.

h1

Article: Slavery In The Bible (1/5)

July 12, 2007

Due to the infamy of New World slavery, particularly the plantation slavery practiced in North America between the 17th and 19th centuries, the terms ‘slave’ and ‘slavery’ invariably invoke images of precisely that form of servitude. Readers both Christian and non-Christian alike recoil from any passage of the Bible in which these words appear. It is wrongly assumed that any reference to ‘slaves’ or ‘slavery’ in the Bible necessarily refers to the New World ‘chattel slavery’ of the plantations. This is simply not the case.

The following article is an examination of the various forms of servitude described in the Bible. It addresses the topic as it is presented in the Old and New Testaments, within their historical and cultural background, together with the Biblical instruction regarding servitude in its various forms.

Considerable use has been made of Glenn Miller’s excellent studies of servitude in the Old and New Testaments.

The Definition Of Slavery

Various forms of servitude existed in the Ancient Near East, all of which are described in the Bible and most of which are commonly translated ‘slavery’ (largely inaccurately). In the list which follows they are described in general terms without reference to the specific manner in which they were addressed by different ANE law codes:

* Chattel slavery

* Indentured service

* Bride sale

* Vassalage

Article here.

h1

Article: Christianity And The Witch Hunt Era (7/12)

May 2, 2007

* 1691: The Dutch theologian Balthasar Bekker published ‘Die Betooverde Wereld’, reprinted in English as ‘The World Bewitch’d’ (1695), an attack on beliefs in supernatural which was unparalleled in the 17th century.

On account of his denial of witches, demons, and the devil himself, Bekker was demoted from the ministry, and tried for blasphemy and teaching atheism. He found support among some Dutch regions (namely Amsterdam and the States of Holland), which kept his book in print and did not forbid him to teach.

In the preface, Bekker explains the fascinating process of personal Bible study by which he came to change entirely his beliefs regarding supernatural evil. Bekker’s rejection of the traditional beliefs of the church on this subject were not based on rationalist scepticism, but on their complete incompatibility with the Scriptures.

Bekker’s description of his gradual change of understanding displays no startling novelties of interpretation. On the contrary, his process of reasoning and his exposition of certain key passages matches that of the cautious Bible students who had preceded him, such as Reginald Scot, Johannes Weyer, Cornelius Loos, Samuel Harsnett, Thomas Ady, John Wagstaffe, John Webster, and Ludowick Muggleton.

Article here.