Sunday, 7 February 2016

Peter Williams on the Bible and Slavery

The longer a video is the more it takes to convince me to watch a link. A few minutes tops as I prefer to read text. Partly because reading is generally quicker for conveying the same amount of information, and reading allows you to skim or skip around to see if you want to invest the time in reading the article. Nevertheless, this Peter Williams lecture is worth recommending even though it is over an hour long. I had not heard of Williams though came across this link twice in as many days. It was very useful, very sensible, very interesting.

For those who don't wish to invest the time Williams shows how "slavery" is a poor translation choice given how Westerners think of slavery, even though slave is increasingly used in modern translations. A helpful chart (reproduced below) from 22:31 minutes compares the rights of slaves (bondservants) in the Old Testament with Roman slaves and American slaves. He also introduces a very helpful interpretive point on Exodus 21:21 (from 25:40 minutes).

Does the Bible Support Slavery? by Peter Williams


Conditions OT Roman New World
Holiday Yes No Yes
Food enough Yes No No
Legal redress Yes No No
Sexual protection Yes No No
Kidnapped No Yes Yes
Chains No Yes Yes
Torture No Yes Yes
Physical abuse No Yes Yes

Hat tip: Mark Ward, Andrew Wilson.

1 comment:

  1. I can't watch videos either. That's why I do this: http://byfaithweunderstand.com/2015/11/19/how-to-listen-to-youtube-lectures-as-podcasts/

    ReplyDelete

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