Philemon and Slavery

It is very fitting in itself that Paul’s one private letter left for us (Philemon) should be an earnest plea and fervent expression of love and unity for a slave — a class that was then treated as less than human. Paul calls him his son, his brother, and his own heart.

It is probable, in the very nature of things, that slave-owners would be very few among the brethren. The vast majority would be either slaves, or poor free men. The Gospel was preached to the poor, and its principles have the greatest appeal to them.

This epistle enters into [a Christian’s] relation to slavery more than any other part of the New Testament. Paul gives instruction concerning slaves and masters in Corinthians, Ephesians, Colossians, and Timothy, but here is an actual example and a whole epistle bearing on the matter.

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Author: George Booker

Keywords: Slave trade, Human slavery, Masters, Slavery, Bondage, Bond slave, Slave, Onesimus, Runaway slave, Runaway servant, Bond servant, Human trafficking

Bible reference(s): Matthew 24:45-46, Matthew 25:21, Matthew 25:23, Luke 12:43, John 15:15, Ephesians 6:5-6, Titus 2:9-10, Philemon 1

Source: “Philemon and Slavery”.

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