Menu Close

PODCAST: Work and Slavery2 min read

Listen to this article
The hierarchical structure of societies of Paul’s time. ~ Apostle of the Crucified Lord by M Gorman

What does the Bible say about our relationship to work, and do those same scriptures also clearly approve or condemn slavery?

My main thesis is that the household codes that discuss the obedience of servants to masters, in the Roman context, is primarily addressed to the majority of people who earned a living by being servants in the homes of others.

Chattel slavery is condemned in scripture, but poor English translations of the word for servant/slave have caused the kind of historical confusion that led to slavery supporters and abolitionists both quoting the Bible to justify their positions. Not good.

Here’s the sermon, with outline below.

To download Work and Slavery, please subscribe to our podcast feed.


A. The 5 Spheres of Government


B. Household Codes

  • Col 3:18-4:1
  • Eph 5:21-6:9
  • Titus 2:1-10
  • 1 Peter 2:18-3:7

Common to All Government (Rom. 13:1-7)
There is an                                          to

C. Does the Bible Support Slavery?

1. Servants/slaves was a                                                                     in the OT and Roman times.

2. Was condemned in both OT/NT

  • Exodus 21:16
  • 1 Timothy 1:9-11

3. Servants/slaves were considered in the faith

  • Galatians 3:28
  • Philemon 1:15-16

4. Masters (employers) were to treat servants with justice, fairness, and compassion

  • Colossians 4:1
  • Ephesians 6:9

5. Christianity laid the for abolition of slavery

  •  1 Cor. 7:20-22

D. What can we learn from the verses for servants/slaves?

1.                                                       even when imperfect
2. Learn to                                       with respect
3. Try to                                                                from abuse/slavery if possible

  • Proverbs 27:12

4. Remember                                        who suffered