Ten Ways Servant-Slavery in Israel Differed from Chattel Slavery


In our recent interview with philosopher and theologian Ken Samples of Reasons to Believe, we grappled with the question of slavery and the Bible.  

Obviously, there is much that can be said about this topic, but one point that Samples made is that the servant-slavery that we read about in the Bible is not the same type of chattel slavery that was witnessed in the Antebellum South or the slave trade in William Wilberforce's Britain.  

In his new book Christianity Cross-Examined: Is It Rational, Relevant, and Good?, Samples shares ten ways servant-slavery in Israel differed from chattel slavery.  

1. Indentured servitude offered a means to deal with poverty.
2. Racism was not a motivation for slavery.
3. Kidnapping, including for the purpose of slave trading, was illegal.
4. Enslaved people were not treated as mere property.
5. Cruelty was strictly prohibited and punishable by law.
6. Slavery was not operative from birth.
7. Slavery was not a permanent condition.
8. Indentured servitude was entered into and ended voluntarily.
9. Enslaved people had rights.
10. Enslaved people had access to an appeals process.

For those who are interested in learning more about this topic, Samples further explores the topic of slavery in the ancient world in his new book.

You can get your copy here.

Courage and Godspeed,

Related Posts

Article: Does God Condone Slavery? by Amy Hall

Investigating Slavery in the Bible

Article: How to ERASE Logical Fallacies by Kenneth Samples


Lev. 25:44-46 makes clear that chattel slavery (slavery for life) was indeed a thing sanctioned by God in the Old Testament.

Let's be honest about what the bible says.
Assuming you've deleted my comment: I must remember that Truthbomb Apologetics doesn't like any truth bombs that don't fit with what they'd like to imagine is the truth.

Next time, remind me so I don't waste my time!
Chad said…
Hello Mr. Seidensticker,

I hope you are well.

This is the second time you have accused me of deleting your comments and in both cases, I did not. Now, I confess that I may not have published them in a time you deem acceptable, but to say that I deleted them is unfair. Admittedly, I don't always think to check the comments because I am not blogging daily, nor do they come to my email. I hope that makes sense.

For a different perspective on the passage you mention, see here