Here are ten passages from the Bible that clearly demonstrate God's position on slavery:
Genesis chapter 17, verse 12:
And he that is eight days old shall be circumcised among you, every man child in your generations, he that is born in the house, or bought with money of any stranger, which is not of thy seed. He that is born in thy house, and he that is bought with thy money, must needs be circumcised.
In this passage God understands that people buy other people and, quite obviously, is comfortable with the concept. God wants slaves circumcised in the same way as non-slaves.
Exodus chapter 12 verse 43:
The Lord said to Moses and Aaron, "These are the regulations for the Passover: No foreigner is to eat of it. Any slave you have bought may eat of it after you have circumcised him, but a temporary resident and a hired worker may not eat of it.
God again shows that he is completely comfortable with the concept of slavery and singles out slaves for special treatment.
Exodus Chapter 21, verse 1:
Now these are the ordinances which you shall set before them. When you buy a Hebrew slave, he shall serve six years, and in the seventh he shall go out free, for nothing. If he comes in single, he shall go out single; if he comes in married, then his wife shall go out with him. If his master gives him a wife and she bears him sons or daughters, the wife and her children shall be her master's and he shall go out alone. But if the slave plainly says, 'I love my master, my wife, and my children; I will not go out free,' then his master shall bring him to God, and he shall bring him to the door or the doorpost; and his master shall bore his ear through with an awl; and he shall serve him for life.
Here God describes how to become a slave for life, and shows that it is completely acceptable to separate slaves from their families. God also shows that he completely endorses the branding of slaves through mutilation.
Exodus Chapter 21, verse 20:
If a man beats his male or female slave with a rod and the slave dies as a direct result, he must be punished, but he is not to be punished if the slave gets up after a day or two, since the slave is his property.
Not only does God condone slavery, but he is also completely comfortable with the concept of beating your slaves, as long as you don't kill them.
Exodus Chapter 21, verse 32:
If the bull gores a male or female slave, the owner must pay thirty shekels of silver to the master of the slave, and the bull must be stoned.
Not only does God condone slavery, but here God places a value on slaves -- 30 shekels of silver. Note that God is not sophisticated enough to understand the concept of inflation. It is now 3,000 years later, and a gored slave is still worth 30 shekels of silver according to God's word.
Leviticus Chapter 22, verse 10:
No one outside a priest's family may eat the sacred offering, nor may the guest of a priest or his hired worker eat it. But if a priest buys a slave with money, or if a slave is born in his household, that slave may eat his food.
Here God shows that the children of slaves are slaves themselves, and that he is completely happy with that concept.
Leviticus Chapter 25, verse 44:
Your male and female slaves are to come from the nations around you; from them you may buy slaves. You may also buy some of the temporary residents living among you and members of their clans born in your country, and they will become your property. You can will them to your children as inherited property and can make them slaves for life, but you must not rule over your fellow Israelites ruthlessly.
Here God states where you may purchase your slaves, and clearly specifies that slaves are property to be bought, sold and handed down.
Luke, Chapter 7, verse 2:
Now a centurion had a slave who was dear to him, who was sick and at the point of death. When he heard of Jesus, he sent to him elders of the Jews, asking him to come and heal his slave. And when they came to Jesus, they besought him earnestly, saying, "He is worthy to have you do this for him, for he loves our nation, and he built us our synagogue." And Jesus went with them. When he was not far from the house, the centurion sent friends to him, saying to him, "Lord, do not trouble yourself, for I am not worthy to have you come under my roof; therefore I did not presume to come to you. But say the word, and let my servant be healed. For I am a man set under authority, with soldiers under me: and I say to one, 'Go,' and he goes; and to another, 'Come,' and he comes; and to my slave, 'Do this,' and he does it." When Jesus heard this he marveled at him, and turned and said to the multitude that followed him, "I tell you, not even in Israel have I found such faith." And when those who had been sent returned to the house, they found the slave well.
Here Jesus shows that he is completely comfortable with the concept of slavery. Jesus heals the slave without any thought of freeing the slave or admonishing the slave's owner.
Colossians, chapter 3, verse 22:
Slaves, obey in everything those who are your earthly masters, not with eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but in singleness of heart, fearing the Lord. Whatever your task, work heartily...
Here God shows that he is in complete acceptance of a slave's position, and encourages slaves to work hard. This sentiment is repeated in Titus, chapter 2 verse 9:
Bid slaves to be submissive to their masters and to give satisfaction in every respect; they are not to be refractory, nor to pilfer, but to show entire and true fidelity.
Once again God shows that he is quite enamored of slavery.
God loves slavery
If the Bible is written by God, and these are the words of the Lord, then you can come to only one possible conclusion: God is an impressive advocate of slavery and is fully supportive of the concept.
As you can see, these slavery passages present us with an immense contradiction:
- On the one hand, we all know that slavery is an outrage and a moral abomination. As a result, slavery is now completely illegal throughout the developed world.
- On the other hand, most Christians claim that the Bible came from God. In God's Word, the "creator of the universe" states that slavery is perfectly acceptable. Beating your slaves is fine. Enslaving children is fine. Separating slave families is fine. According to the Bible, we should all be practicing slavery today.
The intensity of this contradiction is remarkable. It shows us quite clearly that God is imaginary.
If God were to exist, and if he were playing any role whatsoever on our planet, he would eliminate this connection between himself and slavery. There is no way that a loving God would allow himself to be perceived as condoning and encouraging slavery like this.
Here is the thing that I would like to help you understand: You, as a rational human being, know that slavery is wrong. You know it. That is why every single developed nation in the world has made slavery completely illegal. Human beings make slavery illegal, in direct defiance of God's word, because we all know with complete certainty that slavery is an abomination.
What does your common sense now tell you about a Bible that supports slavery in both the Old and the New Testaments? Given the fact that the Bible clearly condones slavery, your common sense should be telling you that God is imaginary.
Understanding the Rationalizations
Many believers will argue that God had to talk this way in the Old Testament in order to "fit in" with the dominant culture. This, of course, is silly. In Christian mythology, God is the one who created humans and human culture. In addition, a God that condones the beating of slaves and the enslavement of children at any time is an abomination.
A believer might say, "Well, all of those verses are from the Old Testament and no longer apply because of Jesus." This line of rationalization prompts several obvious questions. Why would the Old Testament still be printed in the Bible if Jesus overturned it? Why would God EVER tell us to beat slaves?
The most important thing that this line of rationalization misses is that Jesus specifically states that the laws of the Old Testament still stand. In Matthew 5:18 Jesus says:
For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth pass away, not one letter, not one stroke of a letter, will pass from the law until all is accomplished.
Then he goes on to say:
Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, will be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.
According to Jesus, the Old Testament is alive and well. According to Isaiah 40:8, "the word of our God stands forever." The notion that these old testament verses no longer apply is completely untrue according to the Bible. Christians imagine that they "no longer apply" as a way of rationalizing their religion.
Other believers rationalize that God did not write these slavery passages in the Bible. The Bible was somehow corrupted by slave-loving men. In that case, the obvious question to ask yourself is this: If the Bible has been corrupted, how can we possibly know which parts of the Bible came from God and which parts were inserted by primitive men? You have absolutely no way to know.
It is when you start thinking about the Bible in this way that you understand something very important about the Bible. Either the entire Bible really is God's Word, or the entire Bible was written by primitive men with absolutely no input from God. Here is the reason for this very strong dividing line:
If part of the Bible came from God and part came from primitive men, you do not know which is which. You dod not know if Jesus really is resurrected, or if that's just a make-believe story inserted by primitive men. How do you know if God wrote the Ten Commandments or not? If any part of the Bible has been polluted by primitive men, you have to reject the whole thing. There is no way to know who wrote what, so the entire book is invalid.
There really is no middle ground and the Bible has to be an all-or-nothing book. Either the entire Bible came from God, or none of it did.
With this all-or-nothing reality about the Bible now understood, you can see that there are only two possible explanations for the slavery passages in the Bible:
Chances are that you have a problem with the first explanation. God would not champion the abomination that is slavery. We all know that.
- The Bible is right, and God loves slavery. The entire Bible is God's word, so these slavery passages must be God's word too. The laws in the United States and other modern nations that make slavery illegal defy God's word. Justice Scalia should be promoting slavery in exactly the same way that he promotes the Ten Commandments.
- The Bible condones slavery because the Bible was written by slave-owning men, not by God. God is imaginary.
Therefore, what you are left with is the second explanation.