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Hey all, 

 

Long time no post :)

 

I was watching a clip of the Atheist Experience and it focused on slavery. After the show I did a little research to see what the apologists said about it all. On the website below:

 

https://answersingenesis.org/bible-questions/doesnt-the-bible-support-slavery/

 

I found this (I've underlined the part I want to ask about):

 

"According to verses 20–21, if an owner severely beat his servant, and the servant died, then he would be punished—that was the law. However, if the servant survived for a couple of days, it is probable that the master was punishing him and not intending to kill him, or that he may have died from another cause. In this case there is no penalty other than that the owner loses the servant who is his temporary property—he suffers the loss."

 

Is that true? That if the slave doesn't die they are set free? I wasn't aware that this was the case, I thought the slave stayed a slave after the beating.  

 

I am not trying to promote anything here (slavery is wrong), I'm just seeking an answer to a question I'm unsure about. 

 

Thanks all

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I understand this to mean that the master, not the slave, is absolved if the slave doesn't die.  The slave remains a slave.

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20 “Anyone who beats their male or female slave with a rod must be punished if the slave dies as a direct result, 21 but they are not to be punished if the slave recovers after a day or two, since the slave is their property.
 

 

     Seems it doesn't say the slave goes free or any of the rest of that nonsense.

 

     This page reads like the apologetics I was fed throughout school.  I remember stuff like this (from later in the page:



Regarding Exodus 21:20–21, consider that many of those who sold themselves into servitude were those who had lost everything, indicating that they were often times the “lazy” ones. In order to get them up to par on a working level, they may require discipline.

     It seemed so reasonable to my younger, impressionable and stupider, self.  These people deserved to be beaten.  They needed it even.  And if they died?  So what?  They didn't have anything because they lost it from incompetent, stupid or "lazy."  Good riddance.  Nice of god to know this and protect their masters who were only doing their very best with these losers.  And what a nice excuse for god to do the same to everyone in the world at some point or another.  Wastes of spaces we are.

 

          mwc

 

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Ok thanks both for the replies. Yes, it seems odd to say the slave is set free when the verse suggests that after the beating the person is still the "property" of the master. I am wondering though if there was a verse elsewhere that said as much. Dunno, just trying to figure out why that website said they were freed.

 

Also, anyone know why I never received a notification in my email for these replies? Just checked my settings and they are all right except I chose not to receive web browser notifications (which I assumed shouldn't affect email notification).

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1 hour ago, SeaJay said:

Dunno, just trying to figure out why that website said they were freed.

Best I can do is guess; and my best guess is that most apologetics is based on some form of dishonesty.  Likely this is the same.

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     I looked at their website and the footnote for this section offered nothing so I'm going to take a guess.  Given what they seemed to be saying elsewhere the argument appears to be that these particular slaves, the ones we're talking about here and no others, were more along the lines of indentured servants.  The Jews did tend towards this when we're talking about slavery with other Jews but when we talk about Jews taking non-Jewish slaves then it was essentially the same as any other slavery you might imagine.  So to ensure we're on the same page I'm going to say they're talking about Jews enslaving Jews which amounts to a sort of indentured servitude.  In this case the rules would mean that they are freed at some point (I'm not going to look up the rules to make sure I get them right since the specifics don't matter here).

 

     If this is the case then what this would mean is that they're saying you have a person who becomes enslaved for some reason (usually their own personally failing, like a debtor or some or such thing), and then their master could beat them but they don't want them to die (because they wouldn't get repaid or whatever).

 

     If we think about other forms of slavery, such as with foreigners, then this changes a bit since the slave is never released (unless the master makes it so).  The master could also suffer a loss here since slaves cost money but not quite in the same way as someone being held as forced labor (since you never have to buy them and, I believe, you get to hold them for a fixed period of time so they can work the debt and then some).

 

     I don't know why the site doesn't notify you via email.  Sorry.  Have you checked you spam folder just in case it's going there?

 

          mwc

 

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On 10/13/2019 at 7:41 AM, SeaJay said:

Hey all, 

 

Long time no post :)

 

I was watching a clip of the Atheist Experience and it focused on slavery. After the show I did a little research to see what the apologists said about it all. On the website below:

 

https://answersingenesis.org/bible-questions/doesnt-the-bible-support-slavery/

 

I found this (I've underlined the part I want to ask about):

 

"According to verses 20–21, if an owner severely beat his servant, and the servant died, then he would be punished—that was the law. However, if the servant survived for a couple of days, it is probable that the master was punishing him and not intending to kill him, or that he may have died from another cause. In this case there is no penalty other than that the owner loses the servant who is his temporary property—he suffers the loss."

 

Is that true? That if the slave doesn't die they are set free? I wasn't aware that this was the case, I thought the slave stayed a slave after the beating.  

 

I am not trying to promote anything here (slavery is wrong), I'm just seeking an answer to a question I'm unsure about. 

 

Thanks all

 

The owner of the property loses his slave through death of that slave, not the slave's freedom. If the slave didn't die immediately from his "punishment" then the owner is absolved of responsibility but still suffers the loss of property. An early legal technicality.

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On ‎10‎/‎14‎/‎2019 at 12:41 AM, SeaJay said:

 

...Answers in Genesis - the people who think that the flintstones is a documentary (Humans walking with dinosaurs)

 

Ken Ham, their leader, has publicly stated that there is nothing that can change his mind. Therefore I don't think we can count on them for an unbiased look at slavery can we?

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I was just wondering if there was an actual verse that said as much or if that website was just assuming that's what happened. 

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1 hour ago, SeaJay said:

I was just wondering if there was an actual verse that said as much or if that website was just assuming that's what happened. 

     Try this site.  It does better at explaining.

 

          mwc

 

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43 minutes ago, mwc said:

     Try this site.  It does better at explaining.

 

          mwc

 

Thanks for the link I did go through it. I couldn't find anything definitive (that could just be my poor reading skills though). It does mention the Exodus verse but I couldn't find anything that says the slave goes free if they survive the beating. That said, the verse that says "But if he survives a day or two, he is not to be avenged, since he is the other’s property", suggests the slave is still bound (i.e. still the property).

 

EDIT: This text on that site "Deuteronomy seems to be a step backwards from Leviticus. She wonders “…what might have prompted Deuteronomy, with its emphasized humane tendencies, to retain permanent bondage”, implies that the bondage condition remains. 

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7 minutes ago, SeaJay said:

Thanks for the link I did go through it. I couldn't find anything definitive (that could just be my poor reading skills though). It does mention the Exodus verse but I couldn't find anything that says the slave goes free if they survive the beating. That said, the verse that says "But if he survives a day or two, he is not to be avenged, since he is the other’s property", suggests the slave is still bound (i.e. still the property).

 

EDIT: This text on that site "Deuteronomy seems to be a step backwards from Leviticus. She wonders “…what might have prompted Deuteronomy, with its emphasized humane tendencies, to retain permanent bondage”, implies that the bondage condition remains. 

     Oh, okay.  I see what you're asking now.  Yeah, no, there is no direct connection between these ideas at all.  If the slave is beaten and survives it remains property until the end of its term according to the rules.

 

     For some reason Jews can embrace these things while xians cannot.  Xians simply need to whitewash their "history."  So, in their version, the slaves were happy liked being slaves, deserved (and perhaps wanted to be beaten almost to death or to death), and they were released if they survived because slavery wasn't so bad.

 

          mwc

 

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On 10/13/2019 at 6:41 AM, SeaJay said:

Is that true? That if the slave doesn't die they are set free? I wasn't aware that this was the case, I thought the slave stayed a slave after the beating.  

First let me begin by saying that the reference to the Hebrew servant in the covenant the LORD made with the Hebrews as a 'slave' is like saying that the John Oliver 'skit' with Stephen Hawking was an 'interview' and I will let it go at that.

 

However, in regards to your question whether the 'servant' was released from any further obligation under their agreement to work for the one who injured them, the answer is yes.   

 

On 10/15/2019 at 7:28 AM, SeaJay said:

That said, the verse that says "But if he survives a day or two, he is not to be avenged, since he is the other’s property", suggests the slave is still bound (i.e. still the property).

 

 

I guarantee you got that verse out of a copyrighted translation of the KJV Bible. 

 

"For he is his money" isn't a reference to being someone's property within the context of the subject matter, "he is other's property"is merely a private interpretation of the KJV scripture.    The terms of the 'servant' and 'bondsman' used in the Torah equate to Employee and Contractor not slave or indentured servant.  

 

Then again, ...

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     Where is it said that the slave is set free?

 

     The wording on the site in question is a tad awkward but it's not that hard to understand.  If the slave is beaten and dies then the master gets an undefined penalty.  If the slave recovers then that person is still a slave.  They then make an additional point, the underlined bit in the OP (and maybe the sentence before). of saying that that if the slave dies after the "recovery period" then it is assumed the slave died from other causes and the master then just suffers the loss but without any penalties.

 

     But nowhere is a beaten slave set free...except...in these two cases:



26 “An owner who hits a male or female slave in the eye and destroys it must let the slave go free to compensate for the eye. 27 And an owner who knocks out the tooth of a male or female slave must let the slave go free to compensate for the tooth.

     So you can beat someone nearly to death and as long as they recover after a few days and you don't knock out any of their teeth or destroy their eyes they're still your property.  Basically, the rule seems to be when you're beating your slave you just avoid the head or at least the face.

 

          mwc

 

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Just watched another Atheist Experience and it was again about slavery.

 

 

At 19min 28sec the caller says "the law of Moses is not the law of God", thus implying slavery is not an issue for Christians and Christianity because God never sanctioned slavery - that was Mosaic law. The caller then goes on to say that though the ten commandments are from the Mosaic law, they are still in effect because that is the moral law.

 

I've not heard these explanations before 😐 Does the caller have valid points?

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1 hour ago, SeaJay said:

Just watched another Atheist Experience and it was again about slavery.

[SNIP]

 

At 19min 28sec the caller says "the law of Moses is not the law of God", thus implying slavery is not an issue for Christians and Christianity because God never sanctioned slavery - that was Mosaic law. The caller then goes on to say that though the ten commandments are from the Mosaic law, they are still in effect because that is the moral law.

 

I've not heard these explanations before 😐 Does the caller have valid points?

     I've heard folks try this sort of apologetics before.  Essentially, the laws were for Jews and not for anyone else.  So, if jesus didn't repeat them then they weren't something that were brought forward.  Jesus touches on a number of the ten commandments (the first set not the replacements) so they're the actual rules that matter and the rest were just for the Jews and no longer matter (unless you're a Jew and wish to remain under those laws).  However, since we can go back further to Abraham as xians and just "other" then the only rules that really matter really seem to be circumcision and accepting this one god (and I'm not even sure this has to be monotheist at this point) and I would think that Abraham would have had slaves but I don't know if it's explicitly mentioned but the idea should be whatever Abraham could have, or must do, is the deal for everyone except those who are under the Mosaic rules or for those who move to the xian rules (which was supposed to be a kind of "reform" to the Abrahamic" rules in some sense).

 

     I know that's a long ways to go and is kind of strange but, as usual, I didn't make it all up.  Some xians made it up to make sense of their own thing.  How widespread this all is I have no idea.  I have a feeling that there a zillions of these things.  I would like to think that there are as many of these as there are xians but it seems some folks hold to more than one apologetic.

 

          mwc

 

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Yes, Christian apologetics focused on self- importance, convenience and irresponsibility are particularly smarmy.

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As we've discussed, slavery was sanctioned in the bible right on through the New Testament. It isn't limited to just Mosaic Law. The problem here is that there's no command telling people to stop sinning by enslaving other people. It's not a sin. Slaves are told to obey their masters and not make waves, go along with it. Play their role in society. Because the bible is the product of human imagination, it reflects the narrow thinking of the people who were writing at the time. They had no clue, apparently, that slavery would later be considered highly immoral. 

 

As to picking and choosing christians, yeah, that's about it. They pick and choose what they will and will not except from the jewish scriptures. Take the Sabbath. The majority of christianity rejects the 4th commandment. They dump the other mosaic laws, keep the 10 commandments, but then side slip and try and substitute the 1st day of the week for the 7th and act as if they're adhering to the 10 commandments while breaking the 4th every Saturday. The picking and choosing knows no bounds. 

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4 minutes ago, Joshpantera said:

 Because the bible is the product of human imagination, it reflects the narrow thinking of the people who were writing at the time.


Indeed.  Nothing points to the Bible being the product of human minds rather than divine more strongly than the way the OT treats the moral standards of its age as the norm and in line with the will of God. 
 

Christians will tell us that what was wrong in 1960 is still wrong in 2019: that God never changes.  But they’ll then turn around and explain that the OT was written for its time, not ours, and that God basically didn’t want to rock the moral boat by rejecting slavery.  Which is it?  

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Very good points

 

I'd forgotten about the NT teachings of slaves being told to obey their masters. 

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7 hours ago, SeaJay said:

Very good points

 

I'd forgotten about the NT teachings of slaves being told to obey their masters. 

 

Yeah, a while back we had to confront a NT verse condemning "slave traders." I don't remember who brought it up. But christians here in the US were arguing that slavery was denounced by the bible and citing that verse. But the terms being translated as "slave traders," was a bad translation and completely out of the surrounding context. So we looked at it and it turns out that the verse was referring to "slave stealers," as in thieving other people's property, the slaves. Stealing slaves was being condemned. And that makes sense in context. 

 

I remember the conversation well, but I forget where it sits in the archives. 

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     Well, if we're talking the whole of the new testament then slavery is in there.  Ephesians has it:



5 Slaves, obey your earthly masters with respect and fear, and with sincerity of heart, just as you would obey Christ. 6 Obey them not only to win their favor when their eye is on you, but as slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from your heart. 7 Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not people, 8 because you know that the Lord will reward each one for whatever good they do, whether they are slave or free.

 

9 And masters, treat your slaves in the same way. Do not threaten them, since you know that he who is both their Master and yours is in heaven, and there is no favoritism with him.

 

Colossians has it:



22 Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything; and do it, not only when their eye is on you and to curry their favor, but with sincerity of heart and reverence for the Lord. 23 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, 24 since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. 25 Anyone who does wrong will be repaid for their wrongs, and there is no favoritism.

 

4 Masters, provide your slaves with what is right and fair, because you know that you also have a Master in heaven.

 

1 Timothy has it:



6 All who are under the yoke of slavery should consider their masters worthy of full respect, so that God’s name and our teaching may not be slandered. 2 Those who have believing masters should not show them disrespect just because they are fellow believers. Instead, they should serve them even better because their masters are dear to them as fellow believers and are devoted to the welfare[a] of their slaves.

 

Titus has it:



9 Teach slaves to be subject to their masters in everything, to try to please them, not to talk back to them, 10 and not to steal from them, but to show that they can be fully trusted, so that in every way they will make the teaching about God our Savior attractive.

 

     These are all "good slave" passages.  And they all pretty much echo the mindset of the religion.  The master/slave relationship is what the whole thing is about.  The believer is the slave and the god is the master.  It's just a better master/slave arrangement than people get here but it's still one where the slave exists to serve the master.

 

     Anyhow, the apologetic I mentioned excludes all this since they take their cue from the gospels alone.  Jesus doesn't involve himself with any of this which makes this all sort of secondary even though they tend to go along with other things in these books (which is why I said people will hold to multiple apologetics).  Jesus didn't support slavery because we never see jesus have slaves...BUT...over here Paul says we should do this and that so we should (all the while ignoring the slave talk).

 

          mwc

 

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