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Slavery
Excerpt from the Lexham Bible Dictionary, the most advanced Bible dictionary.
The practice of one person owning another as property, or one person owing a debt to another and repaying that debt via their labor. Found in the ancient Near East, the Graeco-Roman world, and the Old and New Testaments. No single description of slavery fits the various forms it took in the ancient world. However, it was quite different from the slavery practiced in the West during the 18th and 19th centuries.
Dictionaries
The Lexham Bible Dictionary
Slavery
Slavery The practice of one person owning another as property, or one person owing a debt to another and repaying that debt via their labor. Found in the ancient Near East, the Graeco-Roman world, and the Old and New Testaments. No single description of slavery fits the various forms it took in the ancient
The Anchor Yale Bible Dictionary
Slavery
SLAVERY. Slavery is the institution whereby one person can hold ownership rights over another. In the biblical world, this institution took on forms quite unlike the New World slavery practiced in the West particularly in the 18th and 19th century. This entry consists of three articles that explore slavery
Baker Encyclopedia of the Bible
Slave, Slavery
Slave, Slavery. Person owned as property by another, and the relationship that bound the owner and the slave. Slavery was widespread in the ancient Near East, although the economy was not dependent upon it. By Roman times Slavery was so extensive that in the early Christian period one out of every two
Bond, Bondage
Bond, Bondage. Anything that fastens or restrains; subjection or slavery. The basic concept in Hebrew and Greek words translated “bond” or “bondage” is “loss of freedom.” The concept connotes servitude to another. The OT uses several words for bondage to describe the period of Israelite servitude in
The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, Revised
Slavery
Slavery Voluntary or involuntary servitude to an individual, the state, or temple that entails reduction of legal and social status to the level of property. In Israelite law, whether the bondage was for a specified period of time or in perpetuity depended upon nationality, the form of servitude, and
Bondage
Bondage [Heb. aḇôḏâ, aḇāḏîm, ‘aḇdût (Ezr. 9:8f; Neh. 9:17), hiphil of ‘aḇaḏ (Ex. 6:5); Gk. douleía (Rom. 8:21; Heb 2:15), douleúō (Jn. 8:33; Gal. 4:8), katadoulóō (Gal. 2:4)]; AV also BONDMEN, SERVANTS, SERVICE; NEB also SLAVERY, ENSLAVED, SHACKLES; SLAVES, SERVITUDE. This has in
Tyndale Bible Dictionary
Slave, Slavery
SLAVE, SLAVERY Person owned as property by another, and the relationship that bound the owner and the slave. Slavery was widespread in the ancient Near East, although the economy was not dependent upon it. By Roman times, slavery was so extensive that in the early Christian period one out of every two
Bond, Bondage
BOND, BONDAGE Anything that fastens or restrains; subjection or slavery. The basic concept in Hebrew and Greek words translated “bond” or “bondage” is “loss of freedom.” The concept connotes servitude to another. The OT uses several words for bondage to describe the period of Israelite servitude in Egypt
The HarperCollins Bible Dictionary (Revised and Updated)
Slavery in the Ancient near East
slavery in the ancient Near East. Aside from crown and temple slavery, slave labor played a minor role in the ancient Near East, since privately owned slaves functioned more as domestic servants than as an agricultural or industrial labor force. Crown and temple slaves were often captives of war (1 Kings
Slavery in the New Testament
slavery in the New Testament. Among the many relationships of personal power and submission constituting the patriarchal society of Greco-Roman antiquity, the most extreme form was slavery, the legal ownership of one person by another as property.The institution of slavery was deeply ingrained in Roman
The Archaeological Encyclopedia of the Holy Land
Slavery And Work
SLAVERY AND WORK Slavery was an accepted social institution in the ancient world, and the early society of Israelites was no exception in this. Joseph was sold by Midianite merchants for 20 pieces of silver to the Ishmaelites, who in turn sold him to Egypt (Gen. 37:28, 36). The sale of boys and girls
Dictionary of Paul and His Letters
Catholic Bible Dictionary
Slavery
SLAVERY Slavery—by which one person owns another as property—was an accepted institution in the ancient world. The practice of slavery was nevertheless subject to laws and regulations, and slaves had rights defined by the Law.
Dictionary of New Testament Background
Slavery
SLAVERYSlavery is holding a person in servitude by violence, natal alienation and personal dishonor as the chattel of another. Slavery is neither simply the loss of freedom, nor the same as coerced labor nor equatable with loss of civil rights. Classical slavery means slavery in at least two different
Dictionary of the Later New Testament & Its Developments
Slave, Slavery
Slave, SlaveryIn the hierarchical societies of the early Roman Empire, the legal ownership of human beings who could be used as property (chattel slavery) had long been widespread and regarded as appropriate and moral. Polybius, the Greek historian of Rome’s rise to power, noted that both slaves and
Key passages
Le 25:39–46

“ ‘And if your countryman who is with you becomes poor, and he is sold to you, you shall not treat him as a slave. He shall be with you like a hired worker, like a temporary resident; he shall work with you until the Year of Jubilee. And he and his sons with him shall go out from you, …

1 Co 7:20–24

Each one in the calling in which he was called—in this he should remain. Were you called while a slave? Do not let it be a concern to you. But if indeed you are able to become free, rather make use of it. For the one who is called in the Lord while a slave is the Lord’s freedperson. Likewise …

Eph 6:5–9

Slaves, obey your earthly masters with fear and trembling, in the sincerity of your heart, as to Christ, not while being watched, as people pleasers, but as slaves of Christ doing the will of God from the heart, serving with goodwill as to the Lord and not to people, because …

Col 3:22–4:1

Slaves, obey your human masters in everything, not while being watched, as people pleasers, but with sincerity of heart, fearing the Lord. Whatever you do, accomplish it from the soul, as to the Lord, and not to people, because you know that from the Lord you will receive the reward …

Phm 8–21

Therefore, although I have great confidence in Christ to order you to do what is proper, instead I appeal to you because of love, since I am such a one as Paul, now an old man and also a prisoner of Christ Jesus. I am appealing to you concerning my child whom I became …

1 Pe 2:18–21

Domestic slaves, be subject to your masters with all respect, not only to those who are good and gentle, but also to those who are unjust. For this finds favor, if because of consciousness of God someone endures sorrows while suffering unjustly. For what credit is it if, when you sin and …

See also