But how does Jesus feel about slavery?
|Source: Thinking out loud|
This one showed up in my Twitter mentions in response to the post..
I hadn’t considered the notion that this could be one of the many parables that exist throughout this book. I'm beginning to realize that Jesus was a pretty big fan of these. I guess Jesus Christ wanted to make sure that people were paying attention to him. He realized that no one would get down on their knees and worship him if he spoke like everyone else. So, he developed a cryptic riddle-style way of speaking in order to add a little panache to his sermons. Kind of like a Jesus Christ version of Yoda..
So, the idea is that the slaves are actually a parallel to Christians (i.e. slaves to their church) and the “being beaten” part refers to going to hell if they don’t repent enough or do whatever it is that Christians are supposed to do to get to Heaven. Seems like a bit of stretch but it’s entirely plausible.
I’m not a History buff so I don’t really know too much about it. But it is said that these people weren’t slaves but actually “indentured servants” which if I am understanding this correctly means that they volunteered for the task so it’s ok to beat them (hmmm). I don’t know why anyone would volunteer for that kind of servitude. Especially, when the result was often many “stripes” or in some cases being beaten to death. The motive would have to be pretty severe, but hey I guess these were severe times.
Taking the text literally and reading it as is, it pretty much sounds like Jesus Christ is delivering precise directions on how to administer corporal punishment to slaves. This astonishes me because based on what I have heard he doesn’t seem like the type to condone such an act in any fashion. There are a lot of good notes in his speeches but when you get to the part about slavery you can’t help but raise an eyebrow.
I can’t really rely on my own source of wisdom on this one. Especially since I don’t have any. I’ve read these scriptures as well as the surrounding text in several different translations and it could be either one of these. It really seems open to interpretation. If this book is really full of Holiness then it should be clear what God is trying to say. So, is God saying that slavery is ok? If so, why would he condone such an act? I’m completely boggled at this point, so you know what that means.. Yep, it’s poll time.