Slavery (1 Cor. 7:21)

“Were you a slave

When called?

Never mind!

But if you can gain

Your freedom,

Avail yourself

Of the opportunity.”

δοῦλος ἐκλήθης; μή σοι μελέτω· ἀλλ’ εἰ καὶ δύνασαι ἐλεύθερος γενέσθαι, μᾶλλον χρῆσαι.

Paul asked.  “Were you a slave when called (δοῦλος ἐκλήθης)?  Never mind (μή σοι μελέτω)!  But if you are able to gain your freedom (εἰ καὶ δύνασαι ἐλεύθερος γενέσθαι), avail yourself of the opportunity (μᾶλλον χρῆσαι).”  Now Paul faced the basic question of slavery in the Roman empire that was widespread.  Some of the new followers of Jesus Christ were slaves.  What should they do?  Paul told them not to worry.  Stay in the same social condition.  However, he did add an alternative.  If they were able to gain their freedom, they certainly should do that.  In other words, don’t stay a slave if there was a possibility of ending their slavery by any means.  However, remain a slave if there was no way out.  This was one of the biblical arguments for maintaining the practice of slavery.  Have you ever known a slave?

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