Writers Note – even though I will try to focus on Paul’s writings and ideas this topic will go beyond just Paul and his words. In studying “slaves” I remembered that I will not have all the answers and that I am working through this as I write these posts. To get a better picture of the topic of slaves I will go into the Gospels, Acts, the other New Testament writers and the Old Testament references.
There is a notable difference in terminology depending on the translation of the Bible you use. KJV uses the word “servant” while NIV uses the word “slave” when you compare most passages. The KJV also uses the term bond______ man, maid, servant, etc. which for the most part is rendered slave in the NIV.
To start this study, I think it is important to begin with 1 Timothy 1:10. This “paragraph” should start in verse eight. Paul is talking about the Law and how it is for lawbreakers and in this list is slave traders. The word is “andrapodistes” it is used once as slave trader in the New Testament and its explanation, in my concordance, gives the idea that these people use/treat animals and humans the same. Paul condemns them! The other references to slaves by Paul, generally, fall into two groups- (1.) slaves to sin or righteousness and (2.) how slaves and masters are to act toward each other.
These references are from The New Strong’s Expanded Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible for King James. These are notes to myself and are not the complete explanation.
NT – 1401, 1402 –doulos: slave; #2 to enslave, stresses relationship; they are subject to the will of another
5257- huperetes – minister- a subordinate that acts under another’s supervision
341 – anakainoo renewal of spiritual power 2 Corinthians 4:16, Colossians 3:10 (Mark 1:20). I have to wonder if this is not a mistake in the concordance as the definition does not fit the verse!
3407 – misthios – hired servant Luke 15:17
3816 – pais – child/son/maid; manservant
1249 – diakonnos – waiter, teacher or pastor, deacon, focus is on activity and not on the relationship
3610 – oiketes – one of the family, household servant
1248 – diakonia – aid,
2324 – therapon – higher dignity than a doulos, menial attendant, Moses Hebrews 3:5
1398 – douleuo– to be a slave, serve, be in bondage, do service (not necessary associated with slavery)
1397 – douleia– any kind of bondage – creation (Rom 8:15,21)
1396 – doulagogeo– a slave driver, to enslave 1 Cor 9:27 (mastery of your own body)
Slave- 4983- soma – Only time slave is used in KJV; Revelations 18: 13. It usually deals with the body.
405– menstealers/slave traders; 1 Timothy 1:10 – a brutal word that only differs animals and men because of the number of feet they have
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