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Slavery in Philemon

Paul appears to take slavery as a given (for granted) in this letter to Philemon. He does not seem to be especially critical of the practice nor does he insist that Onesimus be freed once he returns to Philemon. Is this a problem? Does Paul say anything in his letter to Philemon that might indicate that he is critical of the practice of slavery?

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As you complete this assignment, your main focus should be to avoid anachronism. In other words, Paul was living in a society very different from ours and was writing a letter that reflected that social situation. Slavery was as much part of ancient society as private property is part of ours. Several thousand years from now, future humans might think that some people having billions of dollars and multiple luxurious mansions and private planes and yachts while others starve is a barbaric form of injustice, just as we are shocked by Paul's acceptance of ...

Solution Summary

This answer discusses the treatment of slavery in Paul's Letter to Philemon.