Is it ok to have slavery according to bible?

Servants, be subject to your masters with all fear; not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward.

For this is thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully.

For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God.

  • There are a number of slavery questions already on the site. Also, David found what appears to be a duplicate.
    – user3961
    Commented Dec 1, 2013 at 20:46

1 Answer 1


It was certainly "okay." The Israelites owned slaves purchased with money (Exo. 12:44). No explicit prohibition is ever declared of this practice in the NT. In fact, servants are commanded to obey their masters (Col. 3:22).

Slavery is not inherently evil but it can be abused like most things. The Bible explicitly prohibits abusing slaves (Exo. 21:20), for all men are made in God's image.

However, it is no longer "okay" because civil law prohibts it, and Christians are commanded to obey the authorities under which they live.