Did Jesus recognize slavery and accepted it? In other words, What was his opinion about slavery or slaves?

N.b. Maybe we can understand it also according to the written evidence we have, based on what was the opinion of the classical ancient Christians when Christianity was more homogenous. Maybe some holy figures in the new testament who had slaves. I'm trying to outline the information we know about this issue.

  • Paul's epistle to Philemon is the definitive text on this subject, I would say. – Nigel J Nov 23 '20 at 22:00
  • Sorry, but I think this is really too broad - there are many whole books about slavery in the Bible! Unscoped interpretation also risks opinion-based answers. If you haven't seen it yet, please do have a read of What types of questions can I ask on this site? – curiousdannii Nov 24 '20 at 11:36
  • 1. There are many topics of which there are books that talk about them, and still they exist here on this site. 2. I don't ask about the bible but rather part of it, the new testament, which is totally new era and it was done to change the old testament. 3. It's not a matter of opinion based, but evidence and historical evidence. So, I suspect that someone is afraid from such question to be shown here? – Foreign affairs Nov 24 '20 at 12:44
  • Whether or not the New Testament was "done to change the old testament" is itself very much a matter of opinion! Please do edit this to ask something more focused, and ideally scoped to a denomination, and then we can reopen it. – curiousdannii Nov 24 '20 at 22:24
  • It's very focused. It asks a simple question: what was the opinion of Jesus on slavery. I'm looking for evidence (based on the new testament), not opinion-based. – Foreign affairs Nov 24 '20 at 22:46

From various passages in Isaiah, you can assemble a list of signs that Messiah would perform.

61 The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, 2 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, 3 and provide for those who grieve in Zion (Isaiah 61, NIV)

In that day the deaf will hear the words of the scroll, and out of gloom and darkness the eyes of the blind will see. (Isaiah 29:18)

John the Baptist knew this, and so he asked Jesus if he was the messiah, because the list of things Jesus had performed was not the complete list he expected.

18 John’s disciples told him about all these things. Calling two of them, 19 he sent them to the Lord to ask, “Are you the one who is to come, or should we expect someone else?”

20 When the men came to Jesus, they said, “John the Baptist sent us to you to ask, ‘Are you the one who is to come, or should we expect someone else?’”

21 At that very time Jesus cured many who had diseases, sicknesses and evil spirits, and gave sight to many who were blind. 22 So he replied to the messengers, “Go back and report to John what you have seen and heard: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is proclaimed to the poor. 23 Blessed is anyone who does not stumble on account of me.” (Luke 7, NIV)

If you compare the lists, one very important sign was missing, important to John because it concerned him:

The freeing of the captives. This includes all who are unjustly imprisoned and all slaves, like John himself.

The freeing of the captives was a sign that Jesus left for the church to fulfill. Healings were a personal blessing to individuals. Setting prisoners free requires a change to government. What did Jesus say about that?

6 Then they gathered around him and asked him, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?”

7 He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. 8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” (Acts 1)

Fundamental, night-and-day change to government by Messiah will occur at the second coming. Slow improvements in government and the accumulation of civil rights and justice has been the work of the church, slowly learning this by the Holy Spirit and making many mistakes along the way.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.