Slave of Christ

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ISBN: 9780851115177


The New Testament finds many ways to depict the relationship of Christians and their Lord. They are his disciples, sons, daughters and friends. But it is perhaps too little recognized that they are also his slaves.

In this New Studies in Biblical Theology volume, Murray J. Harris sets out to uncover what it means to be a slave of Christ. He begins by assessing the nature of actual slavery in the Greco-Roman world and the New Testament’s attitude towards it. Drawing insights from this, he goes on to unfold the metaphor of slavery to Christ. Among the topics discussed are slavery and spiritual freedom, lordship, ownership, and privilege.

Slave of Christ is a model of good biblical theology, providing insights both for future study of the Bible and for practical application.


Series Preface
Author’s Preface

1. Introduction
Reasons for This Study
The Metaphor of Slavery
The Expression ‘Slave(s) of God’
The Expression ‘Slave(s) of Christ’

2. Slavery in the Roman Empire in the First Century AD
Jewish Slavery
Greek Slavery
Roman Slavery
Ancient and Modern Slavery

3. The New Testament Attitude Towards Physical Slavery
Slaves and Slave-owning
The ‘slave-free’ Contrast
Imagery Drawn from Slavery
Aspects of Slavery Repudiated
New Attitudes Inculcated
Paul’s Letter to Philemon
Concluding Observations

4. Slavery and freedom
Freedom and Slavery
Freedom from Slavery
Freedom for Slavery
Freedom in Slavery

5. Slavery and Lordship
The Earliest Christological Confessions
The Term Kyrios
The Correlativity of Lordship and Slavery
Slavery As a Yoke
The Slave’s Service
Slavery to Other People

6. Slavery and Ownership
The Fact of Ownership
The Means of Ownership
The Mark of Ownership

7. Slavery and Privilege
The View of G. Sass
The View of D. B. Martin
Slavery to Christ–For the Few?
‘Slave of Christ’: its Relation to ‘Slave of God’
Connotations of Doulos

8. ‘Slave of Christ’: its Significance in the New Testament
Slave Imagery and its Origin
The Negative Connotations of Slave Terminology
Slavery to Christ as a Wholly Positive Image
John 15:15, Galatians 4:7, and the Limitations of the Metaphor
The Ideal Conditions of Slavery to Christ

9. ‘Slave of Christ’: Four New Testament Examples
Priscilla and Aquila

1. The Use of Doulos in the Septuagint
2. New Testament Terms Denoting Slavery
3. The Translation of Doulos in English Versions of the New Testament
Index of Authors
Index of Subjects
Index of Principal Greek and Latin Terms and Phrases
Index of Biblical References
Index of Other Ancient Authors and Writings

Additional information

Weight 272.2 g
Dimensions 215 × 142 × 19 mm

Harris, Murray J., (Author)

Publication Summary

Inter-Varsity Press (1999), 224 pages

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