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Slavery in the Pentateuch

Mars Hill Press

I’ve been reading Peter Garnsey‘s very helpful book Ideas of Slavery from Aristotle to Augustine (Cambridge, 1996), and I’ve finally gotten to the good part. Well, okay, the whole thing is good, very helpful, but now that I’m done with the section on general ideas (pp. 1–101) and have entered in the study of specific authors and groups, I’m about to read about Philo and Paul, having already read about Aristotle and the Stoics. Maybe I’ll have something to say about Aristotle and the Stoics at some point, and about Philo and Paul, but for now I just want to reproduce Garnsey’s list of points that Philo and Paul would have gleaned from the Pentateuch on slavery.

Of course, Garnsey is not a biblical scholar, certainly not a scholar of the Hebrew Bible, and it is not at all clear that ancient Israelites thought about slavery in the way…

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