Prof Probes 'Amistad' & Paul'S Position On Slavery

Jan. 13, 1998

indent pictureDr. David Garland of Baylor University's George W. Truett Theological Seminary will discuss the apostle Paul's position on slavery in light of the recently released movie Amistad at 9:30 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 15, in the First Baptist Church Chapel.

indent pictureGarland, professor of Christian Scriptures, titled his talk "Amistad and Paul's Silence on Slavery." He will deliver the talk during the seminary's faculty convocation.

indent pictureGarland said that some people think Paul gave divine sanction to slavery by telling slaves to obey their masters and sending a runaway slave, Onesimus, back to his master Philemon. However, Garland said before a person can condemn Paul for moral blindness, he or she must cross the bridge from the present to the first century Roman empire.

indent picture"Ancient slavery, though no less evil, differed in at least five ways from the new world slavery from our recent past," Garland said. "Several mitigating factors help explain why first century Christians did not challenge the institution more forcefully."

indent pictureThose that say Paul endorsed slavery do him an injustice, Garland said.

indent picture"Paul did not sanctify it as part of God's design, but sowed the seeds for its final eradication," Garland said. "Slavery based on race came into being after it ended in Europe during the Reformation period."

indent pictureThe convocation is open to the public. For more information, contact Garland at


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