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One of the devotionals earlier this week noted that those who translate the Scriptures from the original languages into English have a really difficult job. Some of that has to do with grammar and punctuation, but other aspects are cultural.
Perhaps one of the more challenging topics to translate from Hebrew or Greek into English are passages that focus on hard topics such as slavery. As people living in the 21st Century in the United States, we have learned a great deal about the atrocities that occurred as a result of slavery. So when we read in Ephesians 6:5, Slaves, obey your earthly masters with deep respect and fear, we may question what it means. Some may wonder, If our God is loving, why does the Bible have verses about slaves obeying their masters?
The short answer is that the kind of slavery that existed in the Old Testament differed greatly from the kind of slavery that existed in the Greco-Roman world. And both differed greatly from the kind of slavery that is part of American History. For Paul, he encouraged both slaves and masters to treat one another with fairness and to serve one another well.
READING & PRAYERS:
What is one practical way you can live out the main principles of this passage in your life today?
PRAYER: Heavenly Father, today I thank You that Your Word is appropriate for all people in all time periods. May I not skip over some aspects of the Scriptures falsely believing that they don’t apply to me. Instead, may I dig deeply into every aspect of Your Word and come to reflect it well through my words and actions. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
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