3 edition of Onesimus: Or, The Apostolic Directions to Christian Masters, in Reference to Their Slaves ... found in the catalog.
by Gould, Kendall & Lincoln
Written in English
We are going to begin this morning a study of a brand new book in the New Testament, the book of Philemon, and I want you to turn to it. It’s just very brief, one chapter, 25 verses, a lesson on for. Paul and Onesimus both knew the danger the slave faced in returning, since slave owners had absolute authority over their slaves, and often treated them as property rather than as people.  Paul wrote this brief, verse appeal, to pacify Philemon, and to effect reconciliation between the slave and his master.
Christian views on slavery are varied regionally, historically and spiritually. Slavery in various forms has been a part of the social environment for much of Christianity's history, spanning well over eighteen centuries. In the early years of Christianity, slavery was an established feature of the economy and society in the Roman Empire, and this persisted in different forms and with regional differences well into the Middle Ages. Saint Augustine . Instead, they should serve them even better because their masters are dear to them as fellow believers and are devoted to the welfare of their slaves. This passage reveals Paul’s awareness that this would be a disturbing situation to be in, which indicates further a sense of common expectation that Christianity ought to undermine slavery.
Update: readers will want to read the comments as well. There have been some very helpful insights/challenges posted there. S. Scott Bartchy's article "Slaves and Slavery in the Roman World" in the recently published The World of the New Testament: Cultural, Social, and Historical Contexts addresses the legality of Onesimus' flight to Paul from Philemon.. The Bible contains many references to slavery, which was a common practice in al texts outline sources and legal status of slaves, economic roles of slavery, types of slavery, and debt slavery, which thoroughly explain the institution of slavery in Israel in antiquity. The Bible stipulates the treatment of slaves, especially in the Old Testament.
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Excerpt from Onesimus: Or the Apostolic Directions to Christian Masters, in Reference to Their Slaves. Onesimus: or, The apostolic directions to Christian masters, in reference to their slaves, considered.
Apostolic directions to Christian masters, in reference to their slaves, considered: Responsibility: By Evangelicus. By parity of reasoning, Christian masters are required to treat their Christian slaves on the principle of Christian love, as brethren in Christ ; and what- ever would be contrary to the claims of Christian affection, they are to avoid.
Three points, now, we may consider made plain, as to the duty of Christian masters towards their slaves. The book was written about A.D.
62 during Paul's first imprisonment in Rome and carried by Onesimus and Tychicus at the same time that they delivered the Colossian and Ephesian letters. Philemon appears to have been a comparatively wealthy Colossian who owned slaves, as did most of the rich in his day.
(4) Although Paul asks that Philemon support Onesimus, he does not request pity or forgiveness on behalf of Onesimus. Onesimus is not presented in any way as remorseful or repentant. It appears that Onesimus neither ran away nor was estranged from his master.
Writing from prison, Paul thanks the recipients of the epistle for their support. To indirectly request of Philemon to send Onesimus back to Paul so that he can go on helping Paul as he had already begun to do.
To provide a canonical example of Paul’s teaching of the transformation of human society into Christ’s image with reference to slaves and masters. In Colossians slaves are told to obey their masters in everything, while slave-owners are told to be fair to their slaves (Cf.
Ephesians ). Evidently they are not expected to free them in accordance with scriptures such as Deuteronomy In 1 Timothy 6 there is an exhortation to slaves to honor masters, but no exhortation to slave-owners (Cf.
Titus ; 1 Peter ). The Christian Scriptures and Slavery: Neither Jesus, nor St. Paul, nor any other Biblical figure is recorded as saying anything in opposition to the institution of slavery. Slavery was very much a part of life in Judea, Galilee, in the rest of the Roman Empire, and elsewhere during New Testament times.
Onesimus, a slave belonging to Philemon, had fled from his master, possibly stealing money in the process (vv. The fugitive made his way to Rome, one thousand miles to the west (via land). There he came in contact with Paul, who was under house arrest awaiting the disposition of his case before Caesar (Acts ).
Onesimus, the Christian convert, is sent back by Paul to his master, and the institution is left to be undermined and removed by the gradual operation of the great Christian principles of the equality of men in the sight of God, a common Christian brotherhood, the spiritual freedom of the Christian man, and the Lordship of Christ to which every.
Onesimus, a slave of the Christian Philemon of Colossae, dissatisfied with his servile state, had run away, carrying with him some of his master’s money or possessions (v.
18; cf. AA ). In time he found his way to Rome, as did many slaves, expecting to lose himself in the vast crowds of that city. Onesimus, an unconverted slave of Philemon, had fled, whether after or before his master's conversion, is unknown.
When he was converted the principles of Christian teaching would require him to return, but the conditions of his return are explained.  Ignatius is here indirectly pleading for their bishop Onesimus, whose quiet and modest demeanour might lead some to despise him.
15, and the similar directions in Philad.1, Magn.  Lightfoot's reading has been followed. (4 c.) In Ephesians the hardest form of subjection, that of slaves to masters, is dealt with, still under the same idea that both are “in Christ.” The slave is the servant of Christ in obeying his master, the master is a fellow-servant with his slave to the same Divine Lord.
We notice on this particular subject a remarkable emphasis, and a singular closeness of parallelism between. Philemon had a slave–Onesimus– who run away with stolen money from his master.
However, in the course of his “runaway life” Onesimus encountered Paul’s ministry and was converted. He served Paul in his imprisonment for some time. However, Paul knowing the right thing to be done sent Onesimus back to his master.
Onesimus is a slave who has a dispute with his master Philemon, and has come to Paul to mediate in the dispute between master and slave.
2 But the first option, that Onesimus is a runaway slave, seems to fit the facts the best, is the most popular interpretation, and is the one I am adopting in my exposition.
Onesimus means “useful” and that is the typical way slaves were named, by their function. So it’s an interesting idea, but I don’t find it persuasive.
Log in to Reply. Onesimus, a slave, had run away from his master, Philemon, of Colossae, and had hidden himself in Rome, where he came under Paul's influence and was converted to Christianity. In his loyalty to the civil law, Paul felt that Onesimus, in fulfillment of his Christian duty, should return to his master.
Paul indeed sent Onesimus (whose name means "useful") back as a slave - as he was required to do in Roman law (after all, Onesimus was someone else's property, not his to set free) - but with a brilliant rhetorical move, he left Philemon with no h.Masters, treat your slaves justly and fairly, because you know that you also have a Master in heaven.
Leviticus 25;46 And you shall take them as an inheritance for your children after you, to inherit them for a possession; they shall be your slaves forever: but over your brethren the children of Israel, you shall not rule one over another with.
16 Runaway slaves frequently sought asylum, but it is unlikely that Paul in prison would qualify for this, pace Lohmeyer, E., Die Briefe an die Philipper, an die Kolosser und an Philemon (Meyers; 8th edn.; Göttingen: Vandenhoeck und Ruprecht, ) And if Onesimus had met Paul as a fellow prisoner (imprisoned as a runaway), it would be the authorities, not Paul, who sent him back to his Cited by: