Exodus 21:16 “Whoever steals a man and sells him, and anyone found in possession of him, shall be put to death.

People wanting to ridicule Christianity will often point to the Bible’s apparent acceptance of the institution of slavery as a clear moral failing. In class today my Hebrew professor pointed out the verse above, which I for some reason had overlooked.

Think about the practice of slavery in early American history. Slavers would sail to Africa, kidnap some people or pay others to kidnap them, sail them to the Americas and sell them as slaves. These unfortunate men and women would remain slaves the rest of their lives and their descendants after them. What does the Bible have to say about this practice? Read the verse above again. It’s amazing how this verse, written so long ago, condemns this entire process. Everyone involved in the process of enslavement in early America would have been killed according to Jewish law, from the slavers to the plantation owners. I would not call that acceptance.