Pro-slavery advocates of the 18th and 19th centuries used five basic tenets based on the Bible to express the heart of their argument:
- God established slavery and there are numerous examples through the Old Testament
- Righteous people practiced it
- The moral law allowed for it
- Jesus accepted it
- The apostles upheld it.
For those of us who believe that women should not be limited by their gender, these arguments sound eerily familiar. In fact, there is more to defend the practice of slavery in the Bible than there is to limit the role of women.
The abolitionists also used the Bible to express their convictions. They said that although the Bible described slavery, abolition best expressed the overall emphasis of the Scriptures, and especially the teachings of Jesus.
When we examine the tenor and trend of the Bible concerning women, there is equally compelling evidence that the traditional approach that subordinates women does not line up with the heart of God.