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imageI’m reading a the latest book by John MacArthur, Slave: The Hidden Truth About Your Identity in Christ.  He discusses how in English translations of the Bible, the Greek word doulos is often translated “servant” or “bondservant” when it should be rendered “slave.”  He gives a couple of reasons why this has likely been done.  One reason is the western stigma attached to the word slave.  Another is that the word servant back when the Bible was first translated into English better described doulos.  Some may ask what the difference is.  MacArthur explains:

While it is true that the duties of slave and servant may overlap to some degree, there is a key distinction between the two: servants are hired; slaves are owned.  Servants have an element of freedom in choosing whom they work for and what they do.  The idea of servanthood maintains some level of self-autonomy and personal rights.  Slaves, on the other hand, have no freedom, autonomy, or rights.  In the Greco-Roman world, slaves were considered property, to the point that in the eyes of the law they were regarded as things rather than persons.  To be someone’s slave was to be his possession, bound to obey his will without hesitation or argument, (pg. 16-17).

How might that impact your walk with Christ, the distinction of being a servant of Christ compared to being a slave of Christ?

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