Bryan Fischer on a recent show claimed that the kind of slavery practiced in America was a capital crime under the Old Testament law. In order to make that case he has to tell the lie that nearly all people like him tell, pretending that the rules for Hebrew servants in Exodus applied to all slaves. Here’s the video:
He’s quoting Exodus 21, which deals only with Hebrew servants, their fellow Israelites. Under the Mosaic law, they had to be treated with kindness and could not be bought or sold. And they had to be released every 7 years during the year of jubilee. But that has nothing to do with non-Israelite slaves. That is regulated by Leviticus 25:
44 “‘Your male and female slaves are to come from the nations around you; from them you may buy slaves. 45 You may also buy some of the temporary residents living among you and members of their clans born in your country, and they will become your property. 46 You can bequeath them to your children as inherited property and can make them slaves for life, but you must not rule over your fellow Israelites ruthlessly.
20 “Anyone who beats their male or female slave with a rod must be punished if the slave dies as a direct result, 21 but they are not to be punished if the slave recovers after a day or two, since the slave is their property.
So as long as they don’t die immediately, they can be beaten to within an inch of their life. But remember, “God is love” or some such rot. And by the way, if Fischer were right, wouldn’t that mean that Thomas Jefferson, George Washington and the other slave-owning founding fathers that Fischer claims were good Christian men should have been put to death?