The Epistle To Philemon: The Early Christian Church

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Though the early Christian Church was opposed to slavery, it was rather very much philosophical and tentative around the issue as even seen in Philemon verse 13-21 when Paul addressing Philemon concerning the issue of Onesimus. Paul here does not appear to directly oppose Philemon however it is apparent that Paul bade to have Onesimus freed from the bondage of Philemon his master. Many scholars have argued that probably the reason that Paul or even the other early Church fathers might have been tentative around the issue of slavery because their primary concern was around the survival of the Christian Church.
Understanding the dynamics of the Roman civilization, the revenue that slavery had in the economics of Rome they might have seen that
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The more Christ was preached, His teachings and His life led to the decline of slavery and the later abolishment of slavery. Hence one of the foremost impacts that affected slavery was when the Roman Empire became fully Christianized during the times of Augustine.
The Impact of the Epistle to Philemon
In the light of this epistle, Philemon the slave owner was now faced with the decision of taking the counsel of Paul into consideration or following the Roman culture of dealing with runaway slaves. Since of the rich history that slavery had in Rome, Philemon was caught between two worlds. Philemon’s background had taught him that a slave was not considered as a person, rather they were only worthy of labour and his new adopted faith suggested the otherwise.
Philemon translated from Greek is “affectionate” or “one who is kind” and Paul’s appeal to Philemon actually appeals to his being as he was now expected to live fulfil his name the ‘affectionate’. Now one of the prominent themes that seems be apparent in the epistle is forgiveness and
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