Slave of Christ: A New Testament Metaphor for Total Devotion to Christ, By Murray J. Harris alt

Slave of Christ

A New Testament Metaphor for Total Devotion to Christ

New Studies in Biblical Theology


by Murray J. Harris
Series edited by D. A. Carson

Slave of Christ
  • Length: 224 pages
  • Dimensions: 0 × 0 in
  • Published: May 29, 2001
  • Imprint: IVP Academic
  • Item Code: 7134
  • ISBN: 9780830871346

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The New Testament finds many ways to depict the relationship of Christians and their Lord. They are his disciples, sons, daughters and friends. But it is perhaps too little recognized that they are also his slaves.

In this New Studies in Biblical Theology volume, Murray J. Harris sets out to uncover what it means to be a slave of Christ. He begins by assessing the nature of actual slavery in the Greco-Roman world and the New Testament's attitude towards it. Drawing insights from this, he goes on to unfold the metaphor of slavery to Christ. Among the topics discussed are slavery and spiritual freedom, lordship, ownership, and privilege.

Slave of Christ is a model of good biblical theology, providing insights both for future study of the Bible and for practical application.

Addressing key issues in biblical theology, the works comprising New Studies in Biblical Theology are creative attempts to help Christians better understand their Bibles. The NSBT series is edited by D. A. Carson, aiming to simultaneously instruct and to edify, to interact with current scholarship and to point the way ahead.

I hope that you are familiar with InterVarsity Press' series titles "New Studies in Biblical Theology.". . .I would like to introduce it to you be previewing one of the volumes that has greatly impacted my view of the Christian life. I appreciate the help in working through the Biblical data provided here by Murray J. Harris. I highly recommend this study to you.

Jason Button, TheoSource, May 20, 2008

"Combines meticulous scholarship and the careful unpacking of a biblical theme that is widely neglected. . . . A most valuable work."

D. A. Carson, Trinity Evangelica Divinity School (Deerfield, Illinois)


Series Preface
Author's Preface

1. Introduction
Reasons for This Study
The Metaphor of Slavery
The Expression 'Slave(s) of God'
The Expression 'Slave(s) of Christ'

2. Slavery in the Roman Empire in the First Century AD
Jewish Slavery
Greek Slavery
Roman Slavery
Ancient and Modern Slavery

3. The New Testament Attitude Towards Physical Slavery
Slaves and Slave-owning
The 'slave-free' Contrast
Imagery Drawn from Slavery
Aspects of Slavery Repudiated
New Attitudes Inculcated
Paul's Letter to Philemon
Concluding Observations

4. Slavery and freedom
Freedom and Slavery
Freedom from Slavery
Freedom for Slavery
Freedom in Slavery

5. Slavery and Lordship
The Earliest Christological Confessions
The Term Kyrios
The Correlativity of Lordship and Slavery
Slavery As a Yoke
The Slave's Service
Slavery to Other People

6. Slavery and Ownership
The Fact of Ownership
The Means of Ownership
The Mark of Ownership

7. Slavery and Privilege
The View of G. Sass
The View of D. B. Martin
Slavery to Christ--For the Few?
'Slave of Christ': its Relation to 'Slave of God'
Connotations of Doulos

8. 'Slave of Christ': its Significance in the New Testament
Slave Imagery and its Origin
The Negative Connotations of Slave Terminology
Slavery to Christ as a Wholly Positive Image
John 15:15, Galatians 4:7, and the Limitations of the Metaphor
The Ideal Conditions of Slavery to Christ

9. 'Slave of Christ': Four New Testament Examples
Priscilla and Aquila

1. The Use of Doulos in the Septuagint
2. New Testament Terms Denoting Slavery
3. The Translation of Doulos in English Versions of the New Testament
Index of Authors
Index of Subjects
Index of Principal Greek and Latin Terms and Phrases
Index of Biblical References
Index of Other Ancient Authors and Writings


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Harris is professor emeritus of New Testament exegesis and theology at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois. Formerly, he was warden of Tyndale House at Cambridge University in England. His Ph.D. is from the University of Manchester, where he studied under F. F. Bruce.
D. A. Carson

D. A. Carson is research professor of New Testament at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois.