W. H. Paul Thompson

Pauline Slave Welfare in Historical Context

An Equality Analysis

[Paulinische Sklavenfürsorge im historischen Kontext. Eine Gleichheitsanalyse.]

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sewn paper
ISBN 978-3-16-161214-5
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Published in English.
W.H. Paul Thompson engages in an equality analysis of ancient ethics on slave welfare – how slaves should be treated in comparison to free persons. He reconstructs a Jewish numerically equal treatment ethic for slaves and free persons which Paul reorients into a Christocentric framework.
W. H. Paul Thompson critiques modern scholarship on Pauline slavery for failing to define and reason consistently about equality. Instead, he engages in an equality analysis of Aristotle and Seneca in their Greco-Roman contexts, the Torah and its Jewish reception, and selected Pauline texts. Focusing on slave welfare − how slaves should be treated relative to free persons of the same historical context − rather than on abolitionism or reinforcement of slave submission, the author argues for a distinctive Jewish ethic of numerically equal treatment between slave and free that imitates Yahweh's impartiality. The Apostle reorients this ethic into a Christocentric framework to intensify both the quality of slave obedience and the degree of slave welfare required relative to the prevailing Roman ethos.

W. H. Paul Thompson Born 1973; 2005 BA (Hons) from Middlesex University, through Oak Hill Theological College; 2014 MTh from University of Chester, through Wales Evangelical School of Theology; 2021 PhD from University of Chester, through Union School of Theology; Academic Dean and lecturer in New Testament and Theology for Equip Gospel Ministries in Malaysia, and adjunct lecturer for Seminari Theoloji Malaysia.


The following reviews are known:

In: Theologische Literaturzeitung — 149 (2024), pp. 66–67 (Claudia Janssen)