Believers as ‘Slaves of Christ’ and ‘Freed Persons of the Lord’ | Amsterdam University Press Journals Online
Volume 72, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 2542-6583
  • E-ISSN: 2590-3268



In this article, examples of liberating and oppressive usage of slavery metaphors in Paul and the Pauline tradition, respectively, are discussed. Concerning Paul’s use of such metaphors in 1 Cor 7:22, I argue that the apostle consciously avoided to call slave members of the community ‘slaves of Christ’, using ‘freedpersons of the Lord’ as a context-induced new metaphor instead. The early reception of Pauline slavery metaphors in the pseudo-Pauline letter to the Colossians (Col 3:22–4:1), by contrast, shows an emphatic application of the metaphor ‘slave of Christ’ to actual slaves, with the intention of enforcing obedience to their earthly masters out of internalized fear of the Lord.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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