This is more or less a history-based question than a Christianity-based question, but it is tied to Christian history.

I remember reading from a history textbook that there were several reasons to keep slavery - financial, economic, social, and religious. Now, it was an American history textbook, not a Christian history textbook, which led me to speculate about the specific biblical verses that were used to justify slavery.

What biblical verses did people use to justify slavery?

Is this question too broad, or has it been answered before that it needs not to be on here? Do I need to scope to a specific denomination in the 19th century South that had certain congregants who used the Bible to argue in favor of slavery or some denominations in the North against slavery?

  • If that's a question you're considering, it's been asked before, so it would be a duplicate. If it's just an example, ignore me (I'm used to it).
    – Ryan Frame
    Aug 3, 2013 at 2:56
  • Fine. What about other similar questions?
    – Double U
    Aug 3, 2013 at 3:02
  • "Can you provide a link to the textbook? Otherwise, it's just an exercise in pure speculation." ;)
    – pterandon
    Aug 3, 2013 at 13:43
  • I think it would be fine as a history question; it might be better to quote somebody using a verse or two, then asking if there are others (or ask if that was a common interpretation of those verses).
    – Ryan Frame
    Aug 3, 2013 at 14:40

1 Answer 1


Probably to the extent to which it is a notable historic event with enough data to work from. Slavery in America is obviously a notable issue where churches of various sorts came down on sides and reasoned their position from Scripture. In the case of slavery, you would need to restrict the scope to a specific time period, location or doctrinal position because changing variables for those would surely produce too broad a question to be answerable in this format.

On the other hand if you asked the same format question about something innocuous (e.g. In what ways did the Puritans use the Bible to justify making their kids eat their corn before their chicken?), the result is probably too narrow or off topic. Just stuffing a question with "Bible" and "justify" doesn't make something on topic that doesn't have a specific reason to be.

  • 1
    LOL to the last question.
    – Double U
    Aug 3, 2013 at 17:37

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