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Enslaved Christians and the Making of the Bible 


Season 2: Episode 61
Enslaved Christians and the Making of the Bible 
Date Aired: 4/08/2024

In the first-century Roman world where Christianity was born, 20 percent of the population was enslaved. Enslaved people were laborers, farmers, artisans, scribes, teachers, servants, and sex workers. And as our guest Candida Moss explains, enslaved people also played a critical role in the spread of Christianity, including the authorship of biblical texts. How does it change our understanding of the Bible and early Christianity when we recognize the influence of enslaved people? Does Jesus’s revolutionary message—and his ignoble “slave’s” death—make more sense when we think about how many of Jesus’s early followers may have been enslaved? 

Listen to the episode on the Biblical Time Machine website or wherever you get your podcasts.

Disclaimer: The Society of Biblical Literature is not responsible for the content of this podcast. The opinions expressed in this podcast do not necessarily reflect those of the Society of Biblical Literature, its members, or its staff.

  • The Biblical Time Machine Podcast is hosted by Helen Bond and Dave Roos. Helen Bond is professor of Christian origins at Edinburgh University. She is the author of Women Remembered: Jesus’s Female Disciples, The First Biography of Jesus: Genre and Meaning in Mark’s Gospel, and The Historical Jesus: A Guide for the Perplexed. Her research focuses on the social and political history of first century Judaea, the historical Jesus and the canonical gospels. Dave Roos is a journalist and writer who contributes to, HowStuffWorks and the popular podcast Stuff You Should Know. Dave has a degree in religious studies from Duke University.