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Dew’s View of Slavery: Debate in the Virginia Legislature

Dew argued that the New Testament not only justifies slavery but even encourages it. He attributes this to the fact that the text provides a detailed description of what rules should be declared to slaves. For example, it is said that a slave can be beaten, but not to death. If the master used physical violence on his slave, and he did not die within the next 2-3 days, then there is no fault on the master (Dew, 1832). If the slave dies on the fourth day, even if it is due to beatings, the master is also not guilty.

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Dew’s view of black people significantly influenced his perception of slavery. Even at that time, the politician did not consider blacks second-class citizens. He said that they deserve better education and medical care, the opportunity to participate in elections, and a fair level of wages. Due to this perception of blacks, the problems of slavery were especially exciting and acute for Dew. He deeply felt any hint of injustice, which explains his interpretation of the New Testament.

Opponents of the presence of the promotion of slavery in the New Testament could provide some counterarguments. For example, the Apostle Paul condemns slavery and calls on people to be freed. He says: “Brothers, we are not the children of a slave, we are the children of a free woman! Christ has set us free so that we may be free. Therefore, stand firm and do not be subjected to slavery again” (Galatians 4:31-5:1). These lines can be considered as an incentive to release: “You were bought for a high price, so do not become slaves of people” (1 Corinthians 7:23). By these words the Apostle Paul calls people not to be slaves in the sense that their true ministry should be turned to Jesus Christ.

Reference

Dew, T. R. (1832). Review of the Debate in the Virginia Legislature of 1831 and 1832.

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StudyCorgi. "Dew’s View of Slavery: Debate in the Virginia Legislature." October 21, 2022. https://studycorgi.com/dews-view-of-slavery-debate-in-the-virginia-legislature/.

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StudyCorgi. 2022. "Dew’s View of Slavery: Debate in the Virginia Legislature." October 21, 2022. https://studycorgi.com/dews-view-of-slavery-debate-in-the-virginia-legislature/.

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StudyCorgi. (2022) 'Dew’s View of Slavery: Debate in the Virginia Legislature'. 21 October.

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