Sheldon Clowdus

Disciple . Husband . Father


Slave by John MacArthur
MacArthurs's latest book, Slave, begins with the question "What does it mean to be a Christian?"  MacArthur contends that some of the confusion over what an authentic Christian is stems from an unfortunate mistranslation of the Greek word doulos.  Doulos always means slave in the Greek, yet it is often translated servant in our English translations.  MacArthur gives 2 reason why he believes this mistranslation has occurred:

1) Given the stigmas attached to slavery in Western society, translators have understandably wanted to avoid any association between biblical teaching and the slave trade of the British Empire and the American Colonial era.

2) From a historical perspective, in late-medieval times it was common to translate doulos with the Latin word servus. Some of the earliest English translations, influenced by the Latin version of the Bible, translated doulos as servant because it was the more natural rendering of servus.
The main thrust of the book is two fold.  The first is to demonstrated why slave is the proper translation of doulos and second to examine the implications of viewing ourselves as slaves of Christ.  I thought the book handled both of these issues with thoughtfulness and especially appreciated the connection between being slaves of Christ to being sons of God.

As with all MacArthur's writings, scripture was found abundantly throughout.  I especially enjoyed the chapters detailing the life of John Newton and the chapters detailing the doctrines of salvation.  I think this book is a great addition to anyone's library and I wholeheartedly recommend it.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the <> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

I am a follower of Jesus, a husband, and a father. I teach 5th grade in my hometown of Rome, Georgia.


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