Slavery in the Bible

Joseph Francis Alward

If fundamentalist Christians are right about the Bible being the literal word of God, then God evidently approved of slavery, and didn't mind if slave owners beat their slaves, as long as they weren't beaten so severely they could not stand up after two days. Why did God approve of slavery then, but not now....unless it is not true that God approved of slavery then, and the Bible is in error? Why do funadmentalists believe that every word in the Bible is straight from God and is literally true?

  The following rules of behavior are laid down by Moses in Leviticus and Exodus:

Leviticus 25:44-46 (NIV)  The Lord said to Moses, "Your male and female slaves are to come from the nations around you; from them you may buy slaves.:"

The only rule, the all-just and all-loving God said, is that you can't kill your slaves. 

Exodus 21:20-21 (NIV):  "If a man beats his male or female slave with a rod and the slave dies as a direct result, he must be punished, but he is not to be punished if the slave gets up after a day or two, since the slave is his property"

In other words, the Lord told Moses to tell his people that they can beat their slaves half to death, but if they go too far, and the slave dies, then they'll have to pay for it. But, if the beaten slave is able to stagger to his feet after a couple of days, then the owner is not to be punished. 

Now, did a god really say this to Moses, or did Moses just imagine that a god said this to him?  Or did he pretend that it happened to justify harsh treatment of slaves? 

The "Jesus" described in the Bible allegedly knew what was in scripture, and the only thing he expressed disapproval of were certain laws relating to teaching on the sabbath, and laws relating to food.  If he really existed, and was the loving son of God that the gospels describe, why didn't he mention even once that men should not beat their slaves half to death? If the all-caring and all-just Jesus really existed, why were trivial sabbath and food laws more important to him, evidently, than the horrific slavery practices that Jewish law allowed?