Nicholas Wolterstorff says the New Testament introduced a revolutionary idea.
That dignity is not just a social endowment – that some people have, you know, by virtue of their status in society of dignity, and slaves don’t have any dignity – but that it’s something anthropological, it’s inherent in human beings and their relationship to God … that was a revolutionary idea. And so – if I can add – and so in the New Testament you get some of the letters of the New Testament, one of them, the author, Peter, says: honour everybody. And he says this after he’s talked about slaves and emperor and so forth. And this was really a revolutionary idea, that a slave was to be honoured. That would have seemed … I think that would have seemed to most readers just bizarre. Just bizarre and probably threatening anarchy.