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Slave: The Hidden Truth about Your Identity in Christ
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Slave: The Hidden Truth about Your Identity in Christ

4.21 of 5 stars 4.21  ·  rating details  ·  1,112 ratings  ·  97 reviews

Centuries ago, English translators perpetrated a fraud in the New Testament, and it s been purposely hidden and covered up ever since. Your own Bible is probably included in the cover-up!

In this book, John MacArthur unveils the essential and clarifying revelation that may be keeping you from a fulfilling and correct relationship with God.
ebook, 240 pages
Published December 1st 2010 by Thomas Nelson Publishers (first published November 24th 2010)
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Mark Clements
I enjoyed the book but by the end I felt like MacArthur was making a point completely off the topic. This book almost seems like MacArthur's coming out party as a 5-point Calvinist. He goes out of his way to use phrases like "the doctrines of grace." The people he references throughout the book are major names in the Reformed tradition. Please understand, I don't have a problem with Calvinists/Calvinism. I am only commenting on the direction of the book. His analysis and insights about slavery a ...more
Mandy J. J.

According to the back cover of this book there has been quite the cover up happening in our English translations of the Bible. However, a few short pages into the book we find out that most likely it's not intentional. While the promotion for this book may be a bit misleading, the message inside the cover is not. In fact, it will set you back in your chair with a sober "wow!".

I don't consider this book to be an "easy-read", but neither do I think it is hard to read. It is solid theolo
Rick Davis
Okay, so first a bit of criticism. If you look at the trailer for the book Slave: The Hidden Truth about Your Identity in Christ, you will learn that there has been “a conspiracy to cover up a truth that is so essential to the New Testament that without it we misunderstand our relationship to Jesus Christ.” There is a “hidden word that unlocks the believer’s identity,” which John MacArthur says, “…changes everything I perceive about the Christian life.” Wow, it sounds like The DaVinci Code for e ...more
Dan Curnutt
MacArthur starts the preface of the book with a statement that many will find controversial, or they will just down right be appalled that Pastor John would believe that there has been a centuries old cover-up in regards to a key word in the Bible. He states, "It wasn't until the spring of 2007, on an all-night flight to London while reading 'Slave of Christ' by Murray J. Harris, that I realized there had been a centuries-long cover-up by English New Testament translators that had obscured a pre ...more
Keiki Hendrix
The beginning of wisdom, a Chinese proverb states, is to begin calling things by their correct name.

In Slave: The Hidden Truth About Your Identity in Christ , John MacArthur explores the Greek term “doulos” and its mistranslation in many contemporary bible translations which has led to a skewed perspective of the Christians relationship to God.

To say that John MacArthur is a powerhouse of a scholar would be an understatement. His ministry is founded on the study and teaching of the bible as the
Slave was offered for review on BookSneeze and I snatched it up. I loved John MacArthur's book The Jesus You Can't Ignore and Slave sounded like another great read.

From Amazon's product description: "What does it mean to be a Christian the way Jesus defined it? MacArthur says it all boils down to one word: Slave. 'We have been bought with a price. We belong to Christ. We are His own possession.'"

Unfortunately, the book got off on the wrong foot. The preface talks about an intentional translat
Haley Mathiot
John Macarthur has gone through meticulous study and research to uncover a truth about our relationship with Christ to a degree we have not exhausted as thoroughly as we should. Because of words being translated differently, we have lost a dynamic of that beautiful relationship: Now Macarthur has explained what it truly should look like.

Reading Slave has been truly convicting and enlightening. It gave me a whole new perspective on my relationship with Christ, and a fresh sense of peace. Christ i
In an age of churches that "thrive" on teaching personal ambition, fulfillment, and gratification John MacArthur reminds us that Jesus Christ, as depicted in the original languages of the Bible, is not just our savior but our Lord, and we are his slaves. Yes, SLAVES.

MacArthur goes on to show that we are not only his slaves, but always were slaves if not to him, to sin. Suddenly the picture becomes clear: Unbelievers are slaves to sin which promises all, but always brings destruction, and believe
"As followers of Jesus, we call ourselves, "Christians." But the fact is this word appears only three times in the New Testament. So the Bible uses a host of other terms to identify the followers of Jesus – children of God, citizens of heaven, lights to the world, members of His body, sheep in His flock. But there is one word used more frequently than any of these. Slave.

"Really? Do a casual read through your English New Testament and you won't see the word printed more than a few times. "That's
Neil Verner
This book written by one of my favorite authors John MacArthur is a must read for any Christian. In this book he expounds the Bible concept of a slave and applies it to that of a Christian, he challenges believers to surrender themselves to the Lordship of Christ and submit themselves wholly to Him.
Zoe Scrivener
I enjoyed this well as one enjoys a convicting book, anyway. MacArthur skilfully explains the verses regarding Christians being slaves to Christ with examples from Roman culture, helping the reader to greater understand their position in Christ. Yes, we are slaves to Christ, but it is not a demeaning thing, but a place of great privilege. MacArthur also goes on further to demonstrate the believers' position not only as slaves, but as sons and citizens.

This book was meant to be a break
LaRosa Johnson
Translating the Bible is a difficult task, even for the most skilled translators. Sometimes words, phrases, and concepts aren’t always clearly conveyed and meaning can be lost in translation. Even when you are faithful in translating the text, this still happens at times. For example, take the German word “blitzkrieg” that really has no English equivalent; at best, all we can hope to do is convey its concept & meaning. The same happens in Bible translation when trying to clearly express Gree ...more
Lincoln Forlong
Few books so precisely encapsulate the true essence of the Christian faith as this one. As always, John MacArthur simply, yet thouroughly, walks the reader through a Biblical understanding of the true nature of the Believer's relationship with Jesus Christ as Lord.

This is more than a must read, it serves as an essential course in the diet of all Christians.
In Slave: The Hidden Truth about Your Identity in Christ, John MacArthur argues that what English readers of the New Testament frequently read as "servant" is typically the Greek word doulos ("slave"), incorrectly translated. Both literally and figuratively, MacArthur asserts that it is "slave" -- not "servant" -- that should describe one's Christian identity.

...the Greek word for slave has been covered up by being mistranslated in almost every English version [of the New Testament]--going back
Ben Clay
Great book at the true meaning of what it being a servant of Christ really is, a slave. Goes into the meaning of the greek doulos and hebre eded and explains slave life in ancient hebrew world as well as the ancient roman world to explore what the slave analogies really mean.
I wonder whether it is even possible for John MacArthur to write a bad book.

This book goes a long was to explain our identity in Christ and how, once saved, we become slaves to opposed to slaves to sin and death.
Jordyn Redwood
This book has a fairly interesting premise-- comparing the life of a slave to how our relationship is with Christ. Pretty thought provoking. We'll be discussing it in our small group.
Carla Hanson
Every Christian should read this book. Made me think in a different way.
"Over the last twelve chapters we have considered the crucial difference between servants and slaves- noting that while servants are hired, slaves are owned. Believers are not merely Christ’s hired servants; they are His slaves, belonging to Him as His possession. He is their Owner and Master, worthy of their unquestioned allegiance and absolute obedience. His Word is their final authority; His will their ultimate mandate.

Having taken up their cross to follow Him, they have died to themselves a
Melissa Stebbins
"Truth be known , the gospel is not simply an invitation to become Christ's friend. Associate in battle. Companion on the journey. The Bible includes an unmistakable mandate to become His slave. This is what it means to be a Christian" - John Macarthur

John Macarthur's book Slave is a call to renounce easy religion that costs nothing and embrace the fully fledged life in Christ that calls us to die to ourselves and live for Christ. He contends that the translation of doulos as servant instead of
Christopher M.
John MacArthur is at his strongest when thoroughly explaining biblical concepts. Here, he expertly dissects the concept of a believer's identity in Christ through the biblical imagery of the slave-master relationship. The label of slave is (and probably always has been) an offensive and scandalous one, but MacArthur explains why this very fact is what made the "slave" title so appropriate in the minds of the New Testament writers as well as the early Christians. The concept of slavery to Christ ...more
How does your favorite Bible version translate doulos? Does it translate the Greek term doulos as “servants” or “slave?” In this book by John MacArthur rightfully argues that doulos has been often mistranslated as servant rather than slave and how this has huge implications for our understanding of the Gospel and our relationship with God. “Slave” is an important motif in the pages of Scripture. The book does a good job expositing the passages referring to our relationship with God as slaves and ...more
Benjamin Thompson
Macarthur proclaims rightly that Christians are not only servants of Christ but His slaves. This implies that we are to obey our Lord and depend on Him for everything. It is amusing, however, that Macarthur didn’t realize that the slavery motif’s in scripture had been covered up by numerous translators (intentionally or unintentionally) until 2007. If only he had read the scholarship, he would have realized that this had been known for quite a while. But, while John nails the essence of the impl ...more
Lee Ann
Coming across this book during Black History month was a little ironic, I think, especially since the deliberate mistranslation, i.e. the substitution of the less offensive servant for the word slave was supposedly due to more modern readers apparently not being able to handle the truth.

In the Roman world during which the New Testament writers (and Christ) had been living and working, slavery was a normal thing. There were good masters and bad masters, but as slaves were still considered a thin
When I first viewed the trailer for Slave by John MacArthur I knew I wanted to read this book. He begins by explaining a cover-up on the part of the translators of the English New Testament to mistranslate the Greek word "doulos" to say "bondservant" in most of our modern Bible translations. In truth, "doulos" should be translated "slave". MacArthur then explains throughout the book what slavery was in the Greco-Roman period and what it was in the Old Testament, making the comparisons to Christi ...more
Justin Tapp
Slave: The Hidden Truth About Your Identity in Christ was sent to us for free by mail. It's actually my first MacArthur book to read, though I'm fairly familiar with his teaching.

The MacArthur disciples I've known tend to be dogmatic and quick to judge (I'm stating my bias outright). I would describe their approach to Scripture as "hyper-sola scriptura," usually culminating in the idea that the Bible is so perspicacious that everything that can be known about God is found in its pages, and anyon
Heath Marion
At a time when racial prejudice is flying wildly in the news, the title of this book will catch your attention. No, the point of the title is not to make a racial statement but to highlight what a born again believer is. The problem is that much of Christian literature is geared more towards self help and positive affirmation. Dr. MacArthur highlights this by writing, "We don't hear about this concept in churches today. Slavery is a distasteful concept to modern sensibilities. So we hear that Go ...more
Suzanne Jackson
We are all slaves of someone... Careful study of this book should put the Lordship debate to rest, once and for all. More importantly, the premise set forth should motivate us to greater love, greater service, greater obedience, and greater gratitude.

I appreciated that while MacArthur drew his premise primarily from Scripture, he also drew from both historical literature and theologians of the past.

"To be clear, salvation is by faith alone. Yet genuine saving faith is never alone. It inevitably
This book is about a reality of life for all humans that we are slaves. All of us are slaves to sin or to Christ. This book does the service primarily of looking at what it means to be a slave with Christ as our master, something not a lot of current Christian books have done.

This is a pretty quick read and accessible to the common man in the pew, but at the same time not shallow. There are great depths to be mined looking at the theme of being Christ’s slaves and the grace of God in making us H
Overall I thought this was an interesting read. MacArthur explains the meaning and context of slavery in the Bible. Slavery is the most common metaphor used for followers of Christ in the New Testament. Yet we don't find the word 'slave' very often; instead modern translators have always opted for the more-palatable word 'servant.' MacArthur argues that by changing the word, translators water down the meaning for modern readers. There are crucial differences between slaves and servants.

I apprec
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John F. MacArthur, Jr. is a United States Reformed evangelical writer and minister, noted for his radio program entitled Grace to You and as the editor of the Gold Medallion Book Award winning MacArthur Study Bible. MacArthur is a fifth-generation pastor, a popular author and conference speaker and has served as pastor-teacher of Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, California since 1969, and as ...more
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“But the language of slavery does more than merely picture the gospel. In fact, it is central to the message of salvation. That is because the slavery metaphor points to the reality of Christ's lordship, and the lordship of Christ is essential to the biblical gospel.” 6 likes
“Over the last twelve chapters we have considered the crucial difference between servants and slaves- noting that while servants are hired, slaves are owned. Believers are not merely Christ’s hired servants; they are His slaves, belonging to Him as His possession. He is their Owner and Master, worthy of their unquestioned allegiance and absolute obedience. His Word is their final authority; His will their ultimate mandate.

Having taken up their cross to follow Him, they have died to themselves and can now say with Paul, “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live nut Christ lives in me” (Gal. 2:20). As the apostle elsewhere explained, “[Christ] died for all, so that they who live might no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf” (2 Cor. 5:15).

In reality, all of life should be viewed from that perspective. As Christians, we are slaves of Christ. What a radical difference that truth should make in our daily lives! We no longer live for ourselves. Rather, we make it our aim to please the Master in everything.”
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