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Slave: The Hidden Truth about Your Identity in Christ

4.23  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,575 Ratings  ·  113 Reviews
A cover-up of Biblical proportions…

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.
Hardcover, 227 pages
Published December 28th 2010 by Thomas Nelson Publishers (first published November 24th 2010)
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Mark Clements
Sep 09, 2011 Mark Clements rated it really liked it
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
Rick Davis
Jan 12, 2011 Rick Davis rated it really liked it
Shelves: bible-theology
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
Mandy J. Hoffman

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
Dan Curnutt
Mar 03, 2011 Dan Curnutt rated it it was amazing
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
Clark Goble
Feb 20, 2015 Clark Goble rated it it was amazing
In his book, "Slave", John MacArthur explores the Greek word 'doulos' ('slave' in English) as it occurs throughout Scripture and notes how its meaning has often been lost in modern translations of the Bible. MacArthur than masterfully presents the Gospel through the lens of this 'slave' metaphor as it is depicted in God's Word. As such, the first forty or so pages of this book really blew me away and added a new layer of depth to my understanding to the Gospel.

MacArthur then takes the reader th
Jesvin Jose
May 16, 2016 Jesvin Jose rated it it was amazing
There is a key distinction between servants and slaves - "Servants are hired, slaves are owned". Servants have freedom, autonomy and personal rights while slaves have no freedom, autonomy or rights. Exclusive ownership, complete submission, singular devotion, total dependence and personal accountability were 5 characteristics of first century slaves. Macarthur challenges the easy believism of our day by demonstrating both from history and Scripture that slavery to Christ (far from being a distas ...more
David Washington
May 21, 2016 David Washington rated it really liked it
To say that John MacArthur is an influence on my spiritual walk and understanding of God and the Scriptures is an understatement. I listen to his sermons on a regular basis. Some I've listened to more than once if not ten times. So, it's odd that this is the first book that I've ever read from him being as prolific an author as he is.

I received Slave years ago some months after it came out. It's been on my shelf for that amount of time. Because of my recommitment to reading, I decided it was hig
Keiki Hendrix
Jan 13, 2011 Keiki Hendrix rated it it was amazing
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
Jan 20, 2011 Cassandra rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
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 transl
Haley Mathiot
Apr 27, 2011 Haley Mathiot rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 5-star-bookshelf
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
"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
Feb 18, 2014 Neil Verner rated it really liked it
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
Trisha Yeager
Feb 01, 2016 Trisha Yeager rated it liked it
The beginning of this book is a fantastic word study on doulos, its use - and potential misuse - in the NT, and the concepts surrounding the word and its literal translation: slave. It gets five stars.
The latter part of the book attempts to show how the concept of doulos proves and reinforces the five points of Calvinism. I found the arguments forced and felt that they neglected clear parallels of slavery from the OT in favor of the Greco-Roman form, comparing our service to Christ as chattel or
LaRosa Johnson
Feb 17, 2014 LaRosa Johnson rated it it was amazing
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
Apr 25, 2013 Lincoln Forlong rated it it was amazing
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.
Sep 06, 2014 Rad rated it it was amazing
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
Jun 14, 2012 Ben Clay rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Jul 28, 2012 Dan rated it it was amazing
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
Sep 03, 2011 Jordyn Redwood rated it it was amazing
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.
Todd Harrison
Aug 31, 2015 Todd Harrison rated it liked it
Shelves: christian-living
Really enjoyed the first few chapters. In the last few chapters, calvinistic theology was obvious.
Jul 18, 2011 Carla rated it it was amazing
Every Christian should read this book. Made me think in a different way.
Adam Townsend
Jan 20, 2016 Adam Townsend rated it it was amazing
John MacArthur details the wonderful privilege all Christians have as slaves of Jesus Christ. I usually thought of being a slave, even of Jesus Christ, in mostly negative terms even though I was okay with that. That was my position. However, this book gave me some new perspectives on the wonderfully graceful aspects of being a slave of Christ. I would recommend this book to any Christian individual who has a desire to go deeper into the Word of God and understand the hidden truth about their ide ...more
Mar 04, 2013 Rachel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, orthodoxy
"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
Jan 20, 2011 Melissa Stebbins rated it really liked it
"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.
Jul 25, 2011 Christopher M. rated it it was amazing
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
Sep 10, 2013 Jimmy added it
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
Jan 03, 2013 Benjamin Thompson rated it it was ok
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
Feb 06, 2012 Lee Ann rated it liked it
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
Jan 04, 2011 Liz rated it it was amazing
Shelves: christian-living
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
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John F. MacArthur, Jr. is a United States Calvinistic 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 ...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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