The New Testament book of Philemon is the ancient brief letter by the apostle Paul concerning the welfare of Philemon’s slave, Onesimus. What did the institution of slavery mean in the Roman Empire? How does the Bible handle the issue of slavery? And what does it mean when Christians are exhorted to be slaves of Christ? Bible Gateway interviewed John Byron (@jlbyron) about his book, A Week in the Life of a Slave (InterVarsity Press, 2019). What is the first mention of slavery in the Bible? John Byron: Mention of slaves is scattered throughout Genesis, as seen in the description…