The Pater Familias as a Landowner in the Context of the Slave Laws of the Pentateuch. A Brief Response to Esias E. Meyer

  • Benjamin Kilchör Staatsunabhängige Theologische Hochschule Basel University of Pretoria


In his review essay on my dissertation, Esias E. Meyer dedicates an important part to discussing the slave laws in the Pentateuch. A key role in his critique is played by his understanding of the term pater familias as “a man with a woman and children.” This, however, is not how I used the term; rather, a pater familias is the head of an extended family with land possession. In this response, I show that landownership is the key to understanding the relationship between the slave laws of the Pentateuch.