2:18 Servants. The vast majority of such servants were slaves and were treated as property. To a large extent the economy of the ancient world depended on slavery. Like other New Testament writers, Peter does not condemn slavery, and slaves are commanded to obey their masters. Nevertheless, the New Testament requires that slaves be treated with respect, and masters are not to mistreat their slaves (Eph. 6:9; Col. 4:1). Furthermore, the spiritual equality of slave and free in the church community is strongly emphasized (Gal. 3:28; cf. 1 Cor. 12:13; Col. 3:11), and slaves are encouraged to seek their freedom by lawful means (1 Cor. 7:21–24). In the late 1700’s, when slavery came under attack, these teachings helped to undermine the institution of slavery.