I believe that the sentence is depicting the act of being freed as slaves of sin. But I can't help but see it also as 'being freed from slavery only to be led to sin'.

It could also be just be my lack command for the language...

  • 2
    You are correct that one might stretch the interpretation (and perhaps assume some elided words) to achieve your second interpretation. But "to sin" is, in the non-contorted interpretation, a prepositional phrase modifying "slavery", describing the type of slavery.
    – Hot Licks
    Mar 27 '17 at 12:23

Your initial interpretation is correct: the phrase "slavery to sin" implies the author and his fellow people had indulged in sinful acts against their will, that they were powerless to escape a sinful lifestyle. He attributes this newfound freedom from sin to some greater force, which, judging from my initial google searches and the religious undertones of the quote, is likely that of religion/God. In particular, one quote from Google books says the following:

Redemption is the act of Christ freeing us from slavery to sin and death...

The quote is not implying that being freed from slavery led to sin.


I think that there would ordinarily be need for a comma:

"Freeing us from slavery, to sin."

in order to interpret this phrase in the way that jkris and ok are interpreting it.

"Freeing us from slavery to sin," without the comma, however, suggests to me that the "slavery to sin" is a noun phrase, wherein the slavery is to (subordinate) to the slave-master: sin.


In my understanding it's clear that it's supposed to say "being freed from slavery only to be led to sin" as you put it

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