Paul and Timothy, bond-servants of Christ Jesus, to all the saints in Christ Jesus who are in Philippi, including the overseers and deacons.
— Philippians 1:1
The Greek word for “bond-servant” is doûlos (Strong, no. 1401). It comes from the root word déo (Strong, no. 1210), which means “to bind.” It is the word used for the most common type of slave, those subject to their masters even to the point of death. In Old Testament times, all slaves among the Israelites had certain rights, such as the right to enjoy their own family, have their own possessions, and receive fair treatment. However, they did not have freedom in their activities. They always anticipated their freedom—either the freedom given at the year of Jubilee or sooner (Lev. 25:39–40).
Adapted from Philippians: “That I May Gain Christ,” page 13.