Jesus and the Poor (Understanding the Bible & Its World)
By: Brian Capper (author)Paperback
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"Jesus and the Poor" sharpens readers' perceptions of Jesus' concern for the poor by setting his teachings within an accurate and vividly described account of the harsh economic relations of his world. Typical ancient economic problems, including the limited diet of the peasant/artisan mass, peasant debt, the harsh lives of day-labourers, frequent resort of poor women to prostitution, and the luxurious indulgence of the elite, are illustrated from Biblical, Intertestamental and other materials. This socio-economic 'map' enables the student and general reader to understand Jesus' sharp critique of wealth and to interpret many particular features of his teaching. For example, the poor diet of many in his world explains the intensity of Jesus' concern for the poor, his hostility to any self-indulgent rich who ignore the plight of 'Lazarus' at their gate, storing food while others experience hunger, his reference to the sale of sparrows in the market-place (for food, as a source of protein) and his instruction to pray for a daily ration of bread (obtaining even this was a struggle for many).
Jesus is proven both a sharp critic of exploitative economic relations and a proponent of an ideal of sharing which was determinative for early Christianity and ultimately revised the ethic of antiquity through the charitable practice and teaching of the Church. The contemporary relevance of Jesus' teaching is shown through a concluding analogy drawn between the exploitation of the poor by the rich in antiquity and relations between the developing and developed world today. This new series is designed with the needs of introductory level students in mind. It will also appeal to general readers who want to be better informed about the latest advances in our understanding of the Bible and of the intellectual, political and religious world in which it was formed. The authors in this series bring to bear the methods and insights of a whole range of disciplines - including archaeology, history, literary criticism and social sciences - while also introducing fresh insights and approaches arising from their own research.
Brian Capper is Reader in Christian Origins at Canterbury Christ Church University College. His research and teaching focuses on the New Testament in its contexts of ancient Judaism and the Graeco-Roman world.
Preface from James Charlesworth, Princeton Theological Seminary; Introduction; Chapter 1: A Free People; Chapter 2: Covenant Refounded; Chapter 3: Poverty and Power; Chapter 4: Jesus and the Poor; Chapter 5: Community of Goods; Chapter 6: Paul and Poverty; Chapter 7: The Church and The Poor; Conclusion.
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- ID: 9780567030870
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