The Poor You Will Always Have With You

Liz Theoharis writes: Keeping in mind these emphases of Deuter­onomy, we can grasp the liberative dimension of Jesus’ words in Matthew 26:11, “you always have the poor with you.” After an unnamed prophetess anoints him to be ruler of God’s kingdom, Jesus responds by quoting to his disciples from Deuter­on­omy 15:11, which is embedded in [Read More…]

Redistributing Wealth the Biblical Way

This meme seems to overestimate the antiquity of the Biblical laws. But is it right nonetheless that this is the earliest example of wealth redistribution being legislated, even if the law turns out to be from the time of the monarchy or even post-exilic? The law that is being referred to is found in Deuteronomy [Read More…]

Webster’s Dictionary Defines

As a student at university, you should know the base meaning of words and treat that as a given. If you don’t know the meaning of a word, you should definitely look it up. But you should not treat looking a word up as though that were university-level research, rather than you getting caught up [Read More…]

A Nativity Minus the Migrants and Middle-Easterners

The title that the above was given when I first encountered it was “A nativity scene without Jews, Arabs, Africans or refugees.” The question of where the magi came from is left out – Persia (modern day Iran), perhaps, which may or may not be considered the Middle East, depending on where one chooses to [Read More…]

The Trumpitudes

Matthew Distefano crafted a parody of the Sermon on the Mount, reenvisaged as it might have gone if Donald Trump had delivered it. Click through to read it. There is no need for anyone to say “blessed are the successful” or “blessed are the rich” or “blessed are the powerful.” It is typically a given, an [Read More…]

“Give a Man a Fish”

HT to Ross McKenzie for this useful analysis of the simplistic saying about giving a man a fish.   [Read more…]

Jesus vs. #AllLivesMatter

A couple of days ago I tried to make a point about #AllLivesMatter drawing on the Biblical prophets. Today, a Facebook friend made a similar point in relation to Jesus’ teaching in the Sermon on the Plain in Luke’s Gospel. His point seemed to me to deserve to be turned into a meme, and so [Read More…]

The Biblical Prophets vs. #AllLivesMatter

As I was thinking about the way some respond to #BlackLivesMatter with #AllLivesMatter, it struck me that people could have responded to the prophets in the Bible in the same way. Sure, poor lives matter, Micah and Amos. All lives matter. Stop focusing on just one group, when God cares about everyone. The prophets would not have disputed [Read More…]

When You Have More Than You Need

I saw this on Facebook, and thought it nicely addressed a common human instinct. When any of us rises above the general situation of poverty that characterizes human existence, our instinct is to protect that status, not to make sure the path is clear for others to get where we are. We must resist that [Read More…]

Privilege in the Corinthian Church

We discussed 1 Corinthians 11 in my Sunday school class recently. I shared the well-known details that churches met in homes, and the argument that what is in the background to this passage was the custom of people sitting (or rather reclining) at meals to be separated along socioeconomic lines. The interesting suggestion was put forward [Read More…]