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Matthew and Money
There are two extreme schools of thought as to the means by which the books of the Bible were composed. The one, which we might call the “dictation” school, implies that the authors were really no more than “secretaries” who wrote down, word for word, what God spoke to them. The other extreme declares that the authors compiled and arranged and edited various materials, part written and part oral, from many older sources. Since these sources were not necessarily “inspired” in any regular sense of the word, and since the compiler was at liberty to “pick and choose”, therefore the final result could scarcely be considered the infallible “word of God”. An “advancement” (?) upon this second school of thought is that the gospels, for example, did not take their final forms until some time in the second century, after later disciples “tinkered around” with their predecessors’ stories.
Bible Basics: The Principle Of Personification
[It is] a recognized feature of the Bible that inanimate or non-living things such as wisdom, riches, sin, the church are personified. The following examples will illustrate the point:
Paul’s Cant Word: Riches
There is such a thing as a peculiar word or phrase cleaving, as it were to the memory of a writer or speaker, and presenting itself to his utterance at every turn. When we observe this, we call it a cant word or a cant phrase. It is a natural effect of habit: and would appear more frequently than it does, had not the rules of good writing taught the ear to be offended with the iteration of the same sound, and oftentimes caused us to reject, on that account, the word which offered itself first to our recollection.
Pope Francis On Money
“Money sickens our minds, poisons our thoughts, even poisons our faith, leading us down the path of jealousy, quarrels, suspicion and conflict. It drives to idle words and pointless discussions. It also corrupts the mind of some people that see religion as a source of profit. ‘I am Catholic, I go to Mass, everyone thinks well of me... But underneath I have my businesses. I worship money’. And here we have the word we usually find in newspapers: ‘Men of corrupted minds’. Money corrupts us! There’s no way out.”
Baron Rothschild’s Secret
My maternal grandparents are Rothschilds. Inevitably, when I share this information with anyone, their immediate response is, “You mean the rich ones?” I always respond with the answer that my grandfather gave me when, as a young child, I asked him the same question.
Parables On Money: Statistics
How many of Jesus’ parables are really about money? Below is a frequently quoted claims by preachers:
Inerrancy and Mark’s Rich, Matthew’s Young, Luke’s Ruler
[Biblical] inerrantists as a principle often admit that minor variations in historical reports are well within the parameters of Scripture’s truthfulness. In Thy word is Truth, E. J. Young provides the following example:
How Do You Define Yourself?
“And Jair the son of Manasseh went and took the small towns thereof, and called them Havoth-Jair. And Nobah went and took Kenath, and the villages thereof, and called it Nobah, after his own name.” (Numbers 32:41-42).
A Camel and a Needle’s Eye
A rich young ruler hurried towards Jesus and knelt at his feet. He may have been thirty years old, or even forty—the word is used of Saul when he must have been thirty, and by Josephus of one about forty. He had however, the earnestness and zeal of youth, and withal a sincerity that attracted Jesus: “he loved him”. “Good Master,” the ruler said, “what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?” Jesus answered, “Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.” Various ideas have been deduced from the answer of Jesus. It was no disclaimer of sinlessness, all agree; but some say that Jesus was asking if the man knew what he affirmed; that since only God is good, Jesus too must be divine.
How Rich Are We?
The following is a transcription of a public lecture that was given by the author on August 2, 2015, in Richmond, Virginia.
The Camel and the Eye of a Needle
Mr. George M. Lamsa, a graduate of the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Mission College in Persia and of the Virginia Theological Seminary in Alexandria, has published “The Four Gospels According to the Eastern Version: Translated from the Aramaic,” and his more striking remarks have been used as “copy” by some of our newspapers. Without having read the book, it is not fair to criticise it on the basis of Press quotations, but it is necessary to rectify certain impressions. (I make one recommendation to those who are interested: they should not miss reading the article by “Artifex” on the subject in the Manchester Guardian Weekly of April 27th.) The Sunday Express tells us that Dr. Lamsa’s translation is from the ancient Aramaic text, and that it is generally accepted that the language used by Jesus was Aramaic, the suggestion being that this text therefore is more likely to record exactly what our Lord meant.
The Rich Man and Lazarus
While of the tradition which forms the setting of this parable little is known, there can be no doubt as to the teaching which our Lord intended to convey through it. It was a direct reproof to the covetous Pharisees who, in deriding his statement that “Ye cannot serve God and mammon” brought upon themselves the denunciation:
Errors of the Prosperity Gospel
Over a century ago, speaking to the then-largest congregation in all Christendom, Charles Spurgeon said,
“Lay not up for yourselves treasure upon earth.” The Lord’s teaching on how to live the New Life was bound to be seriously incomplete if it laid down no principles about a right attitude to money, for in the minds of millions money is the great reality in life.
The Rich Young Ruler
Little children and their parents, alike eager to tome to Jesus, had been almost scared away by ie roughness of the disciples. Now came one whom Jesus himself scared away by the austerity of his demands. The children, who could not be harmed by their exalted privilege, received matchless blessing. The high status of the ruler’s wealth and religious standing was brought low in order that the blessing might be his also.
Was the Rich Young Ruler Barnabas?
When Jesus spoke of the difficulty for the rich to find a place in the kingdom of God, his disciples, utterly astonished, asked: “Who then can be saved?” As they saw it, if a man with all the advantages of ease and comfort could not prove himself worthy of everlasting life, what dope was there for those beset with all the cares of a life of toil and anxiety? And was not material prosperity the outward sign of God’s blessing? So surely the scales were loaded in favour of the rich.
The Prosperity Gospel in My Own Heart
While I had been exposed to the prosperity gospel earlier in life, it was not until I began seminary that I thought seriously about it. I began to serve in local churches during my time as a student, and I was amazed to find so many people under my care consuming property gospel material via different forms of media. Moreover, many people seemed to view their relationship with God as a quid pro quo transaction. He was treated as a celestial sugar daddy who existed to make them healthy, wealthy, and happy on account of service rendered.
The Soil of the Prosperity Gospel
Two days after Thanksgiving, Paul Crouch met his Maker. Along with his wife Jan, Crouch established the Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN) in 1973 and built it into a media empire with 84 satellite channels, more than 18,000 television and cable affiliates, an amusement park, and much more. TBN broadcasts around the clock to every continent except Antarctica, with much of its content promoting the prosperity gospel that made Paul and Jan Crouch so wealthy. This message clearly appeals to many people, which raises the question of how it has taken root in our age.
Mammon of the World
“Make to yourselves friends of the mammon of unrighteousness.” (Luke 16:9)
Why Has the Prosperity Gospel Prospered?
Why has the prosperity gospel prospered? Anyone involved in ministry today is aware of how widespread this new teaching is. It has reached almost every nation. I was surprised to find it even in Cuba on one of my many trips to that Caribbean island.
Christ and the Rich Young Ruler
Jesus teaches a rich man how to gain eternal life, but he goes away sorrowful, for he had great riches which he would not give up. How hard it is for those with riches to enter the kingdom of God. Based upon the Gospel of Matthew, chapter 19, verses 16-26.
The Prosperity Gospel
In this video, the Global Conversation focuses on the prosperity gospel—the teaching that true Christian faith results in material wealth and physical well-being. While it has its roots in America, it has found fertile soil on other continents as well. Director Nathan Clarke went to Ghana to explore the forms the prosperity gospel takes in that West African nation.
Open Bible Stories: The Rich Young Ruler
One day, a rich young ruler came up to Jesus and asked him, “Goodteacher, what must I do to have eternal life?” Jesus said to him,“Why do you call me ‘good’? There is only one who is good, andthat is God. But if you want to have eternal life, obey God’s laws.”
Rich man and Lazarus
The parable of the rich man and Lazarus (also called the Dives and Lazarus or Lazarus and Dives) is a well-known parable of Jesus appearing in the Gospel of Luke.
mam ́un (Μαμωνᾶς, Mamōnás): A common Aramaic word (ממון, māmōn) for riches, used in Matthew 6:24 and in Luke 16:9, 16:11, 16:13. In these passages mammon merely means wealth, and is called “unrighteous,” because the abuse of riches is more frequent than their right use. In Luke 16:13 there is doubtless personification, but there is no proof that there was in New Testament times a Syrian deity called Mammon. The application of the term in Matthew is apparent and requires no comment. In Luke, however, since the statement, “Make to yourselves friends out of the mammon of unrighteousness,” follows as a comment on the parable of the Unjust Steward, there is danger of the inference that Jesus approved the dishonest conduct of the steward and advised His disciples to imitate his example. On the contrary, the statement is added more as a corrective against this inference than as an application. ‘Do not infer,’ He says, that honesty in the use of money is a matter of indifference. He that is unfaithful in little is unfaithful in much. So if you are not wise in the use of earthly treasure how can you hope to be entrusted with heavenly treasure?’ The commendation is in the matter of foresight, not in the method. The steward tried to serve two masters, his lord and his lord’s creditors, but the thing could not be done, as the sequel shows. Neither can men serve both God and riches exalted as an object of slavish servitude. Wealth, Jesus teaches, does not really belong to men, but as stewards they may use wealth prudently unto their eternal advantage. Instead of serving God and mammon alike we may serve God by the use of wealth, and thus lay up treasures for ourselves in heaven. Again, the parable is not to be interpreted as teaching that the wrong of dishonest gain may be atoned for by charity. Jesus is not dealing with the question of reparation. The object is to point out how one may best use wealth, tainted or otherwise, with a view to the future.
(μαλακός, malakós): In Matthew 11:8 English Versions of the Bible, where Jesus, speaking of John the Baptist, asks “What went ye out to see? a man clothed in soft raiment?” where “raiment,” though implied, is not expressed in the best text, but was probably added from Luke 7:25 parallel. It is equivalent to “elegant clothing,” such as courtiers wore, as shown by the words following, “Behold, they that wear soft raiment are in kings’ houses.” John had bravely refused to play courtier and had gone to prison for it. In the early days of Herod the Great some scribes who attached themselves to him laid aside their usual plain clothing and wore the gorgeous raiment of courtiers (Jost, in Plumptre).
rich ́ez, rich ́iz: Used to render the following Hebrew and Greek words: (1) ‛Ōsher, which should, perhaps, be considered the most general word, as it is the most often used (Genesis 31:16; Ecclesiastes 4:8; Jeremiah 9:23). It looks at riches simply as riches, without regard to any particular feature. Alongside this would go the Greek πλοῦτος, ploútos (Matthew 13:22; Ephesians 2:7). (2) Ḥōṣen (Proverbs 27:24; Jeremiah 20:5), nekhāṣīm and rekhūsh (Genesis 36:7; Daniel 11:13, 11:14 the King James Version) look at riches as things accumulated, collected, amassed. (3) Hōn looks upon riches as earnings, the fruit of toil (Psalms 119:14; Proverbs 8:18; Ezekiel 27:27). (4) Hāmōn regards riches in the aspect of being much, this coming from the original idea of noise, through the idea of a multitude as making the noise, the idea of many, or much, being in multitude (Psalms 37:16 the King James Version). (5) Ḥayil regards riches as power (Psalms 62:1-12:19; Isaiah 8:4; 10:14). (6) Yithrāh means “running over,” and so presents riches as abundance (Jeremiah 48:36 the King James Version). Along with this may be placed shūa‛, which has the idea of breadth, and so of abundance (Job 36:19 the King James Version). (7) Ḳinyān regards riches as a creation, something made (Psalms 104:24; compare margin); (8) (χρῆμα, chrḗma) looks at riches as useful (Mark 10:23 f parallel). Like the New Testament, the Apoe uses only ploutos and chrēma.
welth, wel ́thi (הון, hōn, חיל, ḥayil, נכסים, nekhāṣīm; εὐπορία, euporía, “to possess riches,” “to be in a position of ease” (Jeremiah 49:31)): The possession of wealth is not regarded as sinful, but, on the contrary, was looked upon as a sign of the blessing of God (Ecclesiastes 5:19; 6:2). The doctrine of “blessed are the poor, and cursed are the rich” finds no countenance in the Scriptures, for Luke 6:20, 24 refers to concrete conditions (disciples and persecutors; note the “ye”). God is the maker of rich and poor alike (Proverbs 22:2). But while it is not sinful to be rich it is very dangerous, and certainly perilous to one’s salvation (Matthew 19:23). Of this fact the rich young ruler is a striking example (Luke 18:22-23). It is because of the danger of losing the soul through the possession of wealth that so many exhortations are found in the Scriptures aimed especially at those who have an abundance of this world’s goods (1 Timothy 6:17; James 1:10-11; 5:1, etc.). Certain parables are especially worthy of note in this same connection, e.g. the Rich Fool (Luke 12:16-21), the Rich Man and Lazarus—if such can be called a parable—(Luke 16:19-31). That it is not impossible for men of wealth to be saved, however, is apparent from the narratives, in the Gospels, of such rich men as Nicodemus, and Joseph of Arimathea (John 19:38-39; Matthew 27:57-60), and Zaccheus (Luke 19:1-10). It may fairly be inferred from the Gospel records that James and John, who were disciples of our Lord, were men of considerable means (Mark 1:19-20; John 19:27).
Riches, (the rendering in the A.V. of several Heb. and Gr. words, especially עשֶׁר, πλοῦτος). The wealth of a pastoral people, such as the Hebrews in the patriarchal age, consisted chiefly in flocks and herds. Hence we find it assigned as a cause of the separation of Esau and Jacob that “their riches were more than they might dwell together; and the land wherein they were strangers could not bear them because of their cattle” (Genesis 36:8). It was not until the reign of Solomon that the Jews possessed any abundance of the precious metals; and as the nation never became commercial, its rich men must in all ages have been the great land holders. Throughout the East the holders of land have ever been remarkable for exacting very disproportionate shares of the profit from the actual cultivators of the soil, and this is the reason why we find “the rich” so often and so severely denounced in Scripture. Riches is frequently used in a metaphorical sense for intellectual endowments, and for the gifts and graces of God’s Holy Spirit, which constitute the treasure to be “laid up in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through and steal.”
A Foolish Rich Man
Give Up All My Riches
I Will Tear Down My Barns and Build Bigger Ones
The Man Who Hoards
Parable of the Rich Fool
Taking Care of Business
Ye Rich Men, Your Riches Are Corrupted
Mammon /ˈmæmən/ in the New Testament of the Bible is commonly thought to mean money or material wealth and is associated with the greedy pursuit of gain. Jesus used the term mammon, “You cannot serve both God and mammon,” as a reference to Caesar, because it was Caesar who claimed on his tax coin he was a god. According to Jesus, Caesar was mammon, “god of money.” In the Middle Ages it was often personified as a deity and sometimes included in the seven princes of Hell.
Parable of the Rich Fool
The Parable of the Rich Fool is a parable of Jesus which appears in Luke 12:13-21. It reflects the foolishness of attaching too much importance to wealth.