Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The poor in the time of Jesus

Tyler Wheeler, who visited here with his family last August, sent me this quote from Raymond Browns' An Introduction to the New Testament. He noted that the poor in Honduras suffer a similar situation to the poor the time of Jesus:
Wealth/poverty and the class society found in cities of the Roman Empire created their own problems for early Christians, and both need to be discussed lest they be misunderstood in the light of modern experience. There are many references in the NT to the "poor"; and readers might envision their poverty as similar to that of the Third World today where people have no place to live or even scraps to eat and so are in constant danger of perishing. In the Gospels, however, which in part reflect Jesus' own life situation in Galilee, the poor were small farmers with inadequate or barren land, or serfs on large estates; in the cities without the assistance of produce from the land the poor were somewhat worse off.
How true here with many rural people living on inadequate or barren land or working as virtual serfs on rented lands.

I'd also note that the poor here suffer under an imperialism similar to the Roman Empire, as noted in Richard A. Horsely's Jesus and Empire: The Kingdom of God and the New World Disorder.

1 comment:

Border Explorer said...

So many analogies. I occasionally wonder "what would Jesus do" were he here today. I think the story line today would be quite similar to what it was then.