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The Rev. Jay Lawlor reflects on Poverty in the Bible

Image of a poor man

Face of poverty - image Creative Commons license

In the next essay on his Moral Economy series the Rev. Jay Lawlor offers an overview of poverty as found in biblical texts.

The poor in the Bible faced situations of utter vulnerability and powerlessness that left them deeply impoverished materially, and robbed them of [their] honor and dignity [...]”
— The Rev. Jay Lawlor

INDIANAPOLIS, IN, US, February 12, 2018 /EINPresswire.com/ -- "The Bible contains over 2,000 verses about poverty and presents a number of descriptions for what it was like to be poor in biblical times," writes the Rev. Jay Lawlor in his essay on Poverty in the Bible. He continues by stating "Debt played an especially destructive role in biblical times." The Rev. Lawlor explains that through debt, ownership of the land of the peasantry — needed to farm crops for their food — was taken from them. All the Roman laws, set by the elite, favored the elite creditors and forced the peasantry further into debt.

"The poor in the Bible faced situations of utter vulnerability and powerlessness that left them deeply impoverished materially, and robbed them of the honor and dignity that was part of their inherited status in life," states the Rev. Lawlor in his essay. He explains that whether impoverished because of misfortune, the injustice of others (or a combination of both), being poor in the Bible meant one lacked access to the necessities for the provisioning of life. This meant both tangibles (food, water, clothing, shelter) and intangibles (honor and dignity). The Rev. Lawlor suggests "The poor faced situations of utter deprivation and despair that left them unable to participate in society at all levels."

The Rev. Jay Lawlor continues in his essay writing theologians and biblical scholars agree on what is called “God's preferential option for the poor.” He explains the Bible makes clear God identifies with the needs of the poor,  is on the side of lifting them out of their poverty, and that God wants to reorder unjust systems which oppress impoverished people.

The complete essay can be read at https://www.therevjaylawlor.com/poverty-bible-moral-economy-series-part-1/

The essay is part the Rev. Jay Lawlor's Moral Economy series.

The Rev. Jay Lawlor
The Rev. Jay Lawlor
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