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Biblical Warnings to ‘the Rich’ and the Challenge of Contemporary Affluence

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Abstract

This article discusses whether affluent people in the modern capitalist economy qualify as the rich in biblical terminology. If this were the case, biblical teaching relating to the rich might apply to the majority of populations in the advanced market economy. Jesus’ teachings on wealth, outlined in the second section, often contained warnings to the rich. Because affluence has increased so enormously in capitalist economies over the last few centuries, a related question is whether Jesus’ teachings relating to the poor can be taken to apply today in those economies. This article argues that Jesus’ admonitions were directed to whom they were stated—the rich—not to the middle-class affluent today. Second, Jesus’ instruction is still relevant to identify the materially poor today and to assist them out of poverty.

Clive Beed and Cara Beed, "Biblical Warnings to 'the Rich' and the Challenge of Contemporary Affluence," Journal of Markets & Morality 15, no. 2 (Fall 2012): 363-390


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