Money: What is it Good For?

gbradepp

Money should be like Cigarettes:  May be Hazardous to Your Health ‘

According to Otto Piper,  “Money” “is derived from the Latin moneta, which was the name of Juno’s temple, in which the Romans minted their coins. Originally moneta was a title of Juno and characterized her as supervising the distribution of property.  While the Latin pecunia (from pecus) points to cattle, it was not originally a commercial term but a religious one.”

In Babylon, gold was connected to the sun god and silver to the moon.   As Americans, we take pride in our money because it bears the inscription “In God we trust.”  But societies have almost always inscribed an image of their god on the money.   Why?  Even the pagans as far back as Juno knew we needed divine help with money.

“He who loves money will not be satisfied with money, nor he who loves wealth with his income; this also is vanity.”  (Ecclesiastes 5:10)   ”

“Bread is made for laughter, and wine gladdens life, and money answers everything.”  (Ecclesiastes 10:19)

Since most of us live closer to the 1st Adam than the 2nd Adam, there a host of warnings about money (cf. Matthew 6:19,24.25; 13:22; Luke 12:22-34).  However, the ideal Church (cf. Acts) many saintly laypeople sharing their wealth:


  1. Joseph, called Barnabas (Acts 4:36-37)
  2. Dorcas (Acts 9:36)
  3. Cornelius (Acts 10:1)
  4. Sergius Paulus (Acts 13:6-12)
  5. Lydia (Acts 16:14-15)
  6. Jason (Acts 17:5-9)
  7. Aquila and Priscilla (Acts 18:2-3)
  8. Mnason of Cyprus (Acts 21:16)

Paul warned  the saintly Timothy (cf 1 Timothy 6:10), “For the love of money is the root of all evils, and some people in their desire for it have strayed from the faith and have pierced themselves with many pains.”

The apostle Paul’s contemporary,  Greek Philosopher Plutarch also believed the love of money led to destruction.

The person who has more than enough and yet hungers (όρεγόμενον) for more will find no remedy in gold or silver or horse and sheep and cattle, but in casting out the source of mischief and being purged. For his ailment is not poverty, but insatiability and avarice, arising from the presence in him of a false and unrelenting judgment (κρίσιν φαύλην και άλόγιστον); and unless someone removes this, like a tapeworm, from his mind, he will never cease to need superfluities-that is, to want what he does not need, (trans. RH. de Lacy & B. Einarson, LCL)

According to Abraham Malherbe, Paul borrowed many proverbs from Greek sages including “the love of money is the root of all evils.”.    He lists a few proverbs Paul borrowed:


  • 1 Tim 5:18, “Do not muzzle an ox while he is threshing,”
  • Titus 1:12, “Liars ever, men of Crete, nasty brutes that live to eat,”
  • 2 Tim 4:2, “in season and out of season,”
  • 2 Thess 3:10, “If someone does not want to work, let him not eat,”

The pagan world understood the power of money-so should Christians.

In  Today’s Gospel  “Jesus journeyed from one town and village to another, preaching and proclaiming the good news of the Kingdom of God. Accompanying him were the Twelve and some women who had been cured of evil spirits and infirmities, Mary, called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out, Joanna, the wife of Herod’s steward Chuza, Susanna, and many others who provided for them out of their resources.”  Luke 8:1-3

 

 

 

 

 

 

References

PIPER, O. A. That strange thing money. Theology Today, [s. l.], v. 16, n. 2, p. 215–231, 1959. Disponível em: <http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=a6h&AN=ATLA0000657719&site=ehost-live>. Acesso em: 20 set. 2019.

Malherbe , Abraham J. “Godliness, Self-Sufficiency, Greed, and the Enjoyment of Wealth 1 Timothy 6:3-19 Part 1.” Brill, 1 Jan. 2010, brill.com/view/journals/nt/nt-overview.xml?lang=en.

 

 

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