Jesus and Money

A Guide for Times of Financial Crisis

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In the wake of a sobering global recession, many Christians realize they need to rethink their approach to money. Here respected New Testament scholar Ben Witherington III explores what the Bible does--and doesn't--say about money. Now in paperback, this book clearly and concisely examines what Jesus and his earliest followers taught about wealth and poverty, money and debt, and tithing and sacrificial giving to help readers understand the proper role of money in modern Christian life. Along the way, he critiques the faith-promise and health-and-wealth approaches to these issues, showing what good stewardship of God's possessions really looks like.


Endorsements

"In Jesus and Money, Ben Witherington has done something that is not nearly as easy as it looks: he has presented a clear, accessible, and carefully balanced Christian view of wealth. He draws from a range of scholars of different theological stripes, embracing necessary complexities while ruling out popular views that are simply untenable. This will be of help to any church group that wants to take an honest look at what the Bible teaches us about money."--Sondra Ely Wheeler, Martha Ashby Carr Professor of Christian Ethics, Wesley Theological Seminary

"This book is like a theological cagematch--Jesus and Mammon go head to head. Witherington offers a smart, witty, bold corrective to the prosperity gospel. Rooted in Scripture and church history, Jesus and Money will help us all navigate the narrow way to life, regardless of whether Wall Street flounders or flourishes. After all, as Ben reminds us, God's dream looks pretty different from Wall Street's dream."--Shane Claiborne, author, activist, recovering sinner, www.thesimpleway.org

"This timely book blends Witherington's exegetical skill and his pastoral concern to address a very relevant issue. His interpretations of various passages reveal the complexity of issues involved in interpreting and applying texts about money that many take for granted. While this work is a welcome retort to the Scripture-twisting of prosperity preachers, it will also challenge many who have been living large without sustained theological reflection on their lifestyle."--Craig Keener, professor of New Testament, Palmer Seminary

"Urgently needed. Solidly biblical. Readable, clear, and provocative. American Christians desperately need to read and heed this book."--Ronald J. Sider, president, Evangelicals for Social Action; author, Rich Christians in an Age of Hunger

"Everything Ben Witherington publishes is worth reading, and some of his publications are essential reading. This is one of the essential books, especially for North American Christians who are enslaved to material possessions in ways they often don't even realize. Like my own book on the topic, which Witherington follows closely, the Scriptures are surveyed in detail primarily for how individual believers should handle their possessions rather than for how we should approach systemic injustice. But for a comparatively small book, what it tackles it handles superbly."--Craig Blomberg, distinguished professor of New Testament, Denver Seminary


The Author

  1. Ben Witherington III

    Ben Witherington III

    Ben Witherington III (PhD, University of Durham) is Jean R. Amos Professor of New Testament for Doctoral Studies at Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, Kentucky, and is on the doctoral faculty at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland. He is the author...

    Continue reading about Ben Witherington III

Reviews

"In this comprehensive review of statements in the Bible about economics, wealth, and poverty, [Witherington] analyzes canonical texts and their contemporary applications for Christians. . . . From unpacking perplexing gospel stories like 'the dishonest steward' to offering concrete advice on how to separate from a culture of conspicuous consumption (discerning between necessities and luxuries and practicing debt forgiveness are among the practices he advocates), this cogent, accessible, scholarly analysis contributes to the current economic conversation and urgently calls people of faith to review and reform their role as God's stewards. Appendixes include popular Christian myths about money, and a powerful and apt 18th-century sermon on money by John Wesley."--Publishers Weekly

"Sadly pertinent to the current economic situation, this book examines Scripture with diligence and intelligence, seeking the teachings of Jesus and his followers on wealth, poverty, giving, and debt. Best of all, Witherington includes an appendix of ten myths about Christians and money that, rightly understood, are stinging rebukes to the adherents of the so-called Prosperity Gospel. . . . For all Witherington's scholarship, this work should nonetheless be accessible to most readers. It offers ample evidence for Witherington's assertions about what Jesus might have made of our current economic predicament."--Library Journal

"This is a very helpful and accessible study of the role of money, wealth, and possessions in the New Testament. Witherington is a prolific biblical scholar with a knack for relating the biblical materials to vital pastoral issues. . . . This would make a good resource for parish Bible study groups."--Donald Senior, CP, The Bible Today

"A comprehensive examination of biblical teaching about property and riches. . . . Witherington works through the pages of the Bible, tackling difficult Scriptures that speak to wealth, money, and prosperity, and challenges us to rethink the way we view 'our' possessions. His treatment of the socio-economic conditions of the Bible is fascinating. . . . An excellent theological resource."--Daniel McGraw, Christian Chronicle

"Ben Witherington is a scholar who covers various financial topics well in Jesus and Money. His book is timely as people are distressed about money and are seeking biblical answers. Witherington works to provide those answers. . . . He deals knowledgeably with the Old and New Testament teachings on money and wealth. A strong point of the book is the background he provides so as to add color to the teachings. . . . This context and the biblical principles he derives are accurate and interesting."--John A. Teevan, Journal of Markets & Morality

"A fresh articulation of the Christian view of wealth. At first sight, the book looks much like another popular treatment of money among the recent myriad of publications on the subject. A closer look reveals a substantially balanced view of wealth from the perspective of Jesus against the background of the Old Testament. In his characteristically careful exegetical style, Witherington plumbs the depths of New Testament teaching on money. . . . [His] 'canonical or whole-Bible approach' sets the work apart by offering a broader perspective than that available by many other writers on wealth from a Christian viewpoint. The work is a prophetic voice calling for believers not to allow their economic lifestyle and all that it entails to be determined by contemporary culture. . . . Witherington's exposition is a timely contribution."--Ewen Butler, Religious Studies Review

"Witherington offers interested non-specialists thought-provoking exegetical observations on Christian involvement with money. . . . This book makes numerous contributions, particularly for Christians who are socially and economically 'located' in the world's most economically powerful and privileged contexts. It offers compassionate but firm warnings to readers regarding the influence of both North American consumerist culture and 'prosperity' assumptions in popular Christian thought and practice. . . . It provides helpful reflections for concerned Christian believers seeking to conduct their lives, particularly in terms of financial and economic decision-making, in biblically and theologically faithful ways. . . . Jesus and Money will . . . provide congregational leaders and teachers with an accessible introduction to NT teaching on money."--Michael Barram, Interpretation

"A useful resource for thinking about money in a way that is informed by the biblical background, but applied to the circumstances of the present day."--Alan Garrow, Journal for the Study of the New Testament


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