Demolishing the Myth of a Socialist Jesus

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Shawn Akers

Jerry Bowyer says he had no desire to write a book. As an economist, he simply wanted to learn what Jesus thought about economics.

And after a thorough study of the Gospels, Bowyer came to a conclusion that paints a very different picture of what Jesus taught about work and money than many theologians might have you believe. That, in turn, led him to write The Maker Versus the Takers: What Jesus Really Said About Social Justice and Economics.

“If you listen carefully, read carefully, look at the biblical archaeology and read stories of the time and put them in context, you will see a major part of Jesus’ mission was to contrast kingdom economics with worldly economics and to demand of Israel’s leaders that they abandon worldly economics,” Bowyer told Dr. Steve Greene on a recent episode of Greenelines on the Charisma Podcast Network.

“Worldly economics is about using political coercion, manipulation, pull and power to extract wealth from people, but kingdom economics is about embracing productivity and abundance,” Bowyer said. “God is a maker. Jesus, His Son, is a maker. Jesus never clashes with the makers of wealth nor with any entrepreneurs in Galilee. Every single class about economics that Jesus has is with people in Judea who are part of the ruling class, who use their power to take things rather than being productive and abundant. …

“A lot of what went on that we haven’t really been savvy to is a contrast between the Galilean way of thinking of things and the Jerusalem temple elite Sanhedrin way of thinking of things,” Bowyer said. “Jesus clashes with them because they are clashing with Him. Jesus didn’t start the fight; they start the fight because they sense that Jesus is exposing them. They don’t decide to kill Him until he tells a parable—the Parable of the Tenants—which exposes how economically exploitive they are. When He messed with their theology, they got angry. When He messed with their money, that’s when they decided to murder Him.”

For more of Jerry Bowyer’s thoughts on kingdom economics from the Bible, listen to the rest of this podcast. {eoa}

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