The Sources of Early Christian Communism by Roman A. Montero – Dandelion Salad

The Sources of Early Christian Communism by Roman A. Montero – Dandelion Salad

If you lend to those from whom you hope to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to receive as much again. But love your enemies, do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return. Your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High; for he is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked (Luke 6:34-35).

He continues:

Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap; for the measure you give will be the measure you get back (Luke 6:38).

These passages are often taken as hyperbole, Jesus simply making wild demands from his followers that they simply could not keep. However, as I demonstrate in Jesus’s Manifesto: The Sermon on the Plain, these commandments were meant to be taken absolutely seriously. The key is to look at them through the lending laws as well as the Deuteronomic Sabbatical year law. As already mentioned, usury was banned. Some rabbis interpreted the lending and the ban on usury through the Levitical framing, where the purpose of the ban was to prevent the taking of interest, or, profiting from loans (Leviticus 25:36-37; Mishnah, Baba Metzia. 5.1). Jesus, however, claims that nothing should be expected at all in return, neither in interest nor even the principle. Here it seems as though Jesus is appealing to the lending regulations as found in the Sabbatical year law in Deuteronomy 15, where lending was done for the sake of mutual aid:

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