V. Philips Long
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|Wealth in the Old Testament||
GOOD, BAD, OR INDIFFERENT?
WEALTH ACCORDING TO THE OLD TESTAMENT by V. Philips Long
Years ago I heard it said that wealth is a blessing according to the Old Testament but a curse according to the New. This idea has struck me as insufficiently attentive to the continuity between the testaments. In what follows I shall explore briefly the subject of wealth according to the OT, in the hope of suggesting a more balanced view of the biblical testimony.
In this effort, I would like to adopt a two-pronged approach analogous to the procedures of modern archaeologists. One prong is the surface survey; the other is the in-depth excavation of a limited area. In the former, the archaeologist travels quickly over the terrain simply collecting what can be found on the surface. In the latter, s/he sinks a trench into a particular piece of ground with the hope of extrapolating from that one sample some general features of the larger site.
We begin with a surface survey of the biblical landscape, noting four prominent features (from among others, of course). We then shall sink a trench in the area of the OT that offers the most practical personal instruction on our topic—namely, the wisdom book of Proverbs.
 Issues of corporate social justice are addressed more directly in other places of the OT (e.g., the legal and prophetical materials), although the more individualistic instruction of the wisdom books also carries implications in these spheres.
|English||Spirituality and Work|