I did a random and uncharacteristic thing. The context was that I was explaining to a friend how there are plenty of verses in the Bible uplifting the poor, exhorting charity, and condemning wealth that we should use to combat the twisted I-got-mine-screw-you theology of the Religious Right.
Then I sat down and spent my entire Saturday night researching just those kinds of verses in the Bible.
So below you will find some of the gems, which I pulled out because of the incisive or ferocious language or because of their poetic beauty. The Bible can indeed be used for good, as I hope these verses will demonstrate. I grew up Christian, and my first inklings of social justice concepts came from reading Bible verses such as these. Though I am no longer Christian, I still find them inspiring.
Below the fold, you will find a massive compilation of verses that deal with poverty, charity and wealth.
He hath swallowed down riches, and he shall vomit them up again: God shall cast them out of his belly.
Will [God] esteem thy riches? no, not gold, nor all the forces of strength.
[T]he needy shall not always be forgotten: the expectation of the poor shall not perish for ever.
Man is a mere phantom as he goes to and fro:
He bustles about, but only in vain;
he heaps up wealth, not knowing who will get it.
He will defend the afflicted among the people
and save the children of the needy;
he will crush the oppressor.
[R]iches certainly make themselves wings; they fly away as an eagle toward heaven.
There is a generation, whose teeth are as swords, and their jaw teeth as knives, to devour the poor from off the earth, and the needy from among men.
Let him drink, and forget his poverty, and remember his misery no more.
The sleep of a laborer is sweet,
whether he eats little or much,
but the abundance of a rich man
permits him no sleep.
It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.
Do not rich men oppress you, and draw you before the judgment seats?
Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you.
A hella lot more verses below! The majority come from the King James Bible, except where noted. I went with the New International version whenever the language of King James got too obscure for me. Continue reading