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Poor Widow

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  • sdavies0
    ... only to the rich, such as the rich young man (10:17-22), reluctant to give up their riches for the kingdom and eternal life, but, also, of course, the
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 31, 2006
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      Ted Weeden wrote:

      >C. Poor Widow> > Next, the poor widow serves as a positive foil not
      only to the rich, such as> the rich young man (10:17-22), reluctant
      to give up their riches for the> kingdom and eternal life, but,
      also, of course, the Twelve, who struggle> with how any one can be
      saved, if it is so nigh unto impossible for a rich> man to be saved
      (10:23-26). The poor widow is an exemplification of a> person who
      fulfills the suffering-servant ideology of giving up all one has>
      for God* vis-à-vis 8:35f.).

      Well, now, not so quick. I was reading through the CBQ one day years
      ago and saw it suggested that we should put that pericope into
      context. Immediately before the poor widow gives all that she has to
      the religious men-in-charge* Jesus has angrily attacked the scribes
      who "eat up the houses of widows." Now, as a notorious skeptic, I do
      not take the Bible literally. I think that, rather than their diet
      being criticized, the scribes are attacked for taking the money of
      widows that should remain with widows so that the widows might
      support themselves and their dependents. Accordingly, the poor widow
      is an illustration of just the sort of miserable fool who will be
      taken in by the scribes and who will give all her money to them.

      *The idea that giving one's money to men in charge of churches, or
      Temples, is giving one's money to God has, no doubt, a history as
      long as the history of human religion itself. And to this day the
      Word-Faith TV Evangelists, e.g. Rev. Creflo Dollar, insist that
      giving them money is giving money to God. And it is not unlikely
      that this message has been communicated from a Methodist pulpit or
      two. And surely the scribes said such things as, surely, they are
      said in the mosques of Uzbekistan. But I suspect Jesus is
      criticizing that point of view (e.g. "you have made my father's
      house a robbers' cave") rather than advocating it. Not that Jesus is
      consistent (nobody in all of recorded history is less consistent
      IMHO) because he also advocates rendering unto God what is Gods
      which, in context, is rendering your own money unto the priests. Ahh
      well.

      Steve Davies
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