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Wealth and salvation in Mark 10.17-22

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  • Wealth and salvation in Mark 10.17-22

    NRSV translation

    As he was setting out on a journey, a man ran up and knelt before him, and asked him, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” 18 Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone. 19 You know the commandments: ‘You shall not murder; You shall not commit adultery; You shall not steal; You shall not bear false witness; You shall not defraud; Honor your father and mother.’” 20 He said to him, “Teacher, I have kept all these since my youth.” 21 Jesus, looking at him, loved him and said, “You lack one thing; go, sell what you own, and give the money[c] to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.” 22 When he heard this, he was shocked and went away grieving, for he had many possessions.


    On another thread where I cited those verses I received this reply [N.B. I have only quoted the relevant remark]

    https://theologyweb.com/campus/forum...29#post1340027
    Originally posted by rogue06 View Post
    First off, Jesus' words weren't meant as a general statement for everyone but rather were addressed to a particular unnamed rich person. It was a personalized remark for that individual and what he needed to do. He was still bound to his material possessions and couldn't let go.


    On what basis is it to be concluded that this admonishment was only directed to this specific individual and if that interpretation is accepted why was only this individual required to sell all he had in order to "have treasure in heaven"? Did others not have to do likewise in order to attain that state?

    If some agree with rogue06 and consider that this injunction was only directed to one specific individual, why, on that basis, heed any of Jesus' ethical teachings given they were all addressed to a contemporary audience?
    "It ain't necessarily so
    The things that you're liable
    To read in the Bible
    It ain't necessarily so
    ."

    Sportin' Life
    Porgy & Bess, DuBose Heyward, George & Ira Gershwin

  • #2
    Originally posted by Hypatia_Alexandria View Post
    NRSV translation

    On what basis is it to be concluded that this admonishment was only directed to this specific individual and if that interpretation is accepted why was only this individual required to sell all he had in order to "have treasure in heaven"? Did others not have to do likewise in order to attain that state?
    No - they do not. cf Luke 19:5-10.




    1Cor 15:34 εκνηψατε δικαιως και μη αμαρτανετε αγνωσιαν γαρ θεου τινες εχουσιν προς εντροπην υμιν λεγω
    Come to your senses as you ought and stop sinning; for I say to your shame, there are some who know not God.
    .
    "when the church no longer teaches its people why they believe what they believe, the world will often step in and fill in the gaps." Ryan Danker

    "The synoptic gospels claim that Jesus was crucified on the 15th day of Nisan and buried on the 14th day of Nisan:" Majority Consensus

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by tabibito View Post

      No - they do not. cf Luke 19:5-10.
      I do not think a direct comparison may be made to both these texts.

      However, I note from your citation that Jesus appears to have operated a sliding scale concerning exactly how much of their personal wealth/possessions each individual should give away in order to "have treasure in heaven".

      Your citation shows Zacchaeus only having to give up half of his possessions, whereas the rich man in Mark 10 had to give away everything.

      Can you offer an explanation for Jesus' somewhat selective views [one might even consider them capricious] on the matter of possessions/wealth and the part these play in gaining heavenly treasure?
      "It ain't necessarily so
      The things that you're liable
      To read in the Bible
      It ain't necessarily so
      ."

      Sportin' Life
      Porgy & Bess, DuBose Heyward, George & Ira Gershwin

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Hypatia_Alexandria View Post

        I do not think a direct comparison may be made to both these texts.
        How so. In one place, a particular instruction is given to a particular person. In another no instruction is issued, but the person voluntarily offers generosity. That offer is clearly found acceptable.

        I note from your citation that Jesus appears to have operated a sliding scale concerning exactly how much of their personal wealth/possessions each individual should give away in order to "have treasure in heaven".
        In a scant few circumstances, a sliding scale would be an appropriate depiction. This is one.

        Your citation shows Zacchaeus only having to give up half of his possessions, whereas the rich man in Mark 10 had to give away everything.
        Nothing in the text of Luke suggests that Jesus, or anyone else, required Zacchaeus to give up any of his wealth.

        Can you offer an explanation for Jesus' somewhat selective views [one might even consider them capricious] on the matter of possessions/wealth and the part these play in gaining heavenly treasure?
        It is something like requiring a diabetic to give up sugar. Where a person won't be harmed by a given circumstance, there is no need to require that the circumstance be avoided. No caprice seems to be involved at any point.

        Matthew's record of the rich young man has Jesus saying "If you would be complete ..." which indicates a personal lack (as in Mark's, "one thing you lack") which would prevent the young man from following appropriately. Luke's account is very close to Mark's.
        1Cor 15:34 εκνηψατε δικαιως και μη αμαρτανετε αγνωσιαν γαρ θεου τινες εχουσιν προς εντροπην υμιν λεγω
        Come to your senses as you ought and stop sinning; for I say to your shame, there are some who know not God.
        .
        "when the church no longer teaches its people why they believe what they believe, the world will often step in and fill in the gaps." Ryan Danker

        "The synoptic gospels claim that Jesus was crucified on the 15th day of Nisan and buried on the 14th day of Nisan:" Majority Consensus

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by tabibito View Post

          How so. In one place, a particular instruction is given to a particular person. In another no instruction is issued, but the person voluntarily offers generosity. That offer is clearly found acceptable.
          That overlooks the fact that the two texts of Mark and Luke were written for entirely separate communities, at different periods, and that there is a general acceptance that the authors of Matthew and Luke used a version [or versions] of Mark as a basis for their own texts.

          Originally posted by tabibito View Post
          In a scant few circumstances, a sliding scale would be an appropriate depiction. This is one.
          Why in Mark is a rich man who wishes to "have treasure in heaven" admonished to give up all wealth/possessions in order to do so but a man who only volunteers half of his wealth is informed by Jesus that "Today salvation has come to this house"?

          Matthew's account embellishes Mark's with the rich man suddenly being "young" and Luke further embellishes the narrative with the rich man suddenly becoming " A certain ruler".


          "It ain't necessarily so
          The things that you're liable
          To read in the Bible
          It ain't necessarily so
          ."

          Sportin' Life
          Porgy & Bess, DuBose Heyward, George & Ira Gershwin

          Comment


          • #6
            The point that H_A keeps missing is that Jesus was neither making philanthropy nor poverty a requirement for salvation. Nicodemus was obviously fairly well-off, and there is no record of him having been told to sell all that you have and give to the poor. In fact, I would think that if he had, and obeyed, then he wouldn't likely have had tomb space to offer.

            You don't have to impoverish yourself to follow Jesus.

            As Acts Acts 12:12; 16:40; Romans 16:3-5; Colossians 4:15; I Timothy 6:17 all make clear some Christians (including John Mark -- the first reference) still owned property and their own homes, allowing them to be used upon occasion as meeting places for the church. If that concept were to be followed to the letter all Christians would have to be homeless and be itinerant.

            If all Christians were homeless then they wouldn't have had places to meet and conduct service. They really couldn't have maintained the communications network they had established throughout the Western Mediterranean since nobody would know how to contact anyone.

            In fact, if you take a look at Acts 5 it is clear that Ananias and Sapphira could have kept some if not all of their money. Peter even told them the money was theirs to do with as they wished. Their sin was not withholding their money but rather lying by telling the Apostles that they were donating the full amount for the sale of their land.

            Scripture Verse: Acts 5:3-4

            But Peter said, "Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and to keep back for yourself part of the proceeds of the land?While it remained unsold, did it not remain your own? And after it was sold, was it not at your disposal? Why is it that you have contrived this deed in your heart? You have not lied to man but to God."

            © Copyright Original Source



            Craig Blomberg, a Distinguished Professor of the New Testament at Denver Seminary, wrote Neither Poverty Nor Riches: A Biblical Theology of Possession provides a comprehensive examination of the roles of possessions with Christians, did an analysis into the issues of poverty and wealth which I recommend.

            For instance his analysis of Acts 2 he concludes that the circumstances weren't one where all the goods were sold all at once but was rather a periodic selling of property (noting the phrase "from time to time" used by the NIV translation in Acts 4:34) only as the need arose.

            This was not a one-time divestiture of all one’s possessions. The theme 'according to need,' reappears, too. Interestingly, what does not appear in this paragraph is any statement of complete equality among believers. Presumably, there was quite a spectrum, ranging from those who still held property not sold (cf. the reference to the home of John Mark in Acts 12:12) all the way to those who were still living at a very basic level.33 But the church was committed to taking the principle of Deuteronomy 15:4 very seriously: 'there should be no poor among you' (F. Martin 1972: 46).


            While he is rightfully critical of the materialism pervasive in Western culture, particularly among Christians since that is his focus, he tends to balance it with plenty of reminders that the Bible often speaks of material possessions being a blessing from God.

            I'm always still in trouble again

            "You're by far the worst poster on TWeb" and "TWeb's biggest liar" --starlight (the guy who says Stalin was a right-winger)
            "Overall I would rate the withdrawal from Afghanistan as by far the best thing Biden's done" --Starlight
            "Of course, human life begins at fertilization that’s not the argument." --Tassman

            Comment


            • #7
              How do I get to this thread without going to BlueLetterBible? When I click on the thread title, it automatically takes me to BlueLetter. I had to find a post of Rogue's, and "go the the post".
              The first to state his case seems right until another comes and cross-examines him.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by rogue06 View Post
                The point that H_A keeps missing is that Jesus was neither making philanthropy nor poverty a requirement for salvation. Nicodemus was obviously fairly well-off, and there is no record of him having been told to sell all that you have and give to the poor. In fact, I would think that if he had, and obeyed, then he wouldn't likely have had tomb space to offer.

                You don't have to impoverish yourself to follow Jesus.

                As Acts Acts 12:12; 16:40; Romans 16:3-5; Colossians 4:15; I Timothy 6:17 all make clear some Christians (including John Mark -- the first reference) still owned property and their own homes, allowing them to be used upon occasion as meeting places for the church. If that concept were to be followed to the letter all Christians would have to be homeless and be itinerant.

                If all Christians were homeless then they wouldn't have had places to meet and conduct service. They really couldn't have maintained the communications network they had established throughout the Western Mediterranean since nobody would know how to contact anyone.

                In fact, if you take a look at Acts 5 it is clear that Ananias and Sapphira could have kept some if not all of their money. Peter even told them the money was theirs to do with as they wished. Their sin was not withholding their money but rather lying by telling the Apostles that they were donating the full amount for the sale of their land.

                Scripture Verse: Acts 5:3-4

                But Peter said, "Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and to keep back for yourself part of the proceeds of the land?While it remained unsold, did it not remain your own? And after it was sold, was it not at your disposal? Why is it that you have contrived this deed in your heart? You have not lied to man but to God."

                © Copyright Original Source



                Craig Blomberg, a Distinguished Professor of the New Testament at Denver Seminary, wrote Neither Poverty Nor Riches: A Biblical Theology of Possession provides a comprehensive examination of the roles of possessions with Christians, did an analysis into the issues of poverty and wealth which I recommend.

                For instance his analysis of Acts 2 he concludes that the circumstances weren't one where all the goods were sold all at once but was rather a periodic selling of property (noting the phrase "from time to time" used by the NIV translation in Acts 4:34) only as the need arose.

                This was not a one-time divestiture of all one’s possessions. The theme 'according to need,' reappears, too. Interestingly, what does not appear in this paragraph is any statement of complete equality among believers. Presumably, there was quite a spectrum, ranging from those who still held property not sold (cf. the reference to the home of John Mark in Acts 12:12) all the way to those who were still living at a very basic level.33 But the church was committed to taking the principle of Deuteronomy 15:4 very seriously: 'there should be no poor among you' (F. Martin 1972: 46).


                While he is rightfully critical of the materialism pervasive in Western culture, particularly among Christians since that is his focus, he tends to balance it with plenty of reminders that the Bible often speaks of material possessions being a blessing from God.
                And in NO case was Jesus trying to push people to do their charitable giving through government involvement, or establishing a government program.
                The first to state his case seems right until another comes and cross-examines him.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Cow Poke View Post
                  How do I get to this thread without going to BlueLetterBible? When I click on the thread title, it automatically takes me to BlueLetter. I had to find a post of Rogue's, and "go the the post".
                  I just click on the most recent post tab on the right hand side. Didn't even know about the problem until you mentioned it.
                  1Cor 15:34 εκνηψατε δικαιως και μη αμαρτανετε αγνωσιαν γαρ θεου τινες εχουσιν προς εντροπην υμιν λεγω
                  Come to your senses as you ought and stop sinning; for I say to your shame, there are some who know not God.
                  .
                  "when the church no longer teaches its people why they believe what they believe, the world will often step in and fill in the gaps." Ryan Danker

                  "The synoptic gospels claim that Jesus was crucified on the 15th day of Nisan and buried on the 14th day of Nisan:" Majority Consensus

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Cow Poke View Post
                    How do I get to this thread without going to BlueLetterBible? When I click on the thread title, it automatically takes me to BlueLetter. I had to find a post of Rogue's, and "go the the post".
                    I had the same issue. I had to click the blue arrow thingy next to the title.


                    ebb82174-ec6b-4ef4-ac6f-336b9e7d23f5.jpg

                    I'm always still in trouble again

                    "You're by far the worst poster on TWeb" and "TWeb's biggest liar" --starlight (the guy who says Stalin was a right-winger)
                    "Overall I would rate the withdrawal from Afghanistan as by far the best thing Biden's done" --Starlight
                    "Of course, human life begins at fertilization that’s not the argument." --Tassman

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Cow Poke View Post

                      And in NO case was Jesus trying to push people to do their charitable giving through government involvement, or establishing a government program.
                      The parable of the Good Samarian makes that clear enough

                      I'm always still in trouble again

                      "You're by far the worst poster on TWeb" and "TWeb's biggest liar" --starlight (the guy who says Stalin was a right-winger)
                      "Overall I would rate the withdrawal from Afghanistan as by far the best thing Biden's done" --Starlight
                      "Of course, human life begins at fertilization that’s not the argument." --Tassman

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by rogue06 View Post
                        I had the same issue. I had to click the blue arrow thingy next to the title.


                        ebb82174-ec6b-4ef4-ac6f-336b9e7d23f5.jpg
                        Thanks - the only way I could get in was to find somebody else who posted, then "go to that post".

                        In the future, H_A, could you please NOT use the scriptural "address" of a passage as the thread title?

                        Thanks.
                        The first to state his case seems right until another comes and cross-examines him.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Cow Poke View Post

                          Thanks - the only way I could get in was to find somebody else who posted, then "go to that post".

                          In the future, H_A, could you please NOT use the scriptural "address" of a passage as the thread title?

                          Thanks.
                          She can do it but needs to add more to it than can be clicked on, such as "What does Mark 10: 17-22 mean?" or "Was Mark 10: 17-22 meant only for the rich ruler?"

                          I'm always still in trouble again

                          "You're by far the worst poster on TWeb" and "TWeb's biggest liar" --starlight (the guy who says Stalin was a right-winger)
                          "Overall I would rate the withdrawal from Afghanistan as by far the best thing Biden's done" --Starlight
                          "Of course, human life begins at fertilization that’s not the argument." --Tassman

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by rogue06 View Post
                            She can do it but needs to add more to it than can be clicked on, such as "What does Mark 10: 17-22 mean?" or "Was Mark 10: 17-22 meant only for the rich ruler?"
                            Or even Mark [10: 17-22]
                            1Cor 15:34 εκνηψατε δικαιως και μη αμαρτανετε αγνωσιαν γαρ θεου τινες εχουσιν προς εντροπην υμιν λεγω
                            Come to your senses as you ought and stop sinning; for I say to your shame, there are some who know not God.
                            .
                            "when the church no longer teaches its people why they believe what they believe, the world will often step in and fill in the gaps." Ryan Danker

                            "The synoptic gospels claim that Jesus was crucified on the 15th day of Nisan and buried on the 14th day of Nisan:" Majority Consensus

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by tabibito View Post

                              I just click on the most recent post tab on the right hand side. Didn't even know about the problem until you mentioned it.
                              As could any person with a degree of common sense.
                              "It ain't necessarily so
                              The things that you're liable
                              To read in the Bible
                              It ain't necessarily so
                              ."

                              Sportin' Life
                              Porgy & Bess, DuBose Heyward, George & Ira Gershwin

                              Comment

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