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Passions over 'prosperity gospel': Was Jesus wealthy?

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posted on Jan, 8 2010 @ 07:58 PM
December 26, 2009

Each Christmas, Christians tell stories about the poor baby Jesus born in a lowly manger because there was no room in the inn.

But the Rev. C. Thomas Anderson, senior pastor of the Living Word Bible Church in Mesa, Arizona, preaches a version of the Christmas story that says baby Jesus wasn't so poor after all.

Anderson says Jesus couldn't have been poor because he received lucrative gifts -- gold, frankincense and myrrh -- at birth. Jesus had to be wealthy because the Roman soldiers who crucified him gambled for his expensive undergarments. Even Jesus' parents, Mary and Joseph, lived and traveled in style, he says.

"Mary and Joseph took a Cadillac to get to Bethlehem because the finest transportation of their day was a donkey," says Anderson. "Poor people ate their donkey. Only the wealthy used it as transportation."

Many Christians see Jesus as the poor, itinerant preacher who had "no place to lay his head." But as Christians gather around the globe this year to celebrate the birth of Jesus, another group of Christians are insisting that Jesus' beginnings weren't so humble.

They say that Jesus was never poor -- and neither should his followers be. Their claim is embedded in the doctrine known as the prosperity gospel, which holds that God rewards the faithful with financial prosperity and spiritual gifts.

Some pastors are making a bold claim: Jesus wasn't poor; he was rich.

They are still arguing if Jesus was rich or poor, I would like to see proof that he existed, there is none that I know of..

posted on Jan, 8 2010 @ 08:09 PM
reply to post by Aquarius1

Just to preface what I'm about to say: I really dislike how they are using the debate of Jesus' wealth to propagate the viability of the prosperity gospel.

However, on that note, they are not too far off. I do not believe Jesus was 'wealthy' but it doesn't make a lot of sense for him to be poor, either.

He was born in a manger but that doesn't mean He couldn't afford anything better. It's because they were out of room. Rome was taking a census at the time so people had to travel near and far to partake. The cities were congested and lodgings were impossible to find, whether you could afford them or not.

Second, we are told in the Gospels Jesus was a carpenter [while the Greek denotes architect]. Either way, around that period and area, they had many building projects at the time as archaeology and history has confirmed. So it would appear likely Jesus and His family had no problem finding work. As the eldest male, Jesus also had the responsibility to provide for his mother and siblings after Joseph's passing.

So it is very unlikely He was a pauper but nor was He wealthy.

With all that said, however, I really don't like how it seems they are using this argument in order to justify 'Love Jesus and get Rich' mentality. Whether or not Jesus was rich or poor, we are explicitly told about the temporal worth of earthly accumulations.

[edit on 1/8/2010 by AshleyD]

posted on Jan, 8 2010 @ 08:17 PM
reply to post by AshleyD

You are so right, I have been thinking about this since I put up the thread, don't know what the difference is, why is everything associated with wealth?

posted on Jan, 8 2010 @ 08:50 PM
Pfffft...Everyone knows that Christ rode in a lowered chariot with hydraulics and wheels with spinning rims. He was gangsta.

Where do you think C Walking originated? The 'C' stands for 'Christ'.

Word, y'all.

posted on Jan, 8 2010 @ 09:15 PM
Reading quickly through the OP i wondered which Christians believed Jesus was poor because I am Catholic and I never believed he was poor. He did not work as far as I can gather from the Gospel and he wandered for a few years and had food and water to take care of his clan during those times so the wealth would have had to have been there.

posted on Jan, 8 2010 @ 09:35 PM

Originally posted by habfan1968
Reading quickly through the OP i wondered which Christians believed Jesus was poor because I am Catholic and I never believed he was poor. He did not work as far as I can gather from the Gospel and he wandered for a few years and had food and water to take care of his clan during those times so the wealth would have had to have been there.

Wasn't he a carpenter?

posted on Jan, 8 2010 @ 10:19 PM
reply to post by Aquarius1

The Rev needs to reread the book of Matthew. This is where the "wise men" are mentioned. They arrived at the house where Jesus resided and gave him the gifts there, not at the supposed stable when he was an infant. By the time the Magi showed up, Jesus was a toddler. Just saying.............

It is guesstimated that the Magi, from "the far east", upon seeing the "star" in the skies, signifying the birth of Jesus, would have taken up to two years to travel to Judea.
A "cadillac, eh? lol A donkey. Perhaps the donkey was more like a pickup truck, a small one at that, used by Joseph in his business to transport a bit of wood for building his projects.

Jesus did have a bit of savings, eh? to be able to travel around with his posse while not having any visible means of support.

posted on Jan, 9 2010 @ 12:49 AM
reply to post by Whine Flu

I agree with whine flu. He was bustin miracles with a quickness and still had enough G's to hook everyone up with Jesus juice. Other then that, he was rich because religion makes a lot of money, even back in those times.

Edit: $&F for good topic.

[edit on 9-1-2010 by Stop-loss!]

posted on Jan, 9 2010 @ 12:57 AM
Well, previously, I believed him to be somewhat poor. However, the current scholarly view is that he was anything but.

I have to say that I think the what drove the idea that Jesus was poor was his sayings against wealth. You know, "The camel has a better chance of fitting through the head of a needle than a rich man has in getting through the gates of heaven," bit.

With that being said, honestly, I think "Prosperity Gospel" is bunk. I read an article in the Atlantic that stated that it may have been what drove the housing bubble to bust. I don't doubt it.

posted on Jan, 9 2010 @ 02:48 AM
Of course Jesus was rich. However his vast treasure lay not on this earth.

posted on Jan, 29 2010 @ 05:20 PM
Roeder was taken in by the prosperity gospel. Where he sent his money to a prosperity preacher, then couldn't make ends met, which drove him to hate the government, and then he lost his family. Then in the midst of being poor but passionate about causes, he killed someone. While living in poverty.


posted on Jan, 29 2010 @ 06:31 PM
Hmmm.. these are but ramblings and musing, but they are mine.

I do not have a problem thinking Jesus knew of riches. But, I also think he knew the dangers of them and rejected them.

If it is accepted that Jesus knew the mind and heart of man and that he knew and experienced all of the temptations of man - then it must be accepted that Jesus knew riches and all of the temptations that go with them - and realized that riches were most often a hindrance on the path.

For, is it not written -

Jesus answered, "If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me." When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth. Then Jesus said to his disciples, "I tell you the truth, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God." Mat 19:21-24

Jesus said, "No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one, and love the other, or else he will hold to one, and despise the other. You cannot serve God and riches." Now the Pharisees, who were lovers of money, were listening to all these things, and they were scoffing at Him And He said to them, "You are those who justify yourselves in the sight of men, but God knows your hearts; for that which is highly esteemed among men is detestable in the sight of God." ( Luke 16:13-15)

My two coppers - He knew of riches - either through the gifts at his birth or through his temptation. However, he also knew (and preached) of the dangers riches bring and advised strong against being too wrapped up in wealth.

So, I think these men have twisted things to fit what they want to think. Sometimes it is not easy to separate the teachings of man from the teachings of the Son of Man.

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