How the Old and New Testaments Handled Poverty

Describe how the Old and New Testaments handled poverty. Then discuss how much biblical notions about poverty can be applied to contemporary U.S. government policy. 

The Bible is rich in verses regarding God’s love for the impoverished and society’s responsibility to help. In his time on earth, Jesus demonstrated how to care for the poor through his many acts of compassion. Bible’s (both the Old and New Testament) viewpoint about poverty can help in the formulation and implementation of government policy concerning fighting poverty. Biblical notions about poverty can be applied in contemporary US government policy aiming to fight poverty, which has been a longstanding social issue in the country.

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The Old Testament Handling of Poverty

            The Old Testament advises that people should be kind to the poor and help them where they can. For instance, Deuteronomy 15:7 states that “if among you, one of your brothers should become poor, in any of your towns within your land that the LORD your God is giving you, you shall not harden your heart or shut your hand against your poor brother.” The verse advises society to extend a helping hand to the poor. The verse also speaks about loving and showing compassion to the poor. Similarly, Isaiah 58:10 asserts, “and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday.” The verse explains that God generously blesses those who help the poor and oppressed.

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The New Testament Handling of Poverty

            The New Testament also has many verses that speak for the poor. Proverbs 31:8-9 asserts, “speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.” Also, Luke 12:33 states, “sell your possessions and give to the poor…” Proverbs 19:17 says, “whoever is kind to the poor lends to the LORD, and he will reward them for what they have done.”  The three verses emphasize the need for society to help the poor. They also insist that those who are generous to the poor will receive God’s blessings in abundance.

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How Much Biblical Notions about Poverty Can Be Applied To Contemporary U.S. Government Policy

The above highlighted Biblical notions can be applied to contemporary US government policy. The government has a responsibility to protect its citizens as well as provide for their well-being and happiness. One of the ways that the government can achieve this is through fighting poverty. The US government can borrow a leaf from the Old and New Testaments when formulating and implementing policies to ensure the well-being and happiness of the poor and help them achieve upward mobility. Therefore, the Bible can be a resourceful guidebook for the US policymakers tasked with combating poverty.

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