Search this journal:     Advanced search
Original Research

The impact of the economic system on social and labour relations in the early church as revealed in the letter of James

Dirk G. van der Merwe

Verbum et Ecclesia; Vol 33, No 1 (2012), 12 pages. doi: 10.4102/ve.v33i1.691

Submitted: 19 October 2011
Published:  17 September 2012

Abstract

The Letter of James addresses the dichotomy between the socioeconomic classes of the rich (πλούσιος) and the poor (πτωχὸς). This research reveals the social and labour relations resulting from this dichotomy and the wealth of socioeconomic data contained in this letter. The rich are alerted to the consequences of their unrighteousness towards the poor, and the poor receive exhortations of encouragement. The metaphoric use of ’richness’ is also examined. This research focuses on the socioeconomic activities and attitudes that this dichotomy prompted during the second part of the first century, and it indicates how the economic system impacted on and influenced the lives of the early Christians in the 1st century Mediterranean world. James bounces these questions around to cast the rich, as well as the Christian assembly, in a bad light for condoning the mistreatment of the poor. His three rhetorical questions are quite to the point and are meant to be answered affirmatively.

Full Text:  |  HTML  |  EPUB  |  XML  |  PDF (559KB)

Author affiliations

Dirk G. van der Merwe, University of South Africa, South Africa

Metrics

Total abstract views: 1526
Total article views: 5544

Cited-By

No related citations found

Comments on this article

Before posting your comment, please read our policy.
Post a Comment (Login required)


ISSN: 1609-9982 (print) | ISSN: 2074-7705 (online)

Connect on: Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn and YouTube

Subscribe to our newsletter

All articles published in this journal are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) license, unless otherwise stated.

Website design & content: ©2016 AOSIS (Pty) Ltd. All rights reserved. No unauthorised duplication allowed.

AOSIS Publishing | Empowering Africa through access to knowledge
Postnet Suite #110, Private Bag X19, Durbanville, South Africa, 7551
Tel: 086 1000 381 
Tel: +27 21 975 2602 
Fax: 086 5004 974

publishing(AT)aosis.co.za replace (AT) with @

Please read the privacy statement.