What common business practice today has an historic evolution from its original biblical beginnings in mortal sin?
There is a steady condemnation of lending at interest running through the patristic literature. St. Jerome declared usury to be the same as murder, echoing Cato and Seneca, since it consumed the life of the borrower. Christians, however, seemed required by God to condemn it. Exodus 22:25 forbad oppressing one’s neighbor with usury. Deuteronomy 23:20-21 said you could not charge your brother usury. Ezekiel 18:7-8; 13 makes it clear that the righteous do not lend at usury; and that usurers “shall not live.” Leviticus 25:35-36 says if your brother is poor do not charge him usury. The final Old Testament word on the issue came from the Psalmist, who charged the godly to aid their neighbors, not lending to them at interest. The strongest rejection of loans at interest came from Christ in Luke 6:35, where He says “Lend, hoping for nothing in return.”
A fascinating historical look at the evolution of a practice that started as a major offense to God, the Creator.
- Usury : Even Jesus could only take so much (mpbondblog.wordpress.com)
- Dante put usurers in the same circle of hell as the inhabitants of Sodom and other practisers of unnatural vice. (notnumber.wordpress.com)