“He died for our debts, not our sins”
As we turn towards our faiths this Christmas and Hanukkah in an attempt to make sense of the year that was, economist Professor Michael Hudson says we have been interpreting the bible incorrectly. And he has written an entire book about it. Rather than sex and sin, both Christianity and Judaism is preoccupied with debt. As it turns out, Jesus was a socialist activist who paid the ultimate price fighting for the reinstatement of regular debt jubilees. In fact, the rulers of classical antiquity who cancelled their subjects’ debts were overthrown with disturbing frequency and tended not to live that long…
As many people turn towards their Christian and Jewish faiths this Christmas and Hanukkah in an attempt to make sense of the year that was, at least one economist says we have been reading the bible in an anachronistic way.
In fact he has written an entire book on the topic. In ‘…And Forgive them their Debts: Credit and Redemption’ (available this spring on Amazon), Professor Michael Hudson makes the argument that far from being about sex, the bible is actually about economics, and debt in particular.
“The Christianity we know today is not the Christianity of Jesus,” says Professor Hudson.
Indeed the Judaism that we know today is not the Judaism of Jesus either.
The economist told Renegade Inc the Lord’s Prayer, ‘forgive us our sins even as we forgive all who are indebted to us’, refers specifically to debt.
“Most religious leaders say that Christianity is all about sin, not debt,” he says. “But actually, the word for sin and debt is the same in almost every language.”
“‘Schuld’, in German, means ‘debt’ as well as ‘offense’ or, ‘sin’. It’s ‘devoir’ in French. It had the same duality in meaning in the Babylonian language of Akkadian.”
The idea harks back to the concept of ‘wergeld’, which existed in parts of Europe and Babylonia, and set the value of a human life based on their rank, paid as compensation to the family of someone who has been injured or killed.
“The payment – the Schuld or obligation – expiates you of the injury caused by the offense,” Dr Hudson said.
The Ten Commandments were about debt
People tend to think of the Commandment ‘do not covet your neighbour’s wife’ in purely sexual terms but actually, the economist says it refers specifically to creditors who would force the wives and daughters of debtors into sex slavery as collateral for unpaid debt…
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