In this article, I examine why the Apostle Paul was deeply concerned with the inequality of income distribution in the Roman Empire and how this propelled him to care for the poor. By taking a closer look at Paul’s collection for the Jerusalem poor, there are a number of economic principles that guided him in his quest for remembering the poor: the principle of grace and generosity, the principle of equality, and the principle of sharing recourses as a family. All these principles were revolutionary in nature as they were against the prevailing social conventions of the Greco-Roman world. Paul used these principles to construct a new economic structure to achieve an equality of possessions through voluntary redistribution of wealth between persons of different classes – rich and poor; different geographical locations – Judea and the Mediterranean world; and of different ethnic groups – Jews and Gentiles.
Theology of Jubilee: Biblical, Social and Ethical Perspectives by Chris Wright
TGIF! A Theology of Workers and Their Work by Myk Habets and Peter McGhee
The Church as Civil Society: an African Ecclesiology by Emiola Nihinlola
Economic Growth vs The Environment: The Need for New Paradigms in Economics, Business Ethics, and Evangelical Theology by John Jefferson Davis
Work, Spirit, and New Creation by Miroslav Volf