The Social Teachings of the Prophets and Jesus

The Social Teachings of the Prophets and Jesus

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The Social Teachings of the Prophets and Jesus

The Social Teachings of the Prophets and Jesus

Read FREE!

Excerpt

The discovery that the great prophets and founders of Judaism and Christianity were above all else social teachers and reformers is rapidly revolutionising the study of the Bible. The Hebrew prophets and Jesus speak to us to-day more directly and convincingly than they did even to their contemporaries, for we are far more keenly alive to the importance of the social problems which they were seeking to solve. To appreciate fully the social principles which they laid down it is necessary first to become acquainted with the personality of each of these prophets and with the immediate political and social conditions with which they were dealing. Studied in the light of their historical background, these teachings can then be readily interpreted into universal terms and used as a solvent for the social problems of to-day.

The social teachings of the Bible are so deeply embedded in the Old and New Testament writings that they are not easily accessible to the general reader. Those of the prophets and of their practical interpreters, the priests and sages, have usually been treated separately from those of Jesus and his immediate followers. As a matter of fact, Jesus and Paul based their social teachings directly upon those of the earlier prophets. Without the final synthesis and interpretation which Jesus gave to these earlier teachings, they are disconnected and incomplete. To be clearly understood both the teachings of the prophets and those of Jesus and Paul must be studied together as parts of a genetic whole. The chief aims, therefore, of this volume are to single out the important social teachings of the Bible, to translate them into clear English, and then to classify and present them so that they may be intelligently studied in the light of their historical setting and development. The re-

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