Philosophy against Misosophy



Essays by Me

Essays by Others

Jesus Is an Anarchist

James Redford


11. Jesus Supported the Collecting of Interest (Usury)

One of the Socialists' great bugbears has been the institution of usury, or otherwise the collecting of interest. Yet in the only instance in which Jesus commented upon this He was clearly in favor of the concept, as is given in His Parable of the Talents, in which a man traveling to a far-away country leaves his three servants with some talents to make use of in the best way they see fit while he is away the first two servants invest the talents and receive more talents from their initial investment, and this makes the lord of the estate happy to hear this upon his return; but here is what Jesus says of the third servant:

Matthew 25:24-27: "Then he who had received the one talent came and said, 'Lord, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you have not sown, and gathering where you have not scattered seed. And I was afraid, and went and hid your talent in the ground. Look, there you have what is yours.' But his lord answered and said to him, 'You wicked and lazy servant, you knew that I reap where I have not sown, and gather where I have not scattered seed. So you ought to have deposited my money with the bankers, and at my coming I would have received back my own with interest." (See also Luke 19:21-23.)

Now obviously this parable is a lesson on how Christians should be ever vigilant in converting people to salvation in Christ, in that we should not keep the Gospel of Christ to ourselves but always seek to increase the number of Christians in the world.

But even so, it nevertheless demonstrates that Jesus was hardly hostile to the concept of the collecting of interest, considering that this was his only commentary given on the subject.

But moreover, it ties in quite appropriately with Jesus's attitude toward the absolute lawfulness of an individual doing what they wish with their own property including freely contracting thereof as told by Jesus in his Parable of the Workers in the Vineyard as recorded in Matthew 20:1-16.


12. Cleansing of the Temple: Righteous Libertarian Vigilantism