Original Research

Armoedekultuur: Die leefwereld van die Nuwe Testament en die situasie in Suid-Afrika vandag

Andries van Aarde
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 52, No 4 | a1579 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v52i4.1579 | © 1996 Andries van Aarde | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 13 December 1996 | Published: 13 December 1996

About the author(s)

Andries van Aarde, Departement Nuwe-Testamentiese Wetenskap (Afd A) Universiteit van Pretoria, South Africa

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Culture of poverty: The world of the New Testament then and the situation in South Africa today. In this article poverty in the world of the New Testament is explained in the  light of the social dynamics of the first century Eastern Mediterranean. The focus is on the sub-culture of the disreputable poor. Features of a culture of poverty are reflected upon from a social-scientific perspective in order to try to understand why poverty is intensifying in South Africa today. The article aims at identifying guidelines for Christians in using the New Testament in a profound way to challenge the threat of poverty. The following aspects are discussed: the underdevelopment of third-world societies over against the technical evolution in first-world societies during the past two hundred years, economic statistics with regard to productivity and unemployment in South Africa, the social identity of the disreputable poor, poverty within the pre-print culture of the biblical period, and the church as the household of God where Christians should have compassion for others.


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