Original Research

The rich, the poor, and the law

Dieter H. Reinstorf
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 60, No 1/2 | a512 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v60i1/2.512 | © 2004 Dieter H. Reinstorf | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 13 October 2004 | Published: 20 October 2004

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Dieter H. Reinstorf, University of Pretoria, South Africa

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Abstract

This article explores the social and religious dynamics of parables of Jesus in which “rich” and “poor” are juxtaposed. It focuses on Luke 16:19-31 (the parable of the rich man and the poor beggar Lazarus) and on Luke 18:9-14 (the parable of the Pharisee and the tax collector). The core of the exploration relates to questions concerning “wealth” and “poverty” in a limited-good society such as first-century Palestine. The article aims to expose the legitimisation provided by the Israelite elite to ensure the collection of taxes placed on the peasant population by the Roman Empire.

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