An inquiry into socio-historical factors contributing to poverty within the Early Church in Palestine
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This article seeks to investigate the root causes of poverty in the early Christian community.The view that is put forward and argued in this article is that poverty was widespread in early Christianity with particular reference to the converted Jews in Palestine. This was the result of socio-historical factors, namely the Israelites’ contact with Canaanites during the conquest,and the implementation of the secular leadership paradigm derived from those paga n nations around Israel, which led to their subjugation under the oppressive and exploitative and economic structures of the Roman Empire. For that reason many believers, newly converted Jews, at that time were destitute and impoverished as they belonged to the lower classes in society. In spite of this state of affairs, the early Christians in Jerusalem seemed to have faced the challenges of poverty with a measure of success as can be attested by the statement ‘for there was no needy person amongst them …’ (Ac 4:34).
- Faculty of Theology