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Neither Poverty nor Riches: A Biblical Theology of Possessions (New Studies in Biblical Theology) Paperback – 2000

4.5 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Craig L. Blomberg (Ph.D., Aberdeen) is Distinguished Professor of New Testament at Denver Seminary in Denver, Colorado. His books include Interpreting the Parables, Neither Poverty nor Riches, Jesus and the Gospels: An Introduction and Survey, The Historical Reliability of John's Gospel, commentaries on Matthew and 1 Corinthians, Making Sense of the New Testament: 3 Crucial Questions and Preaching the Parables.
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Product Details

  • Series: New Studies in Biblical Theology (Book 7)
  • Paperback: 300 pages
  • Publisher: IVP Academic (2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0830826076
  • ISBN-13: 978-0830826070
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.9 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #247,487 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Dr. Marc Axelrod VINE VOICE on June 29, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
God's been really dealing with me lately about my money spending habits and my whole philosophy of material possessions in general. I read about how Bill Bright gave all of his money to start Campus Crusade for Christ, and refused to take a salary, or own a house or own a car. I read about how Dr. Tony Evans and Dr. Rick Warren are reverse tithers, giving 90% of what they take in. And I was starting to wonder what God's will was in this whole matter of possessions. So I ordered Craig Blomberg's book, having read his awesome work "Jesus and the Gospels," and finding him to be a trustworthy and reliable exegete.

I was very impressed with this book. I like how he started with the Old Testament, and how he pointed out the generosity of the patriarchs (Abraham in particular), and how even Joseph used the possessions he had access to to provide grain for the world and for his starving brothers and family.

He then talks about wealth as God's covenant blessing to the Israelites if they obeyed Him (and how that this principle is not transferable to the New Testament era, as we have our own covenant with God that is NOT tied to the land).

There is also a discussion of wealth and possessions in Proverbs and in the other salient Old Testament books, Blomberg concludes that wealth is a blessing from God and that we should use what we have to be a blessing to others and especially to the poor around us (Proverbs 3:27-28; Deuteronomy 15:11). He notes the texts that promise judgment to those who neglect the poor (Proverbs 11:24-26; 21:13). He concludes that the overall OT understanding of personal possessions is summed up in Proverbs 30:8-9 (Give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me my daily bread). As he says later on page 131, "Ask God to meet your needs, not your greeds.
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Format: Paperback
I read this book as background for preaching on Christian giving and its relationship to tithing in the Old Testament. Blomberg provides a detailed look at the Bible's teaching on money and possessions, by examining the various biblical corpora.
He also gives sobering, up-to-date information on how Americans spend their money and the proportion of it which they give to Christian missions. His account of his own journey on this issue is one of the many helpful features of the book.
I also appreciated his discussion of capitalism versus socialism. This is done with grace, and should be helpful to you, whatever point of view you have.
As a result of reading this book, I have been challenged to develop a plan for my own giving. I highly recommend this book if you are looking for sensible guidance on Christian stewardship.
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Format: Paperback
This is a work that the Western Church needs today. With our pre-occupation with vending machine theology, a God who is obligated to give us what WE want Him to, whether it be "health/wealth gospel" preaching or the simple deemphasis of passages that speak on our need for contentment in all things, the author makes a good case for a Biblical view of wealth. One that does not despise the things of the world, nor does it cling to them.
There is nothing extraordinary here to those who have thought on the issue. But it produces a thorough development of the Biblical teachings on weath, synthesizes thsoe teachings well, and given our general LACK of thinking on this issue, it is needed and welcome.
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Format: Paperback
Craig Blomberg has produced the single best volume on the topic of what Christians should do with their money and other resources.
He surveys hundreds of publications (nearly 700 are listed in the bibliography alone) and also includes relevant discussion of extra/inter/post testament documents from the ancient Levant.
He presents a representitive sample of views and comments on every relevant Biblical passage from Genesis to Revelation in an equitable light.
Not until the final chapter (almost with out exception) does the author "get preachy" and then it is not so much a guilt producing "what you need to do" as it is a humble example of what he has been lead to do with his considerable fortune (by global standards).
If you are at all interested in taking action on this topic your time and money could not be better spent.
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I read Dr. Blomberg's book several years ago and I consider it one of those "life-altering" books that come along every once in a while that actually causes a change in behavior. The book is scholarly (as Dr. Blomberg stated that he read very widely on the subject of wealth), but can be read by the average layperson who is used to reading the opinion section of the daily newspaper. The book's title comes from Proverbs 30:7-9, a beautiful "life verse" if you're into that sort of thing.

The Biblical Theology aspect of the book examines the positives and negatives of wealth in the Scriptures: how it has been used for good by those whom God has blessed with abundance and how it has been a source of contention, covetousness, and even idolatry. Even a casual reading of the historical books and the Prophets will reveal that when the kings (and in turn the people) turned away from the LORD, it led to worshiping false gods, which resulted in great injustices done to the poor, the widows, and the fatherless. A contrast is shown in those who barely had enough to survive, but were called upon to feed the LORD's prophets and thus were blessed as a result (1 Kings 17:7-16; 2 Kings 4:1-7). The Torah called upon the covenant community to provide food for the poor in practical ways such as leaving gleanings in the field (Leviticus 23:22; Ruth 2:8-9).

Among the Christian community there were those who used their resources to house missionaries (Acts 9:43; 17:7; 3 John 5-8) and host "house" churches (Philemon 1:2). Jesus' ministry was also supported by those with means (Luke 8:3; see also Luke 10:38).
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