Is there a difference between.....

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by ktn4eg, Jan 5, 2014.

  1. ktn4eg

    ktn4eg
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    .....how the OT uses the term "usury" [i.e., "interest"] as it applies to God's people--a practice which the OT seemingly roundly condemns--and how Jesus applied it in His "Parable of the Talents" as found in Matthew 25 [esp. v. 25:27] and in Luke 19 [esp. v. 19:23]?

    While I know that God's Word never contradicts itself, I'm having a bit of trouble in reconciling why the OT apparently condemns "usury" and yet Jesus seems to approve of it in the NT.

    Can any of you out there in BB land shed some light on this for me? I'd especially appreciate it if you could supply me with any specific Bible references that would clarify this seeming "contradiction."

    Thank you.
     
  2. thisnumbersdisconnected

    thisnumbersdisconnected
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    There is a difference between "usury" and "interest." The Hebrew used, for example, in Nehemiah 5:7 is mashsha' and is indicative of unreasonable interest, excessive profit at the expense of the borrower.

    In word in Matthew 25:27 for "interest" is tokos which has a primary meaning of birth, bringing forth. The reason interest is not spoken of negatively in the New Testament is because Jesus never referenced it negatively. Interest was perfectly legal, even in the Old Testament, as Moses recorded in the Law.

    Leviticus 25, NASB
    36 'Do not take usurious interest from him, but revere your God, that your countryman may live with you.' [Emphasis added]
    The use of the Hebrew tarbiyth, translated "usurious" in the passage, to modify "interest" -- the Hebrew neshek -- is indicative of the acceptable practice of reasonable interest, but to charge excessively was sinful. Banking practices then and now are not sinful, provided they do not take advantage of the borrower.
     
  3. ktn4eg

    ktn4eg
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    Thanks for your information.

    I guess that my question now would be this:

    At what exact point does interest become excessive?

    For example--and this is only an example--where exactly does one draw the line between an excessive interest rate and a non-excessive interest rate? Would a 20% interest rate be considered as "excessive" but a 19.9% interest rate be considered as "non-excessive"?
     
  4. thisnumbersdisconnected

    thisnumbersdisconnected
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    I think the tithe is a perfectly good example for the limit of interest, taxation, etc. Ten percent ought to be good enough for anyone if its good enough for God. :thumbsup:
     

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