Friday, August 5, 2016

Giving in the Early Church

"What we do see in the writings of the Apostolic Fathers are various Christian communities concerned with putting acts of charity into practice among their own people. The second century Christian would not have the same kind of global concern as ours in this century. In the Apostolic Fathers there is nothing to indicate that the charitable concern of the Christian extended beyond the faith community. On the contrary, in almost every passage concerned with the same issues as Matt 25:35-36 there is some restricting element, a word or a phrase, that makes it clear that the good works being discussed are envisaged in terms of other Christians" (Sherman W. Gray, The Least of My Brothers, Matthew 25:31-46: A History of Interpretation SBL Dissertation Series 114, Scholars Press: Atlanta, GA, 11-12).

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