Hallowed Halls: Letters to the editor
Who gives wealth?
I am perplexed that no article [in #137] made any reference to Deuteronomy 8:18 where God says (through Moses): “And you shall remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth. . . .” (NKJV). This seems fundamental to the issue at hand.—David Butler, Monrovia, CA
Hundreds of Scripture passages speak of money or the market—we only discussed a few and did not direct our authors to use specific ones. You may want to look at our two previous issues on money (#14 and #19); issue #14 referenced Deut. 8:18.
Finance and violence
I love the magazine and often encourage friends and family to read it. However, [issue #137 said:] “In canon law usury by Jews was deemed acceptable via a loophole based on Deuteronomy 23:20, granting Jews the opportunity to use financial violence against foreigners in the form of interest.” . . . Deuteronomy 23:20 does not portray “interest” (usury) outside of the distinct family of God as violence—but as “allowed” with foreign peoples.—Tim Miller, e-subscriber
We asked Dr. Nathan Hitchcock, the author, and he responded: “In an earlier draft I had elaborated that some premodern interpreters understood Deut. 23:20 as financial violence, which was their superimposing of the talk of ‘enemies’ earlier in Deut. 23 on top of v. 20’s permission of lending at interest to ‘foreigners.’ They understood usury as a financial aggression permitted under certain parameters. Such reasoning was behind canon law. I did not intend to comment on the actual biblical meaning.”
A light bulb went on
I loved issue #137. I especially appreciated the historical aspect to Christians charging interest. . . . If you are desperate and have no money for food and I give you a loan with interest, and all you end up doing is paying more than you needed for food, that is predatory on my part at some point. But if I give you a loan with interest so that you can invest in a business idea that results in you making more money and having greater economic freedom (including the ability to donate to charity) then I have actually given you a blessing, and that is a wonderful thing.—Langdon Palmer, Philadelphia, PA
Publishing Despite a pandemic
Thank you so much that with all that is going on you still sent out a new issue. God bless you.—Deborah Dockett, Monrovia, CA
Note: In issue #138, we neglected to mention #43, How We Got Our Bible, in the list of related issues. Please check it out! Also in issue #138 we misidentified what is most probably a Wycliffite Bible on p. 12 as a printing of Tyndale’s Bible, based on an erroneous attribution by the photographer. Thank you to our eagle-eyed reader Mark Rankin, professor of English at James Madison University, for pointing this out.
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By Our readers and the editor
[Christian History originally published this article in Christian History Issue #139 in 2021]
Hallowed halls: editor's note
Discussing the Meaning of LifeJennifer Woodruff Tait
Restoring the divine likeness
Christian humanism and the rise of the medieval universityJens Zimmermann
City of scholars
The University of Paris developed a model copied by many schoolsRobert J. Porwoll
A guild of learners
What was it like to study at Oxford and Cambridge in the Middle Ages?G. R. Evans
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