Collectivism and/or Christianity: An Exegetical Study of Acts 2:42-47 and 4:32-5:11

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Some believe that Christianity is non-capitalistic at its core and that such a position is based on Scripture. Advocates of this position commonly cite Acts 2—5 as a primary example of the collective commitment of the initial church. This view is misguided. It is based principally on a misinterpretation of several key texts which we will consider below.[i] Our analysis of each passage will reveal the consistent theme that all giving was a voluntary and joyful response to the gospel and its powerful attestations through the apostles and its social implications. We will also observe that the first believers did not feel compelled by the apostles to surrender their right to personal property and its discretionary use.

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Paul Jeon serves as Senior Research Fellow at the Institute for Faith, Work & Economics. He is also the current minister of NewCity in Northern Virginia and teaches New Testament at Reformed Theological Seminary.

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