Was Jesus a Socialist? An Analysis of the Lucan Message Concerning Charity for the Poor


  • Keysel Alberto Besa Student




Individualism, Collectivism, Individual Responsibility, Collective Responsibility, Charity for the poor, New Testament interpretation


The fractious culture wars between the political Left and Right occasionally delves into matters of  Christian theology and New Testament insights concerning the proper structure of society. In particular, there has been contention surrounding Jesus’s message and predisposal towards the economically and socially dispossessed of his time. Some have argued that Jesus’s association with the poor and downtrodden is indicative of his alignment with the fundamental ideas currently upheld by democratic socialists. Meanwhile, some have argued the opposite claim that Jesus embodied capitalist views and would be opposed to the central tenets of socialism. This paper attempts to transcend such problematic exegetical debate of the Scriptures, particularly the Lucan writings which contain some of the most crucial passages about Jesus’s close association with the poor. More specifically, this paper argues that the central idea that undergirds Jesus’s message concerning the underprivileged and oppressed lies in grounded in individual responsibility.