Testament of Judah 19:1

Testament of the Twelve Patriarchs

My children, the love of money leadeth to idolatry; because, when led astray through money, men name as gods those who are not gods, and it causeth him who hath it to fall into madness. For the sake of money I lost my children, and had not my repentance, and my humiliation, and the prayers of my father been accepted, I should have died childless. But the God of my fathers had mercy on me, because I did it in ignorance. And the prince of deceit blinded me, and I sinned as a man and as flesh, being corrupted through sins; and I learnt my own weakness while thinking myself invincible.

Colossians 3:5

New Testament

1 Therefore, if you have been raised with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Keep thinking about things above, not things on the earth, 3 for you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ (who is your life) appears, then you too will be revealed in glory with him. 5 So put to death whatever in your nature belongs to the earth: sexual immorality, impurity, shameful passion, evil desire, and greed which is idolatry. 6 Because of these things the wrath of God is coming on the sons of disobedience.

 Notes and References

"... There is good evidence, however, that in the generation after Paul's death the proper use of wealth remained a critical issue for the church and that this concern arose as a result of the continued leadership of the well-to-do. Colossians 3:5 includes in a lists of vices "greed which is idolatry." Commentators have interpreted this as part of a traditional rhetorical list which is loosely connected with the first vice of the series, fornication (porneia), an instance of cribbing from the undisputed Pauline letters, a reference to Matthew 6:24, or as an example of shorthand rabbinic exhortation. A more satisfactory explanation is to interpret the phrase in light of the social context in which wealthier householders are responsible for the leadership of the community. It was probably included for more than rhetorical effect: the presence of a hierarchical household code in 3:18—4:1 permits one to conclude that the patterns Paul established in his community continued after his death. It seems likely that the exhortation against greed will have had an important role in reminding well-to-do leaders of their primary allegiance to the church, especially when business concerns would have tempted them to form close associations with outsiders ..."

Maier, Harry O. Purity and Danger in Polycarp's Epistle to the Philippians: The Sins of Valens in Social Perspective (pp. 229-247) Journal of Early Christian Studies Volume 1, Number 3, 1993

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