Was Jesus Rich?

A couple of weeks ago, we wrote about the “prosperity gospel” and how it fits (or doesn’t) with the gospel teachings of Jesus. Now, one minister, Rev. C. Thomas Anderson, senior pastor of the Living Word Bible Church in Mesa, Arizona, is claiming that the Jesus we all thought was poor was, in fact, wealthy.

Rev. Anderson points to three pieces of evidence for his claim: (1) the expensive gifts baby Jesus received from the three wise men; (2) the fact that Mary and Joseph rode a donkey (“Cadillac”) to Bethlehem; and (3) that Roman soldiers gambled for Jesus’ undergarments.

Others disagree. Bruce W. Longenecker, a Baylor University religion professor says, “The only way you can make Jesus into a rich man is by advocating torturous interpretations and by being wholly naive historically.” You can read more about the debate here.

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