As a graduate in theology, I was interested to read that Goldman Sachs believes the Gospels promote self interest.
However, I have learned there is an apocryphal basis for that position. It turns out that biblical archaeologists have unearthed a little-known text that offers a somewhat different understanding of the teachings of Jesus. In this new Gospel, Jesus draws his teaching not from Isaiah (“He will not break a bruised reed, or quench a smoldering wick, until he brings justice to victory”), but from Proverbs (“If you have nothing with which to pay, why should your bed be taken?”).
In Matthew, Jesus says, “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field…” But in the new Gospel, Jesus says, “Treasure is like the Kingdom of heaven, leave it not hidden in a field.”
Likewise Matthew quotes Jesus as saying, ““If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.” But the new text says instead, ““If any want to become my followers, let them deny their obligations to society.”
Here are some other representative quotes from the new Gospel that differ somewhat from the traditional texts:
- “Beware of practicing piety; for then you have no reward.”
- “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and steal; but store up for yourselves treasures in banks, where professionals may decide how and when your wealth should be dispersed.”
- “Render prayer unto God, and money unto bankers.”
- “Truly I tell you, when you stole from the least of these who are members of my family, you enriched me.”
As these passages reveal, Jesus was in fact a capitalist. He stood not for justice for the poor, as some weak-minded do-gooders would have us believe, but for the accumulation of wealth by any means available. After all, why would God want the poor to join him in heaven when he could have a better dressed class of people who truly appreciate the treasures He placed on earth?