I think I need not provide a link or other evidence for the current Pope’s socialist (if not Marxist) leanings and his corresponding wishes for salvation of the poor by the state. Yet, for ye of little faith in this mosquito, I offer a couple of snippets:
I ask God to give us more politicians capable of sincere and effective dialogue aimed at healing the deepest roots – and not simply the appearances – of the evils in our world!
It must be reiterated that “the more fortunate should renounce some of their rights so as to place their goods more generously at the service of others”.
We can no longer trust in the unseen forces and the invisible hand of the market.
Growth in justice requires more than economic growth, while presupposing such growth: it requires decisions, programmes, mechanisms and processes specifically geared to a better distribution of income, the creation of sources of employment and an integral promotion of the poor which goes beyond a simple welfare mentality.
With that out of the way…I have searched for sources in the Bible that might support these views. I found passages that were close, but not quite right. But then I stumbled across a translation I had never seen before. You have heard of the New International Version (NIV)? Well, I found the New Comintern-ational Version (NCV).
Following are a few selected comparative verses, with the slightly different translation noted in italics in the NCV.
NIV: Jesus answered, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”
NCV: Jesus answered, “If you want to be perfect, go, ask your politicians to take your neighbor’s possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”
NIV: “But now as for what is inside you—be generous to the poor, and everything will be clean for you.”
NCV: “But now as for what is inside you—ask the Roman guard to force your neighbor to be generous to the poor, and everything will be clean for you.”
NIV: “Sell your possessions and give to the poor.”
NCV: “Take your neighbor’s possessions by popular vote and give to the poor.”
(Please note: the change in the following passage is very subtle – I almost missed it myself. It should also be noted that Zacchaeus was a wealthy tax collector.)
NIV: But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount.”
NCV: But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of his possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, he will pay back four times the amount.”
NIV: For Macedonia and Achaia were pleased to make a contribution for the poor among the Lord’s people in Jerusalem.
NCV: For Macedonia and Achaia were pleased to tax the wealthy for the poor among the Lord’s people in Jerusalem.
NIV: As it is written: “They have freely scattered their gifts to the poor; their righteousness endures forever.”
NCV: As it is written: “You must forcefully scattered their wealth to the poor; your righteousness endures forever.”
It is recently reported that the Pope is open to discussing critiques of his criticisms of capitalism. Given that he has a sound biblical basis for his views from the New Comintern-ational Version of the bible, I suspect these will be very short conversations.
I think Gary North studied the wrong Bible.