Jesus on Lending, Debt, and Interest

  • Clive Beed
  • Cara Beed


Jesus and the Mosaic Law of the Old Testament provide much instruction for how believers should regard and practice lending, indebtedness, and interest accrual. Studies to date have focused on the Old Testament, believing that Jesus has little to say about the issues. This paper shows that Jesus provides much instruction on the matters, applying both to believers and to the wider world. This paper reviews seven sayings by Jesus with implications for lending, debt, and interest. They are found to disfavor lending in the expectation of return and to favor releasing borrowers from debt and thereby eliminating interest that might apply to a loan. These teachings extend the Old Testament position on these issues. A final section considers whether a  modern economy could function on the basis of Jesus’ teachings.