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Article Index
The ‘Our Father’ of My Childhood
The Contexts of the Story
The Historical Context of the Our Father
My Historical Context
Blending Contexts in an On-going History
Companions on the Way
The Word ‘Debt/Indebted’ in the Our Father
Main Focus on Luke 11:4
Usual Interpretation of ‘Sin’ and ‘Debt’
Larger Than Sin
Indebtedness in Jesus’ Historical Setting
Where has the Jubilee Year Gone?
Rabbi Hillel’s Prosbul
The Significance of the Word ‘Debt’
The Jubilee Year in the Lk 4:16-30
More Than Sin-Orientation: The Kingdom of God
Breaking Fixed or Petrified Perspectives
Re-reading Lk 11:4 Through Jesus’ Eyes
Re-reading Lk 11:4 Through the Eyes of an Awakened, Poor Jew
Re-reading Lk 11:4 in the Larger Context of Luke’s Gospel
Lk 18: 18-27: a Commentary on Luke’s ‘Our Father’.
Social Justice in the Larger Context of Luke-Acts
Re-reading Lk 11:4 in the Context of Acts 2 and 4
Re-reading Luke 11:4 in My Context
The Need for an Alternative Spirituality
Before We Part Ways: Time to Recharge and Refresh
As We Part
All Pages

Where has the Jubilee Year Gone? One who is familiar with Jewish tradition knows well that unjust indebtedness, poverty and slavery are abhorred by the Torah.[7] These manifestations of social injustice[8] are against the will of Yahweh who desires that there shall be no poor or needy among his people (Cf Deut 15:4). No wonder, the Jubilee Year provision found in Dt. 15 prescribes the ?????????? (shemittah) or the release or cancellation of debts every Jubilee (fiftieth) Year.[9] This is to ensure that in Israel, the poor would be protected from social injustice; that all blessings must be shared equitably; and that wealth -- and the power that goes with it -- should not be monopolized by an elitist individual or group.

But amidst the Jubilee Year’s Godly and humane provisions, why did Palestine in Jesus’ time turn out to be heavily indebted resulting in horrible destitution, slavery, oppression and injustice? There had been many causal factors, especially that the Jews were subjected to long years of foreign dominion. In this essay, I wish to focus mainly on the factors within Jewish tradition, in which they the Jubilee Year could have protected the Jewish people from social injustice; yet, the provisions of the Jubilee appeared to be ineffective. We explore why this was so.


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