Is borrowing biblically forbidden?

Borrowing is not explicitly forbidden in the Bible. However, the Bible advises caution and warns against becoming enslaved to debt, emphasizing the importance of wise financial management and avoiding excessive borrowing.

Is borrowing biblically forbidden

Let us take a deeper look now

Borrowing is a topic that has been discussed and debated for centuries, and its implications have also been explored in religious texts like the Bible. While there isn’t an explicit prohibition against borrowing in the Bible, there is wisdom and caution imparted regarding financial management and the potential pitfalls of debt.

The Bible advises believers to exercise caution and be mindful of the consequences of borrowing. In the book of Proverbs, it states, “The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower is the slave of the lender” (Proverbs 22:7). This cautionary verse highlights the potential consequences and bondage that can arise from excessive debt.

Furthermore, the Bible emphasizes the importance of wise financial management. In the book of Romans, the apostle Paul advises followers to “Owe nothing to anyone—except for your obligation to love one another” (Romans 13:8a). This verse encourages believers to strive for financial freedom and avoid unnecessary debts, directing resources instead towards fulfilling their responsibilities and showing love to others.

Interesting facts about borrowing:

  1. Historical background: Borrowing money has been a common practice throughout history. Ancient civilizations, such as Mesopotamia and Egypt, had well-documented systems of lending and borrowing.
  2. Usury laws: In medieval Europe, lending money for interest was heavily restricted by usury laws, which were often influenced by religious beliefs.
  3. Modern banking: The development of modern banking systems in the 17th century allowed for more structured lending and borrowing arrangements, leading to the growth of international trade and commerce.
  4. Consumer debt: In recent times, consumer debt has become a significant concern. According to a report by the Federal Reserve, total household debt in the United States exceeded $14 trillion in 2020, including mortgages, student loans, credit card debt, and auto loans.
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To provide a better understanding, here is an example of a table comparing different perspectives on borrowing:

Perspective View on Borrowing
Biblical Caution against excessive borrowing, warns of debt enslavement
Classical Varies across philosophers – Aristotle viewed lending for interest negatively, while Cicero argued for fair lending practices
Islamic Prohibition of charging interest, encourages ethical financing
Modern Generally accepts borrowing as a tool for personal and economic growth, but emphasizes responsible borrowing practices

In conclusion, while borrowing is not explicitly forbidden in the Bible, the scriptures advise caution, mindful financial management, and avoiding excessive debt. The verse from Proverbs serves as a reminder of the potential consequences of being enslaved to debt. Understanding historical perspectives, diverse philosophical views, and modern practices can help shape a well-rounded understanding of borrowing in various contexts.

Video answer to “Is borrowing biblically forbidden?”

In this video, Dave clarifies that the Bible’s encouragement to lend freely is not an endorsement of banking or exploitation. The original translation of the word “lending” in Greek and Hebrew actually means to give freely, without expectation of repayment. It emphasizes the spirit of generosity and helping others without strings attached. Dave also mentions the concept of usury laws in the Old Testament, showing that the Bible has always sought to protect vulnerable individuals from exploitation. He appreciates the discussion with Ann and acknowledges her contribution as an FPU coordinator.

Other responses to your question

Why? Because God created us and knows the role that money plays in our lives. But across all 2,350 verses about money, not one of them says that borrowing, or being in debt, is forbidden. The Bible does not contain a direct mandate to never borrow money.

Most financial experts agree that although borrowing is not expressly forbidden in scriptures, it is not encouraged, either. Certified Financial Planner Josh Wood advises Christians to use wisdom when they borrow money.

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Does the Bible prohibit any kind of borrowing?
The Biblical doctrine of usury rests primarily on three texts: Exodus 22:25; Leviticus 25:35; and Deuteronomy 23:19-20. Exodus and Leviticus prohibit loans of money or food with interest to a needy brother or sister or even a resident alien. Deuteronomy forbids taking interest from any person.
What does the Bible say about borrowing?
Exodus 22:14 – If anything is borrowed, it should be paid back. If what is borrowed is lost or injured, full restitution must be made. Ps 37:21 – The wicked borrows but does not pay back, but the righteous is generous and gives. The Bible is clear that when something is borrowed is should be paid back.
Is it a sin to loan people money?
Defining "lend" as lending without interest or fee, Luther encourages lending for the purpose of aiding the borrower. The Westminster Larger Catechism, part of the Westminster Standards held as doctrinal documents by Presbyterian churches, teaches that usury is a sin prohibited by the eighth commandment.
Where in the Bible does it talk about not being a borrower?
In reply to that: Deuteronomy 28:12-13 In-Context
You shall lend to many nations, but you shall not borrow. 13 And the Lord will make you the head and not the tail; you shall be above only, and not be beneath, if you heed the commandments of the Lord your God, which I command you today, and are careful to observe them.
Does the Bible prohibit borrowing money?
The answer is: Although the Bible does not expressly forbid borrowing money, it doesn’t encourage it, either. It is not God’s best for His people, as debt essentially makes one a slave to the lender ( Proverbs 22:7 ). God would rather have us look to Him for our needs than rely on lenders.
Is borrowing money a sin?
The response is: God’s word never speaks of debt as a sin, but there are clear references to debt as “slavery.” Borrowing money is never encouraged in the scriptures, and when Moses spoke to the people of Israel, borrowing from others was listed as a consequence of disobedience. So what parameters should we live by when borrowing money? Pay back every penny!
Should we borrow money?
The response is: Borrowing money is never encouraged in the scriptures, and when Moses spoke to the people of Israel, borrowing from others was listed as a consequence of disobedience. So what parameters should we live by when borrowing money? Pay back every penny! The Bible is clear that when we do decide to take on debt, we are to pay back what we borrowed!
What does the Bible say about lending?
Answer will be: Both the Old and New Testaments speak to the subject of lending and address the abuse with lending practices. As believers we are admonished to lend to those who are in need, to lend to the poor, without expecting anything in return.
Does the Bible prohibit borrowing money?
Response to this: Although the Bible does not expressly forbid borrowing money, it doesn’t encourage it, either. It is not God’s best for His people, as debt essentially makes one a slave to the lender ( Proverbs 22:7 ). God would rather have us look to Him for our needs than rely on lenders.
What does the Bible say about lending?
In reply to that: Both the Old and New Testaments speak to the subject of lending and address the abuse with lending practices. As believers we are admonished to lend to those who are in need, to lend to the poor, without expecting anything in return.
Is borrowing money a sin?
Response to this: God’s word never speaks of debt as a sin, but there are clear references to debt as “slavery.” Borrowing money is never encouraged in the scriptures, and when Moses spoke to the people of Israel, borrowing from others was listed as a consequence of disobedience. So what parameters should we live by when borrowing money? Pay back every penny!
Is it wrong to borrow money?
As an answer to this: Now, there is nothing wrong with legitimately loaning money and expecting to be repaid at a fair rate of interest. Yet we need to remember that the Bible’s teaching on money matters also includes borrowing money and indebtedness. Although the Bible does not expressly forbid borrowing money, it doesn’t encourage it, either.

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