Re: Mammon

From: Carlton Winbery (
Date: Sat Jan 29 2000 - 12:11:43 EST

Stephen Carlson replied;

>At 12:27 PM 1/28/00 -0800, Joseph Garnier wrote:
>>I am working in Luke 16: 9-13, and have difficulty with the word MAMMON. To
>>my understanding Mammon was a personifiication of selfish wealth and
>>extravagance in opposition to God that was well-known among those of Aramaic
>>culture. That quality of personification is lost on today's readers when
>>the word is transliterated Mammon, as in most translations, or wealth as in
>>the rest. I have thought long and hard for a personification of selfish
>>extravagance that is generallyh known in our culture, and I think the most
>>widely recognized term is Scrooge, and so I am using it instead of Mammon.
>>In the statement that you cannot serve God and Scrooge (v.13), I think the
>>appropriateness of personification is vital to a correct interpretation.
>>What do you who are wiser and more knowledgeable than I think?
>Interesting question. How about: "You cannot serve both God and
>the Almighty Dollar"?
As usual Stephen is on target. The word is an Aramaic word for money or
wealth and the statement of Jesus is seen by Luke as a statement against
what we call materialism.

Dr. Carlton L. Winbery
Foggleman Professor of Religion
Louisiana College
Ph. 1 318 448 6103 hm
Ph. 1 318 487 7241 off

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