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“John Chrysostom on The Rich and The Poor

From Homily XXXIV on I Corinthians 13: 8

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Click here to read at earlychurchtexts.com in the original Greek (with dictionary lookup links). The English translation below is from the NPNF series.

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Relevant books
available at Amazon

Many Chrysostom translations
and studies
with links to Amazon

See also below

STUDIES

J.N.D. Kelly

The Story of John Chrysostom

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Hagit Amirav

Rhetoric and Tradition: John Chrysostom on Noah and the Flood (Traditio Exegetica Graeca, 12)

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Chrysostomus Baur

John Chrysostom and His Time: Volume 1: Antioch

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Chrysostomus Baur

John Chrysostom and His Time, Vol. 2: Constantinople

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Duane A. Garrett

An Analysis of the Hermeneutics of John Chrysostom's Commentary on Isaiah 1-8 With an English Translation (Studies in the Bible and Early Christianity)

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Blake Goodall

Homilies of St. John Chrysostom on the Letters of St.Paul to Titus and Philemon (University of California publications : Classical studies ; v. 20)

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Peter Gorday

Principles of Patristic Exegesis: Romans 9-11 in Origen, John Chrysostom, and Augustine (Studies in the Bible and Early Christianity)

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Aideen M. Hartney

John Chrysostom and the Transformation of the City

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Robert Allen Krupp

Shepherding the Flock of God: The Pastoral Theology of John Chrysostom (American University Studies. Series VII. Theology and Religion)

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Mel Lawrenz

The Christology of John Chrysostom

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Blake Leyerle

Theatrical Shows and Ascetic Lives: John Chrysostom's Attack on Spiritual Marriage

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Jaclyn LaRae Maxwell

Christianization and Communication in Late Antiquity: John Chrysostom and his Congregation in Antioch

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Margaret Mary Mitchell

Heavenly Trumpet: John Chrysostom and the Art of Pauline Interpretation

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Robert Louis Wilken

John Chrysostom and the Jews: Rhetoric and Reality in the Late 4th Century

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TRANSLATIONS

Gus George Christo

On Repentance and Almsgiving (The Fathers of the Church)

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Thomas Aquinas Goggin

Commentary on Saint John the Apostle and Evangelist: Homilies 48-88 (The Fathers of the Church, 41)

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Robert C. Hill

Eight Sermons on the Book of Genesis

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David G. Hunter

A Comparison Between a King and a Monk/Against the Opponents of the Monastic Life (Studies in the Bible and Early Christianity, Vol 13)

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M.C.W. Laistner

Christianity and pagan culture in the later Roman Empire: Together with an English translation of Johan Chrysostom's Address on vainglory and the right ... bring up their children (Cornell paperbacks)

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Wendy Mayer

John Chrysostom (The Early Church Fathers)

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Mayer and Bronwen

The Cult of the Saints (St. Vladimir's Seminary Press Popular Patristics)

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Graham Neville

Six Books on the Priesthood (St. Vladimir's Seminary Press Popular Patristics Series)

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? Catherine P. Roth

On Wealth and Poverty

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? David Anderson

On Marriage and Family Life

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Margaret A Schatkin

John Chrysostom as apologist: With special reference to De incomprehensibili, Quod nemo laeditur, Ad eos qui scandalizati sunt, and Adversus oppugnatores vitae monasticae (Analecta VlatadoÌ?n)

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Sally Shore

On Virginity Against Remarriage (Studies in Women and Religion, V. 9)

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And that thou mayest see it more clearly, let us suppose, if it seem good, two cities, the one of rich only, but the other of poor; and neither in that of the rich let there be any poor man, nor in that of the poor any rich; but let us purge out both thoroughly, and see which will be the more able to support itself. For if we find that of the poor able, it is evident that the rich will more stand in need of them. Now then, in that city of the affluent there will be no manufacturer, no builder, no carpenter, no shoe-maker, no baker, no husbandman , no brazier, no rope-maker, nor any other such trade. For who among the rich would ever choose to follow these crafts, seeing that the very men who take them in hand, when they become rich, endure no longer the discomfort caused by these works? How then shall this our city stand? “The rich,” it is replied, “giving money, will buy these things of the poor.” Well then, they will not be sufficient for themselves, their needing the others proves that. But how will they build houses? Will they purchase this too? But the nature of things cannot admit this. Therefore they must needs invite the artificers thither, and destroy the law, which we made at first when we were founding the city. For you remember, that we said, “let there be no poor man within it.” But, lo, necessity, even against our will, hath invited and brought them in. Whence it is evident that it is impossible without poor for a city to subsist: since if the city were to continue refusing to admit any of these, it will be no longer a city but will perish. Plainly then it will not support itself, unless it shall collect the poor as a kind of preservers, to be within itself. But let us look also upon the city of the poor, whether this too will be in a like needy condition, on being deprived of the rich. And first let us in our discourse thoroughly clear the nature of riches, and point them out plainly. What then may riches be? Gold, and silver, and precious stones, and garments silken, purple, and embroidered with gold. Now then that we have seen what riches are, let us drive them away from our city of the poor: and if we are to make it purely a city of poor persons, let not any gold appear there, no not in a dream, nor garments of such quality; and if you will, neither silver, nor vessels of silver. What then? Because of this will that city and its concerns live in want, tell me? Not at all. For suppose first there should be need to build; one does not want gold and silver and pearls, but skill, and hands, and hands not of any kind, but such as are become callous, and fingers hardened, and great strength, and wood, and stones: suppose again one would weave a garment, neither here have we need of gold and silver, but, as before, of hands and skill, and women to work. And what if one require husbandry, and digging the ground? Is it rich men who are wanted, or poor? It is evident to every one, poor. And when iron too is to be wrought, or any such thing to be done, this is the race of men whereof we most stand in need. What respect then remains wherein we may stand in need of the rich? except the thing required be, to pull down this city. For should that sort of people make an entrance, and these philosophers, for (for I call them philosophers, who seek after nothing superfluous,) should fall to desiring gold and jewels, giving themselves up to idleness and luxury; they will ruin everything from that day forward.
 



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Homily 34 on 1 Corinthians 13
Homilia XXXIV I Corinthians
original Greek text
John Chrysostom Rich and Poor
John Chrysostom in Greek with English Translation
social justice
relations between rich and poor
Dives and Lazarus
can the rich manage without the poor
can the poor manage without the rich
Migne Greek Text
Patrologiae Graecae Cursus Completus
Patrologia Graeca

 

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