The global debt crisis. Solutions courtesy of Jesus and Caesar

You want to save the world? Avert the imminent global financial collapse predicted for the very near future by experts and snake oil salesmen alike? First you need to take a look at the original Lord’s Prayer. It doesn’t say “forgive us our sins” or “forgive us our trespasses”—it says: “…and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors” (Gospel of Matthew). It is possible that these “debts” were not exclusively meant as financial debts, because the later evangelist Luke did in fact write about “sins”. But within the theory that the historical person behind the Biblical figure Jesus was Julius Caesar, the mention of “debts” and “debtors” is only logical, and therefore to a large extent meant financially, because a partial debt amnesty was a core concept of Caesar’s sweeping economic reforms (leges Iuliae) to solve the devastating financial crisis that had struck the oligarchically ruled and exploited Roman “republic”. Historical Caesarian sources close to the Christianized concept that debts be remitted are for example App. BC 2.13.47 sq., Dio HR 38.7.4, and Suet. Jul. 20.3.2: publicanos remissionem petentis tertia mercedum parte relevavit ac, ne in locatione novorum vectigalium inmoderatius licerentur, propalam monuit. At any rate, the prayer for a remission of debts is perfectly explicable in light of the demand by the Roman populares of Caesar to remit all debts (cf. also Badian 1972, passim, i.a. 102). But Caesar’s macroeconomic revolution went much further.

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