The Spirit of generosity: A new economic dispensation in the wake of Pentecost?

Johannes Wessels


The nature of the economic formation in the Early Church has been widely debated through the centuries. In his work, Das Kapital, Karl Marx quotes Acts 2:44–45, and even supplies these verses as his reason for hating God. As in the case of Marx and his compatriots, several current biblical scholars (especially those from poor communities) are still disillusioned by their view that the initial drive towards sharing money and property have soon been watered down by the Early Church.

This article’s main focus is on the way in which reciprocity sheds new light on the economics of the Early Church. It concludes that economics in the Apostolic Era and the Early Church introduced a clear departure from the monetary policies exercised in the First Century Temple in Jerusalem, and in the Synagogues. Not only the main ‘economic’ events in Acts, but also the subsequent results in developing congregations, then and now, are discussed.


Holy Spirit; generosity; poverty; Acts; economy

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ISSN 2413-9467 (online); ISSN 2413-9459 (print)

© 2017 Pieter de Waal Neethling Trust, Stellenbosch.

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