What the Bible Says About Bankruptcy
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What the Bible Says About Bankruptcy

One issue that has received a lot of recent attention in the Christian world is the Bible's stance on bankruptcy. With personal bankruptcy claims reaching well over 1 million in recent years, more and more Christians are wrestling with the ethics of bankruptcy.

An analysis of different theological views, however, reveals that the Bible supports the act of debt relief, as long as it's done in honest fashion and for the right reasons.

Read below for some key verses on debt in the Bible.

The Bible's Guidance on Debt

On one hand, there are a select few followers of Judeo-Christian teachings who believe that filing bankruptcy is never an option. These bankruptcy critics typically cite Psalm 37:21, which states that "the wicked borrow and do not repay, but the righteous give generously."

This verse, however, has been interpreted by many scholars to suggest that failing to repay a debt is only ethically invalid when a person avoids paying debts that they are able to pay.

For Christians who do not have the means to pay their debts, the Bible offers much different guidance. Take, for example, these verses:

  • Deuteronomy 15:1-2. This verse demands that "at the end of every seventh year you must cancel your debts." It further states that creditors "must cancel the loans they have made to their fellow Israelites."
  • Leviticus 25:10-17. This verse speaks of the Year of Jubilee, which also release a debtor from overwhelming obligations to a creditor.

These verses, while they come from Old Testament law, seem to provide the most accurate modern comparison. A common theory is that God did not want his people to be mired in permanent servitude to creditors just because of a few poor decisions, or unforeseen financial circumstances.

Bankruptcy is not a decision to be taken lightly, but according to certain interpretations, the Bible suggests that the dismissal of debts that cannot be repaid is a wholly Christian act.

Spiritual and Practical Bankruptcy Guidance

There are two primary concerns for a Bible-led bankruptcy filer. The first is spiritual, and this concern can be addressed by speaking with a spiritual adviser or consulting the text of the Bible itself.

The second concern is practical. When a person decides to file for bankruptcy, there are numerous legal hurdles that must be met before debt relief can be achieved.

To learn more about the practical side of bankruptcy, you can obtain a free consultation with a local bankruptcy attorney by simply filling out the form below.

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