A professor of Biblical Studies at Boyce College in Louisville, Kentucky, has stirred some controversy over his claim that the phrase “the least of these” – written in Matthew 25:40, “is not about poor people.”
In a blog post published last week, Professor Dennys Burk argues that the popular phrase is actually “a reference to Christians who face struggles in sharing their faith.”
“The least of these is about the baker, florist, photographer who is being mistreated for bearing faithful witness to Christ. It’s about disciples of Jesus having their heads cut off by Islamic radicals,” he wrote.
“This text shows us that Jesus will judge those who show contempt for the gospel by mistreating gospel-bearers,” he continued.
Many theologians disagree with Burk’s claims about Matthew 25:40. But Burk responded to his critics by following up on his original comments, saying that the words “least of these” and “my brothers” in the Gospel of Matthew, “are in reference to the disciples, not the poor.”
Burks is not the only one debating the interpretation of this Bible verse. Earlier this year, Christianity Today ran a similar article questioning the popular understanding of the “least of these.”
Interesting claim! What do you think? Please share your belief in the comments section below!