Basis of Justice in Scripture

Essay by AndrewAdamsHigh School, 11th grade April 2007

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In order to understand the true meaning of justice in the scriptures it is necessary to define the very word from a broader and more concrete perspective. This will then help to clarify the particular Christian view of justice. The term "justice," in a dictionary, is defined as “the quality of being just; rightness; fairness; to treat someone in a fair way”. It is often thought of as the foundation of the judicial system and that it can be achieved through the laws of society.

With this in mind we are now able to look justice with reference as the basis of Christian teaching, and found in scripture. In Matthew, 20: 1-16, the story of the workers in the vineyard exemplifies people’s ideas of fairness versus honest justice. The landowner hires workers for one days standard pay at different times during the course of the workday. When it is time to pay the workers, all got the usual day’s pay as promised.

When the workers that were hired in the morning objected to their pay being the same as the workers who only worked a few hours, the land owner replied with his view of justice; (Matthew, 20: 15-16) “Am I not free to do as I wish with my own money? Are you envious because I am generous?’ Thus, the last will be first, and the first will be last.” The landowner did not lie or break his promise to any of the workers; therefore his actions were just and honest, regardless of what society might classify as “fair”.

Christians are not only encouraged to be just through implementing what they or the social law determine to be " justice", but they are helped by God to understand the full meaning of justice as it is...