Merchant activity sustained the livelihood of all major civilizations throughout history. These activities went great distances in the fact that they supported governments and economies throughout the world in ancient and present civilizations. Even though merchant activity sustained life and the livelihood of strong civilizations, different religions from around the world viewed these activities differently. Typically, throughout the post-classical civilizations, negativity would be the best word to describe the feelings most religions had towards merchants and the actions these people underwent.
In the early decades after the B.C. era finished, Christians began developing their own ideas on merchants and their proceedings. Within the New Testament (Document 1) under Matthew, it states that rich men (who frequently were merchants) shall not enter the kingdom of Heaven, saying that their activities are illicit, and with the aim of “…It is easier for a camel to enter the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the Kingdom of Heaven…” Within the Islamic religion, merchants were tolerated, however, were warned to stand behind a product, and for if one lies and is deceitful about a product- “…ones blessing of their transaction shall be obliterated.”(Document 2). Also, however, as stated in the Muslim Qur’an- “On the day of Judgment, the honest, truthful Muslim merchant will take rank with the martyrs of the faith.”-stating that merchants were more than tolerated in this period of development in the Islamic religion.
In the first and second centuries, the ideals about merchants in the Christian religion changed little. On behalf of Reginald, a monk of Durham (Document 3) it was stated that people ought to spread wealth and goods, one shall not maintain high riches, for they should instead, furnish for charity-give rather than receive. Reginald, lettering on behalf of his colleague St. Godric, says that in order to serve the Lord and Jesus Christ,...
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