The OT law prohibits Israelites to earn interest on loans let among fellow Israelites (Deuteronomy 23:19) but allows to earn interest for loans let to foreigners (Deuteronomy 23:20). How is this verse applied to christians today?
NIV - 19 Do not charge a fellow Israelite interest, whether on money or food or anything else that may earn interest.
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In Luke 6:35 -- part of Jesus' so-called "Sermon on the Plain", which closely parallels some portions of the Sermon on the Mount found in Matthew 5-7, but which also addresses other subjects (and which, in my opinion, would supersede the Old Testament Law as far as Christians are concerned) -- Jesus tells those who would be His followers to lend to their enemies without expecting anything back (which would include the amount or item lent, let alone any interest on the transaction). In this way, the Christian lender will be reflecting the love of God, who (as noted in Luke 6:35-36) is kind and merciful to the wicked and the ungrateful. If such a standard is set for loans made even to one's enemies, then loans to other Christians should be made in a similar spirit. If the person receiving a loan from a Christian lender (whether the lender considers that person a friend or not) offers either to repay the principal, or to pay interest in addition to the principal, or both, then I would say that the lender is not obligated to refuse those payments. However, in such a case, the lender should not charge a usurious rate of interest, or seek to gain financial or material advantage or control over the person to whom the loan is being made. (I am speaking of private transactions between individuals. Commercial lending transactions would be more strictly governed by applicable laws and regulations that would limit the amount of latitude that a lender would have in his practices and policies, or in drawing distinctions in those practices based on the lender's personal relationship with the party to whom the loan is being made.)
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