shall be innocent; for he has fulfilled his duty as he received it from God."
Tertullian (c.155-220 A.D.) wrote against Interest. He wrote that Lk 6:35 means the same as Ez. 18:8. Remember that Ez. 18:8 refers to interest as evil and Lk. 6:35 refers to lending without hoping for anything in return. For Tertullian's references to the evil of interest see this footnote.4
St. Cyprian (205-258 A.D.) and St. Apolonius of Hierapolis (who wrote in 175-176 A.D.) also wrote against interest.
Cyprian wrote in 248 or 249 A.D. "Non faenerabis fratri tuo usurum pecuniae et usuram ciborum"—"We must not practice interest."5
In the 5th and 6th centuries we have the writings of many religious leaders who completely condemn the taking of any kind of interest.6
The Catholic church banned interest until 1830. Augustine in his City of God, Bk. III, chapt. 17 related how the worst measure of oppression in the Roman Empire during the Punic wars of all the many oppressive measures was "The people overwhelmed...most of all by usury..."
The Anabaptist churches although they disagreed with the Catholic church over many issues, saw eye to eye with the Catholics concerning interest taking. Only in recent times have many of them lost the teaching that interest is evil.
One of the first important assemblies of Christians after the Apostles was the Council of Nicene. This Council forbid usury (interest) to the clergy with these words, "Whoever of the clergy, for filty Lucres sake, exerciseth Usury, let him be Disposed."7
The 44th of the Apostolic Canons and the 1st Council of Aries (314 A.D.) prohibited it in the same way.
The reformers Menno Simons, Martin Luther and Zwingli were agreed on one thing. They all condemned interest.
Martin Luther-"When money is lent and a charge made or more taken back than was originally made over, that is usury, and as such is condemned by every law...nor can they (interest takers) be saved unless they do penance" "the devil invented it," and anyone who charges interest is "a thief, robber and murderer."9 "Rents are but the 'fig leaves' behind which usury hides its shame".10 "Money is an unfruitful commodity which I cannot sell in such a way
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