Under United States Bankruptcy law, those with debt can ask the court to relieve them of some or all of their debt that is owed to their creditors. This debt is a contract that originates between a debtor and a creditor, thus a promise is made that the debtor will repay what they have borrowed from the creditor. The Biblical principles of contract are few, but they are essential: the sanctity of promise, the right of contract, the necessity of an agreement and of consideration.Herbert W. Titus,God, Man, and Law: The Biblical Principles,204 (6th ed. 2018).Therefore the right to enter into a contract is a right given by God and should be fulfilled as God would fulfill his promises. Whether the United States Bankruptcy law of debt relief is consistent with Biblical views is one that can be seen in different perspectives.In one aspect, Ecclesiastes states that"When you vow a vow to God, do not delay paying it, for he has no pleasure in fools. Pay what you vow.It is better that you should not vow than that you should vow and not pay."Ecclesiastes5:4-6 (ESV). This portrays the stance that you are responsible to pay for that to which you vow and the idea of bankruptcy is not consistent with the Biblical views of contracts. On the other hand there are several Biblical verses that address the topic of debt forgiveness. Examples of these verses include "And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors."Matthew6:12 (NIV) and"At the end of every seven years you must cancel debts. This is how it is to be done: Every creditor shall cancel any loan they have made to a fellow Israelite. They shall not require payment from anyone among their own people, because the Lord's time for canceling debts has been proclaimed.Deuteronomy15:1-3 (NIV). These verses present the view that God was aware that some circumstances may require the altering of contracts or relief of debt.
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