From DBSJ 21 (2016); posted with permission. Read the series.
Implications for the Church’s Social Responsibilities
Does this passage have any contemporary significance? It has direct significance on the matter of caring for widows today. But it has additional significance in offering principles for broader issues for the church’s social responsibilities.
Caring for Widows Today
Since Paul’s teaching does not seem linked solely to local culture and since it parallels the practice of the early church in Jerusalem (Acts 6), churches should take seriously the responsibility to care for true widows as described in this passage. Caring for widows will most likely be an increasing issue for churches.