Wall Street: Looking at Finance with a Biblical Lens

Photo by Vlada Karpovich

Ron Tank teaches us all about investing for the right reasons, but what do people think about Wall Street? Maybe it’s past time to look at it properly through a Biblical lens.

Wall Street is the world’s premier financial center. It is often seen as the symbol of capitalism and the endless pursuit of wealth. Yet, what many people don’t realize is that this institution is actually deeply rooted in Biblical principles.

When looking through a Biblical lens, you will discover that the very values that led to Wall Street’s establishment—hard work, honesty, integrity—are specific virtues that the Bible espouses.

A History of Wall Street

The history of Wall Street can be traced back to the early 17th century when Dutch settlers built a wall to protect New Amsterdam (present-day New York) from attacks by the Native Americans. The area around the wall quickly became a center of commerce. By the 18th century, it was home to a number of banks and trading houses. In 1792, the New York Stock Exchange was formed, which would later become the world’s largest stock exchange.

The 19th century saw a period of rapid growth for Wall Street, as the city of New York became a major center of international trade and finance. When the Erie Canal was constructed, it led to a boom in the city’s financial sector, and Wall Street became the center of this activity.

The 20th century was a time of even greater growth for Wall Street. While it was hampered by the Great Depression, the market recovered in the years leading up to World War II and played a key role in the economic expansion of the 1950s and 1960s.

Today, some of the world’s largest banks and financial firms can be found on Wall Street. A major engine of the global economy, Wall Street provides capital to businesses of all sizes, and it helps to allocate resources efficiently throughout the global economy. 

Wall Street through a Biblical Lens

The Bible is full of verses that encourage hard work and diligence. For example, Proverbs 12:24 says that diligent hands are the ones who will rule, while the slothful can only offer tribute. In Proverbs 13:4, it is said that the sluggard’s soul will have nothing, while the diligent soul will grow fat. These verses reflect the Biblical emphasis that hard work is essential for success and a good, moral life.

Through a Biblical lens, there is an emphasis on the importance of possessing honesty and integrity. According to Proverbs 11:1, unfairness is abominable in the eyes of the Lord, while being just and impartial is something He is delighted about. Similarly, in Proverbs 20:7, if a man is just and possesses integrity, the generations that follow him will be blessed. These verses echo the Bible’s urging towards justice and fairness, both foundations for a just and prosperous society.

The values of hard work, honesty, and integrity are all essential for a successful financial system like Wall Street to function, especially as a global financial hub.

  • In the world of finance, success comes to those who are willing to put in the long hours and hard work. This is reflected in the fact that many of the most successful Wall Street professionals are known for their work ethic and dedication.
  • Honesty is also essential for a healthy financial system. When investors trust that financial information is accurate and companies are acting in their best interests, they are more likely to invest in the market. This, in turn, leads to increased economic activity, creating a virtuous cycle.
  • Integrity is another key ingredient for a successful financial system. When financial institutions operate with integrity, they gain the trust of investors and regulators. This trust is essential for a stable and prosperous financial system.

A More Biblically Accurate Look at Finance

While Wall Street is a vital institution not only for the United States but for the globe, it is not without its challenges. As Christians, we must be discerning about our investments and ensure that we are not supporting companies that engage in unethical or harmful practices. We should also be mindful of the potential impact of our investments on the broader economy and society.

Wall Street is a complex and ever-changing institution. However, the fundamental values that underpin it—hard work, honesty, and integrity—are all rooted in the Bible. These values are essential for a successful financial system that can promote economic growth and prosperity for all.

Ultimately, Wall Street can be a force for good in the world. But it is up to us, as Christians, to use our influence to ensure that it operates in accordance with Biblical principles.


If you are looking for ways to start investing for the right reasons, Ron Tank is your man. Through his books and seminars, you, too, can start engaging with finance through a Biblical lens.

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