The aim of this paper is to demonstrate the importance and feasibility of applying Old Testament teaching on socio economic issues to contemporary western societies. The paper falls into three parts. The first looks at Old Testament Israel's social structure and in particular the structure and role of the family. The second examines whether and how to apply Israel's institutions and values to society in the twentieth century. And the third illustrates the way this can be done for several areas of British economic and social policy in the 1980s.