The Christian Commentary of the Ferengi Fathers

Though thoroughly pagan, Ferengi culture is very rich. While the love of money and of what tickles the ears leads to many sins and errors, the brilliance of hidden treasure may still be glimpsed shining forth through dirt. Like St. Justin Martyr wrote, God has planted “seeds of truth”, seeds of the Logos, within all pre-Christian peoples in preparation for the fullness of the Gospel.

Let us examine how aphorisms found within Ferengi society’s most influential text (Grand Nagus Gint’sThe Rules of Acquisition”) sometimes point, even despite themselves, to revealed Christian truths. I doubt many Ferengi will forgive me if my interpretations here are too generous, but I hope that many may gain some profit from them.



Jesus called them. So they left their father Zebedee in the boat along with the hired men and followed him.

Rule #6: Never allow family to stand in the way of opportunity.


“Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice.”

Rule #7: Keep your ears open.


“You have drunk, but have not been exhilarated;
have clothed yourselves, but not been warmed;
and he who earned wages earned them
for a bag with holes in it.”

Rule #19: Satisfaction is not guaranteed.


“I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish.   No one can take them out of my hand.”

Rule #42: What’s mine is mine.


“I do not pray for the world but for the ones you have given me, because they are yours, and everything of mine is yours and everything of yours is mine, and I have been glorified in them.”

Rule #43: What’s yours can be mine.


Jesus said, “Father, glorify your name!” Then a voice came from heaven, “I have glorified it and will glorify it again.” The crowd there heard it and said it was thunder, but others said, “An angel has spoken to him.”

Rule #44: Never confuse wisdom with luck.


On that day, there broke out a severe persecution of the church in Jerusalem, and all were scattered throughout the countryside of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles.

Rule #45: Expand or Die.


As Jesus passed on from there, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the customs post. He said to him, “Follow me.” And he got up and followed him.

Rule #46: Make your shop easy to find.


“God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life.”

Rule #49: Everything is worth something to somebody.


The angel said to the women at the tomb, “I know that you are seeking Jesus the crucified. He is not here, for he has been raised… Go quickly and tell his disciples he has been raised from the dead… Behold, I have told you.”

Rule #55: Advertise.


“Are you the only visitor to Jerusalem who does not know of the things that have taken place there in these days?!”
And Jesus replied to them, “What sort of things?”

Rule #56: Be discreet.


“You must not distort justice: you shall not show partiality; you shall not take a bribe, for a bribe blinds the eyes even of the wise and twists the words even of the just.”

Rule #61: Never underestimate the power of bribery.


“We speak God’s wisdom, mysterious, hidden, which God predetermined before the ages for our glory, and which none of the rulers of this age knew; for if they had known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.”

Rule #85: Never let the competition know what you’re thinking.


“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and decay destroy, and thieves break in and steal. But store up treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor decay destroys, nor thieves break in and steal.”

Rule #90: The Divine Treasury awaits.


In those days John the Baptist appeared, preaching in the desert of Judea saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand! … Even now the ax lies at the root of the trees.”

Rule #93: Act without delay! The sharp knife cuts quickly.


“Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you… Then your reward will be great and you will be children of the Most High, for he himself is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked.”

Rule #118: There is no profit in revenge.


“[Jesus Christ] emptied himself… he humbled himself, becoming obedient to death, even death on a cross. Because of this, God greatly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name…”

Rule #154: Pain passes, but profits remain.


After they had crucified him, they divided his garments by casting lots…

Rule #162: Even in the worst of times, someone turns a profit.


Behold, the angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Rise, take the child and his mother, flee to Egypt, and stay there until I tell you. Herod is going to search for the child to destroy him.”
Joseph rose and took the child and his mother by night and departed for Egypt.

Rule #173: Dream, plan, believe, act.


“Which of you wishing to construct a tower does not first sit down and calculate the cost to see if there is enough for its completion? Otherwise, after laying the foundation and finding himself unable to finish the work the onlookers should laugh at him… In the same way, everyone of you who does not renounce all his possessions cannot be my disciple.”

Rule #195: You can’t jump a twenty foot gorge in two ten foot jumps.


“I give praise to you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, for although you have hidden these things from the wise and the learned you have revealed them to the childlike.”

Rule #207: Sense without education is better than education without sense.


The high priest asked him and said to him, “Are you the Messiah, the son of the Blessed One?”
Then Jesus answered, “I am;
and ‘you will see the Son of Man
seated at the right hand of the Power
and coming with the clouds of heaven.”

Rule #208: Sometimes the only thing more dangerous than a question, is an answer.


When the wine ran short, the mother of Jesus said to him, “They have no wine.”
Jesus said to her, “Woman, how does your concern affect me? My hour has not yet come.”
His mother said to the servers, “Do whatever he tells you.”

Rule #225: Always follow one step ahead.


(On the pride of Goliath and Absalom)

Rule #235: Duck; death is tall.


“Do not give what is holy to dogs, or throw your pearls before swine, lest they trample them underfoot, and turn and tear you to pieces.”

Rule #250: Precious things are for those that can prize them.


“Put to death, then, the parts of you that are earthly: immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and the greed that is idolatry. Because of these the wrath of God is coming upon the disobedient.”

Rule #257: Despise the things you cannot have.


“After this I had a vision of a great multitude, which no one could count, from every nation, race, people, and tongue. They stood before the throne and before the Lamb, wearing white robes and holding palm branches in their hands.”

Rule #276: Overbooking is standard practice.


4 Responses to “The Christian Commentary of the Ferengi Fathers”

  1. Keith Kitzhaber Says:

    Well, NOW I have to go watch some Star Trek DS9.

  2. Doug Pruner Says:

    The command from our Lord Jesus- not a suggestion- was to preach the good news of his Father’s Kingdom.
    Mt 28:19,29; 24:14. “… all the things I taught you …” Not popular fiction, no matter how popular.

    • Fr. Victor Feltes Says:

      Actor Chris Pratt said in this smart, criticized, God-honoring acceptance speech to a young MTV audience who unlikely read the Bible, “When giving a dog medicine, put the medicine in a piece of hamburger; they won’t even know they’re eating medicine.

      Like St. Paul said, “I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some. All this I do for the sake of the gospel, so that I too may have a share in it.

  3. Doug Pruner Says:

    Paul left us two examples that I know of that illustrate his attitude toward preaching “to the gentiles”, his main assignment. (Eph 3:1,2) In Acts 17, his audience was a group of gentile philosophers and skeptics which gave him a chance to put to good use his considerable knowledge of the world. (He wasn’t always a Christian.) Note how he did so.

    Please read Acts 17 for the context. In v. 28 he quoted from two poets familiar to his Greek audience, Aratus and Cleanthes. “for we are also his [God’s] progeny.” (Cleanthes’ poem was entitled “Hymn to Zeus” BTW. This gave him a good segue from his introduction at vv. 22,23.)

    The quote illustrated an acknowledgement that even imperfect philosophy recognized a claim of fatherhood by the gods, and especially to Zeus. Much of the rest of his speech discusses the consequences of that. He doesn’t quote any more from these poets, and certainly not anything that would contradict the Bible’s word of truth. (John 17:17)

    Then at 1Cor 15:32 he quotes a proverbial phrase common then as well as now: “let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we are to die.” This has been attributed to the Epicurean philosophers, and it’s said to have been ‘adopted’ by condemned gladiators. In either case it goes against the teaching that [only] Christians have a true hope of everlasting life. (John 17:3) This in fact was his point in most of ch. 15.

    To paraphrase Acts 10:15, I know Jesus and am acquainted with Paul, but who is Pratt? Or, to quote more pop culture, “A spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go down … In a most delightful way.” Works for dogs and children, and I’ve had both. But this “medicine” – the Gospel- is not effective without the full understanding and cooperation of the patient/recipient. None before the age of understanding.

    Finally, THE END IS NEAR, brother! Are you ready?
    Socked by virus, comic book industry tries to draw next page
    Read the sad quote from Mr. Steve Geppi, whom you may know. Full disclosure: as a child, I subscribed to The Phantom and Little Lulu for a few years. Good writing.

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