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Monday, January 25, 2016

What the New Testament says about paying taxes

Matthew 22:17 Tell us therefore, what do you think? Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, or not?”
18 But Jesus perceived their wickedness, and said, “Why do you test me, you hypocrites? 19  Show me the tax money.”
They brought to him a denarius.
20 He asked them, “Whose is this image and inscription?”
21 They said to him, “Caesar’s.”
Then he said to them, “Give therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.”

This episode is repeated, almost word for word, in Mark 12:13-17 and Luke 20:21-25

Jesus was not speaking of paying taxes to an elected government, but to a foreign occupying government.

Romans 13:3 For rulers are not a terror to the good work, but to the evil. Do you desire to have no fear of the authority? Do that which is good, and you will have praise from the authority, 4 for he is a servant of God to you for good. But if you do that which is evil, be afraid, for he doesn’t bear the sword in vain; for he is a servant of God, an avenger for wrath to him who does evil. 5 Therefore you need to be in subjection, not only because of the wrath, but also for conscience’ sake. 6 For this reason you also pay taxes, for they are servants of God’s service, continually doing this very thing. 7 Therefore give everyone what you owe: if you owe taxes, pay taxes; if customs, then customs; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor. 


All quotations from the World English Bible, public domain. A more comprehensive post, on what the Bible says about politics, is here. Thanks for reading.

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