Pay taxes (Rom 13:6)

“Thus,

For the same reason,

You also pay taxes.

The authorities

Are God’s servants,

Attending to this very thing.”

διὰ τοῦτο γὰρ καὶ φόρους τελεῖτε· λειτουργοὶ γὰρ Θεοῦ εἰσιν εἰς αὐτὸ τοῦτο προσκαρτεροῦντες.

Paul said that for the same reason (διὰ τοῦτο γὰρ), they should also pay (τελεῖτε) taxes (καὶ φόρους).  These authorities are God’s servants (λειτουργοὶ γὰρ Θεοῦ εἰσιν), attending to this very thing of running the government (εἰς αὐτὸ τοῦτο προσκαρτεροῦντες).  Only the Pauline letters used this word λειτουργοὶ, that means a public servant, a minister, a servant, an official character, like priests or Levites.  Paul reminded the Roman Christians that because the civil authorities were God’s servants, they should pay their local taxes.  As God’s servants, they were performing a public service, by paying attention to running the various government agencies.  The early Christians were not exempt from their civic duty of paying taxes to civil local Roman authorities.  There was no religious exemption from paying taxes for churches in Roman society.  Do you like to pay local, state, and federal taxes?

The question about taxes (Mt 22:17-22:17)

“Tell us!

Then,

What do you think?

Is it lawful

To pay taxes

To Caesar

Or not?”

 

εἰπὸν οὖν ἡμῖν, τί σοι δοκεῖ; ἔξεστιν δοῦναι κῆνσον Καίσαρι ἢ οὔ;

 

This is similar to Mark, chapter 12:14, and Luke, chapter 20:22, but slightly different.  Then these Pharisee disciples and the Herodians tried to trick Jesus.  They wanted to know what Jesus thought about the Roman tax.  They asked him (εἰπὸν οὖν ἡμῖν) what did he think (τί σοι δοκεῖ).  Was it lawful to pay the poll tax to Caesar or not (ἔξεστιν δοῦναι κῆνσον Καίσαρι ἢ οὔ)?  Rome had an annual personal census tax of one denarius worth about $1.50 USA, not that much.  However, many of the Roman tax collectors were considered sinners.  Jesus, on the other hand, had a milder view of these tax collectors.  He appeared to accept the Roman rule and its taxing policies.  As the political party of the Romans, the Herodians, and the Israelites, the Pharisees, were there.  Thus, his answer might offend someone.