Jesus and Empire

Christopher Bryan

in Render to Caesar

Published in print July 2005 | ISBN: 9780195183344
Published online July 2005 | e-ISBN: 9780199835584 | DOI:
Jesus and Empire

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Jesus appeared as a prophet, proclaiming the Kingdom (Sovereignty) of God. As regards foreign rule over Israel, he stood within the biblical and prophetic tradition and seems to have accepted the second option noted in chapter 2: he accepted such rule but challenged rulers to remember why they held power and to whom they were answerable. Thus he is delighted when Zacchaeus the tax collector reforms, but does not suggest Zacchaeus stop working for Rome. He regards payment of Caesar’s head-tax as “permitted.” He accepts the faith of the centurion, described in terms of the latter’s service to imperial authority. Jesus is nowhere portrayed as attacking the imperial system. There is no evidence that his healing miracles symbolized the overthrow of Rome.

Keywords: Caesar; Centurion; Head-tax; Healing; Jesus; Kingdom of God; Miracles; Prophet; Rome; Zacchaeus

Chapter.  7002 words. 

Subjects: Early Christianity

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