Roman Influence on the Birth of Christianity

Taxes to Rome

  • A notable theme in the New Testament writings is the numerous positive, obedient, and acceptant references towards paying taxes to Rome.[1]

  • Jesus was referred to as a “friend of tax collectors.”[2]

  • When Jesus was asked if it was lawful to pay taxes to Rome, Jesus responded, “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s.” [3]

  • In another written story regarding the payment of the half-shekel tax,[4] Jesus instructs Peter to pay for both of them, taking special care not to give offense to the collector.

  • One of the twelve disciples was highlighted as being a tax collector (Matthew/Levi).[5]

  • While staying the night in Jericho, Jesus stayed with the chief tax collector, Zacchaeus.[6]

  • The Jewish people detested paying taxes to Rome – many even considering the profession of tax collector as sinful.

  • Jesus’ teachings and actions were well in line with Roman goals to change this attitude.

[1] Matthew 9:9-10 11:19 17:24-27 21:31 22:17-21, Mark 2:14-15 12:14-17, Luke 3:13 5:27-29 7:29 7:34 15:1 18:10-13 19:1-10 20:22-25

[2] Matthew 11:19, Luke 7:34

[3] Matthew 22:21, Mark 12:17, Luke 20:25

[4] Matthew 17:24-27

[5] Matthew 9:9-10

[6] Luke 19:1-7


Historical Discussion
In Depth

Historical Context

Dating the Gospels

I Was a Sunday-School Spy

The Crucifixion (animation)

Post Appearance of Jesus

Who Did Jesus Curse-Praise


Submissiveness to Oppression

John the Baptist

Admirable and Amazing Works

The Term Gospel

Jewish Judgment

Pilate's Defense (animation)

Roman Soldiers at the Tomb

Migration of Christianity to Rome

Irony of Faith

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