Milking a starving cow? : an investigation of the attitude of Jesus towards taxes in first century Palestine and its implications for the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania (ELCT), Konde Diocese.
Kimondo, Stephen Simon
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Taxation was one of the crucial issues facing the first century Palestinian peasantry. In particular, the Galilean peasantry suffered under a triple tax system: tribute to Rome, taxes to support the Herodian administration, and the Temple tithes and taxes. These taxes were not used for the well being of the people, but were a means for the ruling class and Temple leaders to enrich themselves. The wealthier the ruling and Temple elites became, the poorer the peasants became. The burden of taxation forced the peasants to borrow. This would later lead them into a state of indebtedness, landlessness, debt-slavery and finally, into severe poverty. It is against this background that we explore Jesus' response towards taxes in his words and deeds. After investigating the response of Jesus towards taxes, this study examines how Jesus' response challenges the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania (ELCT) - Konde diocese in its handling of taxation issues in its context.