Sacred Texts  Christianity  Early Church Fathers  Index  Previous  Next 

Chapter XVII.—Christ taught civil obedience.

And everywhere we, more readily than all men, endeavour to pay to those appointed by you the taxes both ordinary and extraordinary, 1800 as we have been taught by Him; for at that time some came to Him and asked Him, if one ought to pay tribute to Cæsar; and He answered, “Tell Me, whose image does the coin bear?” And they said, “Cæsar’s.” And again He answered them, “Render therefore to Cæsar the things that are Cæsar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” 1801 Whence to God alone we render worship, but in other things we gladly serve you, acknowledging you as kings and rulers of men, and praying that with your kingly power you be found to possess also sound judgment. But if you pay no regard to our prayers and frank explanations, we shall suffer no loss, since we believe (or rather, indeed, are persuaded) that every man will suffer punishment in eternal fire according to the merit of his deed, and will render account according to the power he has received from God, as Christ intimated when He said, “To whom God has given more, of him shall more be required.” 1802



φόρους καὶ εἰσφοράς. The former is the annual tribute; the latter, any occasional assessment. See Otto’s Note, and Thucyd. iii. 19.


Matt. 22:17, 19, 20, 21.


Luke xii. 48.

Next: Chapter XVIII.—Proof of immortality...