Exegetical extras: Give back to Caesar

Exegetical extras are interesting facts about or alternative interpretations of a particular Scripture passage. They’re here for interest value or to stretch our thinking. Just because something appears here doesn’t mean I’m persuaded it’s correct, just intrigued… Exegetical extras will be posted whenever I come across something interesting. 

Take a look at the well-known confrontation of Jesus and the Pharisees in Matt 22:15-22. This is an “honour challenge” in which the Pharisees try to trap Jesus. They ask him whether it’s right to pay the imperial tax, thinking that whatever answer Jesus gives he’ll lose. If he says “no,” they have evidence to take to Pilate that he’s anti-Rome. If he says “yes,” then the crowds will be less-than-impressed, as they had been seeing Jesus as a Messiah figure – and top of the list for any Messiah was to get rid of the Roman overlords!

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