Monthly Archives: December 2009

Obedience to the state; An exegetical exploration of Romans 13.

“There is the indigenous law and government of Israel on the one hand and there is the global empire of Caesar on the other. The two are not the same thing yet they are both lumped in together in Christendom’s interpretation of Romans 13.”

It seems to me that the principle of submission to government, that many rely on Romans 13 to justify, is a direct contradiction to the principle of the radical sovereignty the Kingdom of God that underpins the rest of the New Testament, and indeed the Old Testament too.

The easy conclusion to draw is that the religious authorities of the Roman Empire inserted passages such as Romans 13 into the text to legitimise the authority of the Roman state.

However, after an examination of the Greek vocabulary used in Romans 13, it appears that the ideology of Rome has simply miss-interpreted and de-contextualised a teaching that is fully in accord with the radical sovereignty of Jesus. In fact, the radical sovereignty of the Kingdom of God over and above state and empire is its essential point. Continue reading