The Temple Tax
(Taxes, tithes, tributes, extortion, slavery, oh my!)
Silver Stock Report
by Jason Hommel, June 23rd, 2011
The Temple Tax
24 After Jesus and his disciples arrived in Capernaum, the collectors of the two-drachma (half shekel) tax came to Peter and asked, "Doesn't your teacher pay the temple tax?"
I have a few observations.
1. Jesus disputed this tax. He said, "The sons are exempt." As sons of God through the King of Kings, we are exempt, too. John 1:12 says: "But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name." Christians are the "sons of God" according to all of the following passages: Galatians 3:26, Romans 8:14, Philippians 2:15, Hebrews 12:7, 1 John 3:1-2.
2. This was not a secular, Rome-imposed income tax. This was a Temple tax, a religious tax, for atonement and for a memorial, and Jesus disputed even this tax.
Exodus 30:15 The rich are not to give more than a half shekel and the poor are not to give less when you make the offering to the LORD to atone for your lives.
See also: Exodus 38:26
3. This was a flat tax, not a graduated income tax. The rich and poor paid the same amount. This is like the head tax, or capitation tax, in the US Constitution; it's supposed to be the same for everyone, too.
4. It was a tiny per person tax, a small silver coin, a half shekel, that weighs about 6 grams, or about 20% of a troy ounce, and as of June, 2011, with silver at $35/oz., that would be about $7 per coin, per adult male, per year.
(Aside: 30 Shekels, the amount Judas was paid to betray Jesus, would have been about 6 troy ounces of silver.)
Thus, anyone who uses this passage to justify graduated income taxes is lying, or deceived.
5. Jesus did not pay the tax for any of the other disciples, only Peter and Jesus, nor did Jesus command, nor help, his other disciples to pay this tax.
6. Why would they have been offended if Jesus and Peter did not pay? Why did Jesus actually pay the tax, if Jesus disputed it? Was it because Peter said that Jesus does pay this tax? If Jesus didn't pay the tax, wouldn't Jesus have made Peter, his own representative, a liar? And we know that God cannot lie. Was Jesus covering for the error and indebtedness of Peter, becoming surety for his friend? Didn't Peter sometimes make mistakes and need correction, such as in Galatians by Paul? In other words, Jesus saved Peter from Peter's verbal obligation, by providing the coin in the fish that required Peter to go fishing to get the coin in the mouth of the fish.
7. Other people say that the Bible is clear, and that this passage proves you need to pay income taxes. But I think they must be missing a basic principle of Bible interpretation. Specifically, Jesus spoke in parables, and did so to hide understanding:
Mat 13:10 And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables?
Mat 11:25 At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes.
It would be the epitome of assumption, the arrogance of ignorance, or the sliminess of willful deception, to even suggest that since Jesus disputed paying taxes to God's real temple, that Jesus somehow demanded the paying income taxes, which would be 1000's of times more, to the Emperor of Rome, who declared himself to be God, and thus anti-Christ, and the enemy of God.
In conclusion, if you disagree with me, then please stock up on silver, so that you will be able to pay your silver taxes to the Temple in Israel. 8-)
You can buy silver from us at www.jhmint.com