Paul L. Caron

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Miller: Taxation in the Bible

BibleGeoffrey P. Miller (NYU), Taxation in the Bible, in Oxford Encyclopedia of the Bible and Law:

Given the range of biblical references, contested issues of sources and dating, and limited information about legal institutions and social practices, conclusions about taxation in the Bible must be drawn with caution. The available information, however, suggests that taxation was an important aspect of public administration in biblical Israel.

Scholarship, Tax | Permalink

TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Miller: Taxation in the Bible:


But no mention of Genesis Chapter 47 and Joseph's 20% flat tax.

Posted by: Bob | Nov 27, 2012 12:54:17 PM

But if the taxes were too onerous, the subject population could become restive or rebel, as in the cases of the Maccabean uprising and the Jewish revolts against Rome.

So, what they're saying is that the Tea Party has its roots in the Bible.

Posted by: Woody | Nov 27, 2012 8:07:41 PM

Nice one, though I do not really understand the section on progressivity: a taxation "according to their assessments" implies a graduation of the absolute amount of tax, not the rate, therefore a proportional rather than a progressive tax. Same as a tithe already in the literal sense implies a proportional rate, and generally - if measured according to productivity - would not target wealth as such, but rather (a specific form of) income.

Posted by: dare | Nov 28, 2012 12:13:13 AM

I agree with woody 10% of gross exemptions, no deductions....10% of everything you make....and what an easy return to tax big deal......write your congressman

Posted by: Sid | Nov 28, 2012 5:46:44 PM

To call the enslavement of the Jews in Egypt a "tax" is a bit naive. Similarly, the revolt led by Judah Maccabee against the Greeks and later the Syrians was against the process of Hellenization in Judaea, and in response to the persecutions imposed by the king, but certainly not a tax revolt. I guess the way surgeons always see a reason to operate, tax guys always see a Boston Tea Party in every war.

Posted by: Len | Nov 29, 2012 6:14:28 AM

Miller states the opinion that Jesus *shared* the Jews' antipathy towards tax collectors. I think it is more accurate to say that Jesus *recognized* the Jews' antipathy towards tax collectors.

Posted by: Kenneth | Jan 23, 2013 9:44:17 AM