God and/or Caesar?

  • Walter E. Pilgrim


It is a common assumption among interpreters that the New Testament has two contrasting positions toward the state: the attitude of subordination found in Paul and related texts, and the call to resistance in Revelation. The New Testament has, in addition, a third attitude toward the state found in the gospels and the memory of Jesus’ life and teaching: the attitude of critical distancing from those in power. The purpose of this chapter is to examine the evidence in the New Testament for each of these positions. Then ways will be suggested, amid the diversity, for contemporary Christians to determine their faithful responses in their own times and places.1


Critical Distance Political Authority Civil Authority Passion History Ultimate Loyalty 
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  1. 2.
    Robert M. Grant, The Apostolic Fathers, vol. 2 (New York: Thomas Nelson, 1964 ), 2: 91.Google Scholar
  2. 15.
    Pilgrim, Good News to the Poor ( Minneapolis, MN: Augsburg, 1981 ).Google Scholar

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© Michael G. Long and Tracy Wenger Sadd 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Walter E. Pilgrim

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