Most people who refer use the phrase “render unto Caesar” don’t consider the biblical account in its context—either its biblical context, or historical context. This causes considerable misunderstanding and confusion about the issue of legitimate Authority among Christians.

The Context

The confrontation (Matt. 22:15–22) takes place in the setting of a larger narrative about Jesus’ triumphal ascent to Jerusalem (Matt 21:1–23:39). As soon as he gets there he enters the temple “and drove out all who sold and bought in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money-changers and the seats of those who sold pigeons.

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