The Bible has much to say about, and many examples of, taxes. God’s plan for taxation in ancient Israel was compassionate, effective, and limited. Modern thinkers, policy makers, and voters would do well to move American, Western, and world tax and government policies closer to what our ancestors would recognize.
By Mark D. Harris
Governments, like people, have always tried to procure as many resources as possible from everywhere they could. Resources ranged from beautiful things (seashells, beads, precious metals, precious stones) to products (grain, wine, cotton) to labor (forced labor, slavery). Taxation is, by definition, involuntary. Freewill offerings, such as what the Hebrews gave to build the tabernacle (Exodus 35:20-35), are not included in this discussion.
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Genealogies and census data are some of the most skipped parts of the Bible. They are still important. Here’s why.
By Mark D, Harris
Every year my wife and I read through the Bible. Some sections fly by, such as the stories of Goliath, the fiery furnace, and the raising of Lazarus. Other parts crawl, like the sacrificial system in Leviticus. The slowest portions of all are the genealogies and the census data. “How?” we ask ourselves, “does knowing that Mikloth became the father of Shimeam, and that they lived with relatives in Jerusalem (1 Chronicles 9:38) impact my life as a Christian?” Likewise, we struggle to care that “The priests, the sons of Jedaiah of the house of Jeshua, (numbered) 973 (Nehemiah 7:39)?” Isn’t this a waste of space in a book that calls itself the word of the Almighty God?
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