Governments: A Lightening Survey of the New Testament Perspective

Coin of Pontius Pilate. For black and white tr...Image via WikipediaI noted, in a previous post, that the texts usually cited as teaching Christians to obey and respect the state governments (Romans 13 and 1 Peter 2) needed to read in the context of a broader New Testament perspective on governments, which is overwhelmingly negative.

A quick overview of this "negative" material, by way of a follow on, seemed appropriate. No doubt many more examples could be cited than these:

  • Herod is portrayed in the gospels as brutal, power-hungry and murderous - most notoriously in the slaying of the innocents
  • A later Herod is sexually immoral and has John the Baptist executed at a whim
  • Pilate is a schemer, responsible for the execution of the Son of God
  • The Sanhedrin are blind guides, oppressors of widows and inwardly corrupt
  • Roman provincial authorities imprison the apostles repeatedly and collaborate in the execution of the apostle James
  • Roman and Jewish authorities conspire to imprison the apostle Paul and hold him without trial for over two years
  • Paul and Barnabas are arrested and imprisoned in Phillipi on trumped up charges
  • John's Revelation portrays the Roman Empire as a lustful, bloody monster, guilty of the slaying of multitudes of saints

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