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Christian Biblical Studies

 

 

F.F. BRUCE ON THE ROMAN PEACE

 

F.F. Bruce New Testament History (New York: Anchor Books;

1972; p. 40).

 

‘There were . . . special reasons why the Roman peace was less attractive to the people of Judaea than to many other provincials; it is doubtful if there were any other subjects of Rome on whom the burden of tribute to Caesar bore so heavily as it did on them. The weight of their double tribute, ‘to Caesar and to God’, as it might have been put, combined with other forms of taxation administered by extortionate publicani to bring the province to the brink of economic collapse. Popular resentment was felt not only against the Romans but against the wealthy landed proprietors who prospered at the expense of their poorer fellow-countrymen; this is perhaps the situation which called forth the outburst against the rich in James 5: 1-6. The successive Zealot revolts, culminating in the war of A.D. 66, were directed almost as much against the Jewish ‘establishment’ as against the occupying power.

 

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