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Ep. 179 What Does the Bible Say About Taxation?

Nick Watts has a Master of Divinity degree from Queensland Theological College. He talks with Bob about his book, which argues that the Bible claims that taxation is tantamount to slavery. Interestingly, Nick went into his project as a conservative small government man and emerged as a Rothbardian who has no political ruler except Christ the King.

Mentioned in the Episode and Other Links of Interest:

The audio production for this episode was provided by Podsworth Media.

About the author, Robert

Christian and economist, Research Assistant Professor with the Free Market Institute at Texas Tech, Senior Fellow with the Mises Institute, and co-host with Tom Woods of the podcast "Contra Krugman."


  1. Jack on 02/08/2021 at 4:05 PM

    I’m not a regular listener, but this is probably my favorite episode so far.

  2. Tim Cryer on 02/08/2021 at 8:51 PM

    Thanks for sharing this thoughtful, podcast on taxation!

  3. Taylor on 02/08/2021 at 11:02 PM

    This was a great episode and it seems Nick is doing exactly the kind of work that needs to be done. Too often libertarians offer a relatively facile interpretation of key biblical texts without regard to the history of interpretation or the canons of rigorous exegesis. The episode convinced me to pick up his book and dig a little deeper. I expect lots of agreement and perhaps some disagreement (specifically about his characterization of the period of the judges, which the Bible does not view favorably and many biblical scholars believe Judges was written in part as an argument for the Davidic monarchy). Anyway, I’m glad there’s someone else out there who’s willing to dig into the text and wrestle with the serious questions that Christian libertarians need to grapple with if we’re to remain faithful to God’s word.

  4. Duncan on 02/09/2021 at 7:12 AM

    Awesome episode!

  5. Paul on 02/10/2021 at 4:46 AM

    Is this episode out on Spotify? I don’t see it, actually I don’t see any episode since “David Andolfatto Defends the Fed”.

  6. Geir Agustsson on 02/10/2021 at 8:07 AM

    Great episode. I saw a lot of parallels to David Friedman’s discussion on medevil Iceland (from approx. 900 to 1200 AC), see e.g. here:

    Iceland had not official religion until the year 1000. And no state. Laws were decided and enforced by private means. Once Christianity was enforced/established, the first tax came about – the tithe. This provided a source of money to captains who could finance enlargements of their estates and large scale armies, and the whole thing came crashing down, ending with the king of Norway taking custody of Iceland in 1264.

  7. Tel on 02/10/2021 at 10:44 AM

    If God gave us free will, then it’s our job to decide which authorities are legitimate and which are bogus … because God wants us to make that choice.

    On the other hand, if we evolved our free and intellect will over millions of years then these things must confer a survival advantage … in that case anyone who doesn’t make the right decision will end up dead.

    • Tel on 02/10/2021 at 10:46 AM

      I wanted to type “free will and intellect” but got distracted partway through.

  8. David Entingh on 02/10/2021 at 9:33 PM

    Nick mentions an author at 44:35 who wrote a book regarding Information Theory -> Biology. What book is it? i can’t figure out how to google the guy’s name.

    • clort on 02/13/2021 at 1:02 PM

      I think i found it:
      “In the Beginning was Information” by Gitt Werner

      I would appreciate if Bob would approve this informative and topical post.

  9. John Mann on 02/15/2021 at 9:21 AM

    As others have said, this was an excellent episode, with very helpful consideration of what the Bible has to say about government and the state.

    I wonder if you could invite Nick back to talk about the response among his Christian friends and associates.

  10. Will on 02/21/2021 at 3:16 AM

    I think that once you discard the detritus of Christian theology that developed to try and legitimize Christianity to those in power and return just strictly to the scriptures that it becomes clear that Jesus openly taught that taxation is immoral because all things belong to God alone.

  11. Lee on 02/28/2021 at 3:34 PM

    Like a few others, this also is my favorite episode so far. I’ve put the book on my reading list, and sharing this with my (not there yet, but liberty-leaning) pastor.

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