And to God

After writing yesterday’s post about Mark 12:13-17, I became curious whether all Bible translators choose to head this as a story about taxes or giving oneself to God. This is what I found:

New International Version Paying Taxes to Caesar
New American Standard Bible Jesus Answers the Pharisees, Sadducees and Scribes
The Message Paying Taxes to Caesar
Amplified Bible No heading
New Living Translation Taxes for Caesar
King James Version No heading
English Standard Version Paying Taxes to Caesar
Contemporary English Version Paying Taxes
New King James Version The Pharisees: Is It Lawful to Pay Taxes to Caesar?
21st Century King James Version No heading
American Standard Version No heading
Young’s Literal Translation No heading
Darby Translation No heading
New Life Version They Try To Trap Jesus
Holman Christian Standard Bible God and Caesar
New International Reader’s Version Is It Right to Pay Taxes to Caesar?
Wycliffe New Testament No heading
Worldwide English (New Testament) No heading
New International Version – UK Paying Taxes to Caesar

Of the versions surveyed, only the Holman Christian Standard Bible mentioned both Caesar and God. Most of the headings mentions paying taxes; one mentions Jesus answering questions and another the attempt to trap Jesus.

Do the Bible translators miss the point of Jesus’ statement? I would hope not. Imagine trying to find this story by reading the headings if the heading said, “Give to God what is His.”

Also, people tend to remember the story, not the answer. That’s why Jesus told so many parables. We remember the stories. It may take some time for the meaning to sink in.

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