The Holy Bible – Knox Translation
The Epistle of the Blessed Apostle Paul to the Romans
Every soul must be submissive to its lawful superiors; authority comes from God only, and all authorities that hold sway are of his ordinance.
Thus the man who opposes authority is a rebel against the ordinance of God, and rebels secure their own condemnation.
A good conscience has no need to go in fear of the magistrate, as a bad conscience does. If thou wouldst be free from the fear of authority, do right, and thou shalt win its approval;
the magistrate is God’s minister, working for thy good. Only if thou dost wrong, needst thou be afraid; it is not for nothing that he bears the sword; he is God’s minister still, to inflict punishment on the wrong-doer.
Thou must needs, then, be submissive, not only for fear of punishment, but in conscience.
It is for this same reason that you pay taxes; magistrates are in God’s service, and must give all their time to it.
Pay every man, then, his due; taxes, if it be taxes, customs, if it be customs; respect and honour, if it be respect and honour.
Do not let anybody have a claim upon you, except the claim which binds us to love one another. The man who loves his neighbour has done all that the law demands.✻
(All the commandments, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet, and the rest, are resumed in this one saying, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.)✻
Love of our neighbour refrains from doing harm of any kind; that is why it fulfils all the demands of the law.
Meanwhile, make no mistake about the age we live in; already it is high time for us to awake out of our sleep; our salvation is closer to us now than when we first learned to believe.✻
The night is far on its course; day draws near. Let us abandon the ways of darkness, and put on the armour of light.
Let us pass our time honourably, as by the light of day, not in revelling and drunkenness, not in lust and wantonness, not in quarrels and rivalries.
Rather, arm yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ; spend no more thought on nature and nature’s appetites.
The Holy Bible