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22761Re: [XTalk] Re: Social Healing, Movement Constitution and Titling

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  • Gordon Raynal
    Aug 3, 2008
      Hi Robert,

      On Aug 3, 2008, at 4:04 PM, RSBrenchley@... wrote:

      > In a message dated 02/08/2008 11:24:42 GMT Daylight Time,
      > crosstalk2@yahoogroups.com writes:
      > <<And I want to end
      > this note by saying that I really think all the other titles applied
      > to Jesus make best sense when understood in relationship to this
      > social formation. And so, for instance, when Caesar communicated on
      > coins and temples across the empire was hailed as "son of God,"
      > "Divine," "Savior," "establisher of the Heavenly Pax," and patron to
      > all the temples (including Aesclepius')all the temples (including
      > surprising at all that a social praxis that became an enduring social
      > movement dug into the Scriptural heritage to counter those Roman
      > social order affirmations with counter affirmations of their own. >>
      > I like most of what you say, but you're generalising a bit here. the
      > inscription DIVI F(ilius), 'son of a god' was used on a few coin
      > issues by Augustus
      > only. He was the adopted son of Julius Caesar, and used the
      > relationship for
      > political purposes as he was establishing himself, even taking the
      > name
      > 'Julius Caesar' at one point. The title refers to his relationship
      > to the
      > divinised Caesar, not to God himself.

      Thanks for the note and this correction. To refresh myself I just
      looked at the inscription on the coin the numismatic folks like to
      call "the Tribute Penny," namely the denarius of Tiberius with mother
      Livia enthroned representing the goddess Pax on the reverse. The
      obverse inscription says: "Tiberius Caesar, son of the Divine
      Augustus, so yes, the son of the one who was declared Son of God.
      Of course, the issue wasn't really metaphysics, right! The right of
      rule, control of temples, priests and a piece of the pie was "where
      it was at." Tis an interesting move on the coinage, in general,
      after Julius Caesar. Emperor's faces on the obverse, Jupiter or Mars
      or Diana or Apollo, etc. etc. now relegated to the reverse. That,
      with the inscriptions "preaches," if you will, a lot!
      > Emperors the Senate approved of were divinised after their
      > deaths, hence
      > Vespasian's alleged last words, 'I think I'm becoming a god.' If
      > Seneca's
      > 'Apocolocyntosis Divi Clavdii' is anything to go by, deification
      > was not highly
      > regarded by the Romans, at least this early. Divine kingship was,
      > of course,
      > long established in the eastern Mediterranean, and under the
      > Romans, city
      > coins regularly boasted of their neocorates (temples of the
      > imperial cult). In
      > the 280's, Aurelian, who seems to have had a good relationship
      > with the
      > church, called himself DEO ET DOMINO on a few of his coins, but
      > it's a rare
      > inscription only found from one or two eastern mints. I think you
      > need to look more
      > at the specific traditions of the eastern Mediterranean, or the Jews
      > themselves, rather than the Roman empire as a whole.

      I appreciate this point. With Vespasian and I believe they run up
      thru Domitian there were a whole series of coins that declared: Judea
      Capta. That one denarius of Vespasian where a Jewess mourning under
      a Roman trophy is truly haunting. But then according to Meshorer and
      Hendin, Agrippa II also minted bronze coins that declared the same.
      To say the least the Gospel writers provided a very spirited response
      with their narratives of Jesus Christ, son of God.

      Gordon Raynal
      Inman, SC
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