--- RSBrenchley wrote:
> Obviously, they were almost all paying the tax; significant
> evasion would have brought about action by the Romans, of which
> we have no record at this time. In practice, therefore, they did
> not object, whatever private doubts they may have had.
It was evidently important to provide a justification for complying
- perhaps because there were Jewish/Christian factions who argued
that they shouldn't comply. I perceive the tribute pericope as
essentially providing a legal ruling on a real dispute between
various factions - either within Judaism or within Christianity,
or both. Whether it's based on an authentic scene from J's life,
however, or whether the "Herodians" and "Pharisees" in the tale
might be stand-ins for later Christian groups, seems not clearly
> Isn't it possible, though, that an insignificant Messianic
> group might have slipped through the net, and evaded the tax
> on conscientious grounds?
> Could Revelation 13:16-17 be adduced as evidence of the avoidance
> of image-bearing coin in the EC?
That passage seems to indicate that everybody (presumably including
Christians) _did_ use image-bearing coins - though maybe the author
disapproved of what he saw as hypocrisy among his brethren.
Mt. Clemens, MI