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Re: [XTalk] Re: Tribute payment

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  • Bob Schacht
    ... Admittedly this coin predated the time of the incident depicted in the Gospels, and that at the time of the Gospel incident, the denarius of Tiberius,
    Message 1 of 35 , Feb 1, 2003
      At 07:16 PM 1/30/2003 -0600, Jeffrey Gibson wrote:
      >...It was calculated, and its payment conducted in, two types of denarii:
      >first, from the inception of the tax until 15 C.E., in the denarius of
      >Augustus, and then, from 15 C.E. onwards, in that of Tiberius. The
      >denarius of Augustus was a coin which bore on its obverse a laureated
      >head or bust of the emperor along with the inscription CAESAR AVGVSTVS
      >DIVI F PATER PATRIAE (= Caesar Augustus, Divi Filius, Pater Patriae,
      >`Caesar Augustus, Son of God, Father of His Country'), and on the
      >reverse a depiction of the imperial princes, Gaius and Lucius, each with
      >a spear in his hand, which was set on a background of crossed spears,
      >with a star representing heavenly sanction, an image of the stipulum,
      >the ladle employed by Roman priests in their libations, and the litius
      >of the augurate together with the inscription PRINCIPES IUVENTUTIS
      >(`Leaders of Youth') also adorning the depiction. ...


      Admittedly this coin predated the time of the incident depicted in the
      Gospels, and that at the time of the Gospel incident, the denarius of
      Tiberius, rather than the denarius of Augustus was in circulation. But
      didn't the existing denarius of Augustus continue to circulate? It is
      interesting to speculate that the Augustan denarius would have been
      particularly offensive to Jews because of the "Divi Filius". If that coin
      was the one examined, then "Give to the emperor the things that are the
      emperor's, and to God the things that are God's." would invoke another
      layer of meaning.

      But I wonder by the time Luke wrote, what coins were being used in the tax
      *then*? My hypothesis about the Augustan denarius would make sense only to
      those who were witness to the incident, if it was historical. Since the
      text of Mark 12:15 does not mention what, if anything, was written on the
      coin, any such meaning would have been lost.

      Bob
    • mwgrondin <mwgrondin@comcast.net>
      ... It was evidently important to provide a justification for complying - perhaps because there were Jewish/Christian factions who argued that they shouldn t
      Message 35 of 35 , Feb 4, 2003
        --- 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
        decidable.

        > 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.

        Mike Grondin
        Mt. Clemens, MI
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