Re: [XTalk] Re: Tribute payment
- At 07:16 PM 1/30/2003 -0600, Jeffrey Gibson wrote:
>...It was calculated, and its payment conducted in, two types of denarii:Admittedly this coin predated the time of the incident depicted in the
>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. ...
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.
- --- RSBrenchley wrote:
> Obviously, they were almost all paying the tax; significantIt was evidently important to provide a justification for complying
> 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.
- 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 MessianicThat passage seems to indicate that everybody (presumably including
> 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?
Christians) _did_ use image-bearing coins - though maybe the author
disapproved of what he saw as hypocrisy among his brethren.
Mt. Clemens, MI