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Re: Tribute payment

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  • RSBrenchley@aol.com
    ... The denarii of 6:37 would have been silver coins of some sort; denarii or drachms seem to have been pretty well interchangeable. Either way, they would
    Message 1 of 35 , Feb 2, 2003
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      Frank McCoy writes:

      > Are you claiming that Jesus and his disciples had no
      > denarii with them? Are you further claiming that the
      > reason for this was that they deemed the denarii, with
      > their images of Caesar, to be idolatrous and
      > polluting? This sounds out of character for Jesus:
      > who apparently was a friend of tax collectors and
      > rather lax as respects ritual purity. Further,
      > doesn't Mark 6:37 imply that Jesus and his disciples
      > carried denarii with them?
      >

      The 'denarii' of 6:37 would have been silver coins of some sort; denarii
      or drachms seem to have been pretty well interchangeable. Either way, they
      would have carried images, and this illustrates the issues around the tribute
      pericope. Why is the denarius unacceptable there, as the text seems to imply,
      if it was acceptable on other occasions?

      My feeling is that the tribute issue was raised later, perhaps in the
      60's, when tensions were beginning to rise, and the pericope probably dates
      from that period. The second part of the answer 'give back to God what is
      God's' seems to indicate a concern with idolatry which is at odds with the
      earlier willingness to use such coin.

      Regards,

      Robert Brenchley
      Birmingham, UK
    • 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
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        --- 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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