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[XTalk] Mk 12:17--Color me black

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  • Jan Sammer
    ... The key article is Leon Herrmann s La mort de St. Paul et de St. Pierre 811 U.C. = 58 ap. J.C. , Revue de l Universite de Bruxelles 41 (1935/36). In ibid,
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 28, 1999
      > Jon Peter wrote:
      > >
      > > Would you mind expanding on your chronology dating Paul's and Peter's
      > > executions as early as 58?
      The key article is Leon Herrmann's "La mort de St. Paul et de St. Pierre 811
      U.C. = 58 ap. J.C.", Revue de l'Universite de Bruxelles 41 (1935/36). In
      ibid, 44 (1938/39) Herrmann tries to pin down the date to July 29th, 58 A.D.
      The issue is relevant to the HJ discussion in that it allows analyzing the
      gospels for pro-Roman bias and hence allows us to blacken various sayings
      that stress HJ's loyalty to Rome. Of course willingness to be assessed for
      taxation and to pay tax was the most important expression of such loyalty,
      and the gospels are at pains to show that Jesus' family went out of its way
      (literally) to be assessed for taxation, and that Jesus himself bid
      taxpayers to pay up (TA KAISAROS APODOTE KAISARI is as clear as it can get
      on the issue; I have no idea why 5G finds it ambiguous). It would be hard to
      find a more self-serving saying in all of the gospels from the point of view
      of the supreme Christian interest at the time of their composition, i.e. to
      save Paul's neck and get recognition for the Christian claim to be the only
      true Jews and hence the rightful owners of the Temple. If Jesus was so
      clearly in favor of paying the Emperor all that was due to him, the Roman
      authorities could rest assured that his brother James would conscientiously
      pay Rome its share of the Temple proceeds, were he to become High
      Priest--maybe even more conscientiously than the current administration;
      after all, had not Jesus called the Temple "a den of thieves"? (In an
      earlier message I suggested that brother James was being groomed by the
      Jerusalem church for the office of High Priest; his bid for office would
      naturally ensue from a favorable outcome of Paul's case at the Court of
      Caesar. Unfortunately things turned out otherwise, with disastrous
      consequences for Paul and for James. Since such political considerations
      arose only in the late 50s the saying reported in Mk 12:17 should be colored
      black, rather than red.


      Jan Sammer
      Prague-Czech Republic
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