[XTalk] Re: Mark 12:17 Pay Caesar...
> Jan Sammer wrote:Bernard Muller:
> >The kind of Christian writing you get
> > after the persecutions start is the book of Revelations, with its thinly
> > veiled exhortations to an all-out war against Rome.
> "thinly veiled exhortations to an all-out war against Rome."You mean thin ice? I don't think so. Chapter 18 contains direct exhortations
> Where did you get that from? It looks you are running on very thin air
to attack Babylon the Great and describes the city in flames.
> The book of Revelations was not the only Christian book written afterI didn't say it was the rule. And we obviously have very divergent views on
> 62. These books (gospels, epistles) were either totally unconcerned
> about relationship between Christians and authorities, or advised
> obedience. Revelation is the only book which is anti-Roman. It is the
> exception and not the rule.
the chronology of the NT writings.
> Revelation has a long history,I have read your views of Revelation a while back and I find little to agree
> see http://www.concentric.net/~Mullerb/danrv.shtml for more info,
> but let's say here that the Christianized version appeared around 95My preferred date for Revelation is 62 A.D. The reasons are too complex to
> (almost every scholars agree on this date, me too), at a time when
> emperor Domitian was getting paranoiac in his last years (93-96) and
> wanted to be recognized as a God. Most historians think that the
> persecution then was not aimed at Christians per say, but also Jews, or
> anyone else who would not accept Domitian as "my Lord and my God". So
> Domitian's persecution certainly cannot be considered as a proof of a
> long lasting official Roman policy against Christians (which started in
go into here and may be viewed as off-topic by the powers that be. OK, so
it's not the majority view.
> > > >After 70 A.D. all themany
> > > > malice shown in the synoptics, and particularly GMatt., towards the
> > "chief
> > > > priests and the elders" would have been pointless as well.
> > >
> > > The same GMatt. clearly describes Pharisees turning into rabbis which
> > > started to happen around 80-90 (Mt23:2-3,6-7). "the chief priests and
> > > **the elders** (and teachers of the law)" likely represents Jewish
> > > leaders and religious elite generally:
> > > Mk8:31 "He then began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer
> > > things and be rejected by the **elders**, chief priests and teachersof
> > > the law, ..."is
> > > Please note that the elders and teachers of the law were still kicking
> > > around after 70.
> > What's important is that the chief priests were no longer around and it
> > they who are the major target of the synoptic writers' wrath.My point is that the gospel writers are pointing an accusing finger at
> So what's your point?
somebody who according to your dating is no longer around at the time of
> For Matthew, the major target are Pharisees turning into rabbis.In Mk 14:10 it's the chief priests who pay Judas to hand over Jesus to them.
> For Mark, the major enemies are teachers of the law.
Those who order Jesus' arrest are "the chief priests, the teachers of the
law and the elders" (14:44). The enemies are the chief priests and their
> Are you trying to say that the synoptic gospels (or only GMark) had toPrecisely. Their guilt is meant to disqualify them from their posts. That
> be written when the chief priests were still around?
only makes sense if they're still in their posts at the time of writing.
> > The point is that Mark is catering to RomanIt's even occurred to me, but I'd rather not have to wear striped pyjamas
> > sensibilities.
> Mark is catering to a few Christians which may have thought about not
> paying taxes (just like Paul did earlier in Romans) and therefore get
> the whole Christian community into trouble. Please note that this
> thought can be entertained by anyone, anytime, and of any religious
> belief (or none). Yes, it is perfectly natural, isn't it?
all day. Seriously, I meant much more than taxpaying in referring to Mark's
catering to Roman sensibilities. E.g., making Pilate into a model Skeptic
prince corresponding point by point to the clement ruler of Seneca's De
Your article on _The Tradition of Jesus' Tax Question Temptation_
gives an excellent account of why a pious Jew would not support giving
taxes to Caesar, and I agree that in its original setting, the saying
would have been interpreted by pious Jews as a refusal.
I think that the subtlety of
the saying reveals Jesus' ingenuity. The saying was a rallying-cry to
his supporters, yet on the surface it contained nothing tangible to
which the authorities could object.
You rightly point out that Mark uses PEIRAZW in a similar sense
elsewhere. But Mark's fondness for PEIRAZW suggests to me that Mark
himself was the pioneer of its use in connection with Jesus.
On the issue of **Mark's** understanding, I think Mark understood it
as a refusal to pay taxes but deliberately presented it as an
acceptance. "Who's head is this, and whose title?" is a Markan addition
to the tradition, and hints at acceptance. This is consistent with
several other indications of pro_Roman and pro-Gentile attitudes in his
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