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RE: [XTalk] Render to God: Biblical Justice and Imperial Tribute

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  • Ernest Pennells
    [Ron Price] ... time when Roman authority was dominant.
    Message 1 of 41 , Oct 2, 2005
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      [Ron Price]
      >But the gospel writers were presenting their message to the Gentiles at a
      time when Roman authority was dominant.<

      Agreed, Ron, and the portrait of Jesus befriending tax collectors is
      politically charged in harmony with "Render to Caesar." The target of
      criticism is not Rome, but a corrupt priesthood. ISTM that befriending tax
      gatherers, demonstrating against temple tax, and counselling "Render to
      Caesar" is a politically potent combination wholly consistent with singling
      out the temple regime as enemy number one, and dismissing the idea of
      insurrection as irrelevant.

      [Ron Price]
      >Jesus ... probably did pronounce the saying: "Render to Caesar the things
      that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's", indicating ...
      that the payment of tribute would have involved disloyalty to Yahweh.<

      The point I argue is that (according to the Synoptics) Jesus had already
      comprehensively denounced the temple authorities as disloyal to Yahweh
      (wicked vintners, robbers cave). They actually owed loyalty to Caesar -
      which obligates them to pay him tribute. Jesus demonstrated against the
      duplicity of their feigned loyalty to God, gathering temple dues in
      idolatrous coinage. "Render to God what belongs to God", is a reprimand!

      [Ron Price]
      >Jesus' objection to the payment of tribute money is just visible through
      the fog with which Mark, driven by his pro-Roman agenda, had so cleverly
      surrounded it.<

      Given the fundamental disagreement about interpreting "Render to Caesar..."
      and the range of supporting explanations, it may be appropriate to ask
      whether the fog is in the text or in modern understanding thereof. Harvey's
      lucid account of biblically prescribed justice, which he applied to GJohn,
      strikes me as offering a fresh way of looking at the Synoptic account with
      revealing consequences.


      Ernie Pennells
      Samaa el Maadi Tower No 2B
      Level 12 Apartment 4
      28 Corniche el Nil
      Cairo, Egypt
      Tel: (20-2)526 6383 Mobile 0121001490
    • Gordon Raynal
      Hi Ernie, ... I entirely accept your smile. I don t mind being called radical cuz I m from that hippie generation:)! But just for some brief fun back: A.) If
      Message 41 of 41 , Oct 25, 2005
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        Hi Ernie,

        On Oct 25, 2005, at 10:29 AM, Ernest Pennells wrote:

        > [Gordon Raynal]
        >> If this afternoon someone digging around Capernaum finds a box with
        >> Jesus'
        > diary ... even then ...<
        > A fair sample of "extreme" within a forum of historical enquiry :-}

        I entirely accept your smile. I don't mind being called radical cuz
        I'm from that hippie generation:)! But just for some brief fun back:

        A.) If one assesses the fundamental nature of a piece of literature to
        be fictional, then there's nothing "radical" about reading it as
        B.) There's nothing radical about a historical methodology that seeks
        more sources than just the internal writings of a group about it's hero
        figure to be able to judge the historicity of stories told:)!

        But hey, I'm happy to be "radical;)!"

        Gordon Raynal
        Inman, SC
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