RE: [XTalk] Render to God: Biblical Justice and Imperial Tribute
- [Ron Price]
>But the gospel writers were presenting their message to the Gentiles at atime 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.
>Jesus ... probably did pronounce the saying: "Render to Caesar the thingsthat 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!
>Jesus' objection to the payment of tribute money is just visible throughthe fog with which Mark, driven by his pro-Roman agenda, had so cleverly
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
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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
> 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;)!"