Whose Face was on the Coin?

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Ged
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Whose Face was on the Coin?

Post by Ged » Sun Jun 29, 2014 8:57 pm

Image

When Jesus was a teenager, eighteen years of age, an unusual coin was minted in the Roman Empire. It had two faces. On one side was the figure of Augustus and on the other was Tiberius, his adopted son. The coin was struck in AD13, a year before Augustus died, because a situation had developed in the empire where the aging Augustus had his son appointed as co-regent, ruling with equal authority as he did. Tiberius was truly equal, in charge of the provinces, supreme commander over Caesars armies, even taking the emperors seat at Senate meetings in Rome.

From this time came the idea that Augustus was a god and Tiberius was his son. Future coins read, ‘Tiberius Caesar, son of the divine Augustus.’

Now it raises an interesting question. As we know, money remains in circulation for many years so the co-regency coinage was still around when Christ’s enemies came to him with a cunning plan. Jesus saw through their hypocrisy and said, “Why are you trying to trap me? Show me a Roman coin, and I’ll tell you whether to pay taxes or not.” When they handed it to him, he asked, “Whose picture and title are stamped on it?” “Caesar’s,” they replied. “Well, then,” Jesus said, “give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar, and give to God what belongs to God.” (Mark 12:15-17)

But whose face was on the coin? The assumption is it was Tiberius because it happened during his reign, however that is not necessarily so. It may have been; then again it may have been Augustus. It might even have been this coin with the face of Augustus on one side and Tiberius on the other. The point was it was ‘Caesar’ irrespective of whose face was on the coin!

We don’t actually know whose face it was but the ‘penny dropped’ anyway. It would not have passed the notice of Jewish leaders when Jesus said, “I and my Father are one!” Fresh in their memory was the unique political situation which existed from AD12 to AD14 before Augustus died. Now Christ tells them to look at a coin. They see the cheap imitation of deity in their hands then look up again. Who was this man standing straight in front of them? They were looking at the Son.
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Re: Whose Face was on the Coin?

Post by spin » Sun Jun 29, 2014 10:41 pm

In Judea they did not use denarii. They used shekels and prutahs. One of the many reasons for thinking Mark was written in Rome was the coin indications. The widow's mite (Mk 12:42) is actually a Greek coin (lepta) equated to a Roman coin (quadrans), neither of which were used in Judea. The Marcan story of the denarius is used as source for both Matt & Luke, so those texts just took it over. They didn't see this

"I and the father are one" is a statement of accord. See Jn 17:22, "The glory that you have given me I have given them, so that they may be one, as we are one".
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Ged
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Re: Whose Face was on the Coin?

Post by Ged » Mon Jun 30, 2014 12:53 pm

Interesting. The dual-faced coins like this one were minted in Antioch. As best as I know it is the mint from where Judean currency came from too.

As for Roman currency such as the 'denarri', if it found its way into Judah, would it have been accepted as legal tender? Just asking.
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Re: Whose Face was on the Coin?

Post by spin » Tue Jul 01, 2014 6:55 am

Ged wrote:Interesting. The dual-faced coins like this one were minted in Antioch. As best as I know it is the mint from where Judean currency came from too.
Herod Philip, Herod Antipas and the Roman prefects in control of Judea all minted coins locally.
Ged wrote:As for Roman currency such as the 'denarri', if it found its way into Judah, would it have been accepted as legal tender? Just asking.
It's possible, though none are recorded by Yaakov Meshorer, Ancient Jewish Coinage Vol. 2 Herod the Great through Bar Cochba, 1982.
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Re: Whose Face was on the Coin?

Post by andrewcriddle » Wed Jul 02, 2014 11:23 am

spin wrote:
Ged wrote:As for Roman currency such as the 'denarri', if it found its way into Judah, would it have been accepted as legal tender? Just asking.
It's possible, though none are recorded by Yaakov Meshorer, Ancient Jewish Coinage Vol. 2 Herod the Great through Bar Cochba, 1982.
Apparently there were some denarii in a 1st century CE coin hoard found near Mount Carmel.
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Re: Whose Face was on the Coin?

Post by spin » Thu Jul 03, 2014 4:26 am

andrewcriddle wrote:
spin wrote:
Ged wrote:As for Roman currency such as the 'denarri', if it found its way into Judah, would it have been accepted as legal tender? Just asking.
It's possible, though none are recorded by Yaakov Meshorer, Ancient Jewish Coinage Vol. 2 Herod the Great through Bar Cochba, 1982.
Apparently there were some denarii in a 1st century CE coin hoard found near Mount Carmel.
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Mount carmel is not in Judea. None of Herod's descendants minted denarii. You refer to a hoard which is a collection that does not relate to the currency in everyday usage. You don't know the source of the coins, ie who deposited the hoard, and you don't know the year of deposit. And Meshorer makes it clear that denarii were not of a suitable quality of silver for the temple tax, so they had no use.

In Mark 12:15 has Jesus expect the denarius to be in the possession of a Pharisee in Jerusalem, available at hand. Meshorer makes us doubt the story. Supposedly the Marcan Pharisee could read the Roman letters on the coin. This makes sense in Rome, but not in Jerusalem.
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Re: Whose Face was on the Coin?

Post by andrewcriddle » Thu Jul 03, 2014 10:58 am

spin wrote: In Mark 12:15 has Jesus expect the denarius to be in the possession of a Pharisee in Jerusalem, available at hand. Meshorer makes us doubt the story. Supposedly the Marcan Pharisee could read the Roman letters on the coin. This makes sense in Rome, but not in Jerusalem.
I think it would be realised even by those who could not read Latin that the head upon the denarius was an image of Caesar.

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Re: Whose Face was on the Coin?

Post by Ged » Thu Jul 03, 2014 3:01 pm

And I would imagine coinage from different parts of the empire would circulate freely. The exception would be purchases made in the temple for sacrificial animals, but outside of the temple one dollar would be as good as another.
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Re: Whose Face was on the Coin?

Post by spin » Thu Jul 03, 2014 3:27 pm

andrewcriddle wrote:
spin wrote: In Mark 12:15 has Jesus expect the denarius to be in the possession of a Pharisee in Jerusalem, available at hand. Meshorer makes us doubt the story. Supposedly the Marcan Pharisee could read the Roman letters on the coin. This makes sense in Rome, but not in Jerusalem.
I think it would be realised even by those who could not read Latin that the head upon the denarius was an image of Caesar.
What you think should be realised, Andrew, is not particularly relevant in respect to the text, which talks both of the image and the inscription. If the writing were not significant, it would not have been mentioned. Your quick reaction seems unconsidered.
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Re: Whose Face was on the Coin?

Post by spin » Thu Jul 03, 2014 3:34 pm

Ged wrote:And I would imagine coinage from different parts of the empire would circulate freely. The exception would be purchases made in the temple for sacrificial animals, but outside of the temple one dollar would be as good as another.
Instead of crapping on about what you imagine, check the scholarship and read the text with intelligence. What would be the relevance of asking for a denarius if not for the fact that it would be readily available? Yet the archaeological evidence contradicts that availability (hence Andrew's attempt with a hoard). Denarii were readily available elsewhere, especially where the quadrans was also available.
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