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Luke 20:24-25

Context
20:24 “Show me a denarius. 1  Whose image 2  and inscription are on it?” 3  They said, “Caesar’s.” 20:25 So 4  he said to them, “Then give to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” 5 

1 tn Here the specific name of the coin was retained in the translation, because not all coins in circulation in Palestine at the time carried the image of Caesar. In other places δηνάριον (dhnarion) has been translated simply as “silver coin” with an explanatory note.

sn A denarius was a silver coin worth approximately one day’s wage for a laborer. The fact that the leaders had such a coin showed that they already operated in the economic world of Rome. The denarius would have had a picture of Tiberius Caesar, the Roman emperor, on it.

2 tn Or “whose likeness.”

sn In this passage Jesus points to the image (Grk εἰκών, eikwn) of Caesar on the coin. This same Greek word is used in Gen 1:26 (LXX) to state that humanity is made in the “image” of God. Jesus is making a subtle yet powerful contrast: Caesar’s image is on the denarius, so he can lay claim to money through taxation, but God’s image is on humanity, so he can lay claim to each individual life.

3 tn Grk “whose likeness and inscription does it have?”

4 tn Here δέ (de) has been translated as “so” to indicate that Jesus’ pronouncement results from the opponents’ answer to his question.

5 sn Jesus’ answer to give to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s and to God the things that are God’s was a both/and, not the questioners’ either/or. So he slipped out of their trap.



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