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Mark 12:16-17

Context
12:16 So 1  they brought one, and he said to them, “Whose image 2  is this, and whose inscription?” They replied, 3  “Caesar’s.” 12:17 Then Jesus said to them, “Give to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” 4  And they were utterly amazed at him.

1 tn Here δέ (de) has been translated as “so” to indicate their response to Jesus’ request for a coin.

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 “they said to him.”

4 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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