Caesars Image...........

Discussion in 'The Gospels & Acts' started by Scott Bushey, Mar 24, 2004.

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  1. Scott Bushey

    Scott Bushey Puritanboard Commissioner

    While reading over the scriptures, I found this interesting passage. It made me think of the "Passion Threads". Apparently, Jesus was ok with Caesars image on the coin in light of the fact that Caesar proclaimed himself -a god- and the people worshipped him as such........Was not Christ tolerating this idea as not a break in the moral law?

    Mat 22:15 Then went the Pharisees, and took counsel how they might entangle him in his talk.
    Mat 22:16 And they sent out unto him their disciples with the Herodians, saying, Master, we know that thou art true, and teachest the way of God in truth, neither carest thou for any man: for thou regardest not the person of men.
    Mat 22:17 Tell us therefore, What thinkest thou? Is it lawful to give tribute unto Caesar, or not?
    Mat 22:18 But Jesus perceived their wickedness, and said, Why tempt ye me, ye hypocrites?
    Mat 22:19 Show me the tribute money. And they brought unto him a penny.
    Mat 22:20 And he saith unto them, Whose is this image and superscription?
    Mat 22:21 They say unto him, Caesar's. Then saith he unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's; and unto God the things that are God's.
    Mat 22:22 When they had heard these words, they marvelled, and left him, and went their way.

    [Edited on 3-24-2004 by Scott Bushey]

    [Edited on 3-24-2004 by Scott Bushey]
     
  2. Saiph

    Saiph Puritan Board Junior

    Scott, an idol is nothing.

    And those of us on the Passion side do not advocate the use of images in worship, however representational art is acceptable in my opinion.

    I still believe the point of the 2nd commandment is how we worship, not what we make as art.
     
  3. The Gentile

    The Gentile Inactive User

    I cannot understand why the second commandment is brought into the "Passion" debate. If you say that the point of the second commandment is the prohibition of an image of anything in heaven then you have a big problem with the rest of the command.

    "You shall not make for yourself an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above [b:fc636d6c1c]or[/b:fc636d6c1c] on the earth beneath [b:fc636d6c1c]or[/b:fc636d6c1c] in the water under the earth. You shall not [b:fc636d6c1c]worship[/b:fc636d6c1c] them or [b:fc636d6c1c]serve[/b:fc636d6c1c] them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me" [emphasis mine]

    The point is that God is a jealous God and will not stand for an image of anything to be [b:fc636d6c1c]worshipped[/b:fc636d6c1c]. I think this makes Scott's thoughts quite relevant.
     
  4. fredtgreco

    fredtgreco Vanilla Westminsterian Staff Member

    Let's not bring this up again. There are at least 4 threads that can be read here. Gentile, respectfully, please read the threads. You can also read either of the Confessions adhered to by those who sign up on the board (see the sign up page) - both Confessions completely disagree with your interpretation of the 2nd commandment. It is not about just worship. Before a simple bolded quote will suffice, you will have to deal with the arguments of Calvin, Westminster, Heidelberg, Hodge, Dabney, Warfield and countless others.

    [Edited on 3-24-2004 by fredtgreco]
     
  5. Scott Bushey

    Scott Bushey Puritanboard Commissioner

    Fred,
    It was not my desire to resurrect the passion topic. We surely can discuss the 2nd commandment and Christ's intention in this verse......
     
  6. fredtgreco

    fredtgreco Vanilla Westminsterian Staff Member

    [quote:b3793d6019][i:b3793d6019]Originally posted by Scott Bushey[/i:b3793d6019]
    Fred,
    It was not my desire to resurrect the passion topic. We surely can discuss the 2nd commandment and Christ's intention in this verse...... [/quote:b3793d6019]

    Scott,

    I wasn't referring to your post, which is a different aspect of the issue. I was referring to the continuation of the "2nd commandment only deals with worship of idols" aspect.
     
  7. Saiph

    Saiph Puritan Board Junior

    Fred:

    Would you say that there is a difference between and "image of God" and something being made "in the image of God" ? ?

    Because we are made in the [i:1128689410]imago Dei[/i:1128689410], would the 2nd commandment also forbid having children ? ?
     
  8. pastorway

    pastorway Puritan Board Senior

    The Second Command is about making an image of God. Having children whom GOD makes (Psalm 139) in His image is not a man fashioning an image of God after his own imaginations.

    Let's drop the 2nd command discussion and get back to Scott's question.

    What was Jesus saying about the image of Caesar?

    Phillip



    [Edited on 3-24-04 by pastorway]
     
  9. fredtgreco

    fredtgreco Vanilla Westminsterian Staff Member

    [quote:5dced4e1ca][i:5dced4e1ca]Originally posted by Wintermute[/i:5dced4e1ca]
    Fred:

    Would you say that there is a difference between and "image of God" and something being made "in the image of God" ? ?

    Because we are made in the [i:5dced4e1ca]imago Dei[/i:5dced4e1ca], would the 2nd commandment also forbid having children ? ? [/quote:5dced4e1ca]

    There is a huge difference. Man is made in the image of God, but was never to intended to be a representation of the Person of God. This is a good instance of Scripture interpreting Scripture: if what you say is true, then God would contradict Himself.
     
  10. Saiph

    Saiph Puritan Board Junior

    [quote:7a9044f58b]
    Man is made in the image of God, but was never to intended to be a representation of the Person of God.
    [/quote:7a9044f58b]

    ? ? ? ?

    I thought that was what Christianity was all about. Representing Christ on earth.

    [quote:7a9044f58b]
    Christ has no body now on earth but yours, no hands but yours,
    no feet but yours,
    Yours are the eyes through which is to look out
    Christ's compassion to the world;
    Yours are the feet with which he is to go about
    doing good;
    Yours are the hands with which he is to bless men now.

    Teresa Of Avila
    [/quote:7a9044f58b]


    [b:7a9044f58b]he eikon haute kai he epigraphe[/b:7a9044f58b]



    [Edited on 3-24-2004 by Wintermute]
     
  11. Me Died Blue

    Me Died Blue Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    [quote:c4a72e48ae][i:c4a72e48ae]Originally posted by Scott Bushey[/i:c4a72e48ae]
    While reading over the scriptures, I found this interesting passage. It made me think of the "Passion Threads". Apparently, Jesus was ok with Caesars image on the coin in light of the fact that Caesar proclaimed himself -a god- and the people worshipped him as such........Was not Christ tolerating this idea as not a break in the moral law?

    Mat 22:15 Then went the Pharisees, and took counsel how they might entangle him in his talk.
    Mat 22:16 And they sent out unto him their disciples with the Herodians, saying, Master, we know that thou art true, and teachest the way of God in truth, neither carest thou for any man: for thou regardest not the person of men.
    Mat 22:17 Tell us therefore, What thinkest thou? Is it lawful to give tribute unto Caesar, or not?
    Mat 22:18 But Jesus perceived their wickedness, and said, Why tempt ye me, ye hypocrites?
    Mat 22:19 Show me the tribute money. And they brought unto him a penny.
    Mat 22:20 And he saith unto them, Whose is this image and superscription?
    Mat 22:21 They say unto him, Caesar's. Then saith he unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's; and unto God the things that are God's.
    Mat 22:22 When they had heard these words, they marvelled, and left him, and went their way.

    [Edited on 3-24-2004 by Scott Bushey]

    [Edited on 3-24-2004 by Scott Bushey] [/quote:c4a72e48ae]

    I agree that Christ was indeed tolerating Caesar's image on the coin as not being a break in the moral law. For one thing, as you said, Caesar claimed to be [i:c4a72e48ae]a god[/i:c4a72e48ae]--he did not claim to be Yahweh. I think this passage goes to show all the more how the second commandment is solely forbidding images of Yahweh. It is not forbidding making an image of some other "god" for the purpose of worship--for that is part of what the first commandment forbids.

    The sin of Caesar's being worshipped as a god [i:c4a72e48ae]is[/i:c4a72e48ae] in fact a violation of the first commandment, and thus Jesus could not have been OK with the worship itself. But Caesar's image on the coin does not in itself constitute his worship, which was a separate sin. This seems to be why Christ did not condemn the coin, while He would have condemned the worship itself.

    In summary, an image is sinful in itself if it is made to depict Yahweh, but not if it is made to depict another god for worship--for in that case, it is not the image itself that is sinful but the worship. This is seen in the fact that Christ did not condemn the coin depicting Caesar as a sin in and of itself.

    [quote:c4a72e48ae][i:c4a72e48ae]Originally posted by Wintermute[/i:c4a72e48ae]
    Would you say that there is a difference between and "image of God" and something being made "in the image of God" ? ?

    Because we are made in the [i:c4a72e48ae]imago Dei[/i:c4a72e48ae], would the 2nd commandment also forbid having children ? ? [/quote:c4a72e48ae]

    As Phillip pointed out, the second commandment, in commanding that [i:c4a72e48ae]we[/i:c4a72e48ae] make no images of God, is simply forbidding [i:c4a72e48ae]our own[/i:c4a72e48ae] depictions of God, thought up by our own minds. For instance, the bread and wine in the Lord's Supper are certainly images of Christ's body--but the key is that [i:c4a72e48ae]God[/i:c4a72e48ae] instituted their use, and we did not come up with the idea. The case of child-bearing is the exact same situation--while we physically bring forth the child, we did not fashion it in our own minds, God did.

    Chris
     
  12. Saiph

    Saiph Puritan Board Junior

    Mat 25:42-45

    For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.
    Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?
    Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily [b:fbfdf08a12]I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did [it] not to one of the least of these, ye did [it] not to me.[/b:fbfdf08a12]

    We are Christ to our wifes, and children.

    We are to serve others as Christ, and as He served us.

    Christians: myriads of little christs doing God's will on the earth.
     
  13. Me Died Blue

    Me Died Blue Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    Indeed.
     
  14. The Gentile

    The Gentile Inactive User

    [quote:b85f59fe34][i:b85f59fe34]Originally posted by fredtgreco[/i:b85f59fe34]
    Let's not bring this up again. There are at least 4 threads that can be read here. Gentile, respectfully, please read the threads. You can also read either of the Confessions adhered to by those who sign up on the board (see the sign up page) - both Confessions completely disagree with your interpretation of the 2nd commandment. It is not about just worship. Before a simple bolded quote will suffice, you will have to deal with the arguments of Calvin, Westminster, Heidelberg, Hodge, Dabney, Warfield and countless others.

    [Edited on 3-24-2004 by fredtgreco] [/quote:b85f59fe34]

    Hi Fred,

    I'm sorry for bringing up old stuff - i'll be sure to do a complete search before i post again. I appreciate the exhortation, but i am quite familiar with the confessions. Also, let me assure you brother, that when the Puritans and Reformers speak i listen. However, they are not my final authority, i do not work from them, and i'm certainly not intimidated when the names of the big-boys are thrown at me. I have great respect, love, and admiration for these men, but please do not bind my conscience to theirs, and please do not imply that they are some kind of enemy of mine.

    I didn't realize that i would have to deal with the arguments of "Calvin, Westminster, Heidelberg, Hodge, Dabney, Warfield and countless others" before discussing something here that they were in disagreement with. Is this the case? In any case, my apologies.

    Christ alone.
     
  15. fredtgreco

    fredtgreco Vanilla Westminsterian Staff Member

    Gentile,

    Since you are new, you are probably not aware that the board has a policy of having its members give a minimal amount of information in their signature line. There is more information here:
    http://www.puritanboard.com/forum/viewthread.php?tid=3168

    It would be easier for me to have a name to "call" you by.

    Also, I'm sorry if I gave the impression that you (or anyone else) is required to do searches before posting. My point was rather that you would be better served by reviewing previous posts than if we had another discussion on the 2nd commandment. That issue basically dominated the forum for the better part of a month, spawning almost a dozen threads. The board is taking a hiatus from the issue, and Scott's tangental point was immediately taken back in that direction (actually by Mark, not you) .

    The reason that I raise the Confessions is that your post seemed to imply that very little thought had gone into what is the Reformed interpretation of the commandment. My point was that I am neither as smart nor as godly as my forbearers, and you would be better served with dealing with their arguments rather than mine.
     
  16. The Gentile

    The Gentile Inactive User

    Sorry to have misunderstood you, Fred. Your points are fair and i agree with them.
     
  17. Puritan Sailor

    Puritan Sailor Puritan Board Doctor

    First, for the divergent argument about man being in the image of God, we were made in the image of God in knowledge, righteousness, and holiness; not as an artistic representation of God! God has no body. He is not "imaged" by man in that sense. So the second commandment really doesn't apply at all to real men.

    Back to the thread, Christ most likely does not object to Ceaser's image on the coin because he is submitting to Ceaser as the ordained civil magistrate over Him, and as such Ceaser can do what ever he wants with the currency of his domain. The picture on the coin has nothing to do with Ceaser's cult status. We have pictures of men on our currency too, former presidents and leaders. But they are not worshipped. It's just a stamp of our national identity upon the currency.

    [Edited on 3-25-2004 by puritansailor]
     
  18. Saiph

    Saiph Puritan Board Junior

    Idolatry can be implied yes . . .


    Rom 1:23
    And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into [b:a88fd022dc]an image made like to corruptible man[/b:a88fd022dc], and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.

    Rev 13:14 And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by [the means of] those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, [b:a88fd022dc]that they should make an image to the beast[/b:a88fd022dc], which had the wound by a sword, and did live.




    But what about these ? Are we not as Christians,"coins" bearing the face of our "Caesar", who is Christ ? ? ?


    Rom 8:29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate [to be] conformed to [b:a88fd022dc]the image of his Son[/b:a88fd022dc], that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.

    2Co 3:18 But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into [b:a88fd022dc]the same image from glory to glory, [even] as by the Spirit of the Lord. [/b:a88fd022dc]

    1Co 15:49 [b:a88fd022dc]
    And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.[/b:a88fd022dc]

    Col 3:10 And have put on the new [man], which is renewed in knowledge [b:a88fd022dc]after the image of him that created him: [/b:a88fd022dc]

    Heb 1:3 Who being the brightness of [his] glory, and [b:a88fd022dc]the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power[/b:a88fd022dc], when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;

    Heb 10:1 For the law having a shadow of good things to come, [b:a88fd022dc][and] not the very image of the things[/b:a88fd022dc], can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect.
     
  19. Me Died Blue

    Me Died Blue Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    Yes, but as Patrick pointed out, the difference between that and the second commandment is that we are only "images" of Christ in a metaphorical, personal and spiritual sense--not in a literal, physical likeness sense.

    Chris
     
  20. Saiph

    Saiph Puritan Board Junior

    So what does this mean ? ? ?

    Honestly.


    1Co 15:49
    And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.
     
  21. mjbee

    mjbee Puritan Board Freshman

    In my humble opinion, this isn't about the coin. It's about paying taxes. It's further explained by Paul in Romans 13:1-4. I don't see anything remotely resembling the 2nd Commandment in either passage.
     
  22. Me Died Blue

    Me Died Blue Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    [quote:db1a80fb7e][i:db1a80fb7e]Originally posted by Wintermute[/i:db1a80fb7e]
    So what does this mean ? ? ?

    Honestly.


    1Co 15:49
    And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly. [/quote:db1a80fb7e]

    The first part of the verse is speaking in past tense, and the latter in future, thus possibly referring to our resurrection bodies. And when we look at the context of the verse, that is exactly what is in reference. And in the eternal state, in addition to having our renewed bodies, we will see Christ physically, and thus at that time we will indeed be images of Christ in a more literal way. But we are not there yet--we are still in this age, at which time we are not to associate Christ with any physical image.

    Furthermore, even if we [i:db1a80fb7e]were[/i:db1a80fb7e] properly viewed as literal, physical images of Christ in this age, that would not contradict the classic Reformed understanding of the second commandment--for, as I pointed out earlier, that understanding is that it is only forbidding images of God [i:db1a80fb7e]crafted by the human mind[/i:db1a80fb7e], and obviously our bodies were not crafted by us, but God, just as the bread and wine, though an image of Christ, was not instituted as such an image by us, but by Christ, which is why neither it nor the bodies of our children are violations of the second commandment in its classical Reformed understanding.

    Chris

    [Edited on 3-25-2004 by Me Died Blue]
     
  23. Saiph

    Saiph Puritan Board Junior

    It is about taxes, but it is also about authority, and allegience, and the separation of Church and state . . . maybe ? ?

    And monetary symbol of exchange bearing the mark or "image", of a Roman Diety.

    Chris:
    I will think about what you are referring to by human craftsmanship. Like the unhewn stones of the altar ? ?

    [Edited on 3-25-2004 by Wintermute]
     
  24. Me Died Blue

    Me Died Blue Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    [quote:00aa1503c1][i:00aa1503c1]Originally posted by Wintermute[/i:00aa1503c1]
    Chris:
    I will think about what you are referring to by human craftsmanship. Like the unhewn stones of the altar ? ?[/quote:00aa1503c1]

    Basically so. God commanded the altar to be made of stones, and said that they were to be uncut by man. Analogously, God sometimes commanded images of Himself to be used (e.g. the bread and wine), and in the second commandment said that men were not to use any other than those explicitly commanded by Him. So the use of stones at the altar would be analogous to those images of God that He instituted Himself, and the forbidding of the stones' being cut would be analogous to any [i:00aa1503c1]other[/i:00aa1503c1] images of God being made.

    Chris
     
  25. mjbee

    mjbee Puritan Board Freshman

    Would someone please explain to me how we got from Caesar on a coin to unhewn stones of the altar? I'm lost. The passage is saying "Pay your taxes, even if you hate Caesar, because God put Caesar in charge. And give God His due. You all know what that means, because you know the Scriptures. As in Deut. 6:4-9." Y'all make the Word sound difficult where it isn't.
     
  26. Me Died Blue

    Me Died Blue Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    [quote:fd16db024f][i:fd16db024f]Originally posted by mjbee[/i:fd16db024f]
    Would someone please explain to me how we got from Caesar on a coin to unhewn stones of the altar? I'm lost. The passage is saying "Pay your taxes, even if you hate Caesar, because God put Caesar in charge. And give God His due. You all know what that means, because you know the Scriptures. As in Deut. 6:4-9." Y'all make the Word sound difficult where it isn't. [/quote:fd16db024f]

    From that passage in which Christ instructs them to rightly pay taxes to Caesar, one inevitable implication of that is that Christ was thus approving the use of Caesar's image on the coins (since that was the custom currency), even though Caesar considered himself a god and was worshipped as such by many people. The second commandment forbids the making of any images for worship, and the classical Reformed understanding of that commandment is that it forbids the making or use of any man-crafted images of God.

    Thus, Scott initially started this thread drawing a connection between the nature of the second commandment and Christ's approval of Caesar's (who proclaimed himself a god) image on the coin, and what this story and the commandment have to say about each other. The implied rhetorical question was essentially, "Since the second commandment, by classical Reformed understanding, forbids the making or use of any images of God, why did Jesus condone the physical image of someone (Caesar) who was worshipped as a god?"

    Somewhere in the discussion, in the process of querying the Reformed understanding of the second commandment (which has been a hot topic here lately), Mark made another parallel to the second commandment (in addition to the parellel regarding Caesar's image), which was that, if it forbids all images of God, how does that relate to the fact that we ourselves are images of Christ--would the classical Reformed understanding of the second commandment thus forbid us from making children, since they could be images of Christ?

    After some other talk had gone on about that parallel, I responded by saying that the classical Reformed understanding of the second commandment only forbids the making and use of images of God [i:fd16db024f]that we ourselves craft or think up[/i:fd16db024f]--it does not forbid use of images of God that God Himself created or instituted. For instance, He instituted the Lord's Supper, not us, just like [i:fd16db024f]He[/i:fd16db024f] creates and designs our children, not us--which is part of the reason why making children is not creating forbidden images of God.

    Then, to clarify what I was talking about, Mark asked if I understood the principle that our craftsmanship of the images is the key to what the second commandment is forbidding as being analogous to the principle of the unhewn stones at the altar--and indeed, I do understand them to be analogous, as I explain in my last post before you asked for clarification.

    As you've no doubt noticed, discussions here on PB can get quite intricate and complexly woven!

    In Christ,

    Chris
     
  27. mjbee

    mjbee Puritan Board Freshman

    Thanks for your enlightenment, Chris. I realize that things here can get muddy, or as you put it, complex and intricately woven. However, nobody has told me how Matthew 22:15-22 has anything to do with the 2nd Commandment...at least not convincingly. Paying taxes to the governing authorities is what you're supposed to do. Never mind that the images on a dollar bill are...um...not in line with the 2nd Commandment. The powers that be are still ordained by God.
     
  28. Scott Bushey

    Scott Bushey Puritanboard Commissioner

    [quote:2062a2ce31][i:2062a2ce31]Originally posted by mjbee[/i:2062a2ce31]
    Thanks for your enlightenment, Chris. I realize that things here can get muddy, or as you put it, complex and intricately woven. However, nobody has told me how Matthew 22:15-22 has anything to do with the 2nd Commandment...at least not convincingly. Paying taxes to the governing authorities is what you're supposed to do. Never mind that the images on a dollar bill are...um...not in line with the 2nd Commandment. The powers that be are still ordained by God. [/quote:2062a2ce31]

    Mellissa,
    The subject we are addressing is not [i:2062a2ce31]taxes[/i:2062a2ce31]. In light of the 2nd commandment, it is the picture of Caesar and Christs apparent acceptance of the picture, even though Christ knew that Caesar was self proclaimed "god" and many people worshipped him as such.

    [Edited on 3-25-2004 by Scott Bushey]
     
  29. Puritan Sailor

    Puritan Sailor Puritan Board Doctor

    The fact that Christ says to "give to Caeser what is Caesers" I think simply honors Caeser as the civil magistrate. The coin has Caeser's image on it, it's the currency of his empire, and as subjects of that empire they are to follow the just laws, pay their taxes, and honor the king. This is not worship, it's God ordained civil order. The coin itself was not made for the purpose of worship, but for common use in the realm. Therefore the image on it as well, was not intended for worship, but to acknowledge who is the ruler of that land.
     
  30. Saiph

    Saiph Puritan Board Junior

    I agree with you Patrick, on that note.

    However, Scot's question is still unanswered.
     
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