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what does Jesus have in mind with ἵνα μὴ σκανδαλίσωμεν αὐτούς?


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Have English translators generally understood what Matthew's Jesus had in mind by getting his disciple to pay tax for him this way?


What did Jesus mean by his acknowledgement of the tax collectors and/or the Empire of Rome when he says this in Mt 17.27?




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Maybe this is too paradoxical, but do you think he's both honoring the authority structure by paying taxes AND subverting it by not paying taxes out of his own pocket, but rather out of thin air (a fish's mouth), as it were?

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Yes, yes. I think your question is really smart. Jesus does make us ask this question, doesn't he?

And I was wondering about the translation of the word we transliterate scandal. Is Matthew's Greek suggesting that Jesus cares he's going to offend by not paying taxes? What is it to issue a command then to bait a hook and to cast it to lure a fish to find a coin? 

Do you think there's something more tricksterish going on here? Could it be Jesus is, rather, interested in not tripping the tax collectors up? Could he be genuinely interested even in them perhaps? Do you think that Matthew might be reading the Greek translation of Sirach at this point?

παρθένον μὴ καταμάνθανε, 
μήποτε σκανδαλισθῇς ἐν τοῖς ἐπιτιμίοις αὐτῆς. 

A virgin is not for your male gaze, fellows.
Look too long and lustfully and you'll get tripped up by her value.

ἄραγε ἐλεύθεροί εἰσιν οἱ υἱοί.
ἵνα δὲ μὴ σκανδαλίσωμεν αὐτούς,
πορευθεὶς εἰς θάλασσαν βάλε ἄγκιστρον
καὶ τὸν ἀναβάντα πρῶτον ἰχθὺν ἆρον,
καὶ ἀνοίξας τὸ στόμα αὐτοῦ εὑρήσεις στατῆρα·
ἐκεῖνον λαβὼν δὸς αὐτοῖς ἀντὶ ἐμοῦ καὶ σοῦ.
sure enough the sons are free
but those other fellows don't need us to get them tripped up either
get back down to the water to cast a baited hook
and reel in the first fish you catch. that's enough
and check in its mouth to find value, a statḗr
take that to give them for you and me both
Edited by jkgayle
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