“Jesus said to them.
‘Show me a denarius!
And whose title
Does it bear?’
‘The Emperor Caesar’s.’”
εἶπεν πρὸς αὐτούς
Δείξατέ μοι δηνάριον· τίνος ἔχει εἰκόνα καὶ ἐπιγραφήν; οἱ δὲ εἶπαν Καίσαρος.
Luke indicated that Jesus said to them (εἶπεν πρὸς αὐτούς) to show him a denarius (Δείξατέ μοι δηνάριον), which was a Roman coin. He asked them whose image or head and title or inscription did it have (τίνος ἔχει εἰκόνα καὶ ἐπιγραφήν)? They said it was the Emperor Caesar’s head and title (οἱ δὲ εἶπαν Καίσαρος). There was something similar in Matthew, chapter 22:19-21, and in Mark, chapter 12:15-16, almost word for word. Mark said that Jesus wanted to see the coin that was used for paying the Roman poll tax. Thus, they brought Jesus one of these small silver Roman coins, a denarius. (φέρετέ μοι δηνάριον). Jesus then asked them (καὶ λέγει αὐτοῖς) whose image and whose inscription title (Τίνος ἡ εἰκὼν αὕτη καὶ ἡ ἐπιγραφή) were on this coin? They answered him (οἱ δὲ εἶπαν αὐτῷ) that the image and inscription belonged to the Emperor Caesar (Καίσαρος). Matthew indicated that Jesus wanted to see the coin that was used for paying the poll tax (ἐπιδείξατέ μοι τὸ νόμισμα τοῦ κήνσου). They brought or presented him with a small silver Roman coin, a denarius (οἱ δὲ προσήνεγκαν αὐτῷ δηνάριον). He then asked them (καὶ λέγει αὐτοῖς) whose image and whose inscription title (Τίνος ἡ εἰκὼν αὕτη καὶ ἡ ἐπιγραφή) were on this coin? They answered (λέγουσιν) that the image and inscription belonged to Emperor Caesar (Καίσαρος). This was a simple question with a simple answer. Jesus wanted them to bring him the Roman coin, a denarius, worth a little more than a US dollar. He wanted to see what coin was being used for paying the Roman poll tax. What kind of money do you use?
καὶ αὐτοὶ ἦραν φωνὴν λέγοντες Ἰησοῦ Ἐπιστάτα, ἐλέησον ἡμᾶς
Only Luke has this story about the curing of the ten lepers. Luke indicated that the lepers cried out (καὶ αὐτοὶ ἦραν φωνὴν λέγοντες), calling Jesus “Master! (Ἰησοῦ Ἐπιστάτα)”. They wanted him to have mercy on them (ἐλέησον ἡμᾶς). This was a common approach to Jesus. They wanted mercy or compassion. They called Jesus their master, as if they were slaves. Luke alone, among the biblical writers, used this term Ἐπιστάτα, that means master, teacher, chief, or commander, 7 times in this gospel. However, they did not call him “Lord”. What is your favorite title for Jesus?
The Gospel according to Luke
κατὰ Λουκᾶν εὐαγγέλιον
What is a gospel? Who is Luke? The musical play “Godspell” that opened on Broadway in 1971, was based on the Old English ‘godspel.’ Like the Greek word εὐαγγέλιον, this Germanic based word gospel means good news or good tidings. This term originally meant the Christian message itself. However, in the second century, it came to be used for the books where this message was set out. Thus, the gospels became known as the written accounts of the life, actions, and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth. This title, the Gospel of Luke (κατὰ Λουκᾶν εὐαγγέλιον), was added some time in the second century, perhaps by Papias of Hierapolis (60–130 CE), an early bishop and apostolic father. Traditionally, this work has been ascribed to Luke, a companion of the apostle Paul. He was a gentile and not a Jew, so that his Greek style of writing was more refined. Perhaps Greek may have been his first language. Paul described him in the Letter to the Colossians, chapter 4:14, as his physician. Thus, Luke was a well-educated non-Israelite who tried to situate the presence of Jesus and his followers within a historic setting, to be precise a salvation history outlook. He also wrote the Acts of the Apostles, since the Greek style and the same dedication is at the beginning of each work. Both were addressed to Theophilus, and both assume an educated Greek speaking audience. This gospel is a movement towards Jerusalem, while the second work of the Acts is away from Jerusalem. The dating for this work usually extends from about the late 60s CE to as late as 110 CE. This gospel is the longest book in the New Testament and thus the longest of the 4 gospels. In fact, more than 25% of the whole New Testament was written by Luke if you include the Acts. Luke probably used Mark with a second document called the Q source, as well as some material that is unique to him, about 35%. 41% of Luke can be found in both Mark and Matthew. The Q source is a hypothetical written or oral collection of Jesus’ sayings that was common to the Gospels of Matthew and Luke, but not in the Gospel of Mark, that makes up about 23% of his work. This Q source, from the German word Quelle, included many parables and the beatitudes. Did Q even predate the Gospel of Mark? Another question is whether Luke used Matthew instead of having a common source.
Of the charge
‘The King of the Jews.’”
καὶ ἦν ἡ ἐπιγρὴ τῆς αἰτίας αὐτοῦ ἐπιγεγραμμένη Ο ΒΑΣΙΛΕΥΣ ΤΩΝ ΙΟΥΔΑΙΩΝ.
This is similar to Matthew, chapter 27:37, but the inscription had the name of Jesus on it also there. In Luke, chapter 23:38, it was the same as here in Mark. John, chapter 19:19-22, has a dialogue with Pilate and the Jewish leaders about the appropriateness of this inscription, whether it should have said that he claimed to be the King of the Jews, not that he was the King of the Jews. Mark simply stated that this was the inscription charge or accusation written against Jesus (καὶ ἦν ἡ ἐπιγρὴ τῆς αἰτίας αὐτοῦ ἐπιγεγραμμένη). The written charge was “The King of the Jews (Ο ΒΑΣΙΛΕΥΣ ΤΩΝ ΙΟΥΔΑΙΩΝ).” Clearly, this was the Roman charge against Jesus, insurrection, since he claimed to be the King of the Jews against the Roman rule. There is some dispute whether this title was in Greek or Latin. John, chapter 19:19-20, said that the inscription was written in Hebrew, Greek, and Latin. In the Catholic tradition the Latin title abbreviation was INRI for Iesvs Nazarenvs Rex Iudaeorvm that can be found on many crucifixes.
To salute Jesus.
King of the Jews!’”
καὶ ἤρξαντο ἀσπάζεσθαι αὐτόν Χαῖρε, Βασιλεῦ τῶν Ἰουδαίων·
This is almost word for word in Matthew, chapter 27:29, but not in Luke. In John, chapter 19:3, there is something similar. Mark said that these Roman soldiers began to salute Jesus (καὶ ἤρξαντο ἀσπάζεσθαι αὐτόν), as they mocked him, saying, “Hail (Χαῖρε)! King of the Jews (Βασιλεῦ τῶν Ἰουδαίων)!” Clearly, the title “King of the Jews” had become popular for addressing Jesus in a teasing way.