"Render unto Caesar..." Jesus According To The Gospel Of Thomas
Nag Hammadi - A Source Of Rare Ancient Literature
Two Day Before The Passion, Jesus Said...
On his final day of public teaching and speeches in the Herodian Temple at Jerusalem, on the second day of the week, the twelfth day of the first month of the Mosaic year, Jesus was making some tremendous announcements in response to the hostility predominating amongst many of the leading religious factions and their adherents, and the aftermath of the "Temple cleansing" on the day prior. The tragedy is that there is no Mona Lisa with us now, just cryptic cartoon sketches of a man who became the most influential historic figure in western civilisation. For those who believe that all we need is preserved in a bible, just stop reading now, turn off the light and go to sleep. Yet for those who want to know more, please read on. This is not intended to be my final article on this particular discourse. There is a lot of material here from what may be gleaned by the Hebrew version of Matthew, two pseudepigraphal Gospels, and one verse in the Qur'an, but the focus here is far more basic. This famous saying of Jesus is actually only two-thirds complete according to Thomas.
Priesthood And Kingdoms Revealed Through Thomas 100
Bible Versus Thomas.
Matt.22:15a: Then proceeded the Pharisees, taking counsel together...
Matt.22:15b/Mark12:13b: that they may (hunt him down;) (ensnare him) in a word.
Matt.22:16a/Mark12:13a: And (to) him they apostle (certain-of) their disciples, (and) (with) the Herodians...
Matt.22:16b/Mark12:14a: and, having-come, declared (to-him), "Teacher, we discern that you-are true and in truth you teach the Way of God. (And) you care not about any [partiality - Lev.19:15], for you look not unto mans' countenance.
Matt.22:17a: Then tell us, what do you suppose...
Matt.22:17b/Mark12:14b: is-it-lawful, to-give census-tax to Caesar, or not?”
Luke 20:23: Yet considering their cunning [he] said to them, "Why try me?
Matt.22:19a: Exhibit it!
Mark 12:15b: You bring forth...
Matt.22:19c: the coinage of the census-tax...
Mark 12:15e: so-that I may discern it!”
Matt.22:19d/Mark 12:15d,16a: (Those ones) they then brought (to him) a denarius (Roman silver coin).
Matt.22:20-21/Mark12:16b-17a: [He] then declared to them, “Whose image, and superscription [is upon] this?”
(And) they said to him, "A Caesar."
Then (Jesus responded) to them (saying), "Then that-which-is of-Caesar, give back to Caesar, and that-which-is of-God, to God."
(Basis - Scriveners Textus Receptus, 1894, Scripture4All Publishing, 2015.)
Thomas 100: They showed Yeshua a gold-piece, and they said this to him, "That-which belongs to Caesar they demand of us as-the taxes."
This he said to them, "Render what is Caesars unto Caesar! What is God's, give unto God! And that which is mine, give unto me!"
(Basis - Gospel of Thomas Resource Centre, Michael W. Grondin, 2013.)
The Prize Find Of Nag Hammadi - Coptic Thomas.
Thomas Saying #100 - Comparing A Key Difference
Instead of the familiar saying which is universally known, comprising one part dedicated to the rulers of this world, and the other to God, we witness a three part saying through Thomas with a render unto me, that which is my own, or some approximation thereof according to the abbreviated ancient foreign text. The esoteric message of Thomas is more complex. There were in the Synoptic sources only two kingdoms. Now there are three kingdoms. Here is how to reconcile the fuller text:
"Render what is Caesars unto Caesar!" - This portion is for the kingdom of this world which Adam and his wife literally sold to gain knowledge. This kingdom is one of death and decay and it is bought and sold to those who continue in the footsteps of our ancestors, being of the majority, who still follow the will of The-Adversary.
"What is God's, give unto God!" - This portion is for the kingdom of God which is now hidden from this world. This is the eternal kingdom subject to the control of the only God, He who reigns beyond the senses of mankind, and His dominion is a majesty of perfection.
"And that which is mine, give unto me!" - This portion is for the kingdom of heaven on Earth. This is the kingdom which Jesus promised was attainable to those who follow the will of God in this life. This was his challenge to The-Adversary, to fight without weapons for the glory of the kingdoms, both seen and unseen. His enemy is the enemy of every believer, and Satan's control over this world is poised to come crashing down for the sake of the few.