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Free Yourself from Modern Religious Slavery
by sadh Sunday, May 29 2011, 1:31am
international / theology / commentary

The Parable of the Fish and the Coin

I would first refer to what appears to the ignorant to be a most enigmatic Christian parable; no doubt, it has puzzled theologians (morons) for centuries; however, its message is clear to some modern ‘scribes’ or writers – never forget the New Testament is a textual production written by skilled practitioners in the ART [of writing!]


Matthew 17:24-27 reads as follows -- KJV, brackets mine:

24 And when they were come to Capernaum, they that received tribute money [temple taxes] came to Peter, and said, Doth not your master [teacher] pay [the temple tax] tribute?

25 He saith, Yes. And when he [Peter] was come [returned] into the house, Jesus prevented [questioned] him, saying, What thinkest thou, Simon? of whom do the Kings of the earth [extract] take custom or tribute [tax]? of their own [kindred] children, or of strangers?

26 Peter saith unto him, Of strangers. Jesus saith unto him, Then are the children free. [kindred are exempt from the tax.]

27 Notwithstanding, lest we should offend them, go thou to the sea, and cast an hook, and take up the fish that first cometh up; and when thou hast opened his mouth, thou shalt find a piece of money [currency]: that take, and give unto them for me and thee.
A little gem indeed! The parable utilises many literary artifices to deliver a veiled but very clear message for ‘those with the eyes to see’ [able to DECODE the text]. However, I confess I do have an advantage; I am a modern (scribe) writer and have, by very good fortune, avoided all religious training (indoctrination) which has enabled me to view all religious texts without bias or through the fog of blind belief.

Like all texts, the Bible was written by humans for humans – there is nothing supernatural or un-reasonable about it!

A major theme (never contradicted throughout the text) of the NT is the detestation/rejection of money. The plot is one man’s revolt/MARCH against the social injustices and CORRUPTION (Bankers/money changers and ‘ruling priests’) of the time. The NT is simply a manual for social and spiritual R/EVOLUTION; a guide for displacing materialist values with humanist values, but to return to the parable! [How far has money-grubbing modern Christianity strayed?]

We note from the text that a tax must first be extracted from those that would enter this ‘Kingdom’ city. Peter is confronted by that request put to him in the form of a question. He returns to his master/teacher, Jesus, to inform him of the obligatory tax. Jesus clarifies the situation for Peter by eliciting, via a pedagogical trick (persistent inquiry) the correct response.

Please note that the early symbol of Christianity, specifically Christ, was NOT the Cross -- a later pagan superimposition – but the FISH; a clever symbolic intersection of two circles – I will deal with that symbol in a future analysis. Some readers may have already pre-empted the correct interpretation of the parable from that key but for those who have not, we continue.

A clear distinction is made between those liable to pay the tax and those who are exempt. Of course, the ‘King’ referred to is God and the Son or kindred is Jesus but what of others?

They must MAKE an EFFORT via appropriate DEEDS to pay this tax – here illustrated by the ACT of throwing a hook and line into the sea and catching a fish. Note that Jesus, the Son, does not attempt to avoid this tax; instead he emphasises the necessity of this tax or ‘DUTY’ as a clear pre-condition for entering the city (Kingdom).

The symbolic key of the Fish (Jesus) referred to above, is interesting in that the sea symbolically represents the infinite expanse. From this expanse the First Fish we catch delivers for us the means by which we are able to enter the Kingdom. In its ‘MOUTH’ is found the ‘CURRENCY’ required for non-kindred to enter paradise!

So, what IS this ‘currency?’ Is it a literal coin or material money? NO! It is every word that issues from the MOUTH of God or the Christian Saviour. Jesus' TEACHING is clearly indicated. And what is His essential teaching; brotherly Love, equality, compassion and humanist values replacing vacuous material values! Recall the famous passage, “Man shall not live by bread [material values] alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” (Matthew 4:4)

The message is clear, we are ALL OBLIGED to ACT and follow certain principles in order to enter the Kingdom of God. In fact we are DUTY-bound to reject corruption, injustice and corrupt leadership wherever we see it; we MUST, according to this beautiful little parable, make every EFFORT to follow the humanist teaching of Christ by rejecting MONEY/material wealth, as HIS testament CLEARLY INDICATES.

The teaching of LOVE, equality and UNITY is as relevant today as it ever was; we should embrace, not kill each each other; we should reject all attempts to divide humanity by whatever means; we are to reject materialism (money) and hedonism completely and 'march' on the CORRUPT Corporate controlled Capital and remove corrupt money changers/bankers from our sacred institutions as the Christian Saviour did before us -- Jesus also stated that his life is OUR example -- marching on our corrupt Capitals to remove the criminals that have hijacked our democracies is clearly required today.

According to the text, WE are actually OBLIGED to make every EFFORT in that regard or quite clearly, we will not be admitted to Paradise!

It is clear that Christianity, as taught by Christ himself, is NOT a passive, slavish religion – it is a way of positive action/life!

Would it be accurate to state here that Washington DC, Wall St and other government capitals throughout the world are nests of vipers? You answer that for yourselves and realise that denial/inaction in the face of overt brazen crime, or failure to meet our SOCIAL responsibilities creates karmic liabilities, which are equivalent to ‘sins’ in the Christian context.

Peace, Love and Harmony to all.

[Other interpretations of the Christian text are available in the ‘Theology’ section on this site.]


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forest for the trees
by sam Sunday, May 29 2011, 10:57pm

thank you for your interpretation, the best i've ever read on that puzzling parable.

in a deliberate effort to mislead and blur the major themes and message of the New Testament theologians have always approached the Bible in segments or sections thereby missing the major import of the narrative -- a man completely opposed to the corruption of his day who set out on foot from a regional town to walk to the Capital and confront the money changers and corrupt ruling priests.

indeed the onus is on all Christians to emulate their Saviour today or be viewed as faithless cowards and despicable hypocrites.

you rightly refer to today's criminal governments and bankers and the lack of outrage and action from the people; only yesterday another drone war crime attack was reported in Afghanistan, which murdered yet more civilians including women and children -- the operator of this despicable remote attack was probably a 'Christian'.

it is the height of absurdity to commit a Serb general to the Hague while ignoring persistent American war crimes.

i admire your persistence and courage but it's obviously a lost cause; the only real religion in the USA is money -- the slogan, "In God we trust," was once printed on American coins and notes until it became apparent elites were advertising the fact that money is their God and as the Testament of Christ teaches, money is the root of all EVIL.

i would love to see all Christians marching on world capitals demanding justice and an end to all wars and the removal of criminals from high office, however, Babylon has not yet fallen.

Peace to you, brother.

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