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Decorating currency is an ancient practice, it began before Christ.

In the New Testament Christ is confronted by the Pharisees about whether or not it was lawful to pay the Roman tax.  Christ asked whose face was on the coin.

They shouted Caesar’s.

Christ responded, “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s and to God the things that are God’s.”

This quote is cited as a precursor to our separation of church and state, but Christ wasn’t establishing a precedent he was avoiding a trap.

If Christ said, “Don’t pay the tax” the Romans would have charged him with sedition.

If Christ said, “Pay the tax,” he would have been discredited by those that rejected Roman rule.

But there was another matter.

Under Mosaic Law the Pharisees were required to pay a temple tax.  But if they also paid a tax to the Emperor, a man-god, would their tribute to Caesar violate their commandments?  (Thou shall have no other gods, graven images, and false idols)

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