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"Then drew near unto him all the publicans and sinners for to hear him" (Luke 15:1)—The Jewish publicans (i.e., "tax-collectors" or "customs officers") employed by the Romans were shunned by their own countrymen as men who had bartered their national pride for Roman profit. It may be noted that the Roman officials who hired them were known in Latin as "publicani," and it is from this term that our English word "publican" is derived. Then the word rendered "sinners" in Luke 15:1 was often used in the first century as a semitechnical term to describe those who belonged to the lowest class of society, and so were thought of by the other Jews as outcast or degraded.
"The Pharisees and scribes" (Luke 15:2; cf. Matt. 23:2)—When considered in accord with the social and religious standards of first century Judaism, "the Pharisees and scribes" stood in complete contrast to the lowly and reputedly, and often actually, degraded "publicans and sinners" mentioned in the previous verse. The Pharisees, as their name (literally "Separatists" or "Separated ones") implies, separated themselves from those who gave less meticulous obedience to the Mosaic law, and were the most influential party—while the scribes (who were really lawyers) belonged to the most outstanding profession—of the day.
"Ten pieces of silver" (Luke 15:8)—The word rendered "piecesof of silver" is "drachmas" in Greek—the "drachma" being a silver coin worth about 10d. (20 cents), thus representing approximately our shilling or quarter. In the New Testament period, one of these coins represented a day's wages, and in view of this, the joy of the woman in finding her lost shilling is the more readily appreciated. Moffatt has the rendering: "shillings"; though Goodspeed and Weymouth prefer "silver coins."
Goodness Is from God
W. STUART BOOTH
Characteristics of Divine Science
HORTENSE W. LEWIS
"The hope of the race"
RUTH R. WESLER
MARGARET V. HEYWOOD
ALICE D. BREWER
A True Story
Natural science is the branch of human knowledge which...
Joseph G. Alden, Committee on Publication for the State of Nebraska,
It has been brought to my notice that in your issue of...
B. Howard Grigsby, former Committee on Publication for Ceylon,
I shall appreciate the courtesy of a little space to reply...
Miss Alice E. Rose, Committee on Publication for Sussex, England,
Extracts from Reports of Christian Science Committees on Publication
with contributions from L. Laing
"The scientific statement of being"
George Shaw Cook
with contributions from Wilhelm Hennies, Ruth Stenson, Edward F. Sweetser, Jessie Violet Lange
Testimonies in the Christian Science periodicals have...
Elenora R. Duckworth
Christian Science came into our family when I was a...
Gladys Miller Jones with contributions from George Ditson Jones
I wish to express my gratitude for Christian Science
U. Ann Nichols
Heartfelt gratitude urges me to share my blessings with...
Grace L. O'Hara
About sixteen years ago, my young baby and I left my...
Gladys A. Hay
I should like to pay a small part of my debt of gratitude...
Grace H. Fitch
Prompted by deep gratitude, I should like to testify to...
I wish to submit the following testimony as small evidence...
Clarence Elmer Carlstrom
Come Sing in Joyful Praise
CHARLOTTE M. ROBERTS
Signs of the Times
with contributions from J. G. F. Blaesi, W. H. Elliott, Beverley Nichols, W. R. Matthews, J. L. Newland