The ye ‘ole Big B Files Mailbox – Version 3.01 (July/August, 2009)

Responding to feedback that has come into the Ye ‘ole Big B Files Mailbox is the subject of this Big B File.

            It is once again time to delve into the Ye ‘ole Big B Files Mailbox . . . . It’s been too long and the box is full.  A large amount of feedback is in response to the Big B Files commentary Christian Persecution in America. . .What Christian Persecution in America? from Monday, July 16, 2007…which we will delve into in a moment. 

            First, we will address the feedback in regard to the Big B File from September 6, 2008.   The Big B files has been mulling over the following comment submitted by Mike (mrparmele) on Tuesday, December 30, 2008 in response to the Big B File “Abortion: a woman’s right to choose…what?”. 

            “I think that it is a bit intellectually dishonest of you to lump everyone expressing a prochoice opinion into the group of people who want “abortion on demand and without any restrictions.” I am certain that there are many people in this country who feel that it is not the place of government to dictate to a woman what she does with her body and, at the same time, would never make that choice or (in the case of men) would never put their partners in a position to make that choice.
While I do not consider myself the defender of the prochoice position, or consider you the defender of the anti-abortion position, I would ask a question along the same lines as your post above: Why does the anti-abortion movement claim the mantle of being “pro-life” when the vast majority of the movement also approves of capital punishment? I am not assuming that you do, I am merely making an observation that I feel mirrors yours about the language used in this debate. If, as has been espoused many times by the anti-abortion movement, the taking of life is the soul province of God, then how is it not hypocritical to disapprove of abortion and approve and support the government’s taking of life, subverting the province of God?

            Just wondering, just found your web site, I hope that this could start useful discussions about many topics…thanks for the chance to comment.”

–  Mike (mrparmele) on Tuesday, December 30, 2008

               I believe Mike is referring to the part of the Big B File where I wrote “The people that say they are pro choice always tell us that they are pro choice because they want to “protect a woman’s right to choose.” Okay fine . . . a woman’s right to choose what . . . abortion or want? What is the other option besides abortion? The Big B Files would like to have those who are pro-choice and support abortion to answer those two very simple questions. Simple question, HUH?”  I read over the Big B File and did not find anywhere in the Big B File “Abortion: a woman’s right to choose…what? where you said that I lumped everyone expressing a prochoice opinion into the group of people who want “abortion on demand and without any restrictions.” In the Big B File I even sent your comment to a friend of mine, Deacon Jim Rupp of Charleston, IL.   I believe Deacon Jim put it best when he wrote to me this:

            “When Pope John Paul II wrote his encyclical The Gospel of Life, he not only explained the Church’s longstanding position against abortion, but also wrote of the sinfulness of euthanasia and also the growing awareness of the evil of capital punishment.  Paragraph 2267 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church also comes as close as any other document in practically forbidding the use of capital punishment, when it says, “Today, in fact, ….the cases in which the execution of the offender is an absolute necessity are very rare, if not practically non-existent.”

            I would also recommend reading The Seamless Garment, by the late Cardinal Joseph Bernardin.  In it, he nicely weaves together the various modern threats to the sanctity of life, and challenges Catholics to be opposed to not only abortion, but also euthanasia and the death penalty.  Mike is correct in saying that abortion is not the only evil that we must in conscience oppose.  But when we consider the 3500+ children that are murdered every day in the U.S. by abortion, then the number of people who are threatened by either euthanasia or capital punishment is very tiny, by comparison.  All human life is precious, but we must naturally speak out against and work more strenuously to eradicate the monstrous evil of abortion.  It is only right that we keep our priorities straight.”

 —Deacon Jim Rupp

             The Big B Files believes that it is being intellectually honest to ask . . .as was done in the Big B File “Abortion: a woman’s right to choose…what?” . . . what is essentially the central argument of the Pro-Choice Movement, whether you support abortion on demand…with or without restrictions or conditions of any kind.  You brought up a few good points in your feedback.  That includes the comment “Just wondering, just found your web site, I hope that this could start useful discussions about many topics…thanks for the chance to comment.” of which I agree with you on.  As far as your hope that the Big B Files could start useful discussions about many topics, that is the whole Idea of the Big B Files since its inception began in 2003. . . so spread the word about the Big B Files and you are most welcome for the chance to comment.

             The rest of the feedback mentioned below comes in relation to the Big B Files Christian Persecution in America. . .What Christian Persecution in America?, Judas, Jesus Christ and the 30 pieces of silver, Blocking the Return of the Fairness Doctrine & Protecting the First Amendment, and Hate Crimes Laws & You AND Your Pastor’s Free Speech Rights . . . . with the vast majority of the comments coming in relation to the Big B File Christian Persecution in America. . .What Christian Persecution in America? & Judas, Jesus Christ and the 30 pieces of silver

           “I read your piece above. I am a baptized Catholic and am tired of being persecuted by ignorant zealots who don’t know the first thing about Catholicism. But the reason I am dropping you a line is to suggest you run spell check/grammar check on your editorial. There are many errors, and corrections would make your arguments for non-persecution read as much more viable. Good luck to you.”

Suzanne Byrne — Sunday, December 2, 2007

                Well put Suzanne, and thanks so much for the heads up on the errors . . . .especially the spelling errors (which have since been fixed)! Not doing spell check on a final example did me in on a college final exam . . . very hard lesson learned.  I want to thank Anthropomorphous for his comments, especially the one about the Big B Files website overall. . . and by the way, you are welcome.

Somehow I missed the point. Probably lost in translation Anyway … nice blog to visit.    

cheers, Anthropomorphous.

Anthropomorphous — Thursday, June 19, 2008

            The Big B Files was touched to be a source for a school research paper written by Stevie this past winter.

Good job. What else do you have? This was really helpful for the paper I’m writing. I’m serious. I’m writing a research paper on how persecution isn’t really non-existent and not just a thing of the past and your post helped.

Stevie — Wednesday, December 10, 2008

          I think that we cannot complain about persecution. It is something we have to stand through, not up against. We need to accept that we will be persecuted.

PR — Saturday, December 13, 2008

I love your essay. It rings so true. They scream tolerance yet are intolerant to Christians, great points!

Jacquie — Monday, April 13, 2009

The rest of the feedback came in relation to the Big B File “Judas, Jesus Christ and the 30 pieces of silver”.   A large number of the comments offered either suggestions, other examples in relation to the 30 pieces of silver itself, or other perspectives . . . which are entirely welcome.

Hi Bryan,

        Thanks for the article. I was reading in Exodus this morning and came across the 7 pieces of silver and thought I’d search it out to see its value. I believe that in today’s society, people are so driven by money, that a great percentage of people would give Jesus up for even less. This also includes some Christians, and Christian Leaders. It’s really sad, but true. Thanks for raising the question and I will do the same at a small bible discussion that I’m a part of on Thursday nights here in New York.

God Bless,

Nedra Jones — Monday, August 25, 2008

         Wow! I’ve been wondering how much 30 pieces of silver was worth in the days when Judas betrayed Jesus. Know that I know, I concluded it was just straight greed on Judas behalf.

Lindy — Tuesday, September 2, 2008

             This is an interesting post and I admire the curiosity of the writer to research the current value of Judas’ bribe. However, I must disagree with the conclusion of the second commenter, “…it was just straight greed on Judas behalf.” First, when put together with the other writers, the Gospels present a picture of a Jesus who is in control of the goings on, according to Christian doctrine, he is fully GOD and fully human at the same time. In fact, in John, it appears as though Jesus picks Judas for the job of betrayal. Jesus dips a piece of bread and hands it to Judas, “and Satan entered into him.” Secondly, it was not the death of Jesus that redeemed the world, it was the resurrection. Without the resurrection, Jesus is nothing more than a first century Jewish prophet, of which there were hundreds. In order for the redeeming nature of the Son of God to be accomplished, the resurrection must occur and Jesus (remember, also fully God) must defeat death to reopen the gates of the Garden of Eden and allow humankind to rejoin the presence of God, as was his goal in the original creation of Adam.

Nice post though, thanks for the thoughts…

Mike — Tuesday, December 30, 2008

         The problem with this sort of simplistic calculation is that the value of land has increased substantially. Land is in static supply, whereas population is increased “a little bit” in the last 2,000 years, not to mention that land value is significantly altered by the value of local infrastructure.

          According to other calculations 30 shekels would be enough to provide a person moderately well for a month. But of course, that’s without all the mod cons.

Lev Lafayette — Tuesday, January 13, 2009

          I have to disagree with the article’s author – I’m not sure how 30 pieces of silver equates to a small farm with buildings when the scriptures clearly state that it was used to purchase a field in which to bury foreigners. This would suggest a) not a viable farm and b) Land that was of little use for farming. It may even be possible that the 30 pieces of silver were an invention by some of the Jewish establishment to blacken Judas’ name. More than once in the Gospels Jesus bids Judas to do “what he HAS to do”. It is also inconceivable that the Sanhedrin would need anybody to identify Jesus as He had been a thorn in their sides for some time – they would know what He looked like. Read Matthew 26:49-50 – Judas refers to Jesus as Rabbi (teacher – a term of reverence and hardly likely to be used by a betrayer) and Jesus addresses Judas as “friend”.

graham rice — Friday, February 6, 2009

I like this answer:

“The price of a slave was 30 silver shekels (perhaps 90 days’ wages). (Ex 21:32; compare Le 27:2-7.)

Judas Iscariot betrayed Jesus for 30 pieces of silver, evidently the price of a slave. (Mt 26:14-16, 47-50) No doubt these silver pieces were either shekels or other coins similar in value. But the kind of coin is not specified in the account, except for their being silver.

So, the price of a slave was he was paid, and that was about 90 days wages. If you want to extend to our time, think a bit above Minimum wage, times 8 times 90.
I used $7.25 and came up with about $5000.

The money was enough to by a small plot of land for a “potter’s field”.

3 Then Judas, who betrayed him, seeing he had been condemned, felt remorse and turned the thirty silver pieces back to the chief priests and older men, 4 saying: “I sinned when I betrayed righteous blood.” They said: “What is that to us? You must see to that!” 5 So he threw the silver pieces into the temple and withdrew, and went off and hanged himself. 6 But the chief priests took the silver pieces and said: “It is not lawful to drop them into the sacred treasury, because they are the price of blood.” 7 After consulting together, they bought with them the potter’s field to bury strangers. 8 Therefore that field has been called “Field of Blood” to this very day. 9 Then what was spoken through Jeremiah the prophet was fulfilled, saying: “And they took the thirty silver pieces, the price upon the man that was priced, the one on whom some of the sons of Israel set a price, 10 and they gave them for the potter’s field, according to what Jehovah had commanded me.”

This was acted out by Zechariah showing what little value they placed on him. This also applies on how little value the Jewish leaders, and Judas placed on Jesus.

Zechariah 11:12 Then I said to them: “If it is good in YOUR eyes, give [me] my wages; but if not, refrain.” And they proceeded to pay my wages, thirty pieces of silver.

13 At that, Jehovah said to me: “Throw it to the treasury—the majestic value with which I have been valued from their standpoint.” Accordingly I took the thirty pieces of silver and threw it into the treasury at the house of Jehovah.”

Kieron — Saturday, April 4, 2009

I just want to say…it’s wonderful to see people truly discussing the Word in a positive way…each gaining knowledge and seeing things in a different light….it is a blessing!!!!

gail — Friday, April 10, 2009

“This is an interesting discussion. I, like many of you, was very interested in finding the monetary equivalent of 30 pieces of silver in U.S. dollars. Thank you for the post. Also, in response to Mike’s comment: the shedding of Jesus’ blood did redeem us from our sins. Of course, it was in God’s plan for Jesus to be resurrected, but if He had not willingly laid his life down for us, then our chance for salvation would not be in existence. In Matthew 26:28, the scripture says, ‘For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.’
It is through the blood of Jesus Christ that we are able to have a chance at eternal life with Him.”

Comment by Brittney — Wednesday, June 17, 2009

            Well Put Brittney . . . .well put.  The whole point of the Big B File was to how much of a temptation is would be for us to betray Jesus today by giving an idea of how much 30 pieces of silver would buy today . . .although he has been betrayed for much less.

             And that is the Big B Files Mailbox.  As always . . . your feedback is most welcome and you can click on the comments link below and tell me what you think . . . I’m Bryan Hewing.


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