Number 3. 2015
Estudios bizantinos is a digital and international open-access journal of Byzantine Studies. It has been created by the Sociedad Española de Bizantinística and it welcomes scientific papers with original and high-quality content on any aspect of the Byzantine civilisation.

Douwe Tjalling Sieswerda

‘Mine is the silver, and Mine the gold’ (Haggai 2:8). With these words from the mouth of God the prophet Haggai meant to encourage the Jews, who after their return from the Babylonian Captivity prepared to build a new Temple, and doubted whether this Second Temple would in beauty and glory equal the First. This article is about the use and misuse of the divine message in Byzantine times, the various interpretations to which it was subjected, and the diversity of the intentions with which it was brought forward. Church Father John Chrysostom clashed with some of his believers over a selfish and false appeal to Haggai 2:8, and over a fraudulent sequel added by the falsifiers: “... and to whom if I wish I give it”. This was invented, he maintains, by the greedy among the rich, who aimed at putting the stamp of divine approval upon their unjustly acquired wealth. The believers criticized by Chrysostom spread their interpretation of the Haggai verse by word of mouth, but various authors, too, referred to it, putting it to all kinds of uses, from serious misrepresentation of the text to more “innocent” ones, all of which this article traces from Chrysostom’s time until late in the Empire’s existence.
Keywords: Biblical Studies, Bible citations, Patristics, Byzantine Literature, John Chrysostom