April 26, 2013 10:54 pm

The New Testament Church Part 6

Posted In: The Blog, The Church

 Re-Blogged From Dewayne Dulaney


In the previous article of the series, we looked at the answer given by God’s Holy Spirit to the question about salvation asked in Acts chapter 2 by some Jews visiting Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost. The Apostle Peter, chosen by Jesus as the one who would have the “keys to the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 16:19) had just had the privilege of preaching the first Gospel sermon and thus, opening the door to salvation. That was the first of the three occasions the Spirit of God led Luke to record an answer to the question of how to be saved from one’s sin. We will now look at the second occasion, recorded in Acts 16:29—34. This time, the question is asked by a Roman jailer in the Greek city of Philippi. Again, unless otherwise noted, Scripture quotations are from the Today’s New International Version (TNIV), the 2001 update to the New International Version (NIV).

The Background of Acts 16

The Apostle Paul, formerly known as Saul of Tarsus, had become a Christian some years earlier after a dramatic encounter with the risen Christ. (We will look at his conversion in our next article for this series.) Once a persecutor of the early church (Acts 7:57-8:2; 9:1-2), Paul was now a missionary eager to spread the faith he had once sought to destroy. He had been commissioned by Jesus (Acts 9:15—16), and received the message he was to preach directly from Jesus (Galatians 1:1, 11—17).

After being vouched for by Barnabas (Acts 9:26—28), he was accepted by the Jerusalem church and began his missionary career. He and Barnabas teamed up to help the young church in Antioch of Syria, where the disciples or followers of Jesus were first called Christians (Acts 11:25—26). They also worked together to bring funds for famine relief to Jewish Christians (Acts 11:27—29) in Judea. Returning to Antioch after completing this mission, Paul and Barnabas were called by God’s Holy Spirit to undertake a missionary journey to preach on the island of Cyprus (Acts 13:1—4). After starting the church there, they worked next in the southern part of Asia Minor, now the country of Turkey, preaching in Pisidian Antioch and other cities in the region of Galatia. Both some Jews and many non-Jews, or Gentiles, responded favorably to their preaching. (Acts 14). Paul and Barnabas also partnered to resist the efforts of some Jewish Christians to require circumcision of Gentile Christians as a means of salvation (Acts 15:1—35). After a conference on the matter was held at Jerusalem, the apostles and the elders of the Jerusalem church issued a decree stating the Gentiles would not be required to be circumcised in order to be saved. Paul and Barnabas, along with two representatives of the Jerusalem congregation, Judas Barsabbas and Silas, delivered the decree to Antioch of Syria and spent time encouraging the Christians there.

Some time later, Paul proposed to Barnabas a return visit to the cities where they had first worked to establish congregations. They disagreed over whether to take John Mark with them because he had deserted them on that first mission. They disagreed so much that they parted company. Barnabas went to Cyprus with Mark, and Paul decided to take Silas with him on the missionary journey (Acts 15:36—41).

The Mission of Paul and Company to Philippi

As Acts 16 opens, Paul and company visit the Galatian cities of Derbe and Lystra. In Lystra, Paul begins a partnership with the young Christian Timothy, whose mother is a Jewish Christian and whose father is a Greek, evidently a nonbeliever. Timothy was both well-known and highly recommended by the area Christians. Paul decides to take him on his team, and they travel on together, preaching and encouraging the Christians in the region of Phyrgia and Galatia (Acts 16:1—6). Heading west, they desired to preach in the Roman province of Asia, but the Holy Spirit did not permit them to. (Paul would preach there later, however.) They then desired to preach in Bithynia, in the northern part of Asia Minor (Turkey), but again were prevented by the Spirit’s directions. Going down to Troas, Paul has a vision during the night of a man in Macedonia (at that time, the northern part of Greece) begging for help. Paul and his companions concluded that the Holy Spirit had called them to preach the gospel of Christ there (Acts 16:9—10). The Good News or Gospel concerning Jesus had first been proclaimed in Asia (the Middle East); now it would be proclaimed in Europe, as well.

As the mission team approached Macedonia, they sailed into Neapolis, and from there traveled to Philippi. Luke tells us that Philippi was a κολωνία (kolōnia)—a Latin loan word (from colonia) which denoted a Roman colony (Arndt-Gingrich Greek Lexicon). R.J. Knowling noted, “...there were many Greek colonies, ἀποικία [apoikia] or ἐποικία [epoikia], but κολ. [κολωνία (kolōnia)] denoted a Roman colony, i.e., one enjoying theIus Italicum like Philippi, governed by Roman law, and on the model of Rome....” (The Acts of the Apostles, The Expositor's Greek Testament, vol. 2, 344.) As brother David L. Roper noted, to fully understand the significance of Philippi being a Roman colony, we need to know something of its history.

Originally, Philippi was a village named Crenides. King Philip II of Macedon, father of Alexander the Great, became interested in the area because of a gold-producing mountain there. He built fortifications at Crenides and renamed it Philippi. Later, a pivotal battle that determined the destiny of the Roman Republic was fought on the plains outside Philippi. (Shakespeare referred to the battle in his play Julius Caesar .) In the battle Octavian (later known as Augustus, who became the first Roman emperor) and Mark Antony defeated Brutus and Cassius, the murderers of Julius Caesar, Octavian’s uncle and adoptive father. When Augustus became emperor, he made Philippi a Roman colony. The city then was called Colonia Julia Augustus Philippensium. Luke used the common name of the city, Philippi. Six cities mentioned in Acts were Roman colonies: Antioch of Pisidia, Lystra, Troas, Philippi, Corinth, and Ptolemais. Only Philippi, however, is specifically called a Roman colony by Luke.

Brother Roper goes on to point out that a Roman colony had many privileges. The people ruled themselves and were exempt from paying taxes to Rome. In effect, a Roman colony was a bit of Rome on foreign soil. Rome settled many army veterans in these colonies, where they had special privileges. The citizens wore Roman clothing, spoke Latin instead of Greek, practiced Roman customs, and were fiercely patriotic (vv. 20, 21). In several ways a Roman colony was more Roman than the city of Rome itself. Rome itself was a cosmopolitan place, mixing many cultures. It had many Jews and many synagogues, for instance (Acts 18:2; 28:17). Philippi, however, had few Jews, and apparently no synagogue (David L. Roper, Acts 15—28, Truth for Today Commentary, 57).

After several days in the city, the missionaries found that some Jewish women and others attracted to the Jewish faith were meeting by the Gangas River (J.W. McGarvey, Acts, 182 ). Luke tells us that the site was a place of prayer (v. 13), and that it was the Sabbath. One of the women was named Lydia, who was a dealer in purple cloth from the city of Thyatira. The color came from a dye made from the secretions of a certain shellfish. Among the rich and government officials the purple cloth was in great demand; it was used as the official toga at Rome and in the colonies (Gareth L. Reese, New Testament History: Acts, 577). More important than Lydia’s occupation, though, was her character: Luke says she was a “worshipper of God” or, as commentators say, a “God-fearer” (Greek σεβομένη τὸν θεὸν, seboménē ton theon). The term can also be translated “devout”. It was applied both to proselytes (Greek προσήλυτοι, prosēlytoi), or “converts to Judaism” (Acts 13:43)—those Gentles, or people of non-Jewish origin who fully accepted the Jewish religion, including circumcision for males—and those who did not accept circumcision but embraced the rest of the Jewish faith, including belief in the God of the Bible, the biblical moral code taught in the Torah or Old Testament, and worship on the Sabbath and other holy days (Roper, ibid., 59-60; also his Acts 1—14,382 [comments on 10:2]). The latter are sometimes called ” half-proselytes” or “proselytes of the gate.” Thus Lydia was a female counterpart to Cornelius, the devout Roman army captain or centurion (Acts 10:1—2). When Paul and his companions met her and the other women gathered for worship, she and her household believed their message about Jesus as the Messiah and Savior and became Christians (Acts 16:14—15).

Paul and Silas are Arrested at Philippi (Acts 16:16)

Some time later, while on the way to the place of prayer by the river in Philippi, Paul and his team encountered a female slave who was possessed by an evil spirit who allowed her to predict the future. She made a great deal of money for her owners in this way. She began following the missionaries around, shouting that they were “servants of the Most High God, who are telling you the way to be saved” (verse 17). This continued for several days, and finally Paul commanded in the name of Jesus that the evil spirit leave her, and it did so (verse 18). While the girl’s statement was true, Paul and company did not want demonic testimony to their message, lest those he sought to convert associate Christianity with evil. Likewise, Jesus rejected this and refused to allow demons to testify concerning his credentials, even though they recognized his deity and authority as he cast them out (Mark 1:25, 34).

When the slave girl’s owners learned she could no longer foretell the future, and their hope of profit was gone, they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them before the authorities. The slave girl’s owners identified Paul and Silas as Jews and claimed the missionaries had caused an uproar by advocating customs unlawful for them as Romans to accept or practice. While many Romans regarded Judaism as a superstition (this prejudice was later extended by some Romans to include Christianity), it was nevertheless a legal religion to practice under the Empire. But Roman law at the time did not allow “foreign-religious propaganda among Roman citizens” (F.F. Bruce,Commentary on the Book of the Acts, New International Commentary, 336).

Urged on by a crowd that had gathered, the magistrates then ordered Paul and Silas stripped and beaten with rods, apparently not even taking the time to investigate the charges (verse 22). They could have paid dearly for this omission later, had Paul and Silas chosen to cause trouble for them—because the two Christians were themselves Roman citizens, and such treatment of Roman citizens was a clear violation of Roman law. It was explicitly forbidden by the Valerian and Porcian laws to have a Roman citizen beaten (Livy, History of Rome, IV.9). These laws were passed between 500 and 200 B.C. Whenever on trial, a citizen could claim his rights by saying, “I am a Roman citizen” (Latin “civis Romanus sum”). To falsely claim Roman citizenship was punishable by death (Suetonius, Claudius, XXV). If Paul and Silas had pressed charges against the officials for their unlawful punishment, the magistrates could have been stripped of their office, and never allowed to hold office again (Cicero, In Verrem, V.66;De Republica, II.31). The punishment could be even more severe: according to Dionysius of Halicarnassus, “The punishment appointed for those who abrogated or transgressed the Valerian law was death, and the confiscation of his property.” (Reese, 594-595; the Latin for “I am a Roman citizen” is quoted in Richard N. Longenecker, The Acts of the Apostles, The Expositor's Bible Commentaryvol. 9, 466. I have modified his spelling of “ciuis” to “civis”.)

Either Paul and Silas did not claim their rights as citizens at this time, or were ignored; perhaps in the clamor of the crowd, their protests were not heard. Whatever the case, they were beaten with rods. The men who carried out this beating were those later sent as messengers to the prison ordering Paul and Silas’ release. The Greek text of Acts 16:35 calls these officers ῥαβδούχους (rabdouchous), or “rod-bearers”. The Romans called them lictores (English “lictors”); this term is used for them in the Latin Vulgate Bible in verse 35. As symbols of their office, the lictors carried bundles of rods—with an axe inserted among them under certain circumstances, the fasces et secures—representing the magistrates’ right to inflict corporal and capital punishment. It was from this “bundle” (Latin fascis) of rods and axes, used as an emblem, that the name of Benito Mussolini’s Fascist party was derived (Bruce, ibid., 336 and footnote 49).

Once the flogging was over, the magistrates ordered Paul and Silas thrown into prison, and to be guarded carefully. When he received these orders, the jailer put them in the inner cell, the most secure area, and fastened their feet in stocks.

Exterior, Roman prison at Philippi. Possible site of Paul and Silas' imprisonment. Photo from BibleStudy.org.

Divine Intervention Leads to the Jailer’s Question: “What Must I Do to be Saved?” (Acts 16:25—30)

What a situation Paul and Silas found themselves in! Rights trampled on, beaten, bleeding, and bruised, treated like criminals.

Most people in their circumstances would have complained and cursed. Instead, we find them praying and praising God with hymns, and the other prisoners were listening to them. Most likely, they had never heard prisoners do that before. The prisoners, though, were not the only ones listening: God was listening, too. And in answer to their prayers, he intervened with a great earthquake that shook the foundations of the prison, opened the doors of the cells, and made all the prisoners’ chains come loose.

The jailer, seeing what had happened and thinking the prisoners must have escaped, drew his sword and was about to kill himself. Footnote 104 in the NET (New English Translation) New Testament (on verse 27) says about this, “The jailer’s penalty for failing to guard the prisoners would have been death, so he contemplated saving the leaders the trouble (see Acts 12:19; 27:42)”. Paul, realizing this, shouted, “Don’t harm yourself! We are all here!” Calling for lights, the jailer fell down trembling before Paul and Silas; he then he brought them out of the prison and asked the crucial question:“Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” (Acts 16:30)

Brother J.W. McGarvey has a perceptive comment about the jailer’s question and his state of mind:

That he asked this question proves that he had some conception of the salvation of which Paul had been preaching; and that he trembled, and fell at their feet, shows that he was overwhelmed with a sense of danger, and painfully anxious to escape from it. At sunset, when coldly thrusting the bleeding apostles into the dungeon, he cared but little for this question. In the midst of life and health, when all goes well with us, we may thrust this awful question from us; but when we come within an inch of death, like the jailer at midnight, hanging over the point of his own sword, it rushes in upon the soul like a lava torrent, and burns out all other thoughts.(Commentary on Acts , 189)

The jailer's question tells us something valuable for our understanding of this account, something we need to know considering the many false teachings about salvation, including the jailer and his family’s salvation, that are being spread today. After pointing out that the jailer’s question showed he realized the necessity of being saved, and that he personally needed to be saved, Brother Neale Pryor stated,

Thirdly, the jailer realized that there was something he must do. Many people tell us that there is nothing that we can do, that there is no way that we can "help God save us." Most of those who make this claim will admit that we need to be receptive, believe, and even repent before God can save them. As long as man does not earn his salvation, his salvation is still by grace. The fact that grace is conditional does not mean that it is not grace. The children of Israel were given the Land of Promise, but they had to drive out the Caananites. Naaman was healed of his leprosy, but he had to dip in the river Jordan. There is something we must do in order to be saved. ("The Question of the Jailer", Gospel Advocate, January 16, 1986, 38)

God's Answer and the Jailer's Response (verses 31—34)

Paul and Silas, as God’s messengers to Philippi, give this answer: “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household”. Now the jailer had heard something of what the missionaries had preached, but he as yet did not know who Jesus was, or had limited knowledge at best. Therefore, as Luke tells us, Paul and Silas “spoke the word of the Lord to him and all the others in his house”. Their message, then, would have explained who Jesus is, why he is to be believed in as Savior and Lord, and what one must do in response.

Notice what happened next after they spoke to the jailer and family: “At that hour of the night the jailer took them and washed their wounds; then immediately he and all his household were baptized.” (verse 33). Many who preach and teach about this case of conversion today, who believe that one is saved by faith only, completely ignore this verse and skip over it when they discuss this example of conversion. Yet such handing does not do justice to the text as given by the Holy Spirit through Luke. If we take the text as given, and seek to look at it with an open mind, the natural conclusion is that “the word of the Lord” spoken by Paul and Silas included the commands to repent and be immersed (baptized), exactly as the divinely inspired message spoken by Peter in Acts 2:38 did. Also the honest reader would conclude that the jailer and family did these acts in order to be saved, just as the 3000 Jews in Peter’s audience did (See the earlier article in the series, The Question on Pentecost, Part B.). The jailer showed repentance for mistreating these men by washing their wounds.

We see further that Luke, led by God to record this account, understood that believing in Jesus included obedience to his commands, for he concludes by saying “The jailer...was filled with joy because he had come to believe in God—he and his whole household” (verse 34; emphasis mine).

Again, brother McGarvey has a perceptive comment concerning the relation of faith in Christ and obedience:

Those who argue that the jailer obtained pardon by faith alone, leave the jail too soon. If they would remain one hour longer, they would see him immersed for the remission of his sins, and rejoicing in the knowledge of pardon after his immersion, not before it. (McGarvey, Ibid.,190)

In his article referenced above, Brother Neale Pryor also talked about this connection between faith and obedience, and that the jailer's actions showed he realized this:

Why did the jailer insist on being baptized the same hour of the night? It was close to 1 or 2 a.m. when the jailer wanted to be baptized. I know of no explanation for this unless the jailer realized that he was not saved until he was baptized. We cannot imagine Paul telling the jailer to sleep on it and wait until the morning or maybe until Sunday and come forward at the morning worship hour for baptism. What do you think the jailer would have done if Paul had brought him to this point in faith, told him to think about it tomorrow and then gone to bed? I don't think the jailer wold have given him one minute's rest. (Pryor, Ibid.)

We would further note that Luke implies strongly the deity of Christ here, as he equated believing in the Lord Jesus (verse 31) with believing in God (verse 34).

Two further points need to be made concerning the baptism of the jailer and his family. First, we should point out that some who claim that infant baptism is necessary attempt to use the fact that the jailer’s household was baptized to support this view, as they also try with the account of Lydia and her household earlier in this same chapter of Acts. The attempt is futile as it does not fit the facts of either case. In both cases, people were baptized in response to teaching after believing; Lydia’s is implied by her statement in verse 15, and that of both the jailer and his family is stated in verse 34. Infants are not capable of believing, nor can they repent. They are innocent, and have no sins to repent of.

Second, despite the clear evidence of both Scripture and ancient history that baptism was by immersion in water, and only immersion, in apostolic times—the time of the New Testament—some in the past and even today teach that the jailer and his family’s baptism consisted of sprinkling or pouring water. (To review the evidence, see the earlier article in this series, The Question on Pentecost, Part A.) Adam Clarke argued this, as did even so good a scholar as F.F. Bruce, having them baptized at a well in the prison courtyard; others suggest a fountain as the source, to the same effect.

Given that such teaching flies in the face of the evidence, the suggestion of A.T. Robertson is much more reasonable:

...It looks as if his house was above the prison. The baptism apparently took place in the pool or tank in which he bathed Paul and Silas (De Wette) or the rectangular basin (impluvium) in the court for receiving the rain or even in a swimming pool or bath (κολυμβηθρα [kolumbēthra]) found within the walls of the prison (Kuinoel). Meyer: "Perhaps the water was in the court of the house; and the baptism was that of immersion, which formed an essential part of the symbolism of the act."(Robertson,Word Pictures in the New Testament)

Roman house (reconstruction) showing atrium with impluvium. Such a reservoir could have been used at the jailer's house to immerse him and his family. Photo courtesy Wilfred Major from Web Lecture marterial on Roman housing.

It is also possible that they went to the river, which is doubtless where Lydia and her household were immersed.

The Outcome of the Mission to Philippi (Acts 16:35—40)

When it was daybreak, the magistrates sent the lictors to the jailer, saying “Release these men.” Paul and Silas were not about to let matters rest with their reputations, and by extension, the reputation of Christ and his church, left under a cloud. So, for the sake of the young group of Christians in Philippi, he demanded a public apology. He told the lictors that since they were Roman citizens, yet had been beaten publicly without a trial, then thrown into prison, the magistrates should come in person and escort them out. And indeed, this was the least they could do, for all these actions against the missionaries were blatantly illegal, as we have seen.

After hearing the report of the lictors, the alarmed magistrates did as Paul and Silas asked and escorted them out, and requested that they leave the city. After spending time with Lydia and her family to encourage them, they left.

Paul continued to have a close relationship with the young church there; they assisted him financially in his missionary work over the years, and continued to show him their love and encourage him. Later, while in prison in Rome for Christ, Paul wrote them his most personal letter, showing his deep affection for them. We know it today as the New Testament book of Philippians.

In the next article of the series, we will look at Paul’s own conversion and how the Lord answered his question about salvation. Please join us, with an open Bible and an open mind.

Works Cited

Bauer, Walter. A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature. Translated and adapted by William F. Arndt and F. Wilbur Gingrich. 2nded. Revised and augmented by F. Wilbur Gingrich and Frederick W. Danker. Chicago and London: The University of Chicago Press, 1979.

BibleStudy.org, online at http://www.biblestudy.org/biblepic/philpris.html andhttp://www.biblestudy.org/biblepic/picture-of-philippi-marketplace-from-paul-missionary-journey.html.© 2008 Barnabas Ministries, All RIghts Reserved. 

Bruce, F. F. Commentary on the Book of the Acts. The English Text with Introduction, Exposition, and Notes. N.p.,n.d.: rpt., Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1981.

Clarke, Adam. Commentary on the Bible. N.p., 1810/1825; Digital edition: module in MacSword Bible study software for Macintosh OS X, version 1.3 beta. Online athttp://www.macsword.com/.(A version for Windows is available at The Sword Project, Crosswire Bible Society, http://www.crosswire.org/sword/index.jsp. Click on the Software link to go to the download page.

Dulaney, Dewayne. “Marks of the New Testament Church, Part IV: The Question on Pentecost, Part A.” 1 February 2008. Online at the blog “Dewayne’s Devarim: Bible Studies in the Digital Age”, at http://my.opera.com/Loquor/blog/2008/02/02/marks-of-the-new-testament-church-part-iv-the-question-on-pentecost-part-a . Copyright ©2007-2008 Dewayne and Mary Dulaney. All rights reserved.

 “Marks of the New Testament Church, Part V: The Question on Pentecost, Part B.” 2 February 2008. Online at the blog “Dewayne’s Devarim: Bible Studies in the Digital Age”, at http://my.opera.com/Loquor/blog/2008/02/02/marks-of-the-new-testament-church-part-v-the-question-on-pentecost-part-b . Copyright ©2007-2008 Dewayne and Mary Dulaney. All rights reserved.

Knowling, R.J. The Acts of the Apostles. In The Expositor's Greek TestamentVol. 2 (Acts-1 Corinthians). W. Robertson Nicholl, Editor. N.p, n.d.; rpt.: Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1983.

Longenecker, Richard N. The Acts of the Apostles. In The Expositor's Bible CommentaryVol.9 (John-Acts). Frank E. Gaebelein, General Editor. Regency Reference Library. Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1981.

Mac Gallery, http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/Ridge/1217/MacGalleryIndex.html I found the "Made with the Magic of Macintosh" banner here. (No copyright info listed).

McGarvey, J.W. A Commentary on Acts of the Apostles. 7th ed. Lexington, Kentucky: Transylvania Printing and Publishing Co., 1872; rpt., electronic edition, Adobe Acrobat Reader (PDF) format, by Ernie Stefanik, 1997-1998. Public domain. Found online at Christian Classics Ethereal Library, http://www.ccel.org/.

Microsoft Office Online: http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/default.aspx (Clip art and photos). I found the the "Roman Librarian" image (by the "You're Invited to Comment" statement) at this site. ©2008 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

New English Translation (NET) Bible. Digital edition: Compiled HTML help file format. Online at http://www.bible.org/ ©1996-2001 Biblical Studies Press.

Pryor, Neale. “The Question of the Jailer”. Gospel Advocate. January 16, 1986. Pp. 38, 40.

Reese, Gareth L. New Testament History: A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Book of Acts. Joplin, Missouri: College Press, 1976. 4th printing, 1980.

Robertson, A.T. Word Pictures in the New Testament. Digital edition: module in MacSword Bible study software for Macintosh OS X, version 1.3 beta. Online athttp://www.macsword.com/. (A version for Windows is available at The Sword Project, Crosswire Bible Society, http://www.crosswire.org/sword/index.jsp. Click on the Software link to go to the download page.)

Roper, David L. Acts 1—14. Truth for Today Commentary: An Exegesis and Application of the Holy Scriptures. Eddie Cloer, D. Min., General Editor. Searcy, Arkansas: Resource Publications, 2001.

Acts 15—28. Truth for Today Commentary: An Exegesis and Application of the Holy Scriptures. Eddie Cloer, D. Min., General Editor. Searcy, Arkansas: Resource Publications, 2001.

Web Lecture Material, Wilfred E. Major, "Introduction to Roman Housing and Decoration: 2. Space: From Front to Back of the Roman House", originally prepared for lecture in Humanities Program at St. Anselm College. Online athttp://home.att.net/~b.b.major/space.html ©1999-2000 Wilfred E. Major. I found the image of a Roman house showing an impluvium (reconstruction) at this site.

Wikimedia Commons, http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Image:Mercury_dime.jpg. Composite image. Original obverse image by Bobby131313. Original uploader was Cholmes 75 at www.en.wikipedia. Later versions uploaded by DaveHinz atwww.en.wikipedia. Wikimedia® is a registered trademark of Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. I found the images of the U.S. 1936 “Mercury” dime (the reverse shows the Roman fasces) at this site. 

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