SPECIAL TOPIC: COINS IN USE IN PALESTINE IN JESUS' DAY

I.  Copper coins

A. cherma – little value (cf. John 2:15)

B. chalchos – little value (cf. Matt. 10:9; Mark 12:41)

C. assarion – a Roman copper coin worth about 1/16 of a dēnarius (cf. Matt. 10:29)

D. kodrantes – a Roman copper coin worth 1/64 of a dēnarius (cf. Matt. 5:26)

E. lepton – a Jewish copper coin worth about 1/128 of a dēnarius (cf. Mark 12:42; Luke 21:2)

F. quadrans/farthing – a Roman copper coin of little value

 

II.  Silver coins

A. arguros ("silver coin") – much more valuable than copper or bronze coins (cf. Matt. 10:9; 26:15)

B. dēnarius – a Roman silver coin worth a day's labor (cf. Matt. 18:28; Mark 6:37)

C. drachmē – a Greek silver coin equivalent in value to a dēnarius (cf. Luke 15:9)

D. di-drachmon – a double drachmas equaled a Jewish ½ shekel (cf. Matt. 17:24)

E. statēr – a silver coin worth about four dēnarii (cf. Matt. 17:27)

 

III.  Gold coins – chrusos ("gold coins") – most valuable coins (cf. Matt. 10:9)

 

IV.  General terms for weights of metals

A. mnaa – Latin mina, a weight of metal equivalent to 100 dēnarii (cf. Luke 19:13)

B. talanton – a Greek unit of weight (cf. Matt. 18:24; 25:15,16,20,24,25,28)

1. silver worth 6,000 dēnarii 2. gold worth 180,000 dēnarii

C. sheqel – Jewish OT weight of silver (cf. Gen. 23:15; 37:28; Exod. 21:32)

1. pīm – 2/3 shekel

2. beka – ½ shekel

3. gerah – 1/20 shekel

Larger units

1. maneh – 50 shekels 

2. kikkar – 3,000 shekels

 

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