What was the currency in Jesus time?

What coins were used at the time of Jesus?

According to the Gospels, Jesus was well aware of the importance of money. He most likely handled silver, bronze and gold coins, both local and from the neighboring regions – Jewish, Greek, Roman, Syrian, Nabatean, Egyptian, all present in Judea at the time.

What money did they use in the Bible?


Several currencies were used in the Bible, including gold, silver and barley. Silver was popular for everyday use because it was scarce, but not as scarce as gold – and more durable than barley.

Which coin was used by the Jews in the time of Jesus?

Although the official name of the temple tax coin was half a shekel, Jewish sources record that the only coin type the priests acknowledged was the one called the Tyrian shekel.

What was Roman money called?

aureus, basic gold monetary unit of ancient Rome and the Roman world. It was first named nummus aureus (“gold money”), or denarius aureus, and was equal to 25 silver denarii; a denarius equaled 10 bronze asses. (In 89 bc, the sestertius, equal to one-quarter of a denarius, replaced the bronze ass as a unit of account.)

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How much was a silver coin worth in Jesus time?

Other parts of the New Testament (such as Matthew 20) use the ‘silver piece’ as the typical (pre-tax!) wage for a day’s labour. So 30 pieces are about 5 weeks money (based on a 6 day working week.) In terms of purchasing power, each silver piece was probably worth about $20.

Who is on Israeli money?

People of Old Testament times most often weighed their money in shekels or talents. We read in Genesis 37:28 [Gen. … Each piece was probably a shekel’s worth, and a shekel was the equivalent of about half an ounce (15 grams). Twenty shekels of silver would have been enough to buy ten rams.

Was cattle used as money?

The oldest form of money was livestock (or cattle), which was the primary currency in a variety of societies between 9000 and 6000 BC. It is likely that they came to be used as money not just because of the milk or meat they potentially provided, but also because of their value as religious sacrifices.

How much is a days wage in the Bible?

If we define a “daily wage” as what provides sufficient for an individual’s basic dietary needs, a laborer in New Testament Palestine would need to earn one denarius about every three weeks. If that same laborer was providing for a family of four, he would need to earn about one denarius about every five days.

What was the money in the temple treasury used for?

In the Second Temple, the treasury was used for storing the grain for the Levites. In Nehemiah and Zechariah, this became the subject of contention when Eliashib, grandson of Joshua the high priest, leased the storehouse to Tobiah the Ammonite.

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What does shekels mean in English?

Definition of shekel

1a : any of various ancient units of weight especially : a Hebrew unit equal to about 252 grains troy. b : a unit of value based on a shekel weight of gold or silver. 2 : a coin weighing one shekel. 3 shekels plural, informal : money …

What is Tyrian currency?

Tyrian shekels, tetradrachms, or tetradrachmas were coins of Tyre, which in the Roman Empire took on an unusual role as the medium of payment for the Temple tax in Jerusalem, and subsequently gained notoriety as a likely mode of payment for Judas Iscariot. … They were replaced by First Jewish Revolt coinage in 66 AD.

How much is a Roman gold coin worth?

An 8.18-gram Roman gold aureus from the time of Julius Caesar (died 44 BCE) would contain gold worth $330.50. The spot price of silver is $14.22 per Troy ounce.

Where did Romans keep their money?

Money was commonly stored in various different temples for both practical and security reasons as a temple could catch fire or be ransacked. Priests kept track of deposits and loans. Temples did not pay interest on deposits but charged interest on loans and were involved in currency exchange and validation.

Where did Rome get its gold?

As the Roman Empire grew, the hunger for gold expanded too. Their victories got them gold from mines at Vercellae, the Rhine River, as well as from the Atlantic coast of Central Africa and parts of Egypt – indeed, from all over the world.