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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 1: Fri Feb 17, 2017 6:47 am
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Coin values in Israel circa 30 AD. A very rough guide.

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Coin values in Israel circa 30 AD. A very rough guide.

I was thinking about the value of coins in early 1st century Israel, and what they could buy.

Just playing, mind you, this needs to be slightly light-hearted because the information is so weak. I would welcome any additional or corrective information..... Smile

Let's look at Judas and his silver. A Tyrian full shekel weighed about 1/2 ounce of fine silver. And so I propose that Judas was paid out with thirty full shekels, total weight of 15 ounces of fine silver, because, as you will see later the Temple always had a lot of them at any one time.. Although the Temple head tax was a half shekel 1/4 oz of fine silver, men arriving in pairs at the Temple often paid with a full shekel...... moving on.....

G-Mark tells us that just before the feeding of the five thousand and their families the disciples asked Jesus if he expected them to spend two hundred pennies (denarii) on loaves of bread required to feed all. (Mark 6:37) If each family was given one loaf of bread, then 5000 loaves would be needed at a cost of 200 denarii. A silver denarii weighed 1/8 oz. Today, 5000 loaves of bread would cost about £5000 (I'm English!), and so we could 'guesstimate' (very roughly! )that 200 / 8= 25 silver oz = £5000. So an oz of silver was worth about £200.
So, just playing with ideas here:-

Judas received 15 oz of silver = £3000 for cheating on and giving up his leader and friend. (Matthew 26:15)

A loaf of bread was cripplingly expensive at £25. (One Denarius 1/8 oz Silver. Mark 6:37)

A peasant could earn about one denarius (£25) per day. (Matthew 20:2)

The Temple head tax cost circa £50 per annum (Tyrian half-shekel 1/4 ounze of silver) , or each visit (because I can't think of how any receipt records would have been kept).

The Temple income at any Great Feast could be as much as 400,000 x £50 = £20 million !!! I never realised just how huge this money-go-round was!

No wonder why Rome carried out a kidney-count to discover Temple Income for one feast. Rome must have been taking a large rake-off from Temple Income as well as any civil taxations in force.

And by the way, The Tyrian Half-Shekel was struck on the Obverse side with the head of a pagan God, Melgarth-Heracles, known to the Jews as Baal, and the Reverse side showed the graven image of an eagle stood upon the prow of a Tyrian ship. This shows just how hellenised the Jewish priesthood really was.... they cared nothing for pagan Gods in their temple so long as the silver river flowed for them. Jesus must have despised them all, utterly.

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