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Money of the Bible
by Kenneth Bressett
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Rating:
Reviewed by: John L. Hoh, Jr.

As a student of the Bible I have noticed at critical junctures that money in general, coins specifically, are mentioned. There is the widow's mite Jesus observed at the temple. There was the coin used to try to trick Jesus when the Jewish leaders asked if it should go to Caesar or to God. There are the thirty pieces of silver used to pay Judas to betray Jesus.

But what did these coins look like? And can we find such coins today?

Kenneth Bressett is a scholar and expert on Greek and Roman coins. And he seems to be knowledgeable about the Bible as well. And in this volume we get to see the "coins of the realm" the people of the Bible likely used, saw, were paid with, or paid their bills with.

Mr. Bressett begins by recording for us how the Bible was written. This includes the evolution of communication through oral and early written means. The concept of precious metals for barter is then explained as coins haven't always been minted. Along the way a time line of world and Bible history intertwined is included. Yes, the events in Scripture have a place in history.

Coins, such as one can say there were coins in much of that period, are discussed for the Old Testament. Then the author cites New Testament coins. A harmony of the Gospels is used with the coins mentioned being highlighted. Also added are coins of the first century as well as early Christian history.

There are also selected coins of interest, such as the Persian coin that seems to be dedicated to "the God of Israel."

Text in the book is found on the left-hand pages. The right-hand pages feature photographs of the various ancient coins. At the end of the book is a section detailing how the reader can get started collecting such coins (a Biblical numismatist, as it were). I wonder if my wooden plaque with three Biblical coins counts? (Only trouble is, that plaque has one coin coined a lepta and another called a "widow's mite," even though the widow's mite is referenced as a lepta in the Greek New Testament.)

This book is a wonderful reference book for church libraries. The author notes that many of the coins validate historical references made in Scripture.


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