What is a Denarius?


The denarius was an ancient Roman silver coin that is often known as the “penny” of the Bible because of the King James Version translation using that word for it. The denarius was about the size of a present-day U.S. dime.

The denarius was the most common Roman coin during the human lifetime of Jesus Christ. Amounting to a day’s pay for workers and Roman troops, it’s mentioned more often than any other coin.

The illustration above shows a denarius coin with the Roman emperor, Caeser Augustus, who reigned during the time of Jesus. A coin similar to the one was the subject of Jesus’ well-known “Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.”

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