The Coins of Jesus' time


Coin of Augustus, 27BC-AD14, AR Cistophorus (12.20g). IMP CAESAR, his head rt/Six grain ears tied together, AVGV-STVS across field, RIC478 (R). Ephesus mint. This coin would have been in circulation when the 12 year old Jesus visited the Temple for his taking of vows.


coinhrd.jpg (5960 bytes) Herod I, the Great, 40-4 BC,AE 8 Prutot, 23mm. Tripod, date (year 3) and monogram in Greek (of king Herod)/Helmet, star above flanked by 2 palm branches This coin would have been in circulation when Joseph became betrothed to Mary.
coinhrd2.jpg (4880 bytes) Herod I, 'the Great', 40-4 BC, AE 8 Prutot. Crested helmet and star flanked by palms/Thymaterion (incense burner), date(year 3) and monogram, Greek legend around (= of King Herod) This coin was in circulation when the Bar Yosef family was in Egypt.


coinarch.jpg (4111 bytes) Herod Archelaus, 4BC-6AD, AE Prutot, 18mm. Double cornucopiae with parallel horns, Greek inscription
(Herod)/War galley left, Greek inscription above (Ethnarch)
This coin was in circulation during the early childhood of Jesus in Nazareth.


cointib.jpg (6434 bytes) Coin of Tiberius, AD14-37, AR Denarius. Bust rt/PONT MAXIM, 'Livia' seated rt. as Pax holds branch, SR567.  This is the "Tribute Penny"   These coins would have been in circulation throughout Jesus' adult life.  This would have been the coin he held for his "render to Caesar" response.


coincop.jpg (3745 bytes) Coponius under Augustus, AE Prutah, 16mm. Barley ear, Greek inscription (Caesar)/Palm tree, date in field (year 36 = AD6) This coin was minted by the first Prefect of Judea after the fall of Archelaus in the wake of the Galilean uprising of Judas of Gamala. Jesus would have been about 12 years old.


coinval.jpg (3410 bytes) Valerius Gratus under Tiberius, AE Prutah, 16mm. Greek inscription (Julia - refers to Julia Livia, mother of Tiberius) in wreath/Laurel branch, date (year 2 = AD15) This coin was in circulation when Joseph Caiaphas was appointed Hight Priest.


coinpil1.jpg (3517 bytes) Pontius Pilate under Tiberius, AE Prutah, 15mm. Simpulum, Greek inscription and date LIS (year 16 = AD29)/Three wheat ears, Greek inscription. This coin was minted and in circulation during the active ministry of Jesus.
coinpil2.jpg (3528 bytes) Pontius Pilate under Tiberius, AE Prutah, 14mm. Lituus and Greek inscription (Tiberius Caesar)/Date LIH (year 18 = AD31) in wreath.  This coin was minted after the crucifixion and was in circulation while Paul was persecuting Jesus' followers.


coinant.jpg (3754 bytes) Coin of Herod Antipas, AE 1/4 Unit. Reed and date (LK'delta'), Greek inscription (=Herod Tetrarch)/TIB.PIAC in 2 lines in wreath, H65. Herod Antipas was the Tetrarch of the Galilee.


cointyre.jpg (9429 bytes) Phoenicia, Tyre, after 126 BC, AR Shekel (or Tetradrachm) (14.4g). Melqarth head rt/Eagle standing left on thunderbolt.  These Tyrian Tetradrachms are the "30 pieces of silver" with which the temple authorities paid Judas Iscariot.


coinagripp1.jpg (4174 bytes) Agrippa I, AD 37-44, AE Prutah, 17mm. Umbrella-like canopy, Greek inscription (the king Agrippa)/Three barley ears, date (year 6) Herod Agrippa was close to the mad emperor Caligula.   In a persecution of the followers of Jesus, he executed James, "The Great."


coinagr2a.jpg (4810 bytes) Agrippa II, pre-royal coinage, mint of Caesarea Maritima, AE 19mm. Laureate bust of nero, Greek inscription (Nero Augustus Caesar)/Bust of Agrippina left, Greek inscription (Agrippina Augusta) It was under Agrippa II when the High Priest Ananus illegally executed Jesus' brother James, the Righteous (62 CE).


If you are interested in collecting these coins, which give you an intimate and tangible connection to the time of Jesus, I highly recommend Guy Clark's Ancient Coins and Antiquities.  My own fascination with these coins lie in  the possibility that the one I own could have been one held by Jesus himself. I purchase material from Guy and have never been disappointed in either quality or price.   Visit his website by clicking on his logo below.


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