Note from the editor: I am delighted to introduce to our readers an article by a special guest contributor! Jay Grande is a friend of the website, an avid Roman history enthusiast and a Biblical numismatist (specialist in the study of coins). Enjoy this in-depth look at the most famous coin in the Bible!
Next they sent to him some of the Pharisees and of the party followers of Herod in order to catch him in his speech. On arriving, these said to him: “Teacher, we know you are truthful and you do not seek anyone’s favor, for you do not look at the outward appearance of people, but you teach the way of God in line with truth. Is it lawful to pay head tax to Caesar or not? Should we pay, or should we not pay?” Detecting their hypocrisy, he said to them: “Why do you put me to the test? Bring me a denarius to look at.” They brought one, and he said to them: “Whose image and inscription is this?” They said to him: “Caesar’s.” Jesus then said: “Pay back Caesar’s things to Caesar, but God’s things to God.” (Mark 12:13-17)
There has been much debate amongst numismatists and historians about the above passage. There are many theories about which Caesar’s image was on the coin and also which denomination of coin was brought to Jesus. What’s all the fuss about? Let’s look a little closer and examine the evidence. Continue reading