My interest in the coins found in the New Testament was first piqued by reading Michael P. Theophilos’s Numismatics and Greek Lexicography for review (available at Reading Religion. I recently wrote a 5-lesson study on NT coins and discipleship called Uncommon Currency. In this post, I’ll share several of the sources I found most helpful during my research on the denarius, stater, lepton, drachma, and assarion.
1. Numismatics and Greek Lexicography
Although this work is mostly dedicated to lexicography, it has a lot of good things to say about coinage in circulation during the first century. It’s a pricey book, but it’s a wonderful resource.
It’s a Greek lexicon and a great place to begin studying the δηνάριον, στατήρ, λεπτός, δραχμή, and ἀσσάριον. Plus, Bauer, Danker, Arndt, and Gingrich cite plenty of sources for further inquiry.
3. Moulton and Milligan
Where do these coins appear in some of the papyrological evidence? That’s exactly where M&M comes in handy.
4. IVP Bible Background Commentary: New Testament
Craig Keener, unfortunately as per design, does not share his sources. But it’s worth reading his comments on the passages where these coins appear.
5. Guide to Biblical Coins
I had the pleasure of reviewing David Hendin’s sixth edition of this book (see here). He’s done a lot of good work and has some useful insights in a special section on NT coins.
These sources, along with many others, were useful to me for writing Uncommon Currency. If you’re interested in teaching about these coins and the respective New Testament passages where they appear, my 5-lesson study is curriculum for teenagers or adults in a church setting. (I preached several of these lessons as sermons before writing this.) Consider checking out my work or studying NT coins on your own using some of these great resources.