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Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament [1]

‘Penny’ (δηνάριον) is mentioned twice in  Revelation 6:6. The RV_ gives marginal reference to  Matthew 18:28, where a note states that the coin (which was of silver) was worth about 8½d. The American Revisers’ note renders δηνάριον by ‘shilling,’ which more nearly represents the actual value. During the reign of Nero the denarius suffered depreciation, and its value was as above stated. In the time of Christ it was worth 9:6 pence, or roughly 9½d. (see DCG_, art._ ‘Money’). For its purchasing power, with special reference to  Revelation 6:6, see HDB_, art._ ‘Money,’ 11. The denarius, or the denarius-drachm, probably underlies the ‘pieces of silver’ mentioned in  Acts 19:19 (see EBi_, art._ ‘Stater,’ with reference to Vulg._). At the higher value the total price of the books burned is about £2000.

W. Cruickshank.

Fausset's Bible Dictionary [2]

(See Dram ; Drachma The Greek silver coin, (Latin Denarius , from whence the French Denier ,) bearing the head of the reigning Roman emperor, the date of his tribunitian power or consulate, or the number of times he was saluted emperor ( Matthew 22:19-21). A labourer's day's wages ( Matthew 20:2;  Matthew 20:13). The good Samaritan's gift of twopence for the entertainment of the man at the inn would suffice for two days. In  Revelation 6:6 "a measure ( Choenix , Two Or Three Pints) of wheat for a penny," implies comparative scarcity when a man's whole day's wages would only buy a day's provisions, instead of, as ordinarily, buying 16 to 20 measures.

Webster's Dictionary [3]

(1): ( n.) An English coin, formerly of copper, now of bronze, the twelfth part of an English shilling in account value, and equal to four farthings, or about two cents; - usually indicated by the abbreviation d. (the initial of denarius).

(2): ( n.) Any small sum or coin; a groat; a stiver.

(3): ( a.) Worth or costing one penny.

(4): ( a.) Denoting pound weight for one thousand; - used in combination, with respect to nails; as, tenpenny nails, nails of which one thousand weight ten pounds.

(5): ( n.) See Denarius.

(6): ( n.) Money, in general; as, to turn an honest penny.

American Tract Society Bible Dictionary [4]

The Greek drachma, or Roman denarious, equivalent to about fourteen cents. In reading the Scripture passage in which this word, occurs, we should consider that the real value of money, to purchase labor or commodities, was far greater then that now; and also that even the nominal value of the drachma would be better expressed by "shilling," or "franc," than by "penny." Thus, "two hundred shillings' worth of bread would not suffice,"  Mark 6:37; "he took out two francs and gave them to the host,"  Luke 10:35 . So in  Revelation 6:6 , "a measure of wheat for a penny" expresses to the English reader the idea of great plenty; whereas the original indicates a distressing scarcity. A drachma in Christ's time was good wages for a day's labor in a vineyard,  Matthew 20:2 .

People's Dictionary of the Bible [5]

Penny.  Matthew 20:2;  Matthew 22:19;  Luke 20:24. This word in the English version is misleading at the present time. When the translation was first made the English penny was a silver coin. The Greek word is Denarion, the Roman Denarius, which was a silver coin worth about 16 cents. The penny shown to Christ was a Roman Denarius, bearing the likeness and name of Tiberius Cæsar, who was emperor of Rome at that time. Agreeing "to pay the laborer a Denarius a day" shows that 16 cents was then about the value of a day's labor in Judea.

Smith's Bible Dictionary [6]

Penny. In the New Testament, "penny," either alone or in the compound, "pennyworth," occurs as the rendering of the Roman Denarius .  Matthew 20:2;  Matthew 22:10;  Mark 6:37;  Mark 12:15;  Luke 20:24;  John 6:7;  Revelation 6:6. The denarius was the chief Roman silver coin, and was worth about 15 to 17 cents.

King James Dictionary [7]

PEN'NY, n. plu. pennies or pence. Pennies denotes the number of coins pence the amount of pennies in value.

1. An ancient English silver coin but now an imaginary money of account, twelve of which are equal to a shilling. It is the radical denomination from which English coin is numbered. 2. In ancient English statutes, any or all silver money. 3. Proverbially, a small sum. He will not lend a penny. 4. Money in general.

Be sure to turn the penny.

Morrish Bible Dictionary [8]

δηνάριον.A common Roman coin. It was the labourer's wages for a day.  Matthew 20 . Higher sums were reckoned by this coin, as the debt of 500 pence in  Luke 7:41 . The Lord when answering the Jews said "Show me a penny."  Luke 20:24 . It was the chief Roman silver coin. See Weights And Measures

Easton's Bible Dictionary [9]

 Matthew 18:28 20:2,9,13 Mark 6:37 14:5 Matthew 22:19 Mark 12:15

Holman Bible Dictionary [10]


Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible [11]

Penny See Money, §§ 6, 7.

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature [12]

In the A.V., in several passages of the New Test., "penny," either alone or in the compound "pennyworth," occurs as the rendering of the Greek Δηνάριον , a transfer of the name of the Roman Denarius ( Matthew 18:28;  Matthew 20:2;  Matthew 20:9;  Matthew 20:13;  Matthew 22:19;  Mark 6:37;  Mark 12:15;  Mark 14:5;  Luke 7:41;  Luke 10:35;  Luke 20:24;  John 6:7;  John 12:5;  Revelation 6:6). It took its name from its being first equal to Ten "n asses," a number afterwards increased to sixteen. The earliest specimens are of about the commencement of the 2d century B.C. From this time it was the principal silver coin of the commonwealth. It continued to hold the same position under the empire until long after the close of the New-Testament canon. In the time of Augustus eighty-four denarii were struck from the pound of silver, which would make the standard weight about 60 grains. This Nero reduced by striking ninety-six from the pound, which would give a standard weight of about 52 grains, results confirmed by the coins of the periods, which are, however, not exactly true to the standard. The drachm of the Attic talent, which from the reign of Alexander until the Roman domination was the most important Greek standard, had, by gradual reduction, become equal: to the denarius of Augnstus, so that the two coins came to be regarded as identical. Under. the same emperor the Roman coin superseded the Greek, and many of the few cities which yet struck silver money took for it the form and general character of the denarius, and of its half, the quinarius. In Palestine in the New-Test. period, we learn from numismatic evidence, that denarii must have mainly formed the silver currency. It is therefore probable that in the New Test, by ( Δραχμή and Ἀργύριον , both rendered in the A.V. "piece of silver," we are to understand the denarius. (See Drachma).

The Δίδραχμον of the tribute ( Matthew 17:24) was probably in the time of our Savior not a current coin, like the Στατήρ mentioned in the same passage ( Matthew 17:27). (See Money).

From the parable of the laborers in the vineyard it would seem that a denarius was then the ordinary pay for a day's labor ( Matthew 20:2;  Matthew 20:4;  Matthew 20:7;  Matthew 20:9-10;  Matthew 20:13). The term Denarius Aureus (Pliny 34:17; 37:3) is probably a corrupt designation for the aureus (nunzmus); in the New Test. the denarius proper is always intended. See Smith, Dict. of Class. Antiq. s.v. Denarius. The earlier silver denarii were struck by the authority of distinguished families, and bear portraits and designs illustrative of Roman history; these are called consular denarii. After the time of Julius Caesar they present us with a series almost unbroken of the emperors, together with many of their wives, sons, daughters, and occasionally of their fathers, sisters, and brothers also. The consular denarius bore on one side a head of Rome, and X or a star, to denote the value in asses, and a chariot with either two or four horses; but afterwards the reverse bore the figures of Castor and Pollux, and sometimes a Victory in a chariot of two or four horses. At a later date the busts of different deities were given on the obverse; and these were finally superseded by the heads of the Caesars. The reverses varied, and some of them are very curious. The name continued to be applied to a silver piece as late as the time of the earlier Bvzantines. The states that arose from the ruins of the Roman empire imitated the coinage of the imperial mints, and in general called their principal silver coin the denarius, whence the French name denier and the Italian denaro. The chief Anglo-Saxon coin, and for a long period the only one corresponded to the denarius of the Continent. It continued to be current under the Normans, Plantagenets, and Tudors, though latterly little used. It is called penny, denarius, or denier, which explains the employment of the first word in the A.V. See Arnold. De denario Petri (Alt. 1769); Dorschaeus, Denarius Vespertinus (Rost. 1657). (See Denarius).

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia [13]

pen´i ( δηνάριον , dēnárion  ; Latin denarius (which see)): the American Standard Revised Version (  Matthew 18:28;  Matthew 20:2 ,  Matthew 20:9 ,  Matthew 20:10 ,  Matthew 20:13 , etc.) renders it by "shilling" except in  Matthew 22:19;  Mark 12:15 and   Luke 20:24 , where it retains the original term as it refers to a particular coin. See Denarius; Money .

The Nuttall Encyclopedia [14]

Originally a silver coin, weighed in the 7th century 1/240-th of a Saxon pound, but decreased in weight till in Elizabeth's time it was 1/63 of an ounce troy. It was at first indented with a cross so as to be broken for halfpennies and farthings, but silver coins of these denominations were coined by Edward I. Edward VI. stopped the farthings, and the halfpence were stopped in the Commonwealth. Copper coinage was established in 1672. The present coins were issued first in 1860. They are half the size of their predecessors, and intrinsically worth one-seventh of their nominal value.

Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature [15]

Penny [[[Drachma; Denarius]]]