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People's Dictionary of the Bible
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.
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Rice, Edwin Wilbur, DD. Entry for 'Penny'. People's Dictionary of the Bible. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/rpd/p/penny.html. 1893.