Would You Burn $2.9 Million? These Ephesians Did!

Would You Burn $2.9 Million? These Ephesians Did!

Have you ever tried to put a modern price tag on historical events? It’s a bit like asking how much would King Solomon’s gold be worth in Bitcoin! In the Bible, we often come across accounts involving ancient currencies, like the 50,000 silver coins mentioned in the book of Acts 19:19. You might wonder, how much would that stash be worth today?

Fifty Thousand Pieces Of Silver

The Bible tells us about new converts in Ephesus who, upon embracing Christianity, decided to burn their magic scrolls publicly. The total value of these scrolls was said to be “fifty thousand pieces of silver.” A bit of background here, in the 1st century Roman world, a silver coin or ‘drachma’ was roughly equivalent to a day’s wage for a skilled worker.
Now, to estimate the current worth, we have to get a little creative. Let’s take the U.S. Federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour as a starting point. If we assume an eight-hour workday, that’s about $58 per day. Multiply that by 50,000, and we get a rough figure of $2.9 million! This is a simple approximation, of course.
In reality, the value could be higher or lower based on various factors like the purchasing power of a day’s wage back then, the price of silver today, and more. But at least we get a rough idea. One thing’s for sure, those Ephesians must’ve had a bonfire worth a fortune!


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