Judas and His 30 Pieces of Silver

Question from a Site Viewer
What was the value of the 30 pieces of silver that Judas received for betraying Jesus?

Tim’s Answer
The Bible does not say what the silver pieces were.

But in the writer’s second mention of the sum, the writer puts the thirty pieces into a context, that of fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy (See Matthew 27:8-10). Matthew actually quotes two prophets, Jeremiah and Zechariah. Although Matthew only mentions Jeremiah by name, he may have done so because Jeremiah’s pre-enacted prophecy of the purchasing of the field (Jeremiah 32:6-9) was the more prominent point Matthew wanted to make. The purchase of the field seems to be the major point that Matthew is making. However, Matthew also quotes Zechariah 11:12 which gives us the value for the field. In Zechariah’s day, the reference to silver would undoubtedly have been to the shekel which was the standard weight for paying a price. The shekel has a long use in purchasing property, going back to Abraham’s time (Genesis 23:16). In New Testament times, the shekel was the value of about four drachmas (a Greek coin) or four denarii (a Roman coin). It would be in weight a little less than half an ounce of silver. It’s value as currency would be the common wages for a laboring man for four days, or in today’s value perhaps around $400 to $500.

The 30 pieces of silver, then, would be worth around $12,000 to $15,000 in today’s sum.

I hope this helps.

May the Lord Jesus guide you in all that you think and do.


Related Content:
The Death of Judas
The Value of a Shekel

11 thoughts on “Judas and His 30 Pieces of Silver”

    1. If one is contradicting an argument it is helpful to include the reasoning behind the argument. Simply stating, “That’s not right.” Is not helpful. For instance, one might say, “That is not right. The spot price of silver today is about $20/ounce so the value of 30 pieces (schekles), would be 1/2 oz * 30 schekls = about 15 ounces and 15 ounces at $20/oz would be about $300.

      That is just an example of reasoning. Now a suitable debate might start around current commodity value versus the value of labor in 36 or 37 A.E. It also leaves the door open for a response and a respectable debate.

      This presumes that one cares about respectful discussion and is not trying to Trump the conversation.

      1. A good question would be: “how much would it cost today to buy this ‘potter’s field’. I have no idea about the answer but it would help with the answer. Ive see amounts from $300-12,000 as the value. How can supposed scholars be so far afield??

      2. Thank you Carl, I was just wondering what it would cost for that field today, as all know silver is manipulated through silver EFT’s. I would care to guest that it would be much higher than Tim’s answer, but would agree on his wage comparison.

    2. Jeff,
      It’s the value of the 30 pieces of silver THEN when Judas received it. He used the dollar value for our understanding so we can grasp it. In those times with their cost of living it was worth about 12-15 thousand. In our time with our cost of living it’s worth about $6000 or whatever. The article is showing us that they overpaid for the field in order to get rid of that money. The field was worth less than an half ounce of silver (about $400 – $500) but they paid 30 silver (12-15…

    3. Somebody else had a shekel at 4 days avg wages, too. He had 30 as 120 days salary for avg person. He claimed to use the U.S. avg for 2017: This is my math /w those stats -> $45,000/52 weeks -> 11,250/13 -> approx. $866 a week. So, you’d have to know how many work days were worked to get salary. But, U figure 5 or 6 days. $866/5= approx $173 a day. OR $866/6=$144 a day. Amt: $144-$173 a day today(2017). Val: $17,200 – $20,760.

      With all Judas saw and heard, he seems 2B the pettiest of…

    4. 30 pieces of silver is insult smothered disgrace
      Judas had his reason, money had no motivation.
      30, no deal,
      High profile political assanation murdered for the price of a slave

  1. In real terms, while the amount was not insignificant, it was also not enough to, say, set Judas up for life. In the end, the transaction merely served to establish what Judas—and man in Adam (1 Cor. 15:45)—was. The amount is not so important in that regard, though it is poignant to say the least that the God of the universe was worth so relatively little in man’s eyes. It would seem that the real value rested in *getting rid* of Him. In that, they manifested the ultimate desire of their father the Devil.

  2. Well said David. I agree, man showed their small value for God who created the universe. Conversely valuing land more than God the creator. So very sad. Reference Heb. 1 for Jesus being the Creator.

  3. A one ounce silver dollar round is worth $30 (US) in 2023.
    It is almost pure silver.
    A half ounce silver coin is worth half of that, or $15 (US).
    So 30 pieces of silver x $15 = $450.
    That’s what the math says.
    Land was apparently a cheap commodity back then when the world population was about 5% of what it is today.

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