This article is based on Matthew 18:21-35, the lesson of forgiveness Jesus taught Peter. The master of a servant forgave a huge debt of 10,000 talents his servant owed him, but the same servant would not forgive his fellow servant of a small debt of only 100 pence!
Let's see how much money the Bible is referring to in today's currency in US dollars.
I got the following information from various web sources. If you find something wrong with the values or my math, please tell me in the comments section below.
The New Testament talent was the equivalent of 6000 denarii.
A denarius was a silver coin weighing 60 grains.
There are 437.5 grains in one ounce.
The current price of silver on the date of this article is $17.31 USD an ounce.
$17.31 ÷ 437.5 = $0.0395657143 per grain of silver.
$0.0395657143 X 60 = $2.373942858 is the current value of one denarius.
$2.373942858 X 6000 = $14,243.657148 is the current value of one talent.
$14,243.657148 X 10,000 = $142,436,571.48 USD is the current value of ten thousand talents.
This is a considerable amount of money the average person would never be able to repay, and yet the man was forgiven that debt by his master! It reminds me of the debt we all owe to our Creator. Only our redeemer Jesus Christ had the wherewithal to pay that debt for us!
According to https://www.bible.ca/coins/bible-coins-Jesus-used-in-the-New-Testament.htm a "pence" is another name for a denarius. Therefore the debt of 100 pence the fellow servant owed the servant who had the debt of 10,000 talents was only $237 USD in today's money. It's exceedingly less than the enormous debt of 10,000 talents or $142 million dollars. This is the difference between our sins against God compared to the sins of others against us! 142 million is nearly 600,000 times greater than 237! (142,000,000 / 237 = 599156) Is it too hard for us to forgive our brother, friend or even enemy who asks forgiveness from us?
I have held grudges for a time against certain people during certain times and situations, but later when the situation changed, God gave me the grace to forgive the people in question. How can I say I forgave them? I would travel out of my way to their homes to fellowship with them.
My name is James Arendt. I was raised in the Hegewisch neighborhood of Chicago, Illinois, served in the USAF from 1970 to 1974, and became a full-time missionary for Christ living 40 years in Japan, 3.5 years in Russia, and a few months in other countries such as Finland, Poland, Estonia, Latvia, South Korea, Taiwan and mainland China where I also served the King of Kings, Jesus, as an Ambassador for His Kingdom. My full bio.
On September 24, 2023, I had an accident and broke the bone of the tip of my left elbow. A boy ran in front of my motorbike less than 2 meters from me as I was leaving home. I stopped suddenly and my front tire slid on the sandy concrete road which caused me to fall. I did not hit the boy. On October 18th I had surgery done on my elbow. The doctor put in titanium rods to hold my bones together. The entire procedure including an entire week in the hospital was roughly $4000 USD. This was done in the Philippines where my wife and I have been living since June this year.
It would be a super blessing to us if any of the visitors of this website can help us cover this expense!
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