Philip Massey, one adjunct faculty member because that Crowell institution of Business, retells the parable that the 2 debtors in modern-day terms.

You are watching: How many denarii in a talent


*

Philip MasseyMatthew 18:23-35 documents the parable the the 2 debtors: one fan the king 10,000 talents, and also one owed his fellow servant 100 denarii. The NIV footnotes usually say that this is tantamount to “several million dollars” matches “a few dollars.”

A much more accurate to compare is based upon how lot time it would take to earn this respective quantities of money. Allow us start with 100 denarii.

The denarius to be one day’s wage for a typical day laborer, who worked six work a week v a Sabbath work of rest. Allowing approximately 2 weeks for various Jewish holidays, the typical laborer operated 50 weeks of the year and also earned an yearly wage that 300 denarii (50 weeks x 6 days). Therefore, 100 denarii to be one-third that a year salary, or four months’ wages.

Now suppose you ongoing to work as a day laborer earning 300 denarii every year. After twenty years of together labor, you will have actually earned 6,000 denarii.At this point, the king would certainly say come his debtor, “Congratulations. Girlfriend have operated for 20 years and have actually now deserve 6,000 denarii. That’s enough to pay ago one talent. Girlfriend only have actually 9,999 more talents to go.”

From this, we can easily see the if the takes two decades to knife one talent, then repaying 10,000 talent would require working 200,000 YEARS! just how absurd then because that the maid to beg because that mercy and tell the king the he would “pay earlier everything.” as a work laborer, he had actually no hope—almost literally “not in a million years”—of ever repaying his debt.

See more: What Is A 1885 Silver Dollar Worth ? (Price Chart) (Price Chart)

What would 100 denarii and also 10,000 talent look like in today’s dollars? Currently, California’s minimum wage is $8.00 per hour. Native Matthew 20:1-16, we know that laborers operated 12 hours per day, which is 72 hrs per week. Under California law, they would certainly be payment 40 hours a week at $8 one hour and 32 hrs of overtime in ~ $12 one hour because that a weekly fairy of $704. Thus, their yearly wage, assuming they job-related 50 weeks together above, would certainly be: $704 per week x 50 main = $35,200

Therefore, if 100 denarii equaled 4 months’ salary, at current minimum wage, it would be indistinguishable to $11,733.33, i beg your pardon is substantially an ext than the NIV footnote the “a few dollars.”

Earning $35,200 every year at minimum wage, just how much would certainly you earn in 200,000 years to equal 10,000 talents?

$35,200 x 200,000 = $7,040,000,000 $7.04 billion

For perspective, $7.04 billion is around one-eighth of the complete wealth of bill Gates. Bill Gates, the richest guy in the U.S. And second richest in the world, has a net worth that $53 billion as of 2010:

If you had actually $7.04 billion obtainable to repay a debt, you would certainly be #102 in the 2010 Forbes perform of billionaires.