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Home ▸ Catalog ▸ Judean & Biblical Coins ▸ Biblical Coins ▸ ChristmasView Options:  |  |  | 

Christmas and the Three Kings

"After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, 'Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him" Matthew 2:1-8.

Jesus was born sometime between 6 B.C. and 4 B.C. Matthew describes King Herod as the ruler during the time of the Nativity, and Herod died in 4 B.C. Later, in order to kill Jesus and eliminate him as a rival king, Herod ordered the "Massacre of the Innocents" - the killing of all male children in Bethlehem aged two years and under. This means that Jesus may have been up to two years old already by that time, and this also sets the Nativity between 4 and 6 B.C.

On this page we list coin that were struck at the time of Jesus' birth or which relate to his birth. Most biblical scholars now believe the "Magi" probably were wise-men, not actually kings. If they were kings, the kings on the coins below are among the most likely visitors.


Roman Syria, Antioch, Civic Series, 11 - 12 A.D., The "Star of Bethlehem Coin"

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Michael Molnar, an astronomer, believes this coin depicts Jupiter's occultation of Aries in 6 B.C., the most probable "Star of Bethlehem."
GB86562. Bronze AE 21, RPC I 4266; BMC Galatia p. 159, 62; Butcher 56, aVF, tight flan cutting off parts of legend, uneven strike, light deposits, porous, weight 8.120 g, maximum diameter 21.1 mm, die axis 0o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 11 - 12 A.D.; obverse Zeus' laureate head right; reverse ANTIOXEΩN MHTPOΠOΛEΩN, ram running right, looking back, star above, BM (year 42) below, ANT monogram in exergue; from the David Cannon Collection, ex Beast Coins; SOLD


Roman Syria, Antioch, Civic Series, 11 - 12 A.D., The "Star of Bethlehem Coin"

Click for a larger photo
Michael Molnar, an astronomer, believes this coin depicts Jupiter's occultation of Aries in 6 B.C., the most probable "Star of Bethlehem."
RY83419. Bronze AE 21, RPC I 4266; BMC Galatia p. 159, 62; Butcher 56, VF, weight 7.711 g, maximum diameter 21.2 mm, die axis 0o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, 11 - 12 A.D.; obverse Zeus' laureate head right; reverse ANTIOXEΩN MHTPOΠOΛEΩN, ram running right, looking back, star above, BM (year 42) below, ANT monogram in exergue; SOLD


Antioch, Seleukis and Pieria, Syria, 55 - 56 A.D.

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Michael Molnar, an astronomer, believes this coin depicts Jupiter's occultation of Aries in 6 B.C., the most probable "Star of Bethlehem." We think it is unlikely; nevertheless, the type is very popular and somewhat expensive.
RY45451. Bronze AE 19, McAlee 101; RPC I 4287; BMC Galatia p. 160, 69; SNG Cop 99 var. (no crescent), Choice gVF, weight 5.140 g, maximum diameter 19.1 mm, die axis 0o, Antioch (Antakya, Turkey) mint, reign of Nero, legate series, 55 - 56 A.D.; obverse ANTIOXEΩN, veiled and turreted head of Tyche right; reverse EΠI KOYA∆PATOY, ram leaping right, looking back, star within crescent above, ET ∆P (year 104 of the Caesarean Era) below; this type is nicknamed "The Star of Bethlehem Coin"; SOLD







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Catalog current as of Wednesday, October 17, 2018.
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Three Kings Biblical Coins