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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.


Laodikea ad Mare, Seleucis and Pieria, Syria, c. 47 - 20 B.C.

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Possibly struck in the year of Christ's birth! Most biblical scholars believe Jesus was born between 6 and 4 B.C.
GY86415. Bronze AE 22, RPC I 4392; BMC Galatia p. 249, 18 (APX in ex.); SNG Cop 332 (same); Weber 7982 (same); SNG MŁnchen 874 (ZM in ex.), VF/aVF, tight flan, light corrosion/porosity, weight 7.924 g, maximum diameter 21.8 mm, die axis 0o, Laodicea ad Mare (Latakia, Syria) mint, 5 - 4 B.C.; obverse turreted and veiled head of Tyche right; reverse Tyche standing left, kalathos on head, rudder in right hand, cornucopia in left hand, ∆M (year 44) downward inner left field, IOYΛIEΩN/TΩN KAI in two downward lines on the left, ΛAO∆IKEΩN, downward on the right, uncertain control letters in exergue; $80.00 (Ä68.00)


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







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Catalog current as of Tuesday, July 17, 2018.
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Three Kings Biblical Coins