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Silver denarius coin of the Emperor Tiberius (14 - 37). Around his portrait we read TI(berius) CAESAR DIVI AVG(usti) F(ilius) AVGVSTVS. Such a coin was presented to our Lord in St. Luke 20:24. Divi Augusti Filius (‘Son of the divinised Augustus.’) If a newly deceased Emperor had been popular, it was customary for the Senate to authorise that he be granted the status of a god. With the exceptions of Caligula, Nero and Domitian, all the longer-lived Emperors of the first century A.D. were voted divine honours after their deaths. (Famous for his wry humour, Vespasian is reputed to have said as his last words on his deathbed in 79: ‘Puto deus fio,’ ‘I think I’m becoming a god.’) On the reverse of this coin we see Tiberius’ mother, Livia (as Ceres, the goddess of crops), and read PONTIF(ex) MAXIM(us): Chief Priest (of the Roman state cult).

Coin of Herod Agrippa I. Its inscription (partly faded) reads (ΒΑΣΙ)ΛΕVΣ AΓ(PI Π ΠA) ‘(basi)leus Ag(rippa)’ ‘King Agrippa’). The reverse shows his son (Herod Agrippa II) riding on a horse, with the inscription: AΓ PI Π ΠA YIOV ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ (‘Agrippa son King’). The letters LB mean that this coin was minted in King Agrippa’s second (B) year, ie. in 42 A.D. (L indicates that what follows is a number.) (Numbers were indicated by letters of the Greek alphabet. Thus 1,2,3,4,5 were indicated by the first five letters of the Greek alphabet (A, B, Γ, Δ, Ε pronounced Alpha, beta, gamma, delta, epsilon).)

How the Apostles Wrote the New Testament  
How the Apostles Wrote the New Testament  

This survey of how the New Testament came to be written is also a chronicle of the first 40 years of the history of the Christian Church. It...