Dr. James Voelz of Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, brought a selection of ancient coins to Concordia Publishing House to be photographed for his forthcoming Concordia Commentary on Mark 1:1–8:26 (available December 2013).

The coin above, produced in the Akko-Ptolemais mint in northwest Palestine in 167–164 (possibly out of silver looted from the Jerusalem temple in 168 BC), has a bold and blasphemous inscription: "(of) King Antiochus, god manifest [Epiphanes], conqueror." This is the first coin on which a person explicitly claims to be the appearance of (a) god on earth.

The coin above, produced in the Akko-Ptolemais mint in northwest Palestine in 167–164 (possibly out of silver looted from the Jerusalem temple in 168 BC), has a bold and blasphemous inscription: “of King Antiochus, god manifest [Epiphanes], victorious.” This is the first coin on which a person explicitly claims to be the appearance of (a) god on earth. —From Dr. James Voelz’s forthcoming commentary on Mark.

These coins are microcosms of the history, politics, and culture that formed the context for our Lord’s ministry, as recorded in the Gospels. Among them is a large silver coin depicting Antiochus IV (back of coin pictured on the right); a silver denarius with the “image and inscription” of Tiberius Caesar (Mk 12:15–16); and a lepton or “widow’s mite” (Mk 12:42).

Pictured (from left to right) are CPH editors Rev. Edward Engelbrecht and Dr. Christopher Mitchell; Dr. Voelz; and CPH editor Dr. Benjamin Mayes.

Pictured (from left to right) are CPH editors Rev. Edward Engelbrecht and Dr. Christopher Mitchell; Dr. Voelz; and CPH editor Dr. Benjamin Mayes.