The Pound Sterling
“And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy till I come.”Luke 19:13
This is intended to become a more detailed essay. Even at this early stage, I trust it will bolster or create faith in an honest heart.
The Pound (£) is one of the oldest currencies still in use today. It was around before the United States was founded, around before the first Bible was ever printed in the English language. Great Britain’s use of this money still today is nothing short of miraculous.
Did you know money is a prophetic topic? You do not have to spiritualize or stretch the text, it is in prophecy that has been kept in your lifetime.
History of the Pound Sterling
In 30AD the Roman Empire was well established. They governed the world militarily, and they also governed the world economically with a global, standardized currency. In Latin, the base unit was called the “libra.” In English, it is called the pound.
Money before the modern banking system was precious metals. Gold, silver, brass, copper, and iron were some metals used. They would be measured by weight, stamped, and then could be exchanged for goods and services. Thus the name “pound” referred not only to an unit of value, but also a measure of mass: 16 avoirdupois ounces=1 pound. It could have been a ‘pound’ of anything, but it was COMPARED to the precious metal standard.
During the monopoly of the Roman Empire the Lord Jesus lived on earth. And in the final weeks of his 3-and-a-half-year ministry He taught His disciples the parable of the pound. A revolutionary concept, Christ used the currency of the heathen to teach an eternal truth. This was revolutionary to Hebrew thinking, as the Jews awaited their Messiah to be King of Kings, thus erasing the Romish system entirely. It was revolutionary to Gentiles, for whether Messiah smote the Romans or not, the handwriting was on the wall for this Iron Kingdom. (See Daniel 2)
Fast forward about 1,900 years, and the sun is beginning to set on yet another empire, the British Empire. Far from being a stabilizing force in the world, she has lent her authority to such enterprises as the East India Trading Company, and money has usurped the thirst for morality in civilization. British Broadcasting Corporation political commentator Avro Manhattan said it best: “Although imperialism’s weightiest argument lies still in the use of the naked sword– or rather, in the threat of the use of nuclear weapons– yet its general strategy, when compared to that pursued in the past, has been greatly modified.” What has it been modified into? Manhattan says, “Economic expansion.”1
As the United States expanded through the late 1800s-early 1900s into the world through international Bible-preaching mission work, the once-great Britain shriveled into a shell of hardened apostasy. You could almost hear the bell tolling as the United Kingdom meekly shuffled in line with its neighboring nations to accept the overarching rule of the ominously prophesied one-world government. The UK bowed into to the European Economic Community in 1973.
Euroclydon: Troubling Winds
This troubling turn of events shook even the old timers who still held on to their centuries old King James Bible. The KJV had been a trusted stand-by for the world (through mission work) as God’s holy words, the purest of all Scripture. At the commission of its translation, it was revolutionary, trend-setting, and futuristic to the 17th century. Having lived a prosperous 362 years, was it finally doomed to its own prophecy, and to be shelved for the last time as obsolete?
From its inception, as the seventh purification of English Scripture, the King James Bible has been baffling its readers. From its meticulous method of translation, to its revolutionary double-columned page layout, it has been well ahead of its time. In the issue of the ‘Parable of the Pounds’, the KJV would again prove troublesome to otherwise educated minds.
From the beginning of time, Satan has subtly changed, added to, and subtracted from God’s words. He has insinuated archaism, irrelevancy, and a post-modern society have moved beyond those ancient words.
In English, conflicting ‘retranslations’ of Greek and Hebrew manuscripts began heavily in 1881, with the publishing of the (first) Revised Version. It was marketed as an update to bring the Bible up to speed with the 20th century.
It was just the camel getting his head in the door.
Suddenly, the floodgates of confusion broke upon the world. In the 20th century alone, over 200 ‘new’ translations of the Bible drowned truth in private interpretation. No two of them agreed on what God actually said, but they ALL agreed on one diabolic sentiment: the King James Bible needed to be retired to the museum.
In this specific case, Luke’s parable of a Certain Nobleman returning with His Kingdom had lost its weight. The ‘more accurate readings’ of ‘more reliable texts’ all said the same thing: drop the ‘pound.’
The odds really tilted against the King’s English in 1993 when the European Economic Community became the European Union. With the introduction and adoption of the Maastricht Treaty, the citizens of the UK gave up more than their nationalism. The pound was placed on the scale and found wanting to the new currency: the Euro.
A nation’s fate was suddenly tied to the authority of a Book. A Book that THAT nation had so providentially delivered to the world just 4 centuries earlier.
Predecessors to the King James Bible
The pound was the unit of money chosen to teach the parable to the Gentiles. The King James Bible translators departed from previous English works to use “pound” in place of a transliteration (mina) or a generalization (pieces of money).
- 1537, The Matthew’s Bible: “And he called his ten servants and gave them ten minas, saying to them, Trade with these till I come.” (text from the New Matthew’s Bible)
- 1599, The Geneva Bible: “And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten (*) pieces of money, and said unto them, (♣) Occupy till I come.” Footnote: * This piece of money is called Mina, and the wholesome mounteth about the value of seventeen pounds, esteeming every piece, about five nobles and seven pence.
However, since the Pound Sterling was in common use, no one sought to ‘update’ the text from 1611 to 1880.
No significant attention was given to this text by re-translators in the 20th century until its last decade. As if the King James Version wasn’t revolutionary enough, it stuck out like a black bear on a glacier in 1993, in light of the political and economic changes occurring very quickly within Europe. The flood of Bible reinventions caught up to the changing winds of the times and quickly realigned together. The revisionists of the New Testament had their finger on the pulse of society, though they did not perceive the mind of the Spirit. Beginning in 1993, the mainstream of translations bowed in heavy apology to the exchange of the pound sterling, and the apparent obsoletion of the Biblical artifact from 1611.
As though they were reading from the same script, nearly ALL of the 45+ ‘new and improved’ Bibles from 1993 to 2020 surrender the 400 year-old authority of the KJV in Luke 19 by dropping the “pound” from the parable. Specifically, 32 of them (71%) ‘copped out.’
Yet God was behind the scenes, letting mankind corkscrew his way to Hell, yet offering His love to them by defending the authenticity of His words. It’s the only hope man has, for, what good is, “For God so loved the world…” if you can’t believe a word of it?
In 2016, God confounded the nations by using David Cameron to issue a referendum to the British Parliament to leave the European Union. (Only one such audacious suggestion had been made before, 30 years earlier in 1975. It was decisively turned down by 67% of UK voters.)
But on June 23, 2016, God would turn the tide in favor of His words. 51.89% of British votes told the government: it’s time to go. The passing of this referendum started a 4-year process; what we now know as BREXIT.
Four long years Bible correctors persevered on helplessly. But “The king’s heart is in the hand of the LORD, as the rivers of water: he turneth it whithersoever he will.” (Proverb 21:1) They couldn’t stop PROPHECY any more than you could stop the sunrise by breaking an hourglass. They continued to regurgitate ‘bibles’ without ‘pounds’.
January 1, 2020, in the midst of a ‘global pandemic,’ the new year dawned on a European Union less one of its charter members. Great Britain may fall yet, but she would now face the future independent of the economic monstrosity. Along with that, the pound awoke from a 47 year-old coma, shaking off its symbiotic reliance on the Euro.
The pound sterling was given a new lease on life. It was a resurrection that was nothing short of supernatural.
Those who kept reading and believing their King James Bible, who were thought outdated and behind the times, never doubted the veracity and authority of the words of God. For during this lengthy debacle, one thing was never in danger of changing, “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.” (Matthew 24:35)
Despite the overwhelming induction of false, faithless ‘bibles’ from 1993 to 2020, God’s Book never changed. God doesn’t need to change His Book for the world. The world needs to catch up to the Book.
Micawber said to David Copperfield : “Copperfield, my boy, one pound income, twenty shillings and sixpence expenses; result, misery. But, Copperfield, my boy, one pound income, expenses nineteen shillings and sixpence; result, happiness.”
-Excerpt from David Copperfield, by Charles Dickens
1 The Dollar and the Vatican, Manhattan 1956
1993 to 2019
- 13 But before leaving, he called in ten servants and gave each of them some money. He told them, “Use this to earn more money until I get back.” Contemporary English Version (1995)
- 13 ⌞Before he left,⌟ he called ten of his servants and gave them ten coins. He said to his servants, ‘Invest this money until I come back.’ God’s Word (1995)
- 13 So he called ten of his servants and gave them ten minas.[a] “Put this money to work,” he said, “until I come back.” New International Version UK (2011)
- 13 Before he left, he called together ten of his servants and divided among them ten pounds of silver,[b] saying, ‘Invest this for me while I am gone.’ Footnote: b. Greek ten minas; one mina was worth about three months’ wages. New Living Translation (1996)
- 13 Calling ten of his servants, he gave them ten manim [a maneh is about three months’ wages] and said to them, ‘Do business with this while I’m away.’ Complete Jewish Bible (1998)
- 13 So he sent for ten of his slaves. He gave them each about three months’ pay. ‘Put this money to work until I come back,’ he said. New International Reader’s Version (1998)
- 13 He called ten servants of his and gave them ten mina coins, [a] and told them, ‘Conduct business until I come.’ Footnote: a. 10 minas was more than 3 years’ wages for an agricultural laborer. World English Bible (2000)
- 13 Calling ten of his servants,[a] he gave them ten minas,[b] and said to them, ‘Engage in business until I come.’ Footnote: a. Or bondservants. b. A mina was about three months’ wages for a laborer English Standard Version (2001, 2007, 2011, and 2016)
- But first he called ten servants together, gave them each a sum of money, and instructed them, ‘Operate with this until I return.’ The Message (2002)
- 13 And having summoned ten avadim (servants) of his, he gave them ten minas and he said to them, Conduct business until I come. Orthodox Jewish Bible (2002)
- 13 He called 10 of his slaves, gave them 10 minas,[e] and told them, ‘Engage in business until I come back.’ Footnote: e. = Gk coin worth 100 drachmas or about 100 days’ wages Holman Christian Standard Bible (2004)
- 13 And he summoned ten of his slaves,[ah] gave them ten minas,[ai] and said to them, ‘Do business with these until I come back.’ New English Translation (2005)
- 13 He summoned ten of his slaves and gave them ten pounds and said to them, ‘Do business with these until I come back.’ Revised Standard Version Updated Edition (2021) (ALL the previous editions (1993, 1995, 2006) had a footnote on ‘pound’ correcting it to ‘mina,’ just as all the rest. The 2021 edition erased the footnote.)
- 13 Before he left, he summoned ten of his servants and gave them ten gold coins. He said, ‘Put this money to work until I get back.’ New Community Bible (2008)
- And he called ten slaves of his, and gave them $10,000, and said to them, Trade until I come. The Updated Bible (2008)
- 3 He called ten of his servants and gave them ten coins.[l] He told them, ‘Invest this money until I come back.’ International Standard Version (2011)
- 13 He called ten of his servants and gave them ten gold coins[e] and told them, ‘Engage in trade with these until I return.’ Footnote: e. Ten gold coins: literally, “ten minas.” A mina was a monetary unit that in ancient Greece was the equivalent of one hundred drachmas. New American Bible Revised Edition (2011) They ‘corrected’ their mistranslation error with another.
- 13 So he called ten of his ·servants [slaves] and gave a coin [C Greek: mina; worth 100 denarii, or about 3 months’ wages] to each servant. He said, ‘·Do business with [Invest; Trade with] this money until I get back.’ Expanded Bible (2011)
- 13 He called together ten servants and gave each of them money worth four months’ wages.[b] He said, ‘Do business with this until I return.’ Footnote: b. Or he divided ten minas among them. Common English Bible (2011)
- 13 Before he left, he called ten of his servants and gave them ten coins. He said to his servants, ‘Invest this money until I come back.’ Names of God Bible (2011)
- 13 Before his departure, he called 10 of his servants and gave them each about three months of wages.[b] “Use this money to buy and sell until I return.” Footnote: b. Literally, mina, Roman coins. The Voice Bible (2012)
- 13 And calling ten of his own slaves, he gave them ten minas[b] and said to them, ‘Do business until I come back.’ Footnote: b. 1 mina = 100 denarii = about four months’ wages for an average worker. Tree of Life Bible (2014)
- 13 So he called his ten servants and entrusted to them ten pounds[a] and said to them, ‘Trade until I come.’ Footnote: a. Gk. mina, worth about 3 months’ wages. Modern English Version (2014)
- 13 So he summoned ten of his servants and gave them ten gold coins,[c] instructing them, ‘Trade with the money I have given you until I return.’ Footnote: c. Gold coins: literally, minas; a mina, was a Greek coin equal to a hundred drachmas or Roman denarii, that is, a hundred times the daily wage of a laborer. In the time of Jesus, it weighed about 350 grams of silver. New Catholic Bible St. Joseph Edition (2015)
- 13 Beforehand, he called ten of his servants and gave them ten minas. [a] ‘Conduct
business with this until I return,’ he said. Footnote: a 13 That is, he gave each servant one mina. A mina was most likely a silver coin worth a hundred drachmas, that is, about a hundred days’ wages. Berean Study Bible, bereanbible.com (2016)
- 13 He called ten of his servants, gave them ten minas,[b] and told them, ‘Engage in business until I come back.’ Footnote: b. = Gk coin worth a hundred drachmas or about a hundred days’ wages Christian Standard Bible (2017)
- 13 Before he left, he asked 10 of his servants to come to him. He gave each of them 10 pounds of silver. “Use this money to get more money for me while I am away,” he said. [19:13A man would receive 10 pounds of silver if he worked for 100 days. It was a lot of money.] EasyEnglish Bible, easyenglish.bible (2018)
- 13 He called ten of his servants and gave them ten minas.[a] ‘Conduct business until I return,’ he said to them. Footnote: a. A mina was worth one hundred drachmas, or about one hundred days’ wages. Evangelical Heritage Version (2019)
2020 and Beyond
- 13and having called ten servants of his own, he gave ten minas to them and said to them, Do business—until I come; Literal Standard Version, read.lsvbible.com (2020)
- 13 He called ten servants of his and gave them ten mina coins, and told them, ‘Conduct business until I come.’ 365 Day Bible, 365daybible.com (2020)
- And he called ten of his slaves, and gave them ten minas and said to them, ‘Engage in business until I come back.’ Legacy Standard Bible, lsbible.org (2021)
Some Bibles were not readily available due to scarcity. Others were locked down to subscription/online-only basis.
- The Inclusive Bible (2009)
- The Mickelson Clarified Translation (2008, 2013, 2015, 2019)
- CTS New Catholic Bible (2008)
- The Companion Bible, Bullinger
- Ruckman Reference Bible, Dr. Peter S. Ruckman
- Encyclopedia Britannica Online
- BBC News
- Expositions of Holy Scripture, Alexander Maclaren