Philip Massey, one adjunct faculty member for Crowell school of Business, retells the parable of the 2 debtors in modern terms.

You are watching: 10,000 talents to dollars

Philip MasseyMatthew 18:23-35 documents the parable the the two debtors: one fan the king 10,000 talents, and also one fan his other servant 100 denarii. The NIV footnotes commonly say the this is equivalent to “several million dollars” versus “a few dollars.”

A more accurate to compare is based on how lot time that would take to earn these respective amounts of money. Allow us start with 100 denarii.

The denarius to be one day’s wage because that a typical day laborer, who functioned six job a week v a Sabbath work of rest. Enabling approximately two weeks for various Jewish holidays, the typical laborer functioned 50 weeks of the year and also earned an yearly wage the 300 denarii (50 mainly x 6 days). Therefore, 100 denarii was one-third the a year’s salary, or 4 months’ wages.

Now mean you ongoing to job-related as a day laborer earning 300 denarii every year. After two decades of such labor, friend will have earned 6,000 denarii.At this point, the king would certainly say come his debtor, “Congratulations. You have operated for twenty years and have actually now deserve 6,000 denarii. That’s enough to pay ago one talent. Friend only have actually 9,999 much more talents to go.”

From this, us can conveniently see the if the takes two decades to knife one talent, then repaying 10,000 talents would need working 200,000 YEARS! just how absurd then because that the servant to beg because that mercy and also tell the king the he would “pay back everything.” as a work laborer, he had actually no hope—almost literally “not in a million years”—of ever repaying his debt.

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What would 100 denarii and also 10,000 talent look choose in today’s dollars? Currently, California’s minimum wage is $8.00 per hour. From Matthew 20:1-16, we know that laborers operated 12 hours per day, which is 72 hrs per week. Under California law, they would certainly be payment 40 hrs a week in ~ $8 one hour and also 32 hrs of overtime in ~ $12 an hour for a weekly wage of $704. Thus, their annual wage, suspect they job-related 50 weeks together above, would certainly be: $704 every week x 50 weeks = $35,200

Therefore, if 100 denarii equaled 4 months’ salary, at existing minimum wage, it would be tantamount to $11,733.33, i m sorry is substantially more than the NIV footnote the “a few dollars.”

Earning $35,200 per year at minimum wage, exactly how much would certainly you earn in 200,000 years to same 10,000 talents?

$35,200 x 200,000 = $7,040,000,000 $7.04 billion

For perspective, $7.04 billion is about one-eighth the the total wealth of bill Gates. Bill Gates, the richest man in the U.S. And second richest in the world, has a network worth of $53 billion as of 2010:

If you had $7.04 billion obtainable to repay a debt, you would certainly be #102 in the 2010 Forbes perform of billionaires.