A Greek silver coin still in use in the first century C.E. (Lu 15:8, 9) The Attic drachma bore the head of the goddess Athena on one side and an owl on the other side. By the time of Jesus’ earthly ministry, the drachma probably had depreciated to about 3.4 g (0.109 oz t) and hence would be presently evaluated at 65 cents. In the first century C.E. the Greeks equated the drachma with the denarius, but the Roman government officially reckoned the value of the drachma at three fourths of a denarius. The Jews paid an annual temple tax of two drachmas (a didrachma).—Mt 17:24.
The Greek silver drachma is not to be confused with the gold “drachma” (dar·kemohnʹ) of the Hebrew Scriptures, a coin generally equated with the Persian daric (8.4 g; 0.27 oz t; $94.50 according to modern values).—Ezr 2:69; Ne 7:70-72.