John Calvin Complete Commentary - John 6:7 - 6:7

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John Calvin Complete Commentary - John 6:7 - 6:7


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7.Two hundred denarii. As the denarius, according to the computation of Budaeus, is equal to four times the value of acarolus and two deniers of Tours, this sum amounts to thirty-five francs, or thereby. (119) If you divide this sum among five thousand men, each hundred of them will have less than seventeenpence sterling (120) If we now add about a thousand of women and children, it will be found that Philip allots to each person about the sixth part of an English penny, (121) to buy a little bread But, as usually happens in a great crowd, he probably thought that there was a greater number of people present; and as the disciples were poor and ill supplied with money, Andrew intended to alarm Christ by the greatness of the sum, meaning that they were not wealthy enough to entertain so many people.



(119) The value of the old French coins passed through so many changes, that all reasoning about them must be involved in uncertainty; but, so far as we have been able to ascertain, the value of a carolus of Tours, in Calvin’ time, was nearly that of a penny sterling, and the denier was the tenth part of it, or nearly a modern centime of Paris. “ times the carolus, with two deniers, ” would thus be 4 and 1/5 pence sterling, and, multiplying that by 200, we have three pounds, ten shillings. Again, taking the franc (as Cotgrave rates it) at two shillings, 35 francs are also equal to three pounds, ten shillings. This is, at least, a curious coincidence, and the reader may compare it with a computation made from the livre Parisis, (Harmony, volume 2, page 234, n. 2.) It would appear, however, that Budaeus and Calvin had estimated the denarius at little more than half its real value, which was sevenpence halfpenny sterling, taking silver at five shillings per ounce; so that two hundred denarii would be equal to six pounds, five shillings sterling. — Ed.

(120) “Quatorze (fourteen) sols Tournois.” According to Cotgrave, the sol Tournois is the tenth part of our shilling, or one part in six better than our penny.” — Ed.

(121) “Sesquituronicum;” — “un denier Tournois et maille;” — “ and a half denier of Tours.”