Sunday, March 3, 2013

Talents of the Parable Would Be Worth $500 Grand Today

Pastor Bill Price did some interesting research on the meaning of "talent" in the parable of the talents where the master gives 3 servents talents according to their ability, and rewards the two who gave a return on investment, but cast off the servant who did the usual practice of burying money in the ground to make sure he did not lose anything.

Turns out the meaning of a talent was a measure of money equal to 20 years of an ordinary mans wages. He calculated it might be worth over a million dollars if we go by the average household income of Rocheester MN which as a lot of Mayo doctors and IBM engineers. Another way would be to go by the mininum or the median wage.

In wikipedia:

talent (from Ancient Greek: τάλαντον, talanton 'scale, balance') was a unit of weight of about 80 pounds avoirdupois,[11] and when used for money, it was the value of that weight of silver. As a unit of currency, it was worth about 6,000 denarii.[1] Since a denarius was the usual payment for a day's labour,[1] a talent was roughly the value of twenty years of work by an ordinary person.[12] By modern standards, the 2009 US minimum wage was $7.25 per hour, which would amount to over $300,000 over 20 years, while at the median wage of $26,363, it would be a half-million dollars.[13] The talent as used in the parable is the origin of the sense of the word "talent" meaning "gift or skill" as used in English and other languages.

Pastor Price noted that the usual view would have been to be aghast at the two who risked the masters money, contrary to the modern capitalist view that the most productive person is the one who brings in the most returns rather than the conventional wisdom of playing everything safe.

Sermon will eventually be up here:

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