Request an Exam Copy

Money Bags (Luke 10:4; 12:33; 22:35, 36) - Mondays with Mounce 265

Categories Mondays with Mounce

Jesus says, “Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out” (NIV; cf. NRSV, NLT, NET).

I don’t know about you, but I don’t carry a purse. Call me old fashioned, but I wouldn’t even carry my wife’s purse unless I grab the straps in a way that makes it clear the purse isn’t mine. And unlike some of my friends, I don’t carry a “man-bag.”

The other problem with “moneybag” is that the similar “moneybags” is used pejoratively for a wealthy person.

The problem is that there really isn’t a word in English for this. The ESV has “moneybag” (also HCSB), but that’s what a cowboy straps the the side of the horse behind the saddle. KJV has “bags,” but today that sounds like what we carry our groceries in.

A βαλλάντιον was made of woven cotton or rushes, or were made of leather. They were “baglike, drawn together at the neck with leather straps or strong cords” (IDB 3:971). They were on a smaller side, as I recall carried on the waist, often under the outer garment (see

So they were bigger than a wallet and not carried in a back pocket. They weren’t a “clutch.” What other word is there in English?

What about “money pouch”? Any ideas? I would really like to know if there is another word or phrase. Thanks for your help.


William D. [Bill] Mounce posts about the Greek language, exegesis, and related topics on the ZA Blog. He is the author of numerous works including the recent Basics of Biblical Greek Video Lectures and the bestselling Basics of Biblical Greek. He is the general editor of Mounce's Complete Expository Dictionary of the Old and New Testament Words. He served as the New Testament chair of the English Standard Version Bible translation, and is currently on the Committee for Bible Translation for the NIV.

Learn more about Bill's Greek resources at and visit his blog on spiritual growth at

Tamar: The First Woman of the New Testament - An Excerpt from Prostitutes and Polygamists
Tamar: The First Woman of the New Testament - An Excerpt from Prostitutes and Polygamists Since God has a clear plan for how he created sex and prostitution does not fit in that plan, why does he include prosti...
Your form could not be submitted. Please check errors and resubmit.

Thank you!
Sign up complete.

Subscribe to the Blog Get expert commentary on biblical languages, fresh explorations in theology, hand-picked book excerpts, author videos, and info on limited-time sales.
By submitting your email address, you understand that you will receive email communications from HarperCollins Christian Publishing (501 Nelson Place, Nashville, TN 37214 USA) providing information about products and services of HCCP and its affiliates. You may unsubscribe from these email communications at any time. If you have any questions, please review our Privacy Policy or email us at This form is protected by reCAPTCHA.