The first reference to money in the Bible is found in the Book of Genesis, which mentions the criteria for buying a slave. Abraham then purchased the Cave of Macpela with silver sometime after 1985 BC. However, scholars believe that the book was written in the 6th or 5th centuries BC. The earliest evidence of coins being used for goods and services dates back to the 6th century BC.
Coins were likely not introduced to the Israelites until the 5th or 4th century BC, and with them came state control over money. In the Middle Ages, legislative attempts were made by the church to address poverty. Medieval church councils transformed alms into a kind of income tax, requiring church members to give one-tenth of their income to the bishop for helping the poor. Aquinas taught that money was a post-fall institution, while Calvin viewed it more positively as an institution of creation.