Updated: Aug 11, 2022
In the bible, both in the Old Testament and the New Testament, people used different types of metals as forms of money.
Gold and silver are mentioned most often, but there are also references to the use of copper and bronze.
Scripture records people using money in a variety of ways. And thus, when considering the question, "what is money?", it's the means by which people can do the following:
personal spending (e.g., Deuteronomy 14:26)
buying (Deut. 2:6)
selling (Deut. 2:28)
exchanging goods or services (Deut.14:24-25)
making loans (Exodus 22:25)
giving gifts (2 Kings 5:15-26)
paying fines or penalties (Ex. 21:33-34)
helping the poor (Matthew 19:21)
various redemptive purposes (Numbers 3:46-51, etc)
paying wages (Ezra 3:7)
paying taxes (2 Ki. 23:35)
investing (Matthew 25:14-27)
doing business (Luke 19:11-13)
putting down securities/deposits (Acts 17:9).
If you’ve never read the bible, but you find yourself reading this today, you will see that nothing has really changed in 'what' people use money for, and the words of King Solomon still ring true today, “...there is nothing new under the sun” (Ecclesiastes 1:9).
One of the most useful and most fascinating aspects of money is that it gives people the ability to 'exchange' with one another. Without money, it would be extremely difficult, or in some cases, it would be 'impossible' to exchange what you have with someone else. For example, let's say you have a some cows in Washington State, that you want to use to buy some lagoon property in Florida. However, the problem is that you don't have the means by which to get the cows to Florida, not to mention the fact that the person in Florida doesn't want to buy your cows. Thus, this is where money becomes not only useful, but necessary. Both the 'usefulness' and the 'necessity' of money is illustrated in Deuteronomy 14:23-25, in which God gave his people the ability to 'sell what they owned', turn it into money, and then use that money to 'spend it later’ at the place they were commanded to be. God made this accommodation available to his people, if the way was too far (i.e., 'if you don't have the ability to take what you own to the place you are going, then exchange it for 'money', and then buy what you want when you get there). What we learn from this passage, in addition to the fact that God truly cares for his people when he makes a command on such a practical level - ensuring they had ‘a means’ by which to obtain provisions once they arrived at the place where he called them to be - is that ‘money’ is a necessary means for life, one that even God himself knows and speaks about. The word translated into English as ‘money’ in Deuteronomy 14:25-26 is the Hebrew word כֶּסֶף, pronounced ‘keh-seph’, and it refers to ‘silver’. If this passage in Deuteronomy were translated today, it could say something like, “...if the way is too far for you...then take what you have and turn it into ‘Litecoin’, and then use ‘Litecoin’ to buy whatever you desire...” (Shortened Paraphrase).
In conclusion, money is the ‘means’ or ‘substance' by which to do all the things listed above. It's essentially a 'middle man' of God's creation, by which people can transfer things to one another. Even in the case of 'Litecoin', even though it's a creation of man, the various raw materials used to create computers and software, of which people then used to create Litecoin, were ultimately taken from 'the earth' that God created' (Genesis 1:9-10). So, the next time someone asks you, "What is money?", you now have some biblical references to include in your answer.