What were the benefits of being a roman citizen in the first. The book of acts indicates that paul was a roman citizen by birth, but helmut koester takes issue with. This gave him unique opportunities and protections while spreading the gospel. How did pauls jewish grandparents become citizens of the gentile city of tarsus. Ephesus was a model roman city that often hosted the olympics. From this moment on, sauls life was turned upside down. In the language suggested by the narrative of stephens martyrdom acts 6. The term latini originally referred to the latins, citizens of the latin league who came under roman control at the close of the latin war. And of course he is referring to paul and silas, who were imprisoned, and an earthquake took place. What are the arguments in support of the view that paul was not a roman citizen. Learn vocabulary, terms, and more with flashcards, games, and other study tools. Barclay and jorg frey with the assistance of orrey mcfarland eoffprint of the author with publishers permission. The apostle pauls exercise of his rights as a roman oitizen. Then they brought them out and begged them to leave the city.
Although a jew, his birth in the city grants him citizenship. And as they bound him with thongs, paul said unto the centurion that stood by, is it lawful for you to scourge a man that is a roman, and uncondemned. Apr 04, 2019 stegmann states that roman citizens were required to sacrifice to the gods of rome, but reisner points out that this was not true during pauls lifetime reisner, 151. The people of philippi, as a colonia, had a right to claim the title of roman citizens, which could not have been claimed by those who were merely inhabitants of a greek city, such as thessalonica or corinth. It is impossible, it is argued, for a roman citizen to have been so abused as paul claims.
They beat us publicly without a trial, even though we are roman citizens, and threw us into prison. Claudius lysias has his soldiers take paul to caesarea to appear in front of the governor there named felix. Scholars agree about pauls jewish background and identity, but some dispute his roman citizenship. But paul said to them, they have beaten us publicly, uncondemned, men who are roman citizens. Paul told the police, even though we are roman citizens, they beat us publicly without first finding us guilty of a crime, and they threw us into prison.
None of the forty stripes save one whippings is recorded in acts. Sep 29, 2007 were in acts chapter 22, and well pick up with verse 25. The apostle pauls exercise of his rights as a roman. First, lukes description of paul s ministry stops short of a crucial event that took place in a. It is possible that the apostle peter was martyred around the same time, during this period of early persecution of christians. The story begins with paul in troas, a town on the western coast of modern turkey, where he dreams of a man from macedonia pleading with him to cross the aegean sea and help the people there acts 16.
Were in acts chapter 22, and well pick up with verse 25. Here, we also learn the magistrates were horrified at having beaten roman citizens. The latini were a class of citizens who held the latin right ius latii, or the rights of ius commercii and ius migrationis, but not the ius conubii. Paul was likely born between the years of 5 bc and 5 ad. According to acts, paul has a very difficult time in ephesus and makes many enemies there. What we know about paul comes from acts and the letters that paul wrote. The beating at philippi, paul and silas being the prisoners. Then they raised their voices and shouted, rid the earth of him.
How did the apostle paul obtain his roman citizenship. As previously noted, the book of acts gives us a historical look at pauls life and times. Paul the roman citizen and jewish teacher unorthodox faith. In the new testament book of acts, chapter 22, paul the apostle, when imprisoned and on trial, claimed his right as a roman citizen to be tried before caesar, and the. The philippian jailer, head of the jail, cried out to them, after. When and how did the apostle paul become a roman citizen. Against verres cicero, part i part ii books 12 loeb classical library, 1928. The book of acts records that the apostle paul was apparently proud of his status as a roman citizen acts 22. The book of acts indicates that paul was a roman citizen by birth, but helmut koester takes issue with the evidence presented by the text. Paul and roman citizenship in the book of acts tribs. On the whole question of the rights of roman citizens. Ephesus served as the official headquarters for the imperial cult.
Somehow, paul s nephew hears all about this and manages to find the roman tribune in charge of paul s case, claudius lysias, and warn him about the plot against paul s life. None of the pauline letters mention that paul is a roman citizen, but the book of acts claims twice that he is acts 16. How can paul be a hebrew and a roman citizen at the same time. The fact that he is a roman citizen is only mentioned in the book of acts. Let them come themselves and escort us out we stopped our survey of acts on february 25, when we considered the jerusalem council in acts 15. It is assumed that paul died a martyrs death in the midtolate ad 60s in rome.
Pauls grandparents were citizens of tarsus in 42 b. Stegmann states that roman citizens were required to sacrifice to the gods of rome, but reisner points out that this was not true during pauls lifetime reisner, 151. Paul and silas were dragged before the civil authorities and charged with. Jul 05, 2016 history indicates that many men died from these roman beatings. The last years of paul essays from the tarragona conference, june 20 edited by armand puig i tarrech, john m. The people of philippi, as a colonia, had a right to claim the title of roman citizens, which could not have been claimed by. The tradition is that peter was crucified upside down and that paul was beheaded due to the fact that paul was a roman citizen acts 22. This argument compares the unlawful arrest in acts 16 in philippi to the list of abuse paul suffered prior to writing 2 cor. The apostle paul spent his life proclaiming the risen christ jesus throughout the roman world, often at great personal peril 2 corinthians 11. This ending offers important evidence for believing that acts was written before a. Acts closes with paul under house arrest in rome, stopping short of crucial events. In the new testament book of acts, chapter 22, paul the apostle, when imprisoned and on trial, claimed his right as a roman citizen to be tried before caesar, and the judicial process had to be suspended until he was taken to rome. Jan 02, 2020 as previously noted, the book of acts gives us a historical look at pauls life and times. The book of acts indicates that paul the apostle was a roman citizen by birth though not clearly specifying which class of citizenship a fact which had considerable bearing on paul s career and on the way he shaped the new religion of christianity.
Paul s experiences at philippi as recorded in acts 16 and at jerusalem in acts 22 and 23 are especially instructive. Other options including buying citizenship see acts 22. Roman citizenship the book of acts depicts paul as a roman citizen from birth acts 22. This type of abuse would not be possible if paul were a roman citizen. When the centurion heard that, he went and told the chief captain, saying, take heed what thou doest. Paul was born as a roman citizen, and this was something that he was able to use to help him out of some situations that he ended up in. We are fellow citizens with the saints and members of gods family ep 2. Roman citizenship could be obtained by one of several means, the most preferred of which was by inheriting it at birth from parents who were citizens. Pauls experiences at philippi as recorded in acts 16 and at jerusalem in acts 22 and 23 are especially instructive. The consensus answer seems to be that paul was a roman citizen because he was. What were the benefits of being a roman citizen in the. Paul is the only apostle who is specifically stated to be a roman citizen. Did jesus give paul all that paul has contributed to the bible during the one vision.
The apostle paul spent his life proclaiming the risen christ jesus throughout the roman. Three times in the book of acts, paul makes declarations of his citizenship. Paul s birth in a jewish family occurred in the city of tarsu s within the province of cilicia acts 22. Paul the roman citizen the crowd listened to paul until he said this. Clarendon press, 1973 the book of acts and paul in roman custody brian m. The philippian church according to acts bible odyssey. His citizenship status is the reason he can successfully appeal to the emperor acts 25.
History indicates that many men died from these roman beatings. Acts records that paul was a roman citizena privilege he used a number of times in his defence, appealing convictions in judea to rome acts 22. It was unlawful to scourge a roman citizen in any case. This is due to tarsus designation as a free city by rome. Why does the bible specify that paul was a roman citizen. Men, brethren, and fathers, hear ye my defence which i make now unto you. And only one of these incidents is recorded in the book of acts. Barnabas enlisted his help to teach those in the church in antioch acts 11. However, being a roman citizen was not something that paul advertised, or made known often. Paternoster, 1977 the roman citizenship sherwinwhite, 2d ed. Paul took his first of three missionary journeys in the late 40s ad. But paul said to them, they have beaten us publicly, uncondemned, men who are roman citizens, and have thrown us into prison. Roman law holman bible dictionary bible dictionary. This is the claim paul makes when asked how he obtained his citizenship i am a citizen by birth acts 22.
After reading the book of acts it seems to me at least that paul was well aware of roman laws concerning the rights and privileges of being a roman citizen. Paul and roman citizenship in the book of acts leave a reply there has been a lot of discussion lately about how god expects his people to interact with what the historical protestant church. There is no due process of law here, no inquiry into the charges, no opportunity given to paul or silas to speak in their own defense. In the latter passage, paul states that he was born a roman citizen. A person could become a roman citizen by either birth or buying the privilege. That jews were not infrequently a citizen of rome, we learn from josephus, who mentions in the jewish war book that some who were of the equestrian order were illegally scourged and crucified by floras at jerusalem. Roman citizenship in the ancient world and its importance for understanding acts 22. Philo reports in legato ad gaium 155 that there was a whole section of jewish romans in rome when he visited the city and that augustus respected the synagogues of the jews. The book of acts closes with paul under house arrest in rome, boldly proclaiming the christian gospel. As such, we are in one sense pilgrims and sojourners in this world 1pe 2. Clarendon press, 1973 the book of acts and paul in roman. Pauls birth in a jewish family occurred in the city of tarsu s within the province of cilicia acts 22. How can paul be a hebrew and a roman citizen at the same.877 971 1022 484 1124 1038 246 924 918 500 542 482 1202 1266 665 351 175 1582 1285 514 616 351 1065 1383 1481 473 201 819 737 305 906 598