The Berean Expositor
Volume 27 - Page 119 of 212
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of Mysia), you forbid them to make use of the customs of their forefathers, and their way
of sacred worship. Now it does not please me that such decrees should be made against
our friends and confederates, whereby they are forbidden to live according to their own
customs, or to bring in contributions for common suppers and holy festivals, while they
are not forbidden so to do even at Rome itself."
In the earlier part of his book Josephus promises that he will reproduce all the public
decrees of the Romans in favour of the Jews. He actually writes out a number of them,
which, if cited in these pages, would occupy more than one issue of this magazine, but
finding so many more, he apologizes for not transcribing them all. We trust that by the
perusal of the few extracts we have given, the reader will have realized something of the
value of being acquainted with Roman history as it bears upon the story of the N.T.
We append a list of all references in the N.T. to the Emperors of Rome, and make our
quotations from the R.V.
AUGUSTUS.--"There went out a decree from Csar Augustus, that all the world
should be enrolled" (Luke 2: 1).
TIBERIUS.--"In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Csar" (Luke 3: 1).
"Is it lawful to give tribute unto Csar, or not? . . . . . They say unto Him,
Csar's. Then saith He unto them, Render therefore unto Csar the things that
are Csar's" (Matt. 23: 17-21; Mark 12: 14-17; Luke 20: 22-25).
"If thou release this man, thou art not Csar's friend; every one that maketh
himself king speaketh against Csar" (John 19: 12).
"Forbidding to give tribute to Csar, saying that He Himself is Christ a
King" (Luke 23: 2).
CLAUDIUS.--"A great famine over all the world, which came to pass in the days of
Claudius Csar" (Acts 11: 28).
"These all act contrary to the decrees of Csar" (Acts 17: 7).
"Claudius has commanded all Jews to depart from Rome" (Acts 18: 2).
NERO.--"Nor yet against Csar, have I sinned at all . . . . . I am standing before
Csar's judgment-seat . . . . . I appeal unto Csar . . . . . Hast thou appealed unto Csar?
unto Csar shalt thou go" (Acts 25: 8, 10, 11, 12).
"Fear not Paul; thou must stand before Csar" (Acts 27: 24).
"I was constrained to appeal unto Csar" (Acts 28: 19).
It will be seen from this list that Csar's rule, at the time of the birth, ministry and
death of Christ, through the history of the Acts and latent in the very title of Paul "the
prisoner", is a factor which we cannot ignore without loss.