I was born a Roman citizen (Acts 22:28)

“The Roman commander answered.

‘It cost me

A large sum

Of money

To get my citizenship.’

Paul said.

‘But I was born a citizen.’”

ἀπεκρίθη δὲ ὁ χιλίαρχος Ἐγὼ πολλοῦ κεφαλαίου τὴν πολιτείαν ταύτην ἐκτησάμην. ὁ δὲ Παῦλος ἔφη Ἐγὼ δὲ καὶ γεγέννημαι.

The author of Acts indicated that the Roman commander (δὲ ὁ χιλίαρχος) answered (ἀπεκρίθη) that it cost him or he had to pay (ἐκτησάμην) a large sum of money (Ἐγὼ πολλοῦ κεφαλαίου) to get his citizenship (τὴν πολιτείαν ταύτην).  Paul said (ὁ δὲ Παῦλος ἔφη) that he was born a Roman citizen (Ἐγὼ δὲ καὶ γεγέννημαι).  This Roman commander tribune’s name provides evidence to assume the plausibility that the Roman Emperor Claudius (41-54 CE) conferred upon Claudius Lysias citizenship.  Those granted this honor would bear the name of the family or patron which conferred it.  Hence, Lysias gained the name of his patron Claudius.  Emperor Claudius was very generous in conferring citizenship, based on the gifts presented to him.  Paul, however, was born with this citizenship, since both his parents were Roman citizens.  There was no indication on how one proved that they were Roman citizens.  Were you born a citizen of your country?

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