The Roman base of Paul's mission

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One third of those around St Paul bear Latin names, ten times more than we should expect. The types of name used suggest that most of these should have held Roman citizenship or the preliminary rank of Junian Latin. In the Greek-speaking cities of the Roman East, however, most Romans or Latins kept the Greek names they or their ancestors had used before their enfranchisement or manumission. For day-to-day purposes the Greek names alone were cited, though technically now cognomina ('associated names') to the Latin praenomina ('first names ') and nomina gentilicia (family names ') required by Roman usage. It is therefore likely that over half Paul's associates ranked as Roman. If so, the view that Acts has only made Paul himself a Roman citizen as window-dressing becomes pointless. Instead we should assume that he linked himself with other Romans used to travelling on business or able to offer hospitality to him and his mission.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)103-117
Number of pages15
JournalTyndale Bulletin
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2005


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