7 occurrences in 7 dictionaries

Reference: Centurion


A Roman officer commanding a hundred soldiers; similar to "captain" in modern times. Several centurions are mentioned with honor in the New Testament, Mr 15:39; Lu 7:1-10; and the first fruits to Christ from the Gentiles was the generous and devout Cornelius, Ac 10.

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a Roman officer in command of a hundred men (Mr 15:39,44-45). Cornelius, the first Gentile convert, was a centurion (Ac 10:1,22). Other centurions are mentioned in 8/5/type/mstc'>Mt 8:5,8,13; Lu 7:2,6; Ac 21:32; 22:25-26; 23/17/type/mstc'>23:17,23; 24:23; 27:1,6,11,31,43; 28:16. A centurion watched the crucifixion of our Lord (Mt 27:54; Lu 23:47), and when he saw the wonders attending it, exclaimed, "Truly this man was the Son of God." "The centurions mentioned in the New Testament are uniformly spoken of in terms of praise, whether in the Gospels or in the Acts. It is interesting to compare this with the statement of Polybius (vi. 24), that the centurions were chosen by merit, and so were men remarkable not so much for their daring courage as for their deliberation, constancy, and strength of mind.", Dr. Maclear's N. T. Hist.

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It is a propriety in the New Testament that centurions are so often favorably noticed. Good conduct was generally the cause of their promotion to the command of a century (properly 100 men). Truthful straightforwardness would make them open to conviction. For instance, the one whose faith Jesus so commends in Matthew 8; Cornelius, whom Peter was by vision sent to, and who is described as "devout, fearing God with all his house, giving much alms to the people, and praying to God always" (Acts 10); Julius, the centurion of Augustus' band, who entreated Paul courteously and saved his life when threatened by the soldiers (Ac 27:1,3-43). In Ac 24:23 translate "the centurion," namely, the commander of the horse who had conveyed Paul to Caesarea after the other of the two centurions had come back with the infantry (compare Ac 23:23,32). The centurion at the Lord's crucifixion uttered the testimony so remarkable from a Gentile: "certainly this was a righteous man"; Luke's explanation (Lu 23:47) of what a Gentile would mean by saying, "Truly this was the Son of God" (Mt 27:54).

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A centurion was a Roman military officer, corresponding in the number of infantry commanded by him (100) to the modern 'captain,' but in his status like our non-commissioned officers. The passage to the higher ranks was even more difficult in his case than it is amongst our non-commissioned officers. However, the chief centurion of a legion. known as the 'centurion of the first (chief) pike,' was sometimes promoted to the equestrian order. The Capernaum centurion (Mt 8:5-13; Lu 7:2-10) was probably in Herod's army, not in the Roman army strictly so called. Some of those mentioned in the NT were on special service in command of their units, and separated from the cohorts or legions of which they formed a part.

A. Souter.

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An officer over (about) 100 men: they were promoted to this office because of their good conduct and trustworthiness, and it is to be remarked how often centurions are favourably noticed in the Gospels and the Acts. Mt 8:5-13; Lu 23:47; Ac 10:1,22; 27:6, etc.

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See Army


CENTURION, an officer in the Roman army, who, as the term indicates, had the command of a hundred men, Mt 8:5, &c.

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