Thematic Bible: The Roman empire


Thematic Bible



Do you not know that in a race all the runners compete, but [only] one receives the prize? So run [your race] that you may lay hold [of the prize] and make it yours.


Therefore then, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses [who have borne testimony to the Truth], let us strip off and throw aside every encumbrance (unnecessary weight) and that sin which so readily (deftly and cleverly) clings to and entangles us, and let us run with patient endurance and steady and active persistence the appointed course of the race that is set before us, Looking away [from all that will distract] to Jesus, Who is the Leader and the Source of our faith [giving the first incentive for our belief] and is also its Finisher [bringing it to maturity and perfection]. He, for the joy [of obtaining the prize] that was set before Him, endured the cross, despising and ignoring the shame, and is now seated at the right hand of the throne of God.

That if possible I may attain to the [ spiritual and moral] resurrection [that lifts me] out from among the dead [even while in the body]. Not that I have now attained [this ideal], or have already been made perfect, but I press on to lay hold of (grasp) and make my own, that for which Christ Jesus (the Messiah) has laid hold of me and made me His own. I do not consider, brethren, that I have captured and made it my own [yet]; but one thing I do [it is my one aspiration]: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, read more.
I press on toward the goal to win the [supreme and heavenly] prize to which God in Christ Jesus is calling us upward.




Now every athlete who goes into training conducts himself temperately and restricts himself in all things. They do it to win a wreath that will soon wither, but we [do it to receive a crown of eternal blessedness] that cannot wither.



By [speaking] the word of truth, in the power of God, with the weapons of righteousness for the right hand [to attack] and for the left hand [to defend];

Put on God's whole armor [the armor of a heavy-armed soldier which God supplies], that you may be able successfully to stand up against [all] the strategies and the deceits of the devil. For we are not wrestling with flesh and blood [contending only with physical opponents], but against the despotisms, against the powers, against [the master spirits who are] the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spirit forces of wickedness in the heavenly (supernatural) sphere. Therefore put on God's complete armor, that you may be able to resist and stand your ground on the evil day [of danger], and, having done all [the crisis demands], to stand [firmly in your place]. read more.
Stand therefore [hold your ground], having tightened the belt of truth around your loins and having put on the breastplate of integrity and of moral rectitude and right standing with God, And having shod your feet in preparation [to face the enemy with the firm-footed stability, the promptness, and the readiness produced by the good news] of the Gospel of peace. Lift up over all the [covering] shield of saving faith, upon which you can quench all the flaming missiles of the wicked [one]. And take the helmet of salvation and the sword that the Spirit wields, which is the Word of God.


When we arrived at Rome, the centurion delivered the prisoners to the captain of the guard, but Paul was permitted to live by himself with the soldier who guarded him.

Then the commandant approached and arrested Paul and ordered that he be secured with two chains. He then inquired who he was and what he had done.

May the Lord grant [His] mercy to the family of Onesiphorus, for he often showed me kindness and ministered to my needs [comforting and reviving and bracing me like fresh air]! He was not ashamed of my chains and imprisonment [for Christ's sake].

The very night before Herod was about to bring him forth, Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, fastened with two chains, and sentries before the door were guarding the prison.


And about the ten horns [representing kings] that were on its head, and the other horn which came up later and before which three of [the horns] fell, the horn which had eyes and a mouth that spoke great things and which looked greater than the others.

And as you saw the feet and toes, partly of [baked] clay [of the potter] and partly of iron, it shall be a divided kingdom; but there shall be in it some of the firmness and strength of iron, just as you saw the iron mixed with miry [earthen] clay. And as the toes of the feet were partly of iron and partly of [baked] clay [of the potter], so the kingdom shall be partly strong and partly brittle and broken. And as you saw the iron mixed with miry and earthen clay, so they shall mingle themselves in the seed of men [in marriage bonds]; but they will not hold together [for two such elements or ideologies can never harmonize], even as iron does not mingle itself with clay.

And as for the ten horns, out of this kingdom ten kings shall arise; and another shall arise after them, and he shall be different from the former ones, and he shall subdue and put down three kings.


But [like a boxer] I buffet my body [handle it roughly, discipline it by hardships] and subdue it, for fear that after proclaiming to others the Gospel and things pertaining to it, I myself should become unfit [not stand the test, be unapproved and rejected as a counterfeit].

Now every athlete who goes into training conducts himself temperately and restricts himself in all things. They do it to win a wreath that will soon wither, but we [do it to receive a crown of eternal blessedness] that cannot wither.


What do I gain if, merely from the human point of view, I fought with [wild] beasts at Ephesus? If the dead are not raised [at all], let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we will be dead.

For it seems to me that God has made an exhibit of us apostles, exposing us to view last [of all, like men in a triumphal procession who are] sentenced to death [and displayed at the end of the line]. For we have become a spectacle to the world [a show in the world's amphitheater] with both men and angels [as spectators].



But thanks be to God, Who in Christ always leads us in triumph [as trophies of Christ's victory] and through us spreads and makes evident the fragrance of the knowledge of God everywhere, For we are the sweet fragrance of Christ [which exhales] unto God, [discernible alike] among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing: To the latter it is an aroma [wafted] from death to death [a fatal odor, the smell of doom]; to the former it is an aroma from life to life [a vital fragrance, living and fresh]. And who is qualified (fit and sufficient) for these things? [Who is able for such a ministry? We?]


Pilate said to them, Take Him yourselves and judge and sentence and punish Him according to your [own] law. The Jews answered, It is not lawful for us to put anyone to death.

But it is your custom that I release one [prisoner] for you at the Passover. So shall I release for you the King of the Jews?

So Pilate said to Him, Will You not speak [even] to me? Do You not know that I have power (authority) to release You and I have power to crucify You?


All the saints (God's consecrated ones here) wish to be remembered to you, especially those of Caesar's household.

The Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Grace (God's favor and blessing) be with you. Amen (so be it).


In the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the Word of God [ concerning the attainment through Christ of salvation in the kingdom of God] came to John son of Zachariah in the wilderness (desert).

Having read the letter, he asked to what province [Paul] belonged. When he discovered that he was from Cilicia [an imperial province],

Now when Festus had entered into his own province, after three days he went up from Caesarea to Jerusalem.


I considered the horns, and behold, there came up among them another horn, a little one, before which three of the first horns were plucked up by the roots; and behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of a man and a mouth speaking great things.

And about the ten horns [representing kings] that were on its head, and the other horn which came up later and before which three of [the horns] fell, the horn which had eyes and a mouth that spoke great things and which looked greater than the others. As I looked, this horn made war with the saints and prevailed over them Until the Ancient of Days came, and judgment was given to the saints of the Most High [God], and the time came when the saints possessed the kingdom. read more.
Thus [the angel] said, The fourth beast shall be a fourth kingdom on earth, which shall be different from all other kingdoms and shall devour the whole earth, tread it down, and break it in pieces and crush it. And as for the ten horns, out of this kingdom ten kings shall arise; and another shall arise after them, and he shall be different from the former ones, and he shall subdue and put down three kings. And he shall speak words against the Most High [God] and shall wear out the saints of the Most High and think to change the time [of sacred feasts and holy days] and the law; and the saints shall be given into his hand for a time, two times, and half a time [three and one-half years].


Then the soldiers, when they had crucified Jesus, took His garments and made four parts, one share for each soldier, and also the tunic (the long shirtlike undergarment). But the tunic was seamless, woven [in one piece] from the top throughout.

And when they had crucified Him, they divided and distributed His garments [among them] by casting lots so that the prophet's saying was fulfilled, They parted My garments among them and over My apparel they cast lots.


And he replied, The Jews have agreed to ask you to bring Paul down to the council (Sanhedrin) tomorrow, as if [they were] intending to examine him more exactly.

Also provide beasts for mounts for Paul to ride, and bring him in safety to Felix the governor. And he wrote a letter having this message: Claudius Lysias sends greetings to His Excellency Felix the governor. read more.
This man was seized [as prisoner] by the Jews, and was about to be killed by them when I came upon them with the troops and rescued him, because I learned that he is a Roman citizen.


He said, I will hear your case fully when your accusers also have come. And he ordered that an eye be kept on him in Herod's palace (the Praetorium).

But I replied to them that it was not the custom of the Romans to give up freely any man for punishment before the accused had met the accusers face to face and had opportunity to defend himself concerning the charge brought against him. So when they came here together, I did not delay, but on the morrow took my place on the judgment seat and ordered that the man be brought before me. [But] when the accusers stood up, they brought forward no accusation [in his case] of any such misconduct as I was expecting. read more.
Instead they had some points of controversy with him about their own religion or superstition and concerning one Jesus, Who had died but Whom Paul kept asserting [over and over] to be alive.


Then summoning two of the centurions, he said, Have two hundred footmen ready by the third hour of the night (about 9:00 p.m.) to go as far as Caesarea, with seventy horsemen and two hundred spearmen. Also provide beasts for mounts for Paul to ride, and bring him in safety to Felix the governor.

Now while they were trying to kill him, word came to the commandant of the regular Roman garrison that the whole of Jerusalem was in a state of ferment.


Its legs of iron, its feet partly of iron and partly of clay [the baked clay of the potter].

And the fourth kingdom [Rome] shall be strong as iron, since iron breaks to pieces and subdues all things; and like iron which crushes, it shall break and crush all these.


Then I wished to know the truth about the fourth beast -- "which was different from all the others, exceedingly terrible and shocking, whose teeth were of iron and its nails of bronze, which devoured, broke and crushed, and trampled what was left with its feet -- "

After this I saw in the night visions, and behold, a fourth beast [the Roman empire] -- "terrible, powerful and dreadful, and exceedingly strong. And it had great iron teeth; it devoured and crushed and trampled what was left with its feet. And it was different from all the beasts that came before it, and it had ten horns [symbolizing ten kings].


The commandant ordered that Paul be brought into the barracks, and that he be examined by scourging in order that [the commandant] might learn why the people cried out thus against him.

Instantly those who were about to examine and flog him withdrew from him; and the commandant also was frightened, for he realized that [Paul] was a Roman citizen and he had put him in chains.


But Paul answered them, They have beaten us openly and publicly, without a trial and uncondemned, men who are Roman citizens, and have thrown us into prison; and do they now thrust us out secretly? No, indeed! Let them come here themselves and conduct us out!

But when they had stretched him out with the thongs (leather straps), Paul asked the centurion who was standing by, Is it legal for you to flog a man who is a Roman citizen and uncondemned [without a trial]?


Now after these events Paul determined in the [Holy] Spirit that he would travel through Macedonia and Achaia (most of Greece) and go to Jerusalem, saying, After I have been there, I must visit Rome also.

There he met a Jew named Aquila, a native of Pontus, recently arrived from Italy with Priscilla his wife, due to the fact that Claudius had issued an edict that all the Jews were to leave Rome. And [Paul] went to see them,


Now [living] at Caesarea there was a man whose name was Cornelius, a centurion (captain) of what was known as the Italian Regiment,

Now when it was determined that we [including Luke] should sail for Italy, they turned Paul and some other prisoners over to a centurion of the imperial regiment named Julius.


However, I thought it necessary to send Epaphroditus [back] to you. [He has been] my brother and companion in labor and my fellow soldier, as well as [having come as] your special messenger (apostle) and minister to my need.


So he set free for them Barabbas; and he [had] Jesus whipped, and delivered Him up to be crucified. Then the governor's soldiers took Jesus into the palace, and they gathered the whole battalion about Him.


And said, Tell people, His disciples came at night and stole Him away while we were sleeping. And if the governor hears of it, we will appease him and make you safe and free from trouble and care.


I have fought the good (worthy, honorable, and noble) fight, I have finished the race, I have kept (firmly held) the faith. [As to what remains] henceforth there is laid up for me the [victor's] crown of righteousness [for being right with God and doing right], which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me and recompense me on that [great] day -- "and not to me only, but also to all those who have loved and yearned for and welcomed His appearing (His return).




Thus shall he who conquers (is victorious) be clad in white garments, and I will not erase or blot out his name from the Book of Life; I will acknowledge him [as Mine] and I will confess his name openly before My Father and before His angels.


And if anyone enters competitive games, he is not crowned unless he competes lawfully (fairly, according to the rules laid down).




If then I am a wrongdoer and a criminal and have committed anything for which I deserve to die, I do not beg off and seek to escape death; but if there is no ground for their accusations against me, no one can give me up and make a present of me [ give me up freely] to them. I appeal to Caesar. Then Festus, when he had consulted with the [ men who formed his] council, answered, You have appealed to Caesar; to Caesar you shall go.


But the centurion replied to Him, Lord, I am not worthy or fit to have You come under my roof; but only speak the word, and my servant boy will be cured. For I also am a man subject to authority, with soldiers subject to me. And I say to one, Go, and he goes; and to another, Come, and he comes; and to my slave, Do this, and he does it.




Thus [the angel] said, The fourth beast shall be a fourth kingdom on earth, which shall be different from all other kingdoms and shall devour the whole earth, tread it down, and break it in pieces and crush it.


And Pilate also wrote a title (an inscription on a placard) and put it on the cross. And the writing was: Jesus the Nazarene, the King of the Jews.


And Agrippa said to Festus, This man could have been set at liberty if he had not appealed to Caesar.


The commandant replied, I purchased this citizenship [as a capital investment] for a big price. Paul said, But I was born [Roman]!


The commandant replied, I purchased this citizenship [as a capital investment] for a big price. Paul said, But I was born [Roman]!


And one of them named Agabus stood up and prophesied through the [Holy] Spirit that a great and severe famine would come upon the whole world. And this did occur during the reign of Claudius.


In those days it occurred that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that the whole Roman empire should be registered.


In the fifteenth year of Tiberius Caesar's reign -- "when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, and Herod was tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip tetrarch of the region of Ituraea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias tetrarch of Abilene -- "


In those days it occurred that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that the whole Roman empire should be registered.