Easton's Bible Dictionary
A Roman officer in command of a hundred men ( Mark 15:39
, 15:44 , 15:45 ). Cornelius, the first Gentile convert, was a centurion ( Acts
10:1 , 10:22 ). Other centurions are mentioned in Matthew 8:5 , 8:8 , 8:13 ; Luke
7:2 , 7:6 ; Acts 21:32 ; 22:25 , 22:26 ; 23:17 , 23:23 ; 24:23 ; 27:1 , 27:6 ,
27:11 , 27:31 , 27:43 ; 28:16 . A centurion watched the crucifixion of our Lord
( Matthew 27:54 ; Luke 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.
Hitchcock's Dictionary of Bible Names
Smith's Bible Dictionary
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia
As the name implies, hekatontarches or hekatontarchos, kenturion, Latin centurio,
was the commander of a hundred men, more or less, in a Roman legion. Matthew and
Luke use the Greek word while Mark prefers the Latin form, as he does in the case
of other words, seeing that he wrote primarily for Roman readers. The number of
centurions in a legion was 60, that being at all epochs the number of centuries,
although the number varied in the cohort or speira. The ordinary duties of the
centurion were to drill his men, inspect their arms, food and clothing, and to
command them in the camp and in the field. Centurions were sometimes employed
on detached service the conditions of which in the provinces are somewhat obscure.
Men like Cornelius and Julius (Acts 10:1 ; 27:1) may have been separated from
the legion to which they properly belonged for the discharge of special duties.
They and other centurions mentioned in the Gospels and the Acts (Matthew 8:5 ;
Mark 15:39 , 44 , 45 ; Luke 23:47) are represented by the sacred writers in a
See AUGUSTAN BAND.
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