πολιτειαν : Citizenship for the grafted in?

Paul was being stretched out on the rack as the centurion in charge prepared to interrogate him by flogging.

Scourging Whip 1Paul said to the centurion standing there, “Is it legal for you to flog a Roman citizen who hasn’t even been found guilty?”

26 When the centurion heard this, he went to the commander and reported it. “What are you going to do?” he asked. “This man is a Roman citizen.”

27 The commander went to Paul and asked, “Tell me, are you a Roman citizen?”

“Yes, I am,” he answered.

28 Then the commander said, “I had to pay a lot of money for my citizenship (πολιτειαν).”

800px-Bronce_de_Ascoli“But I was born a citizen,” Paul replied.

29 Those who were about to interrogate him withdrew immediately. The commander himself was alarmed when he realized that he had put Paul, a Roman citizen, in chains.

While the NIV takes a few liberties in translating this passage (the word for ‘citizen’ only appears once in this Greek text), it starkly illustrates the importance of citizenship and the differences between ‘natural born’ versus ‘purchased/adopted’ citizenship. Continue reading “πολιτειαν : Citizenship for the grafted in?”