Acts 10:1 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Acts 10:1, NIV: At Caesarea there was a man named Cornelius, a centurion in what was known as the Italian Regiment.

Acts 10:1, ESV: At Caesarea there was a man named Cornelius, a centurion of what was known as the Italian Cohort,

Acts 10:1, KJV: There was a certain man in Caesarea called Cornelius, a centurion of the band called the Italian band,

Acts 10:1, NASB: Now there was a man in Caesarea named Cornelius, a centurion of what was called the Italian cohort,

Acts 10:1, NLT: In Caesarea there lived a Roman army officer named Cornelius, who was a captain of the Italian Regiment.

Acts 10:1, CSB: There was a man in Caesarea named Cornelius, a centurion of what was called the Italian Regiment.

What does Acts 10:1 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Caesarea Maritima is a seaport in Samaria on the coast of the Mediterranean. It is traditionally the capital of the Roman leaders, though Pilate chose to live in Jerusalem. It was built by Herod the Great and named after Caesar Augustus. There is another Caesarea in Philippi, north of the Sea of Galilee, where Peter declared that Jesus is the Messiah (Mark 8:27–29). At the time of these events, the leader in Caesarea is probably Herod Agrippa I (Acts 12:1).

In literal terms, a centurion is a commander of 100 soldiers. However, they were often in command of many more men. Centurions were typically wise and well-disciplined, good leaders who could control their soldiers. It was a centurion who had such faith he assumed Jesus could heal at a distance (Matthew 8:8–9). Although a centurion would have been in command of the soldiers who mocked and beat Jesus (Matthew 27:27–31), a centurion also realized Jesus was the Son of God (Matthew 27:54). It was also a centurion who was wise enough to stop the soldiers from beating Paul, a Roman citizen (Acts 22:25–26), and a centurion who helped save Paul from an assassination attempt (Acts 23:16–19). Yet another took Paul's advice during the voyage to Rome and saved the crew, the soldiers, and the prisoners (Acts 27:30–44).

Cohort is from the Greek root word speira. Formally, it means the tenth part of a legion. Informally, it is any unit of soldiers. That it was an Italian cohort probably means the men were from Rome and not natives of other cities in the Roman Empire. This suggests Cornelius was a Roman centurion, stationed in the capital city of the Rome-backed king, yet he rejected emperor worship and the Roman pantheon of gods. That such a man chose, instead, to worship the Jewish God (Acts 10:2) is no small thing.