Did Paul claim to be a citizen of Rome?
http://www.hisholychurch.net/pdfiles/law/Roman.pdf In Roman law the rights of Roman citizen was called jus Quiritium.1 Quiris, or the plural Quirites, was the name of a Roman citizen with full civil citizenship and rights.
The term translated Roman used in Acts 22 is Rhomaios and not Quiris. Rhomaios was not a term exclusive to Romans. The word “Rhomaios” was a denomination for the inhabitants of the Roman Empire and also for the Christians of Byzance until the collapse of the Empire.
A Rhomaios was not specifically a Roman citizen2 but was a very exclusive status. There were different kinds of citizens then as there are now. Rhomaios was really an “inhabitant” of the world in general. There may be a difference between an inhabitant, a subject citizen and a resident. This was well understood in Roman law and is still a part of law today.
This natural citizenship that belonged to all free men in the world in or out of Rome was called by the Greek term Rhomaios meaning strength, from rhoomai – to be whole. Before the Imperial period, in 89 BC, a Roman law had recognized the status of Rhomaios for an increasing number of people in different parts of the world. The steady march of imperialism attempted to redefine Rhomaios along with the very idea of freedom itself. Eventually3 the freedom bestowed by God became granted by the gods of the empire and was called Rhomaios but only through the sophistry of a declining empire. The term became through usage an enfranchised4 citizen as a member of a political body.
Citizenship in many nations including early America was dependent upon the ownership of land. Today, citizenship, “in the United States ‘it is a political obligation’ depending not on ownership of land, but on the enjoyment of the protection of government; and it ‘binds the citizen to the observance of all laws’ of his sovereign.”5 All citizens have what has been labeled “Civil Rights”. Those “Civil rights are such as belong to every citizen of the state or country, or, in a wider sense to all its inhabitants, and are not connected with the organization or the administration of government. They include the rights of property, marriage, protection by laws, freedom of contract, trial by jury, etc.”6 A person or member in a political society also has civil rights “pertaining or relating to the policy or administration of government..”7 So, “as otherwise defined, civil rights are rights appertaining to a person in virtue of his citizenship in a state or community. Rights capable of being enforced or redressed in civil action. Also a term applied to certain rights secured to citizens of the United States by the thirteenth and fourteenth amendments to the constitution, and by various acts of congress made in pursuance thereof.”8.
Those civil rights secured by the thirteenth and fourteenth amendment, which are subject to the administration of government, are dependent upon a membership in that political society, which preceding those amendments and other acts of congress made in pursuance thereof, the average American was not a participant. This is because prior to the fourteenth amendment, “No private person has a right to complain, by suit in court, on the ground of a breach of Constitution. The constitution it is true, is a compact, but he is not a party to it. The states are party to it.”9 As men applied, participated and claimed a membership in such a political society they received the administrative rights of their new citizenship but also accrued new obligations. This is an age-old process that has ensued the apathy, appetite and avidity of mankind from the dawn of civilization.
“The real destroyer of the liberties of the people is he who spreads among them bounties, donations and benefits.” But it should also be remembered that “No one is obliged to accept a benefit against his consent. But if he does not dissent, he will be considered as assenting.”10 The warnings are per ponderous through out our History but we continue to return to the scene of the original crime to eat the fruit of self-indulgence at the expense of others and eventually ourselves.
2 Pe 2:3 And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.
When thou sittest to eat with a ruler, consider diligently what [is] before thee: And put a knife to thy throat, if thou [be] a man given to appetite. Be not desirous of his dainties: for they [are] deceitful meat. (Proverbs 23:1, 3)
And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? ... 2Co 6:16
Thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor with their gods. Ex 23:32
But above all things, my brethren, swear not, ... lest ye fall into condemnation. Jas 5:12
But I say unto you, Swear not at all; ... Mt 5:34
Being born in a particular country does not make you a citizen of that country subject to these administrative controls of that political society.11 There are numerous ways of becoming a member and few are more pervasive than placing the state in the role of the Father12 replacing the responsibilities and therefore the rights of the natural Fathers. These practice in essence cut off the heads of the families established by the Great Domestic relationship called Husband and Wife13 instituted by God.
So, was Paul saying that it was okay to become a member of the Roman system of Quarban with its benefits paid for by the compelled offerings of an overtaxed population, its administrative courts and legislated commandments. That system was Nicolaitian14 in nature which God clearly hated from the beginning.
Acts 21:39 But Paul said, I am a man [which am] a Jew of Tarsus, [a city] in Cilicia, a citizen of no mean city: and, I beseech thee, suffer me to speak unto the people.
The word for Citizen is from ‘polites’ 1) a citizen 1a) the inhabitant of any city or country. See also Luke 15:15 &19:14
The word “means” is from ‘asemos’ and only appears once in the Bible and is defined, “unmarked or unstamped”. An ummarked city was a free city or city state that was not subject to the exercising authority of Rome, the Empire. It was recognized as autonomous and not under Roman authority, but was more an ally.
Acts 22:25 And as they bound him with thongs, Paul said unto the centurion that stood by, Is it lawful for you to scourge a man that is a Roman, and uncondemned?
The word uncondemned is from the Greek akatakritos meaning “uncondemned, punished without being tried.” Which means without due process of law. There had grown up a dual system of courts within the system of Roman law. There were legal administrative courts and the original courts based on custom and the laws of freemen. As the people neglected the responsibilities of liberty they became legal citizens with entitlements and privileges but only privileges instead of rights. This same process has been repeated throughout history from Babylon to William the Conqueror who saw himself as the fountain head of Justice. Great nations such as found in the Americas have been no exception.
Ac 22:26 When the centurion heard [that], he went and told the chief captain, saying, Take heed what thou doest: for this man is a Roman.