Cornelius and the Gentile Pentecost
Cornelius was a centurion in the Italian Regiment and was stationed at Caesarea which was located about 33 miles to the north of Joppa. It was the capital of the Roman occupied Judea. Since it was a major seaport and fell on the main caravan route from Tyre to Egypt, it had a vast and diverse demography. Both Jewish and Hellenized Gentiles resided in the port town and followed their own cultures and maintained their separate place for worship. The soldiers stationed within the city would have primarily been for maintaining peace among these different groups. Many Biblical scholars believe that Cornelius and his band of soldiers would have stationed outside a Jewish temple.
Cornelius was a God fearing man who gave alms to the needy and prayed to God on a regular basis. It is also written that he along with his family were pious. Being stationed in a predominantly Jewish…
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