About a month ago I had what I can only describe as a revelation. The back story is needed to help understand what's been happening in my life. That said here we go.
Since childhood I've had a strong urge to investigate and explore due to curiosity. This internet age has been great for a curious person who often follows random links and learn new stuff. I got serious about family history which mostly concentrates on Europe since I'm second to third generation American. One's family history goes hand in hand with the history of where they live.
I've known about my dad's side for a long time but only recently discovered they were a tribe called Batavians during the Roman Empire. It was located roughly in central Netherlands along the major rivers to the modern day German border. The Batavians were highly regarded by Rome for their fighting ability and Batavian cavalry was the best of all the legions. I also knew the Batavians made up the Praetorian Guard, the personal bodyguards of the Caesars. In fact, some Caesars traveled to Batavii to hand select men for the Guard. They were officially Friends of Rome and paid no taxes but only supplied warriors to Rome.
Okay that's really cool to know since I always figured my ancestors were dirt poor farmers who didn't much in history.
So one night I'm watching a Bible study lecture by Mark Lanier on Philippians. Mark offhandedly mentions the "imperial guard" is actually praitōrion in the Greek in Philippians 1:13. I double checked Mounce's Interlinear to make sure on the Greek.
Then out of the blue this thought hit me....:Your ancestors likely met and talked to the Apostle Paul...maybe even chained to him." Talk about a thunderbolt moment!!
At that moment I felt a very personal link to a real live person not just a historical figure on paper. I was filled with a warmth combined with awe, wonder, respect and amazement. Never in ten million years did I ever think that learning the family history and the Bible would connect and transport me to the past!
Other passages by Paul mentioning the Praetorian Guard are Acts 28:16 and Philippians 4:22.
Can't help but wonder how Paul's message influenced later actions by the Praetorians in eliminating certain despotic Caesars, etc.
Share how you became a Christian, or experiences from your Christian life.
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