Q: #506. How many centurions are mentioned in the Bible?
A: The word “centurion” is used 24 times, in four books of the New Testament: Matthew, Mark, Luke, Acts. Except for three verses in Mark (Mk 15:39,44,45), the Greek word “hekatontarchos” is used for centurion. It means, “the captain of one hundred soldiers,” [hekaton = a hundred, archo = to be first (in political rank or power) – Strong’s]. (In Mark, the Greek word “kenturion” is used.) Following is a list of the centurions mentioned in the four books.
(Mt 8:5-13) The centurion who asked Jesus to heal his servant. (Also see: Lk 7:1-10)
(Mt 27:51-54) The centurion at the cross when Jesus died, who uttered the words: “Truly this was the Son of God!” (Also see: Mk 15:38-39, 44-45, Lk 23:44-47)
***Note: MacArthur states that “According to tradition, this man actually became a believer.”
(Acts 10:1-48) Cornelius, “a centurion of… the Italian Regiment,” who was the first Gentile convert to Christianity.
The next four are all connected to Paul during a specific period of time when he was in Jerusalem, therefore, we cannot know with certainty how many centurions we are talking about.
(Acts 21:32) Centurions arrested Paul in Jerusalem.
(Acts 22:25-29) A centurion “who stood by Paul” as he was about to be scourged.
(Acts 23:17) Centurions guarded Paul as he was imprisoned.
(Acts 23:23) Claudius Lysias called for two centurions to assemble soldiers to take Paul to Governor Felix.
(Acts 24:23) In Caesarea, Governor Felix commands a centurion to imprison Paul and guard him.
(Acts 27:1,6,11,31,43)(Acts 28:16) “Julius, a centurion of the Augustan Regiment,” took Paul to Rome.