The use of this term in Scripture has exclusive reference to the usages of the Roman empire. The privilege of Roman citizenship was originally acquired in various ways, as by purchase, (Acts 22:28) by military services, by favor or by manumission. The right once obtained descended to a man’s children. (Acts 22:28) Among the privileges attached to citizenship we may note that a man could not be bound or imprisoned without a formal trial, (Acts 22:29) still less be scourged. (Acts 16:37) Cic. in Verr. v. 63,66. Another privilege attaching to citizenship was the appeal from a provincial tribunal to the emperor at Rome. (Acts 25:11)
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Smith, William, Dr. "Entry for 'Citizenship'". "Smith's Bible Dictionary".