CAESAR (caye'ssuhr) Family name of Julius Caesar assumed by following emperors as a title. Some Pharisees and Herodians asked Jesus about the propriety of paying taxes to Caesar. In reply, the Lord said that those things pertaining to Caesar should be rendered to Caesar and those things pertaining to God should be rendered to Him (Matthew 22:15-21). In this passage, the name Caesar is virtually a symbol for civil authority. Originally, Caesar was the family name of the founder of the Roman Empire. Julius Caesar was assassinated on March 15, 44 B.C. His successors kept Caesar's memory alive, and eventually his name came to be used as a title. Caesars mentioned or referred to in the New Testament include Augustus, Tiberius, Claudius, and probably Nero. See Rome; Roman Empire.
These dictionary topics are from the Holman Bible Dictionary, published by Broadman & Holman, 1991. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman & Holman.