Augustus was born Gaius Octavius into an old and wealthy equestrian branch of the plebeian gens Octavia. His maternal great-uncle Julius Caesar was assassinated in 44 BC, and Octavius was named in Caesar's will as his adopted son and heir. Along with Mark Antony and Marcus Lepidus, he formed the Second Triumvirate to defeat the assassins of Caesar. Following their victory at the Battle of Philippi, the Triumvirate divided the Roman Republic among themselves and ruled as de facto dictators.
Over 30 years before Christ was born Octavian became Caesar Augustus. He had formed his first army by 19 and won accolades of praise his whole life.
Augustus Caesar claimed to be a god or at least the Apotheos of Rome. Paul said there are gods many. Once we examine and understand how the term "gods" has been used in history and therefore how it is often meant to be understood in the Bible we can conclude that almost every government is a theocracy of sorts. The difference is who are the gods of your government or is your God the God of heaven?
- "And he saith unto them, Whose is this image and superscription? And they said unto him, Caesar’s."
On the coin was the graven image of the "son of the Divine Augustus" run through the temples of Rome. Evidently the Pharisees had the coin in their possession. This was a violation of their own laws "Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image" nor have "any other gods before the God" of heaven.
Octavius' title was not only the Divine Augustus and Patronus but he appointed of the gods of Rome. As one of the head "father on the earth" he could demand tribute from his people as a patrimonial right of Caesar.
The superscription or epigraphe was of Caesar who loaned money into circulation through the temples of Janice and Moneta and taxes were often required to be paid in kind. There was lots of benefits and free bread offered by Caesar's system of welfare but Jesus said it "made the word of God to none effects".
Not of this World
- "Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence." John 18:36
Was Jesus simply telling Pilate, who was sitting in the judgment seat, “My Kingdom is not a part of your constitution, order, or government and you have no jurisdiction to judge Me or My Kingdom”? When Jesus was born, Augustus Octavius had already been the Emperor of Rome for almost 25 years:
- "He [Augustus] was now, to quote his own words, 'master of all things,' and the Roman world looked to him for some permanent settlement of the distracted Empire. His first task was the re-establishment of a regular and constitutional government, such as had not existed since Julius Caesar crossed the Rubicon 20 years before.'... At home it was understood that he would, year by year, be elected consul, and enjoy the powers and pre-eminence attached to the chief magistrate [god] of the Roman state. Thus the republic was restored under the presidency and patronage of its 'first citizen' (Princeps Civitatis)."
Most people do not understand that the office of Emperor was an elected position with a ten-year term, requiring an oath of office, and was equivalent to the Commander-in-Chief of the army and navy. He was often elected Principas Civatas or president of Rome. Besides holding those offices he also requested the office of the Apotheos of Rome, which means he was the "appointer of gods". That meant he appointed all the imperial judges or magistrates throughout the Empire, just like the President of the United States, who has also been labeled Apotheos.Cite error: Invalid
- 1910 Encyclopedia Britannica