Paul's Epistle to the Church in Rome
Oct 04, 2010
Paul's letter to the "Romans" is more specifically written to the saints in Rome (Rom. 1:7). From history, we know that the main "saints" were not Romans at all, but were the royal family of Britain who had been captured during the war two years earlier (52 A.D.) and brought to Rome. See Volume 1, chapter 7 of my book on Lessons from Church History.
Paul wrote to them close in late 53 or early 54 during his 18-month ministry in Corinth during his second missionary journey (Acts 18:11). There he had met Priscilla and Aquila (Acts 18:2), who had been expelled from Rome along with all Christians and Jews. Though they had been forced to leave the Christian fellowship of Rome, there is no doubt that they remained in contact with them and received news of Rome regularly.
Paul was very interested in these British Christians, for he intended some day, not only to go to Spain but also Britain. After all, God had commissioned him to preach the Gospel "far hence unto the ethnos" (Acts 22:21). Asia Minor and Greece were not so far away, and when Paul came in contact with the British Christians in Rome, it is quite possible that this was the moment when his perspective was broadened, and he realized just how far he would travel.
Caradoc, the British General of the Armed Forces, had been brought to Rome along with his children, including Linus, Claudia, and Cyllinus. Cyllinus returned home shortly after their trial before the Emperor Claudius. Claudia, previously known as Gladys, was adopted by the Emperor and given his own name. Hence, her name was changed to Claudia. She then married Rufus Pudens of the Pudentius family of senators, for he had fallen in love with her on the trip from Britain to Rome.
Paul himself sends greeting to Rufus in Romans 16:13, saying,
"Salute Rufus, chosen in the Lord, and his mother and mine."
It appears from this that Rufus' mother was also Paul's mother. It is likely that Paul's father had died, and that she had remarried into the Pudenius family of Rome. It is also very likely that this marriage was instrumental in bestowing Roman citizenship upon Paul himself.
Many years later, when Paul wrote to Timothy from Rome, he sends greetings from "Pudens and Linus and Claudia and all the brethren" (2 Tim. 4:21). By this time he had gotten to know Linus and Claudia, whereas, when writing his earlier letter to the "Romans," he only mentions Rufus himself. Rufus and Claudia named their first son after Timothy, and this was the Timothy who baptized the British King Lucius, who was the first to declare Britain a Christian nation. I wrote of this in Lessons from Church History, Vol. 1, chapter 7,
"This royal baby [Timothy] was destined to baptize his uncle Cyllinus' grandson, the British King Lucius, (Llewrwg) 83 years later. Lucius later declared Britain to be a Christian Nation in 165. Lucius established a bishopric in London and later wrote to Eleutherius, bishop of Rome (177-189 A.D.), asking for counsel to better govern his people. His letter to Lucius is one of two letters still preserved in the records in the Church of Rome.
"Lucius was the son of King Coel, son of Cyllinus, the oldest son of Caradoc. King Coel was the original “merry old soul” in the nursery rhyme, perhaps known for his good humor and quick wit."
Cyllinus, the brother of Claudia, had a son named Coel, who had a son named Lucius, who was King of Britain in the second century. Claudia's son Timothy was 83 when he baptized Lucius (137 A.D.) Timothy had been born in 54, which was about the time that Paul was writing his epistle to the "Romans."
Though all of this historical information is well documented, it has long been suppressed or downplayed by the Roman Church, which does not want the public to know that the Church in Britain was established long before that of Rome. The British Church was established by Joseph of Arimathea within three years of Christ's resurrection (36-37 A.D.).
The British royal family was well educated and could speak Greek fluently. Thus, Paul had no trouble communicating with them in Greek when he wrote his epistle from Corinth.
Being aware of their education and royalty, Paul writes his most complete doctrinal epistle of the entire New Testament. He expounds upon some of the deepest biblical principles that had been revealed thus far, because the family of Caradoc had been long-time believers through the ministry of Joseph of Arimathea, the great-uncle of Jesus, who had been expelled from the Sanhedrin and banished from Judea for his testimony. Because he had also been Rome's "Minister of Mining," through the tin trade in Britain, he lived out the rest of his years there in Britain.
With such a background of teaching, they did not need to be re-evangelized by Paul, nor did Paul find it necessary to write with simplicity. Instead, he launches into the deep things of God, showing his knowledge of both the Law and the various philosophies of the day. In fact, the significance of Paul's words in this epistle are largely lost today, because most do not share Paul's educational background, nor do most people know the historical context in which the epistle was written.
It is my intent, then, to begin an expository series on Paul's epistle to the Romans, which will then be put into book form. This will be a great addition to those commentaries already written on Hebrews and Galatians.
Dr. Stephen Jones