[B-Greek] New Testament Greek "urban legends"?

Webb webb at selftest.net
Tue Apr 25 13:55:26 EDT 2006

Slightly off-topic:

The Roman historian Suetonius says of the Emperor Claudius:

"As the Jews were making constant disturbances at the instigation of
Chrestus, he expelled them from Rome."

It seems at least possible that the expulsion of Aquila and Priscilla from
Rome under Claudius (see Acts 18:1-2) was because of some uproar among the
Jews surrounding the preaching of Jesus Christ. There are numerous instances
in Acts of significant civil disturbances arising over the preaching of
Christ. To Claudius, such disturbances could well have looked like Jews
fighting amongst themselves and disturbing the peace.

If this is true, then the "urban legend" of a "Chrestus" causing an uproar
in Rome comes from the garbling of the word "Christ", which neither a
secular Latin nor a secular Greek would find particularly intelligible.
"Chrestus", on the other hand, is said to be a common slave name.

Webb Mealy

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