Citizen, Citizenship - Vine's Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words

Citizen, Citizenship

[ 1,,G4177, polites ]
a member of a city or state, or the inhabitant of a country or district," Luke 15:15, is used elsewhere in Luke 19:14; Acts 21:39, and, in the most authentic mss., in Hebrews 8:11 (where some texts have plesion, "a neighbor"). Apart from Hebrews 8:11, the word occurs only in the writings of Luke (himself a Greek).

[ 2,,G4847, sumpolites ]
sun, "with," and No. 1, denotes "a fellow-citizen," i.e., possessing the same "citizenship," Ephesians 2:19, used metaphorically in a spiritual sense.

[ 3,,G4174, politeia ]
(a) "the relation in which a citizen stands to the state, the condition of a citizen, citizenship," Acts 22:28, "with a great sum obtained I this citizenship" (AV, "freedom"). While Paul's "citizenship" of Tarsus was not of advantage outside that city, yet his Roman "citizenship" availed throughout the Roman Empire and, besides private rights, included

(1) exemption from all degrading punishments;

(2) a right of appeal to the emperor after a sentence;

(3) a right to be sent to Rome for trial before the emperor if charged with a capital offense. Paul's father might have obtained "citizenship"

(1) by manumission;

(2) as a reward of merit;

(3) by purchase; the contrast implied in Acts 22:28 is perhaps against the last mentioned;
(b) "a civil polity, the condition of a state, a commonwealth," said of Israel, Ephesians 2:12. See COMMONWEALTH.

[ 4,,G4175, politeuma ]
signifies "the condition, or life, of a citizen, citizenship;" it is said of the heavenly status of believers, Philippians 3:20, "our citizenship (AV, "conversation") is in Heaven." The RV marg. gives the alternative meaning, "commonwealth," i.e., community. See COMMONWEALTH, FREEDOM.

Note: Politeuo, Philippians 1:27, signifies "to be a polites" (See No. 1), and is used in the Middle Voice, signifying, metaphorically, conduct characteristic of heavenly "citizenship," RV, "let your manner of life (AV, "conversation") be worthy (marg., "behave as citizens worthily") of the Gospel of Christ." In Acts 23:1 it is translated "I have lived." See CONVERSATION, LIVE.

Vine's Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words