Bible Study: John 19

Sketches depicting Tiberius Caesar

Throughout the life of Jesus, Tiberius was the Emperor of Rome. He was the second Roman Emperor, after Augustus who died in 14 AD.

Augustus was not Tiberius’ true father, he was the son of Augustus’ wife Livia, by her first husband. Tiberius was in power when Jesus was crucified. Tiberius died in 37 AD. The coin above was from a denarius which contained the image of Tiberius on it. The inscription calls him the divine son of Augustus Caesar, detestable to a Jew.

It is not known whether Tiberius had heard of Jesus, or knew about the crucifixion of Jesus. Word about Jesus and his miracles spread quickly throughout the Roman Empire, even to the Imperial Palace on Palatine Hill, but Tiberius had retired to his palace on the Island of Capri in 26 A.D. while all sorts of corruption was happening in Rome. He left Sejanus in charge of Rome who eventually betrayed him and was later tried by the Senate upon orders by Tiberius, and then executed. Meanwhile there were many rumors about Tiberius Caesar on Capri involving homosexuality and sexual perversity with young boys, which included all sorts of inhumane cruelty. In this picture it shows the “Tiberius Leap” (Salto di Tiberio) which is a giant 1000 foot cliff that, according to the historians Suetonius and Tacitus, Tiberius hurled his discarded young sexual conquests and victims into the sea to their deaths for orgasmic pleasure.

“Now in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judaea, and Herod being tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip tetrarch of Ituraea and of the region of Trachonitis, and Lysanias the tetrarch of Abilene, Annas and Caiaphas being the high priests, the word of God came unto John the son of Zacharias in the wilderness.”
– Luke 3:1-2

And they send unto him certain of the Pharisees and of the Herodians, to catch him in his words. And when they were come, they say unto him, Master, we know that thou art true, and carest for no man: for thou regardest not the person of men, but teachest the way of God in truth: Is it lawful to give tribute to Caesar, or not? Shall we give, or shall we not give? But he, knowing their hypocrisy, said unto them, Why tempt ye me? bring me a penny, that I may see it. And they brought it. And he saith unto them, Whose is this image and superscription? And they said unto him, Caesar’s. And Jesus answering said unto them, Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s. And they marvelled at him.
Mark 12:13-17

“And it was the preparation of the passover, and about the sixth hour: and he saith unto the Jews, Behold your King! But they cried out, Away with him, away with him, crucify him. Pilate saith unto them, Shall I crucify your King? The chief priests answered, We have no king but Caesar. Then delivered he him therefore unto them to be crucified. And they took Jesus, and led him away.”
John 19:14-16

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