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Tiberius

"In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar - when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, Herod [see The Herods] tetrarch of Galilee, his brother Philip tetrarch of Iturea and Traconitis, and Lysanias tetrarch of Abilene - during the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John son of Zechariah [see John The Baptist] in the desert. He went into all the country around the Jordan, preaching a Baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. As is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet: "A voice of one calling in the desert, 'Prepare the way for The Lord, make straight paths for him. Every valley shall be filled in, every mountain and hill made low. The crooked roads shall become straight, the rough ways smooth. And all mankind will see God's salvation.'" (Luke 3:1-6)

Tiberius Tiberius Claudius Caesar Augustus, popularly known simply as Tiberius, was the Roman emperor at the time of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. Born at Rome on November 16 42 B.C., Tiberius reigned for 23 years, from 14 to 37 A.D. (see New Testament Roman Emperors and Ancient Empires - Rome). A bust of his actual appearance is seen in the photograph.

When the first Roman emperor, Augustus (he was the emperor at the time of the birth of Jesus Christ i.e. Luke 2:1) died on August 19, 14 A.D., he was succeeded by his stepson Tiberius, the son of Livia Drusilla, who had divorced her first husband to marry the emperor.

By most accounts, Tiberius was not a sociable man. According to Suetonius, "He was large and strong of frame, and of a stature above average... He walked with his neck stiff and bent forward, usually with a stern countenance and for the most part in silence, never or very rarely conversing with his companions...All of these mannerisms of his, which were disagreeable and signs of arrogance, were regarded by Augustus, who often tried to excuse them to the senate and people by declaring that they were natural failings, not intentional."

Tiberius eventually took up residence in his secluded island residence of Capri where he lived in an extremely depraved manner, while delegating much of the responsibility of governing to subordinates. It was there that he lived during the time of the ministry and crucifixion of Jesus Christ.

Tiberius died at Misenum on March 16 37 A.D. at age 79. Although suffering from a terminal illness, he apparently wasn't dying fast enough for his successor's liking - so they smothered him with a pillow.

Fact Finder: How did Jesus Christ come to be born in Bethlehem?
Luke 2:1-7


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