The Household of Cornelius
Cornelius “feared God” (verse 2). This was a technical term that the Jews used to refer to pagans who had abandoned, or did not follow, the pagan religions, but instead favored the worship of Jehovah. Gentiles at this time and place in the world could have varying degrees of adherence to Judaism. They could be benefactors like the centurion in Luke 7:1-10, who supported the Jewish community and presumably were sympathetic to Jewish beliefs. There were “God-fearers” like the one here in our text, Acts 10:2, and others such as Acts 13:16, 16:14, 17:4. There is an important mention of this category of “God-fearers” in an inscription from approximately 210 A.D. in Aphrodisias in modern Turkey.