ChristianAnswers.Net WebBible Encyclopedia
the title an army or navy officer who was usually in command of a hundred men (Mark 15:39, 44-45)
This title was used in the Roman army, as well as in the Herodian army in Judea. Centurions were not necessarily of Roman lineage.
Cornelius, the first Gentile convert, was a centurion (Acts 10:1, 22). Other centurions are mentioned in Matt. 8:5, 8, 13; Luke 7:2, 6; Acts 21:32; 22:25-26; 23:17, 23; 24:23; 27:1, 6, 11, 31, 43; 28:16.
An unnamed centurion watched the crucifixion of our Lord (Matt. 27:54; Luke 23:47), and when he saw the wonders attending it, exclaimed, “Truly this man was the Son of God.”
“The centurions mentioned in the New Testament are uniformly spoken of in terms of praise, whether in the Gospels or in the Acts. It is interesting to compare this with the statement of Polybius (vi. 24), that the centurions were chosen by merit, and so were men remarkable not so much for their daring courage as for their deliberation, constancy, and strength of mind.” (Dr. Maclear’s New Testament History)