A soldier in a Roman legion who was in charge of a hundred men—perhaps equivalent to a modern sergeant, though there were various grades and those in the highest were important figures in the province in which they served (Luke 7: 2). Cornelius was such a one (Acts 10: 1–2). There are interesting differences in the accounts of the healing miracle as between Matt. 8: 5–13 and Luke 7: 1–10 depending on the Greek word for the centurion's ‘slave’ (doulos) in Luke or ‘boy’ (pais) in Matthew. A reader of Luke's narrative will appreciate the sympathetic regard for a Roman official, characteristic both of Luke's gospel and of the Acts of the Apostles. But in Matthew the centurion is attended not only by a slave but a boy, and here a reader is struck by Jesus' compassion for the Roman's young male companion, such as sometimes did accompany officers on foreign assignments for sexual recreation. In this narrative, Jesus heals a person whom Jewish scruples might rather despise.