Dedicated to the writings of Saint Luke.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Erastus, the city treasurer

In 1929, during an archeological excavation of Corinth, a first century pavement was uncovered which contains the following inscription: "Erastus, Procurator and Aedile, laid this pavement at his own expense." Was this the Erastus who was the companion of Paul?

The Erastus, who was associated with Timothy as an assistant of Paul, was probably not the city treasurer of Corinth mentioned in Romans 16:23. This Erastus, since Erastus was a common name, was probably a Corinthian freedman who had acquired considerable wealth in commercial activities. This Erastus was an example of the public οἰκονόμος which the RSV translates as city treasurer.

But this explanation does not explain why Paul was sending greetings to Erastus.

Copyrighted 2006


Blogger Richard Fellows said...


It seems that some writers of commentaries do not check their facts when they comment on the popularity of names. The name "Erastus" was not, actually, very common. It accounted for only about 0.02% of the population. It is therefore very hard to imagine that the Erastus of Rom 16 is not the Erastus of Acts 19:22. Indeed, there is no good reason not to indentify them.

It seems that Erastus and Timothy were sent to from Ephesus to Corinth via Macedonia. One reason for their mission was to organise the collection of funds for Jerusalem. Erastus would presumably have been well qualified for that task.

Richard Fellows.

10:45 AM


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