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Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament


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(Κούαρτος, a common Latin name)

Quartus is a Christian whose greeting is sent in Romans 16:23 from Corinth with that of Erastus, ‘the treasurer of the city.’ He was probably a member of the church there, and was associated with St. Paul at the time of writing. He was almost certainly a convert from heathenism, not from Judaism, and in this respect was unlike the three men whose salutations are sent in Romans 16:21 and who are distinguished from Tertius, Erastus, and Quartus, as ‘kinsmen’ of the Apostle. The name Quartus itself might of course have been borne by a Jew (cf. Lucius, Romans 16:21). It has been conjectured that Tertius and Quartus were brothers, but there is no ground for thinking so. If we suppose Rome to have been the destination of these Corinthian salutations, Quartus may have been a Roman with friends in the church in the city. It is, however, easier to believe that members of the Church at Corinth had friends in Ephesus, to which city some scholars think that the greetings were directed. We should remember, at the same time, that in the Apostolic Church personal acquaintance was not necessary to create Christian sympathy. Quartus is described simply as ‘the brother’ (ὁ ἀδελφός). Elsewhere in the Pauline Epistles, Apollos (1 Corinthians 16:12), Epaphroditus (Philippians 2:25), Onesimus (Colossians 4:9), Sosthenes (1 Corinthians 1:1), Timothy (2 Corinthians 1:1, etc.), Titus (2 Corinthians 2:13), Tychicus (Ephesians 6:21, Colossians 4:7) are similarly described (cf. also 2 Corinthians 8:18; 2 Corinthians 12:18), while two Christian women, Phoebe and Apphia, are alluded to as ‘our sister’ (Romans 16:1, Philemon 1:2). One of the earliest titles used by Christians of themselves was ‘the brethren.’ ‘The brethren,’ forming with Asyncritus and four others a household or district church, are saluted in Romans 16:14. The term was perhaps taken over from Judaism. It is frequently found in Acts addressed to Jews by Jews (Acts 2:29; Acts 2:37, etc.), and Saul before his baptism was called ‘brother Saul’ by a Christian, Ananias (Acts 9:17). It was also in use among the heathen to designate members of the same religious community (see G. A. Deissmann, Bible Studies, 1901, p. 87 f., and the authorities there quoted). St. Paul over and over again addresses the readers or hearers of his Epistles as ‘brethren,’ i.e. simply ‘fellow-Christians,’ members of the one great spiritual family of which God is Father and Jesus Christ the Elder Brother, ‘the firstborn among many brethren’ (Acts 8:29). In one passage at least (1 Thessalonians 5:14) it is possible that the leaders of the church are addressed as ‘brethren’ (see G. Milligan, Thessalonians, 1908, ad loc.), and indeed we may say that in the Apostolic Church the terms ‘brother’ or ‘sister’ and ‘minister’ (διάκονος) were practically synonymous. To be a member of the community was to be a ‘servant’ of the community according to one’s gift. We cannot doubt that Quartus was an active worker.

T. B. Allworthy.

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Bibliography Information
Hastings, James. Entry for 'Quartus'. Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament. 1906-1918.

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