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Bible Encyclopedias

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature


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(῎Εραστος, beloved, an old Grecian name, Diog. Laert. 3:31), a Corinthian, and one of Pull's disciples, whose salutations he sends from Corinth to the Church at Rome as those of "the chamberlain (q.v.) of the city" of Corinth (Romans 16:23). The word so rendered (οἰκονόμος, Vulg. arcarius) denotes the city treasurer or steward (Suicer, Thesaur. 2:464; see Flessa, De arcariis, Baruth. 1725-6, 2, § 11; also Elszner, Obs. 2:68), an officer of great dignity in ancient times (comp. Josephus, Ant. 7:8, 2); so that the conversion of such a man to the faith of the Gospel was a proof of the wonderful success of the apostle's labors in that city. We find Erastus with Paul at Ephesus as one of his attendants or deacons (οἱ διακονοῦντες αὐτῷ ), whence he was sent, along with Timothy, into Macedonia, while the apostle himself remained in Asia (Acts 19:22), A.D. 51. They were both with the apostle at Corinth when he wrote, as above,-from that city to the Romans, A.D. 55; and at a subsequent period (A.D. 64) Erastus was still at Corinth (2 Timothy 4:20), which would seem to have been the usual place of his abode (ἔμεινε ). According to the traditions of the Greek Church (Menol. Graecum, 1:179), he was first aeconomus to the Church at Jerusalem, and afterwards bishop of Paneas, and died a natural death. Many critrics, however (Grotius, Kype, Kuinol, De Wette, Winer, etc.), regard the Corinthian Erastus as a different person from Paul's companion, on the ground that the official duties of the former would not allow such an absence from the city (Neander, Planting and Training, 1:392, note), or that, if he was with Paul at Ephesus, we should be compelled to assume that he is mentioned in the epistle to the Romans by the title of an office which he had once held and afterwards resigned (Meyer, Kommentar. in loc.).

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Bibliography Information
McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Erastus'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.

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Sunday, October 13th, 2019
the Week of Proper 23 / Ordinary 28
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Erastus, Thomas
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