Erastus

ERASTUS (ē-răs'tŭs, Gr. Erastos, beloved). A name that occurs three times, each time denoting a friend of Paul:

1. Acts.19.22, “He sent... Timothy and Erastus to Macedonia” while he stayed in Asia.

2. The treasurer of the city of Corinth whom Paul mentions as saluting the Christians at Rome (Rom.16.23).

3. Probably the same man is designated in 2Tim.4.20 as remaining at Corinth.


ERASTUS ĭ răs’ təs (̓́Εραστος, G2235, beloved). A common Gr. name, occurring in the NT on three distinct occasions as a companion of Paul. 1. An assistant, sent with Timothy from Ephesus into Macedonia on an errand (Acts 19:22).

2. The “city treasurer” (οἰκονόμος, G3874) of Corinth who sent greetings to the Christians in Rome (Rom 16:23). He was the steward or manager of the property or financial affairs of the city. Such officials were generally slaves or freedmen, though often wealthy. In 1929, archeologists uncovered at Corinth a Lat. inscr. reading, “Erastus, commissioner for public works [aedile], laid this pavement at his own expense.” That he was the Erastus of Romans is possible, but not probable. That he is to be identified with Paul’s companion of Acts 19:22 is highly improbable, although the identification has been advocated.

3. Paul’s travel companion left behind at Corinth (2 Tim 4:20) mentioned without identification. He was Paul’s well-known assistant. See 1 above.

It is uncertain whether any two of these men, or all three, are identical.

Bibliography

For the inscr. see H. J. Cadbury, JBL, L (1931), 42-58; W. Miller, BS, 88 (1931), 342-346. For the identification, H. P. Liddon, Explanatory Analysis of St. Paul’s Epistle to the Romans (1893), 304; G. S. Duncan, St. Paul’s Ephesian Ministry (1929), 79ff.; R. C. H. Lenski, Interpretation of the Acts of the Apostles (1936), 926.

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915)

(Erastos, "beloved"):

The name occurs three times, each time denoting a companion of Paul.

(1) Erastus was sent with Timothy from Ephesus into Macedonia while Paul remained in Asia for a while. They are designated "two of them that ministered unto him" (Ac 19:22).

(2) "Erastus the treasurer of the city" sent greetings to the Christians in Rome (Ro 16:23). He was apparently an important person in the Corinthian community, and with Gaius probably represented that church in these fraternal relations with the Roman community.

(3) Erastus is one who, in 2Ti 4:20, "remained at Corinth."

We have no means of discovering whether one or more than one person is meant in these references. A. C. Headlam (HDB, under the word) thinks it improbable that one who held an office implying residence in one locality should have been one of Paul’s companions in travel. On the other hand Paul may be designating Erastus (Ro 16:23) by an office he once held, but which he gave up to engage in mission work.