Erastus, the city treasurer, sends you his greetingsRomans 16:23
Erastus was treasurer of the city of Corinth, from which St. Paul wrote this epistle. This is likely to be the same person as is mentioned Act_19:22. He was one of St. Paul’s companions, and, as appears from 2Ti_4:20, was left about this time by the apostle at Corinth. He is called the chamberlain [οικονομος], which signifies the same as treasurer; he to whom the receipt and expenditure of the public money was entrusted. He received the tolls and customs belonging to the city, and out of them paid the public expenses. Such people were held in very high regard; and if Erastus was at this time treasurer, it would appear that Christianity was then in considerable repute in Corinth. But if the Erastus of the Acts was the same Erastus mentioned here, it is not likely that he held the office at that time, for this could not match with his travelling with Paul. Hence several, both ancients and modern commentators, suppose that Erastus was not now treasurer, but that having formerly been, he still retained the title. Chrysostom thought that he still retained the employment.
The word translated “chamberlain”, is often used for a steward; and here it signifies such an officer as had the care of the city chest or coffers, and distributed the public money; and seems to answer to the “quaestor urbanus”, or city treasurer, among the Romans, whose business it was to receive the city accounts, and disburse at all occasions of public expenses; so that this was a place of honour and trust; hence it appears, that though not many, yet some rich and honourable were called by grace, and embraced the Gospel. His name signifies beloved, and is the same with David in Hebrew. What nation he was of is not certain, whether a Roman, a Greek, or Jew; a man called Erastus is reckoned among the seventy disciples, and is said to be Bishop of Paneas, or of the Philippians.
Archaeologists have found a pavement stone with an inscription bearing Erastus’ name on it on a slab of limestone near the theatre in Corinth. It reads “Erastus in return for the aedileship, laid the pavement at his own expense.” He was obviously a man of means to have paid for the paving out of his own money. A treasurer normally distributed from the city coffers but in this case he paid for the work out of his own funds. He was clearly a local government official who had clout and prestige in the public eye. Thus the church in Rome had top government officials in it.
Note that these are all real, living people in Paul’s time as the inscription to Erastus proves. We are talking real people and ones who were special to Paul. We are getting a glimpse behind the scenes into the New Testament church. More on that tomorrow.
Only a fool knows everything, a wise man knows how little he knows.Anon
God uses crooked sticks to draw straight lines and imperfect people to do His perfect will.Anon
Appreciate God’s favour on someone’s life. Yours might come next.Jeffrey Rachmat