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Bible Gem 295 - Lucius, Jason and Sosipater (Rom 16:21)

April 1, 2019

Lucius, Jason and Sosipater

 

and Lucius, and Jason, and Sosipater my kinsmen salute you.  (Rom 16:21)

 

 

These are likely to be three fellows who are mentioned in the pages of the New Testament. It always pays to check your Bible first to see if there is a further reference to a name you are studying. The Bible is the best source on the Bible. This Lucius was most likely to be Lucius of Cyrene, who was one of the prophets in the church at Antioch, Act 13:1, though indeed he is never said to travel with the apostle, or to be at Corinth, where this epistle was written.  Origen first started the notion that this refers to Luke the evangelist, who was Paul’s constant companion, and was at Corinth with him at this time, as appears from Act 20:5.  I don’t hold with that theory. Luke and Lucius names are distinctly different. 

 

Jason no doubt is the Jason of Thessalonica, who received Paul and Silas into his house, and when an uproar was made concerning them, was brought before the rulers of the city, and gave security for them, Act 17:5. This is a Jewish name, and he himself was a Jew, as is clear from his being a kinsman of the apostle's; his name was ישוע, "Jeshua" or "Jesus"; so we read of one Jason, the brother of Onias the high priest of the Jews,  "But after the death of Seleucus, when Antiochus, called Epiphanes, took the kingdom,  Jason the brother of Onias laboured underhand to be high priest,'' (2 Maccabees 4:7) 

and whose name, as Josephus (a) relates, was Jesus, but he chose to be called Jason, very likely because that was a name among the Greeks, whose fashions he was fond of. 

 

Sosipater was Sopater of Berea, the son of one Pyrrhus, a Jew by birth, who, with others, accompanied the apostle into Asia, Act 20:4; he also was a Jew, and his Jewish name, as Grotius conjectures, might be Abisha, or rather Abishua, the name of the son of Phinehas the high priest, 1 Chr 6:4. Mention is also made of one of this name, Sosipater, in "12. Howbeit Dositheus and  Sosipater, who were of Maccabeus' captains, went forth, and slew those that Timotheus had left in the fortress, above ten thousand men. 24. Moreover Timotheus himself fell into the hands of Dositheus and  Sosipater, whom he besought with much craft to let him go with his life, because he had many of the Jews' parents, and the brethren of some of them, who, if they put him to death, should not be regarded.'' (2 Maccabees 12:12,24) 

 

These three last were Paul's kinsmen after the flesh, as well as in the spirit; being of the same nation, and perhaps of the same tribe, and it may be of the same family; they are all three mentioned among the severity disciples: Lucius is said to be bishop of Laodicea in Syria, Jason of Tarsus, and Sosipater of Iconium. These were three friends or acquaintances of Paul who were fellow labourers in the gospel and indeed were church leaders in their own right. Likely as not appointed as shepherds to congregations that Paul himself had started. Men close to Paul’s heart. 

 

 

Blessed is the person who is too busy to worry in the daytime and too sleepy to worry at night.

 

What people think of us matters not. What they think of God matters all.

 

 

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