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According to the Epistle to the Romans, Erastus was Corinth's οἰκονόμος (oikonomos),[1] a position of high status. The word is generally translated as "steward" or, in this context, "treasurer";[2] KJV uses the translation "chamberlain", NIV uses "director of public works". An Erastus is also mentioned in the Second Epistle to Timothy and Acts. It is not certain if these verses all refer to the one person.

Relevant verses

  • So he sent into Macedonia two of them that ministered unto him, Timotheus and Erastus; but he himself stayed in Asia for a season. - Acts 19:22 (KJV)
  • Gaius mine host, and of the whole church, saluteth you. Erastus the chamberlain of the city saluteth you, and Quartus a brother. - Romans 16:23 (KJV)
  • Erastus abode at Corinth: but Trophimus have I left at Miletum sick. - 2 Timothy 4:20 (KJV)

The Erastus inscription

In 1929, an inscription mentioning an Erastus was found near a paved area northeast of the theater of Corinth. It has been dated to the mid-first century and reads ERASTVS. PRO. AED. S. P. STRAVIT[3] which translates as "Erastus in return for his aedileship laid [the pavement] at his own expense." New Testament scholars have identified this aedile Erastus with the Erastus mentioned in The Epistle to the Romans but this is in dispute. This debate has implications relating to the social status of the members of the Pauline churches. [4]

References

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