Erastus the City Treasurer Greets You

Paul wrote the letter to the Romans from the city of Corinth. In his final greetings at the end of the book, he sends greetings from “Erastus the city treasurer” (Rom 16:23). An Latin inscription was found at Corinth during excavations in 1929 that mentions Erastus. The inscription was located along the pavement near the theater, and reads, “Erastus in return for his aedileship paved it at his own expense” (the Latin text is ERASTVS. PRO. AED. S. P. STRAVIT, which is abbreviated from ERASTUS PRO AEDILITATE SUA PECUNIA STRAVIT). John McRay gives three reasons to identify this person with the Erastus mentioned by Paul: 1) the pavement was laid around A.D. 50, about the time Erastus would have been converted to Christianity, 2) the name Erastus is uncommon and hardly otherwise attested in Corinth, and 3) Paul’s word “treasurer” (οἰκονόμος) describes the work of a Corinthian aedile. If this identification is correct, as seems likely, it attests to the way Christianity reached into the upper classes of society from a very early stage.

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