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Real People: Erastus in Corinth

'Testing Luke' #16

 

What's in the series?      Previous: Gallio in Corinth      Next: Ephesus - centre for magic

An inscription was discovered in 1929 on a marble pavement slab in ancient Corinth. It dates from the first century, and it says: 'Erastus laid this pavement at his own expense, in return for his aedileship.'

An aedile was an elected official, responsible for public buildings, streets and markets. And Erastus paid for the pavement to be laid in order to become an aedile.

In Luke's account of the beginnings of Christianity, in the books of Luke and Acts in the Bible, he wrote about real people, in real places.

In Acts chapter 19, Luke records that Paul the apostle was planning to go from Ephesus to Jerusalem, by way of Greece. He sends two of his helpers ahead of him. He mentions them by name – and one of them is called Erastus.

Paul also wrote a letter from Corinth to the Christians in Rome. At the end of that letter, he says: 'Erastus, the city treasurer (or director of works), sends you his greetings...'

So there was someone called Erastus in Paul's circle, who was the city treasurer of Corinth. And this inscription in Corinth was laid by someone called Erastus, who was a city official.

Of course, at this distance in time, we cannot be certain that it was the same person. But what are the chances? Once again, we can see that Luke wrote about real people, like Erastus in Corinth.

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