English blog

Acts 20:4 – Where is number Óne?

24-04-2020 - Posted by Andre Piet

…yet of the Thessalonians Aristarchus and Secundus

A name serves to distinguish one from the other. When several people carry the same name in a group, it becomes difficult. Usually we solve that by giving someone a nickname. In the New Testament we read from various people whose names were actually numbers. We read of Secundus, one of the brothers who traveled with Paul. His name means ‘second’ We also read of Tertius, the man who wrote down the Romans letter for Paul (Rom. 16:22). His name means ‘third’ A little further on Paul passes on a greeting from one “Quartus, the brother” (Rom. 16:23). His name means ‘fourth’. Outside of the Bible we also know Roman names like Quintus (fifth) and Sextus (sixth).

Isn’t it strange that we don’t read anywhere in Scripture of someone who was called “Primus” (= first)? We do read of a certain Diotrephes who wanted to be the first (3John 1: 9). Wrongly. Because the first place is exclusively reserved for one person. Paul says of him: “HE is the Head of the body, the ecclesia. HE is the beginning, firstborn from among the dead, so that in all HE would become the FIRST. (Col.1: 18).