GoedBericht.nl logo
English Blog

Romans 16:22,23 – Tertius and Quartus

26-04-2022 - Posted by Hans

I, Tertius, the writer of the epistle, am greeting you in the Lord. Greeting you is Gaius my host and of the whole ecclesia. Greeting you is Erastus, the administrator of the city, and Quartus, the brother.

Usually Paul dictated his letter and signed it (as a seal) with his own greeting (1 Cor.16:21; Col.4:18). Exceptionally, we only know the name of the writer of the Roman letter and from the greeting it appears that he too was a believer.

The name Tertius means ’third’, as Quartus means ‘fourth’. Besides, in the company with which Paul traveled to Jerusalem (Acts 20:4), there was also one Secundus, meaning “second.” So these Latin names are nothing but numbers: a second, a third and a fourth. But amazingly, a Primus (= ‘first’) among these brethren is missing. Or not? That qualification belongs only to the Son: “the first among many brethren” (Rom.8:29)!

Gaius may be the same as that individual once baptized by Paul (1 Cor.1:14). He lived lavishly in Corinth, and Paul himself stayed with him, but all the ecclesia also found shelter in his house. Erastus was “the oikonomos of the city” (Corinth), probably a sort of alderman. But among the believers he was no higher or more than “Quartus, the brother”.