GoedBericht.nl logo
English Blog

Titus 3:13 – Zenas the lawyer

31-08-2023 - Posted by Hans

Send Zenas, the lawyer, and Apollos, forward diligently, that nothing may be lacking to them.

In the previous verse, Paul mentioned two names of laborers who served him. The two names in this verse lack that. As in verse 12, the first name mentioned is unknown to us. And why Zenas is called “the lawyer” (Gr. nomikos) is answered differently. Some believe that this refers to a Roman jurist or lawyer and see this supported by the fact that Zenas is not a Hebrew name. It also seems unlikely to these interpreters that a rabbi would be involved in the work of the Gospel.

There is, however, something to be said about these arguments. First, all of the other seven occurrences of the term “lawyer” in the NT consistently refer to rabbis who were versed in Jewish law. And indeed, Zenas is not a Jewish name, but what does that mean? Nor is the name Apollos (see, however, Acts 18:24).

The fact that Zenas is called “the lawyer” does not necessarily mean that he still worked as a rabbi. Also Matthew is still called “the tax collector” (Mat.10:3) and Simon “the Zealot” (Acts 1:13) after his calling. Perhaps “lawyer” recalls Zenas’ former reputation. We don’t know more than Paul’s mentions here…