MISSIONARY TRAVEL COMPANIONS
PAUL'S TRAVEL COMPANIONS |
Titus are prominent in both Acts and Paul's letters, while Trophimus, Aristarchus, and Tychicus appear in letters
that Paul later wrote while in prison. It appears that these three companions later ended up in prison with him in
Rome. There are two names in Acts that appear nowhere else in the New Testament: Secundus and
Sopater. These men followed the apostle Paul and were of great help to him. Like them we can cherish the
apostle's doctrine, walking in the good of it, in dependence and obedience before God.
The Apostle Paul's doctrine focused on:
The Life of the Apostle Paul could be summarized as follows:
Paul's writings bring the sinner to God and presents the saint accepted in the heavenlies in Christ.
ANDONICHUS 'victory of man'
He was a kinsman of Paul who abode at Rome and who with Junia were his fellow prisoners, and of whom he said
they were in Christ before him. Rom. 16: 7. Their faithful testimony along with other relatives may well have been
the reason the apostle found it hard to kick against the pricks. Acts 9:5.
APPHIA 'dear one'
She was probably the wife of Philemon, whom Paul addresses in that epistle, ver. 2. Little is known about her but
she, like many others, is a 'dear one' who quietly works for God behind the scenes as a quiet and submissive wife
AQUILLA 'eagle hearted'
He was a converted Jew of Pontus, husband of Priscilla, whom Paul first met at Corinth. Acts 18: 2. He and Paul
worked together as tent-makers. Aquila and Priscilla had been driven from Rome as Jews by an edict of the
emperor Claudius. They traveled with Paul to Ephesus, where they were able to help Apollos spiritually leading him
beyond the gospel of John the Baptist. Acts 18: 18-26. They were still at Ephesus when Paul wrote 1 Corinthians (1
Cor. 16: 19); and were at Rome when the epistle to the saints there, was written, in which Paul said they had laid
down their necks for his life, and that to them all the churches, with Paul, gave thanks. Rom. 16: 3, 4. In Paul's last
epistle he still sends his greeting to them. 2 Tim. 4: 19. It is not clear whether Aquila and Priscilla were already
Christians before meeting Paul, or were converted by his preaching.
Altogether, Aquila and Priscilla are mentioned six times in the New Testament (Acts 18:2, 18, 26; Romans 16:3; 1
Corinthians 16:19; 2 Timothy 4:19), and the reader will note that in the odd-numbered mentions, Aquila's name
comes first, while in the even-numbered mentions, Priscilla's comes first, as if to emphasize that they are being
mentioned on equal terms but in their specific appointments given by God.
In 1 Timothy 2:12, Paul writes: "I do not permit a woman to instruct or command a man." (Note: "Priscilla" is the
diminutive form of "Prisca". Literally, it means "little Prisca." Diminutives are more common in many foreign
languages (Latin, Spanish, Russian, and Greek) than in English. They can denote affection, or distinguish from an
older person, especially a relative, with the same name.)
ARCHIPPUS 'horse chief'
He was a Christian teacher at Colosse, whom Paul calls his fellow soldier, and exhorts to fulfill his ministry.
Philemon 2; Col. 4: 17.
ARISTARCHUS 'best ruler'
He was a Macedonian of Thessalonica, a companion of Paul on several journeys and on his way to Rome. Paul
once calls him 'my fellow prisoner.' Acts 19: 29; Acts 20: 4; Acts 27: 2; Philemon 24; Col. 4: 10.
BARNABAS 'son of consolation/exhortation'
He was a Levite of Cyprus. His name was JOSES (or Joseph as in some MSS); but by the apostles he was
surnamed Barnabas, 'son of consolation' (rather 'exhortation'). We first read of him as one who sold his land and
laid the money at the apostles' feet. Acts 4: 36, 37. When the disciples at Jerusalem were afraid of Saul, it was
Barnabas who introduced him to them. Acts 9: 26, 27. When the Gentiles were converted at Antioch it was
Barnabas who was sent there from Jerusalem. Acts 11: 22-24. He rejoiced in the reality of the work and exhorted
them to cleave to the Lord; the scripture says he was "a good man, and full of the Holy Ghost and of faith." He then
sought Saul and brought him to Antioch, where they laboured a whole year. They then together visited Jerusalem
with contributions from the saints. Acts 11: 25-30. Antioch became a centre, from whence the gospel went forth to
the Gentiles; it was there that the Holy Ghost said, "Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have
called them," and from thence they started on what is called Paul's first missionary journey. Acts 13: 2-4.
On the question being raised as to the necessity of the Gentile disciples being circumcised, Paul and Barnabas
(Paul being now mostly mentioned first) went up to Jerusalem about the subject. Acts 15: 1-41. After this Paul
proposed that they should visit again the brethren in the cities where they had preached. Barnabas insisted that
they should take his nephew Mark with them; but Paul objected, for Mark had previously left the work. Barnabas
persisted in his desire and they parted so Barnabas and Mark sailed to Cyprus, his own country. Thus these two
valuable servants of the Lord were separated who had hazarded their lives for the name of the Lord Jesus. We
have no record of any further labours of Barnabas. Paul alludes to him as one who had been carried away by the
dissimulation of Peter, but otherwise he speaks of him affectionately. 1 Cor. 9: 6; Gal. 2: 1, 9, 13.
He was the one at Troas with whom Paul left a cloak. 2 Tim. 4: 13.
He was a fellow-labourer with Paul at Rome, Philemon 24 (AD 60); Col. 4: 14 (AD 61); of whom Paul had to write
some five years later, "Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is departed to Thessalonica."
2 Tim. 4: 10 (AD 66). This may signify that he had fallen from holding Paul's doctrine through love of this present
age and wishing to be popular. What a warning for us brethren! May the Lord in His grace keep us!
He was a fellow prisoner with Paul at Rome. He laboured at Colosse, where he was in fellowship. He is described
as 'a faithful minister of Christ,' and one who agonized in prayer for the Colossians, with zeal for their welfare.
Philemon 23; Col. 1: 7; 4: 12.
He was the one who brought supplies from Philippi to Paul, who describes him as "my brother and companion in
labour and fellow soldier." When with Paul at Rome Epaphroditus became very ill, 'nigh unto death.' The deep
affection between him and the Philippian saints is very evident by his sorrow that they should have heard of his
sickness. He hazarded his life by his association with Paul a prisoner. Phil. 2: 25; 4: 18.
He is one who ministered to Paul and was sent by Paul into Macedonia, and later on is found abiding at Corinth.
Acts 19: 22; 2 Tim. 4: 20. It is likely that he is the same one who is mentioned to be the Chamberlain or treasurer of
Corinth. Rom. 16: 23.
GAIUS 'on earth'
1. Christian of Macedonia, and companion of Paul. He with Aristarchus was seized and carried into the theatre
during the uproar at Ephesus. Acts 19: 29.
2. Convert of Derbe in Lycaonia, and companion of Paul. Acts 20: 4.
3. Christian at Corinth whom Paul baptized, who was his 'host' and of the whole church. Rom. 16: 23; 1 Cor. 1: 14.
4. Convert of John, whose walk in the truth and in love was commended by the apostle, and to whom he addressed
his third Epistle. 3 John 1.
It is not clear if these are four different people or not.
Gaius and Aristarchus, were taken by a large mob of Ephesians. Gaius (the Greek version of the Roman name
Caius) was the name of a Greek man who was associated with the apostle Paul during parts of Paul's missionary
journeys. Some are of the opinion that there was more than one man named Gaius associated with Paul (i.e. one
from Derbe, another from Corinth - see verses below), a possibility that is not clearly ruled out by the Scriptures.
One fact is certain, if there was more than one Gaius, they all were Believers who were faithful and trusted friends
of Paul and their fellow saints. Gaius was baptized by Paul: "I baptized none of you except Crispus and Gaius" (1
During Paul's third missionary journey, Gaius was accosted by a raving mob of idol worshippers (who were incited
mainly by the craftsmen who manufactured and sold religious idols) which after Paul's message that their "gods"
were worse than just useless (those who violate The Second Commandment are inviting God's wrath) began to
take its toll on the statue business at Ephesus:
"And you see and hear that not only at Ephesus but almost throughout all Asia this Paul has persuaded and turned
away a considerable company of people, saying that gods made with hands are not gods. And there is danger not
only that this trade of ours may come into disrepute but also that the temple of the great goddess Artemis may
count for nothing, and that she may even be deposed from her magnificence, she whom all Asia and the world
worship." When they heard this they were enraged, and cried out, "Great is Artemis Of The Ephesians!"
"So the city was filled with the confusion; and they rushed together into the theater, dragging with them Gaius and
Aristarchus, Macedonians who were Paul's companions in travel." (Acts 19:26-29)
Paul was staying with Gaius at Corinth when Paul wrote his epistle to the Romans: "Gaius, who is host to me and to
the whole church, greets you." (Romans 16:23)
It may have been another man named Gaius to whom The Apostle John addressed one of the Epistles?
3 John 1:1
He was the host of Paul and Silas at Thessalonica, whose house was attacked by the Jews, and he was also
arrested. Acts 17: 5-9. Perhaps he is the same as the one at Rome described as a kinsman of Paul. Rom. 16: 21.
He was a believer and fellow prisoner and kinsman of Paul, of note among the apostles, and who was in Christ
before Paul. Rom. 16: 7. The name is really JUNIAS.
1. Surname of JOSEPH, or BARSABAS, who was selected as one suitable to take the place of Judas Iscariot. Acts
2. He was a worshipper of God at Corinth, into whose house Paul entered when he abandoned the synagogue.
Acts 18: 7.
3. He was a Christian at Rome, also called JESUS, whose salutation Paul sent to the Colossian saints. Col. 4: 11.
It is not clear whether these are three different people or not.
LUCIUS 'light, bright, white'
1. He was a prophet or teacher of Cyrene, one of those at Antioch who, after prayer and fasting, laid their hands
on Barnabas and Paul and sent them on the first missionary journey. Acts 13: 1.
2. He was a kinsman of Paul whose salutation was sent to Rome. Rom. 16: 21.
LUKE 'light, bright, white'
He was a fellow labourer with Paul, and called 'the beloved physician.' He is only three times mentioned by name.
Philemon 24; Col. 4: 14; 2 Tim. 4: 11. He was the writer of the Gospel bearing his name, and also of the Acts of the
Apostles, the introduction to both being addressed to a certain Theophilus. It is supposed, from Col. 4: 11, 14, that
he was a Gentile, though these verses are no proof of it.
In Acts 16: 10, Luke uses the word 'we,' showing that he was then with the apostle Paul at Troas, and accompanied
him to Philippi, where apparently Luke remained. In Acts 20: 5,6,13 stating 'we' he is again with Paul, and went
with him to Jerusalem. Paul then became a prisoner for more than two years, and we lose sight of Luke; but as
soon as Paul was about to be sent to Rome, Luke was with him again, Acts 27: 1, and accompanied him to Rome,
Acts 28: 16, and was there with Paul when he wrote the Epistles to the Colossians and Philemon. He was also with
Paul during his second imprisonment. When others had forsaken the aged apostle Paul, Luke alone remained. He
was Paul's beloved fellow-labourer, and in his own writings has skillfully hidden himself that the work of God by His
servant Paul and others might, by the leading of the Holy Spirit, be faithfully recorded, and come into prominence.
However, the apostle Paul himself states that Luke was with him during his imprisonment in Rome (Phile. 24; Col.
4:14) making special mention in 2 Tim. 4:11, that "only Luke is with me." This presence of Luke with Paul during his
imprisonment, combined with the narrator's use of the word "we" throughout his accounts of Paul's imprisonment,
provide conclusive evidence of Luke's authorship. Luke never mentions his own name in his gospel account, in
which he does not appear, or in Acts, in which he plays a major role. The other gospels were written by
eyewitnesses (Matthew, Mark, and John) to the events they record. Luke admits in the first verses of his account
that he was not an eyewitness of the life of Christ, but carefully records what eyewitnesses reported to him and
others (Luke 1:1-4).
We actually know very little about Luke the man, and that just adds to the fascination about this great and humble
person. He no doubt wanted it that way. In his view, what he wrote was never about him but about Christ or what
Christ did through others.
Even though the Bible says little about Luke directly, we can put together a few pieces of the puzzle and assemble
a fascinating portrait of this great writer and Christian.
Just as we do today, it was common practice in apostolic days to shorten names. Luke (or Lukas) is an abbreviation
of the Gentile name Loukanos, which means "white." Though it is not certain, some scholars believe that he and
Titus were brothers, based on II Corinthians 8:18. So little is known about him that no one can positively state
where he made his home, but most scholars feel it was in Philippi.
In the biblical narrative, Luke appears suddenly but unobtrusively among Paul's companions in Troas. Acts 16:8-11
is written in such a way that the language changes from the third-person singular, "he," speaking of Paul alone, to
the first-person plural, "we," when Luke joins in after he met Paul in Troas, possibly for the first time.
In Colossians 4:9-14, Luke is not included among those "of the circumcision" (verse 11), but along with Epaphras
and Demas forms a group of Gentiles who assisted Paul in his travels and work. Many early Christian writers assert
that Luke was converted directly from paganism, though others thought him to be a convert to Judaism, a Jewish
We can also learn something about people by their writing styles. Luke is clearly a highly educated individual. As a
physician, he would have studied a great deal more than medicine, including philosophy and classical literature.
Bible commentators report Luke has the best command of the Greek language of any New Testament writer. Only
the Greek in the book of Hebrews approaches the quality of Luke's writing.
Commentators call the gospel of Luke, "a work of high literary quality" (Unger's Bible Dictionary). One scholar
viewed Luke's gospel as "the most beautiful book that has ever been written. The subject matter as well as the
author's literary talent combine to give the book an interesting appeal and polish conspicuous in the New
Testament." It is obvious from his account in Acts 27 of the shipwreck that he had the knowledge of a mariner.
The Beloved Physician
Luke's immediate service to God's people comes as Paul's personal "beloved physician" Colossians 4:14. Paul
frequently needed a doctor's ministrations! Jesus says that the sick need a physician Luke 5:31. According to his
own testimony in II Corinthians 11:23-28, Paul relates how often he was beaten, whipped "above measure" and/or
imprisoned. He goes on to say he was once stoned and left for dead. We could also add to this list being
shipwrecked three times and Paul's consequent exposure. One time he spent a whole night and a day trying not to
drown II Corinthians 11:25. No doubt, Luke's trained hands and caring presence helped Paul recover from many of
these severe beatings, open wounds and infections.
No wonder Paul calls Luke the "beloved" physician! Certainly, God used Luke to help prolong Paul's life and
perhaps even to help him recover from serious illnesses. Luke may also have attended to Paul's "thorn in the flesh"
II Corinthians 12:7 and his illness while among the Galatians 4:13-14.
Luke's later years are spent in Paul's company away from Philippi: on the way to Jerusalem, at Caesarea, during
the voyage to Rome and of course in Rome itself. He is with Paul in Rome as he writes Colossians and Philemon.
Luke is not only a physician to Paul, but he also becomes his personal assistant and secretary.
We also know that during Paul's second Roman imprisonment, Luke is Paul's sole companion for a time. Note what
Paul asks Timothy, in II Timothy 4:9-12.
'Be diligent to come to me quickly; for Demas has forsaken me, having loved this present world, and has departed
for Thessalonica'Crescens for Galatia, Titus for Dalmatia. Only Luke is with me. Get Mark and bring him with you,
for he is useful to me for ministry. And Tychicus I have sent to Ephesus.'
This is the last letter of Paul. He is "already being poured out as a drink offering" verse 6. He could have felt totally
abandoned by his human friends except for Luke's presence. Luke's devotion to Paul during this dangerous time
is nothing short of beautiful and inspiring. Paul, though a deeply converted man of faith, is also human and
appreciates having a companion who never gives up and never leaves him. Luke is truly a "God-send" for Paul in
his darkest hours before his execution.
In his rare "spare" moments, Luke assembles the stories he hears repeatedly about Christ, and writes his own
gospel account, as well as the Acts of the Apostles later. It is possible that Luke pens his gospel during Paul's
imprisonment in Caesarea. Commentators describe his writing as painting with word pictures. Acts 23:12-22.
As mentioned earlier, Luke never mentions himself by name even once in Acts, though he was obviously a witness
to many of the events. As mentioned above the closest he comes is to say "we" in several places Acts 16:10-17;
20:6-16; 21:27-28. These 'we' sections have vivid descriptions only an eyewitness could portray.
We also see medical and sailing details in Luke's writings. In Acts 28:8, Luke reports that Publius' father "lay sick of
a fever and dysentery." This physician also humbly records in Luke 8:43 that no physician could heal the woman
who had a flow of blood for twelve years. What does he do in this case? He shines the spotlight on the true Healer,
Luke's focus in his gospel account is on Christ the Man. This contrasts with Matthew's emphasis on Christ the King;
Mark's, on Christ the Servant; and John's, on Christ the Son of God. As a Gentile, Luke's great appreciation for
Jesus' sacrifice for all men - Jew and Gentile alike - comes out in his depiction of the life of Christ. He is not just the
Savior of the sons of Abraham but all the sons of Adam.
Along with Matthew, Luke commonly uses the term "Son of Man" in reference to Jesus. He provides detailed
accounts of Christ's birth, infancy and childhood to illustrate that he was born, grew and matured like any other
human. The order with which he writes is moral and not chronological. He shows Jesus doing things the rest of
humanity does all the time: praying, learning, eating, sleeping, weeping and giving comfort. Even His parables, as
described by Luke, have a very human touch.
Luke chronicles events not found in the other gospel accounts. For example, Luke records five great exclamations
of singing: Elizabeth's thanksgiving, Mary's joyous praise of God, Zechariah's exuberant prophecy, the angels'
annunciation of Christ's birth to the shepherds, and Simeon's verse of appreciation for living to see the Messiah.
From all this we know that Luke was a humble man, who comes to know and love his Savior intimately. He finds it
an honor to serve a great apostle, Paul, and prefers to keep the spotlight on others and off himself. We find him
unafraid in his devotion to stand by Paul, when others are getting out while they can. Evident in his writings is a
constant awareness of God's providence for His servants, an awareness that reveals itself in his vignettes that show
God's care and love for the sick and needy.
He is a great gospel writer, for he knows his subject, the Christ, in a very personal way, though he never had the
opportunity to meet Him firsthand. Nonetheless, His stories are full of vivid details, evidence of his drive to allow the
reader to be able to experience rather than merely read. He wants his readers to come to know the Savior just as
deeply as he has.
No one knows for sure how Luke's life ended. We know he was not martyred with Paul in Rome since he wrote the
book of Acts long after that terrible moment. No one knows whether he was martyred later or died a natural death.
Regardless, Luke's work lives on, inspiring us today, almost 2,000 years later. Thank God for Luke, the beloved
A disciple of Thyatira - a place noted for its dyes - a seller of purple, residing at Philippi, whose heart the Lord
opened, and who became, as far as is known, the first convert in Europe. She received Paul, Silas, and Luke into
her house. Acts 16: 14, 40. It is interesting to note that although the apostle was not allowed to visit Thyatira in his
journey, being instructed by the Holy Ghost, he meets a dear one in Philippi that the Lord had prepared for blessing
from that area.
She like others opened her house twice to the Apostle and it is strikingly stated of her that "she attended unto the
things which were spoken of Paul". Vs. 14b. What an example for us!
MARCUS 'a defense'
A disciple at Jerusalem described as 'JOHN', whose surname was Mark,' and as 'sister's son to Barnabas. ' When
Peter was miraculously delivered from prison he resorted to the house of Mary, who was Mark's mother. Peter may
have been the means of his conversion, for he calls him his 'son.' 1 Peter 5: 13. He accompanied Paul and
Barnabas on their first missionary journey, but left them at Perga. When the second journey was proposed, Paul
did not think it right to take Mark with them; but on Barnabas pressing this, they separated, and Barnabas took Mark
with him and sailed to Cyprus. Acts 12: 12, 25; Acts 13: 5, 13; Acts 15: 37, 39. Paul and Mark were afterwards
reconciled and he was with Paul at Rome and was commended to the Colossians. Col. 4: 10; Philemon 24. He
was with Peter at Babylon, and when Paul was, for a second time, a prisoner at Rome, he asked for Mark, saying
he was serviceable for the ministry. 2 Tim. 4: 11. Mark was God's instrument in writing the Gospel bearing his
name telling of the perfect Servant this being an area in his life that he had failed. Oh the grace of our God!
Saint at Colosse or Laodicea, to whom Paul sent his salutations. Col. 4: 15. Several editors read, 'the church
which is in their house.'
ONESIPHORUS 'profit bringing'
He is the one who sought out Paul at Rome and ministered to him: Paul commended his household to God. 2 Tim.
1: 16; 2 Tim. 4: 19.
Timothy was Paul's last letter before he was martyred. As indicated by the following, Paul knew his death was near:
'The time has come for my departure' 2 Tim. 4:6.
(The word departure was also used by Peter in reference to death. See 2 Pet. 1:15. While Paul was in chains at
Rome awaiting his execution, a disciple named Onesiphorus was a great blessing to the champion apostle. Paul
wrote that this disciple 'searched hard' to find him. When he finally did find Paul he 'refreshed' him 2 Tim. 1:16.
This refreshing that Onesiphorus blessed Paul with occurred 'often,' according to the same verse.
There's something especially commendable about a friend who will stand by you in distress as Onesiphorus did for
Paul. (Some believe it was dangerous for Onesiphorus even to be associated with Paul at this time! This could be
inferred from verse 15.) Paul also wrote: 'May the Lord show mercy to the household of Onesiphorus' 2 Tim. 1:16.
This phrase is a difficult one, but some think Onesiphorus paid with his life to refresh Paul before his martyrdom!
This remains a mystery, but certain truths are obvious about this disciple:
1. He was kind in Ephesus 2 Tim. 1:18 when all was secure and
2. He was kind in Rome when the air was filled with death and danger.
3. Perhaps he had Gal. 6:2 in mind
"Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ."
The body of Christ needs more like Onesiphorus. If he could refresh the great apostle Paul as he did, then you too
can refresh other Christians by acts of kindness.
He was a slave of Philemon, converted when with Paul, and sent back to his master not simply as a servant, but as
a brother beloved.' Col. 4: 9; Philemon 10. Christianity did not come in to set the world right thus: Onesimus was
sent back to his master, and slaves are elsewhere exhorted to be faithful to their masters; but slavery is doubtless
one of the fruits of man's sin. Onesimus was a faithful and beloved brother and it appears Philemon released him to
return and serve the beloved apostle Paul. Col. 4:9
A Christian woman commended by the apostle to the saints at Rome as 'a servant of the church.' He desired that
they should assist her in anything in which she needed their aid. She had been a succourer of many and of Paul.
Rom. 16: 1.
PHILEMON 'one who kisses'
Nothing is known of Philemon beyond what is found in this epistle, nor is it clear where he resided. The similarity of
the salutations to those found in the Epistle to the Colossians, and the reference to Onesimus in that epistle, leads
to the conclusion that Philemon dwelt somewhere in the direction of Colosse (probably at Laodicea, Archippus
being mentioned in Col. 4: 17, and Philemon 2, and that both epistles were sent from Rome about A.D. 61. Though
the assembly in the house of Philemon is mentioned in verse 2, the epistle is a personal one to Philemon and his
Onesimus, their slave, had run away, and having been converted under the ministry of Paul was sent back by the
latter to his master. Paul does not ask for the freedom of Onesimus, but that he may now be received in grace as a
brother, indeed, be received as the apostle's 'own bowels.' Paul does not assert apostolic authority, but entreats as
the 'prisoner ' and 'the aged.' Led by the Holy Spirit, the epistle is a gracious appeal, and difficulties are met in it in a
matter requiring much delicacy. If the slave had robbed Philemon, Paul would repay it; but he reminds Philemon of
how much he owed him, even his 'own self besides.'
Some may be surprised that such an epistle should form part of the inspired word. But it is 'profitable': for fifteen
hundred years slaves were extensively owned by Christians. Many may never have thought of seeking their
conversion, or may have been prejudiced against it. A Boer in South Africa, though a Christian himself, once told a
preacher that he was sure he might as well preach to the dogs as to his African servants. God saw the need of such
an epistle. The slave had become 'a brother beloved.'
PRISCILLA 'old fashioned, ancient'
She was the wife of Aquila. She and her husband are called by Paul "my fellow-workers in Christ Jesus." Paul met
them at Corinth, and they traveled with him to Ephesus, where they were enabled to expound unto Apollos the
way of God more perfectly. Priscilla is three times mentioned before her husband when God would emphasize the
role of a godly woman. Acts 18:18, 26; Rom. 16: 3; 2 Tim. 4: 19.
He was a believer of Thessalonica, and for a time a companion of Paul. Acts 20: 4.
SILAS 'three, or the third'
He was a 'chief man' among the brethren and a prophet. He was sent to Antioch, with Paul and Barnabas, after the
council of the church at Jerusalem concerning Gentiles keeping the law. He accompanied Paul in his second
missionary journey, and was imprisoned with him at Philippi. Acts 15: 22-40; Acts 16: 19-25, 29; Acts 17: 4-15;
Acts 18: 5. The name is an abbreviation of SILVANUS. He is mentioned along with Timothy in the epistles of Paul 2
Cor 1:19; 1 Th 1:1; 2 Th 1:1.
SOPATER 'saving father'
A believer of Berea who accompanied Paul from Greece into Asia. Acts 20: 4. The Editors of the Greek Testament
add '[son] of Pyrrhus.' The name Sosipater appears nowhere else in the New Testament. Luke even calls him
Sopater, which is the nickname for Sosipater, while Paul calls him by his full name.
TERTIUS 'the third'
He was the Christian who wrote the Epistle to the Romans at Paul's dictation, and who sent his own salutation to
the saints. Rom. 16: 22.
TIMOTHY 'honouring God'
In Timothy Paul saw one who appreciated the sacredness of the work of a minister; who was not appalled at the
prospect of suffering and persecution; and who was willing to be taught. Timothy's father was a Greek and his
mother a Jewess. From a child he had known the Scriptures. The piety that he saw in his mixed home life was
sound and sensible but likely provided a need for decision. The faith of his mother and his grandmother in the
sacred oracles was to him a constant reminder of the blessing in doing God's will. The word of God was the rule by
which these two godly women had guided Timothy. The spiritual power of the lessons that he had received from
them kept him pure in speech and unsullied by the evil influences with which he was surrounded. Thus his home
instructors had co-operated with God in preparing him to bear burdens.
Paul saw that Timothy was faithful, steadfast, and true, and he chose him as a companion in labor and travel.
Those who had taught Timothy in his childhood were rewarded by seeing the son of their care linked in close
fellowship with the great apostle. Timothy was a mere youth when he was chosen by God to be a teacher, but his
principles had been so established by his early education that he was fitted to take his place as Paul's helper. And
though young, he bore his responsibilities with Christian meekness.
As a precautionary measure, Paul wisely advised Timothy to be circumcised--not that God required it, but in order
to remove from the minds of the Jews that which might be an objection to Timothy's ministration. In his work Paul
was to journey from city to city, in many lands, and often he would have opportunity to preach Christ in Jewish
synagogues, as well as in other places of assembly. If it should be known that one of his companions in labor was
uncircumcised, his work might be greatly hindered by the prejudice and bigotry of the Jews. Everywhere the
apostle met determined opposition and severe persecution. He desired to bring to his Jewish brethren, as well as to
the Gentiles, a knowledge of the gospel, and therefore he sought, so far as was consistent with the faith, to remove
every pretext for opposition. Yet while he conceded this much to Jewish prejudice, he believed and taught
circumcision or uncircumcision to be nothing and the gospel of Christ everything.
Paul loved Timothy, his "own son in the faith." 1 Timothy 1:2. The great apostle often drew the younger disciple out
as they traveled from place to place as he could see Timothy was quite timid and he carefully taught him how to do
successful work. Both Paul and Silas, in all their association with Timothy, sought to deepen the impression that
had already been made upon his mind, of this sacred work for God.
In his work, Timothy constantly sought Paul's advice and instruction. He did not move from impulse, but exercised
consideration and calm thought, inquiring at every step, Is this the way of the Lord? The Holy Spirit found in him one
who could be molded and fashioned as a temple for the indwelling of the divine Presence. His knowledge of
experimental piety distinguished him from other believers and gave him influence.
From Lystra he accompanied Paul into Macedonia, but he and Silas stayed behind at Berea. They joined Paul at
Athens, and Timothy was sent back to Thessalonica, and brought his report to Paul at Corinth. Acts 17: 14; 1
Thess. 3: 1, 2.
During Paul's stay at Ephesus Timothy was with him, and was sent to Corinth, but was again with Paul in
Macedonia when the Second Epistle to the Corinthians was written. He was also with Paul when the Epistle to the
Romans was written from Corinth. When Paul returned to Asia through Macedonia, Timothy waited for him at Troas.
Acts 20: 3-5. He was with Paul at Rome when he wrote his epistles to the Colossians, Philemon, and to the
Philippians. At some unknown place and time Timothy suffered imprisonment, for Scripture records his release.
Heb. 13: 23. Paul besought him to remain at Ephesus to warn the brethren against false teachers, 1 Tim. 1: 3; and
in the Second Epistle he begs him to use diligence to come to him, to bring with him Mark, and the cloak he had left
at Troas, the books and the parchments.
Thus to the end of Paul's life his dearly-loved Timothy was a help and comfort to him, and he availed himself of his
devoted labours. He bore testimony of him, that when all were seeking their own, he had no one like-minded with
himself but Timothy, Phil. 2: 20; and when Paul's course was nearly run, he found in Timothy one to whom he could
commit the work, instructing him as to the order of the house of God, and his behaviour in it. The apostle warned
and admonished him, exhorted and charged him, with the affectionate fervour of a spiritual father, and even cared
for the health of his body, advising him to take a little wine for his frequent infirmities. The last word to him in his
epistles is "The Lord Jesus Christ be with thy spirit: grace be with you."
Timothy may be regarded as the typical servant, who remains after the decease of the apostles, unto the coming of
the Lord. Paul looked for the continuance of the truth which he had taught through such.
TITUS 'nurse, rearer'
Information of this companion of the Apostle Paul must be drawn entirely from the notices of him in 2nd Corinthians,
Galatians, 2nd Timothy and to Titus himself. He is not mentioned in the Acts at all.
He was a Greek convert, Paul's "own son after the common faith." The apostle took him to Jerusalem, but being a
Greek he was not circumcised. Gal. 2: 1-3. Paul describes him to the Corinthian church as "my partner or
companion and fellow-helper" on their behalf. After leaving Galatia, Acts 18:23 and spending a long time at
Ephesus, Acts 19:1; 20:1 the apostle Paul proceeded to Macedonia by way of Troas. Here he expected to meet
Titus, 2 Corinthians 2:13 who had been sent on a mission to Corinth. In this hope he was disappointed, but in
Macedonia Titus joined him. 2 Corinthians 7:6, 7,13-15. The mission to Corinth had reference to the immoralities
rebuked in the First Epistle, and to the collection at that time in progress, for the poor Christians of Judea.
2 Corinthians 8:6 After his encouraging conversations with Titus regarding the Corinthian church he sends him
back from Macedonia to Corinth, in company with two other trustworthy companions, bearing the Second Epistle,
and with an earnest request. 2 Corinthians 8:6, 17
Paul afterwards left him at Crete to set things in order, and to ordain elders in every city. This he did as the apostle's
delegate for that particular place. He was not permanently settled there, for he was to leave when other labourers
were sent. Titus 3: 12. Afterwards, when Paul wrote 2 Tim. 4: 10, he had gone to Dalmatia. He had the privilege of
working with and for the apostle, and was a zealous and faithful servant. 2 Cor. 2: 13; 2 Cor. 7: 6-14; 2 Cor. 8: 6-23;
2 Cor. 12: 18; Gal. 2: 1, 3.
A considerable interval now elapses before Paul's first imprisonment is concluded, and his last trial is impending
until Paul and Titus were together again in Crete. Titus 1:5 We see Titus remaining on the island and after Paul had
left he sent a letter (Epistle to Titus) written to Titus.
From this letter it is noted that he was originally converted through St. Paul instrumentality. Titus 1:4. Next, we
learn the various particulars of the responsible duties which he had to discharge. In Crete, he is to complete what
Paul had been obliged to leave unfinished, Titus 1:5 and he is to organize the assembly throughout the island by
appointing elders in every city. Next he is to control and bridle, ver. 11, the restless and mischievous Judaizers. He
is also to look for the arrival in Crete of Artemas and Tychicus, Titus 3:12 and then is to hasten to join Paul at
Nicopolis, where the apostle purposes to pass the winter. Zenas and Apollos are in Crete, or expected there; for
Titus is to send them on their journey, and to supply them with whatever they need for it. Whether Titus did join the
apostle at Nicopolis we cannot tell; but we naturally connect the mention of this place with what Paul wrote, at no
great interval of time afterward, in the last of the Pastoral Epistles, 2 Timothy 4:10 for Dalmatia lay to the north of
Nicopolis, at no great distance from it. From the form of the whole sentence, it seems probable that this disciple
had been with Paul in Rome during his final imprisonment; but this cannot be asserted confidently.
He was a convert of Ephesus who accompanied Paul to Jerusalem, and whom the Jews thought Paul had taken
into the temple. Acts 20: 4; Acts 21: 29. In 2 Tim. 4: 20. Paul had left him at Miletus sick.
He was a Christian of the region of Asia who accompanied Paul on his last visit to Jerusalem. He was sent by the
apostle from Rome to the Ephesians and to the Colossians; and after Paul's release, Tychicus was again sent to
Ephesus. Paul describes him as a beloved brother, a faithful minister and fellow-servant in the Lord. He was thus
such a one as Paul could with confidence send on these missions to 'encourage' the saints. Acts 20: 4; Eph. 6: 21;
Col. 4: 7; 2 Tim. 4: 12; Titus 3: 12 and a faithful messenger who would inform them of Paul's circumstances Col.
TYRANNUS 'absolute rule'
A teacher at Ephesus in whose school Paul reasoned daily for the space of two years, so that all that dwelt in Asia,
both Jews and Greeks heard the word of the Lord. Acts 19: 9, 10. The name is Greek, and nothing is said of
Tyrannus being a disciple, so that the Christians may have hired the 'school,' as halls are rented in the present day.
URBANE 'of the city'
He was a Christian at Rome, described by Paul as 'our helper in Christ,' to whom a salutation was sent. Rom. 16: 9.