Biblical Archaeology - Erastus Inscription

erastus inscription

The apostle Paul is known to most Christians for being the man who first brought the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ to the Gentile nations. But Paul also had some help from other lesser-known men who traveled alongside himself in spreading the Gospel.

One such man was Erastus, an early follower of Jesus Christ. He is mentioned briefly in the Bible in Romans 16:23, which says:

"Gaius, my host and the host of the whole church, greets you. Erastus, who is the city's director of public works, and our brother Quartus send you their greetings."

And again in 2Timothy 4:20: "Erastus stayed in Corinth, but Trophimus I have left in Miletus sick."

Confirmation of his existence and his title was found in the city of Corinth. Archaeologists working on an excavation of a first-century road uncovered a stone with the inscription:

"Erastus, Commissioner of Public Works"

According to the Bible, Erastus was also one of the earliest Evangelists who spread the gospel to the Gentiles.

Paul Preaching

Acts 19:22 states: "So he (Paul) sent into Macedonia two of those who ministered to him, Timothy and Erastus"


"Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned." Mark 16:15-16

biblical archaeology book

This article on Erastus in Biblical Archaeology is taken from our 4 volume book series "Bible Believer's Archaeology" which can be downloaded for your ebook reader by visiting our resource download page by Clicking Here.

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Sources used in compiling data and illustrations for this article:

  Erastus Inscription Photo

Artwork: "Paul preaching at Athens" Artist: Henry Felix Emmanual Philippoteaux, Illustrated in Cassells Illuminated Family Bible Vol. 4 from Matthew to Revelation pg.217, Publisher: Cassell, Petter & Calpin (1860).

Illustration: "Erastus Inscription", Illustration copyright © 1997 John Argubright.

Archaeology and Bible History, Author: J.P. Free. ISBN 0-310-47961-4 Pg.277 (photo of Erastus Inscription).

Archaeology and the New Testament, Author: John McRay pg. 331-333 Full Inscription reads: ERSTVS PRO AEDILIT E S P STRAVIT Translation: Erastus in return for his Aedileship laid (the pavement) at his own expense (Note: An Aedile was responsible for maintenance of public buildings and regulation of public festivals.)

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