Gaius my host, and of the whole church, salutes you. Erastus the chamberlain of the city salutes you, and Quartus a brother.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Gaius.—Three persons of this name are mentioned, Gains of Corinth (1Corinthians 1:14), Gains, a Macedonian (Acts 19:29), and Gaius of Derbe in Lycaonia (Acts 20:4). The Gaius of the Epistle would probably be identical with the first of these. The name was a common one.
Mine host, and of the whole church.—St. Paul was now lodging in the house of Gaius, as on his previous visit, first in that of Aquila and then in that of Justus (Acts 18:2; Acts 18:7). It would seem that Gaius lent his house for the meetings of the Church, or it is possible that St. Paul may be alluding, with graceful hyperbole, to the hospitality which he was always ready to exercise.
Erastus.—It is not quite easy to identify this Erastus with the one mentioned in Acts 19:22, 2Timothy 4:20, who there appears as a travelling companion of the Apostle. The office of “treasurer” to an important city like Corinth would naturally, we should suppose, involve a fixed residence.
Chamberlain.—A better word would seem to be treasurer. The officer hi question had charge of the revenues of the city. The title appears upon inscriptions.
A brother.—Rather, the brother. No special predicate seems to be needed, and therefore St. Paul (or Tertius) simply describes him as the Christian of that name.
QUARTUS A BROTHER
I am afraid very few of us read often, or with much interest, those long lists of names at the end of Paul’s letters. And yet there are plenty of lessons in them, if anybody will look at them lovingly and carefully. There does not seem much in these three words; but I am very much mistaken if they will not prove to be full of beauty and pathos, and to open out into a wonderful revelation of what Christianity is and does, as soon as we try to freshen them up into some kind of human interest.
It is easy for us to make a little picture of this brother Quartus. He is evidently an entire stranger to the Church in Rome. They had never heard his name before: none of them knew anything about him. Further, he is evidently a man of no especial reputation or position in the Church at Corinth, from which Paul writes. He contrasts strikingly with the others who send salutations to Rome. ‘Timotheus, my work-fellow’-the companion and helper of the Apostle, whose name was known everywhere among the Churches, heads the list. Then come other prominent men of his more immediate circle. Then follows a loving greeting from Paul’s amanuensis, who, naturally, as the pen is in his own hand, says: ‘I, Tertius, who wrote this epistle, salute you in the Lord.’ Then Paul begins again to dictate, and the list runs on. Next comes a message from ‘Gaius mine host, and of the whole Church’-an influential man in the community, apparently rich, and willing, as well as able, to extend to them large and loving hospitality. Erastus, the chamberlain or treasurer of the city, follows-a man of consequence in Corinth. And then, among all these people of mark, comes the modest, quiet Quartus. He has no wealth like Gaius, nor civic position like Erastus, nor wide reputation like Timothy. He is only a good, simple, unknown Christian. He feels a spring of love open in his heart to these brethren far across the sea, whom he never met. He would like them to know that he thought lovingly of them, and to be lovingly thought of by them. So he begs a little corner in Paul’s letter, and gets it; and there, in his little niche, like some statue of a forgotten saint, scarce seen amidst the glories of a great cathedral, ‘Quartus a brother’ stands to all time.
The first thing that strikes me in connection with these words is, how deep and real they show that new bond of Christian love to have been.
A little incident of this sort is more impressive than any amount of mere talk about the uniting influence of the Gospel. Here we get a glimpse of the power in actual operation in a man’s heart, and if we think of all that this simple greeting presupposes and implies, and of all that had to be overcome before it could have been sent, we may well see in it the sign of the greatest revolution that was ever wrought in men’s relations to one another, Quartus was an inhabitant of Corinth, from which city this letter was written. His Roman name may indicate Roman descent, but of that we cannot be sure. Just as probably he may have been a Greek by birth, and so have had to stretch his hand across a deep crevasse of national antipathy, in order to clasp the hands of his brethren in the great city. There was little love lost between Rome, the rough imperious conqueror, and Corinth, prostrate and yet restive under her bonds, and nourishing remembrances of a freedom which Rome had crushed, and of a culture that Rome haltingly followed.
And how many other deep gulfs of separation had to be bridged before that Christian sense of oneness could be felt! It is impossible for us to throw ourselves completely back to the condition of things which the Gospel found. The world then was like some great field of cooled lava on the slopes of a volcano, all broken up by a labyrinth of clefts and cracks, at the bottom of which one can see the flicker of sulphurous flames. Great gulfs of national hatred, of fierce enmities of race, language, and religion; wide separations of social condition, far profounder than anything of the sort which we know, split mankind into fragments. On the one side was the freeman, on the other, the slave; on the one side, the Gentile, on the other, the Jew; on the one side, the insolence and hard-handedness of Roman rule, on the other, the impotent, and therefore envenomed, hatred of conquered peoples.
And all this fabric, full of active repulsions and disintegrating forces, was bound together into an artificial and unreal unity by the iron clamp of Rome’s power, holding up the bulging walls that were ready to fall-the unity of the slave-gang manacled together for easier driving. Into this hideous condition of things the Gospel comes, and silently flings its clasping tendrils over the wide gaps, and binds the crumbling structure of human society with a new bond, real and living. We know well enough that that was so, but we are helped to apprehend it by seeing, as it were, the very process going on before our eyes, in this message from ‘Quartus a brother.’
It reminds us that the very notion of humanity, and of the brotherhood of man, is purely Christian. A world-embracing society, held together by love, was not dreamt of before the Gospel came; and since the Gospel came it is more than a dream. If you wrench away the idea from its foundation, as people do who talk about fraternity, and seek to bring it to pass without Christ, it is a mere piece of Utopian sentiment-a fine dream. But in Christianity it worked. It works imperfectly enough, God knows. Still there is some reality in it, and some power. The Gospel first of all produced the thing and the practice, and then the theory came afterwards. The Church did not talk much about the brotherhood of man, or the unity of the race; but simply ignored all distinctions, and gathered into the fold the slave and his master, the Roman and his subject, fair-haired Goths and swarthy Arabians, the worshippers of Odin and of Zeus, the Jew and the Gentile. That actual unity, utterly irrespective of all distinctions, which came naturally in the train of the Gospel, was the first attempt to realise the oneness of the race, and first taught the world that all men were brethren.
And before this simple word of greeting could have been sent, and the unknown man in Corinth felt love to a company of unknown men in Rome, some profound new impulse must have been given to the world; something altogether unlike any of the forces hitherto in existence. What was that? What should it be but the story of One who gave Himself for the whole world, who binds men into a unity because of His common relation to them all, and through whom the great proclamation can be made: ‘There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female, for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.’ Brother Quartus’ message, like some tiny flower above-ground which tells of a spreading root beneath, is a modest witness to that mighty revolution, and presupposes the preaching of a Saviour in whom he and his unseen friends in Rome are one.
So let us learn not to confine our sympathy and the play of our Christian affection within the limits of our personal knowledge. We must go further a-field than that. Like this man, let us sometimes send our thoughts across mountains and seas. He knew nobody in the Roman Church, and nobody knew him, but he wished to stretch out his hand to them, and to feel, as it were, the pressure of their fingers in his palm. That is a pattern for us.
Let me suggest another thing. Quartus was a Corinthian. The Corinthian Church was remarkable for its quarrellings and dissensions. One said, ‘I am of Paul, and another, I of Apollos, and I of Cephas, and I of Christ.’ I wonder if our friend Quartus belonged to any of these parties? There is nothing more likely than that he had a much warmer glow of Christian love to the brethren over there in Rome than to those who sat on the same bench with him in the upper room at Corinth. For you know that sometimes it is true about people, as well as about scenery, that ‘distance lends enchantment to the view.’ A great many of us have much keener sympathies with ‘brethren’ who are well out of our reach, and whose peculiarities do not jar against ours, than with those who are nearest. I do not say Quartus was one of these, but he may very well have been one of the wranglers in Corinth who found it much easier to love his brother whom he had not seen than his brother whom he had seen. So take the hint, if you need it. Do not let your Christian love go wandering away abroad only, but keep some for home consumption.
Again, how simply, and with what unconscious beauty, the deep reason for our Christian unity is given in that one word, a ‘Brother.’ As if he had said, Never mind telling them anything about what I am, what place I hold, or what I do. Tell them I am a brother, that will be enough. It is the only name by which I care to be known; it is the name which explains my love to them.
We are brethren because we are sons of one Father. So that favourite name, by which the early Christians knew each other, rested upon and proclaimed the deep truth that they knew themselves to be all partakers of a common life derived from one Parent. When they said they were brethren, they implied, ‘We have been born again by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.’ The great Christian truth of regeneration, the communication of a divine life from God the Father, through Christ the Son, by the Holy Spirit, is the foundation of Christian brotherhood. So the name is no mere piece of effusive sentiment, but expresses a profound fact. ‘To as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God,’ and therein to become the brethren of all His sons.
That is the true ground of our unity, and of our obligation to love all who are begotten of Him. You cannot safely put them on any other footing. All else-identity of opinion, similarity of practice and ceremonial, local or national ties, and the like-all else is insufficient. It may be necessary for Christian communities to require in addition a general identity of opinion, and even some uniformity in government and form of worship; but if ever they come to fancy that such subordinate conditions of visible oneness are the grounds of their spiritual unity, and to enforce these as such, they are slipping off the real foundation, and are perilling their character as Churches of Christ. The true ground of the unity of all Christians is here: ‘Have we not all one Father?’ We possess a kindred life derived from Him. We are a family of brethren because we are sons.
Another remark is, how strangely and unwittingly this good man has got himself an immortality by that passing thought of his. One loving message has won for him the prize for which men have joyfully given life itself,-an eternal place in history. Wheresoever the Gospel is preached there also shall this be told as a memorial of him. How much surprised he would have been if, as he leaned forward to Tertius hurrying to end his task and said, ‘Send my love too,’ anybody had told him that that one act of his would last as long as the world, and his name be known for ever! And how much ashamed some of the other people in the New Testament would have been if they had known that their passing faults-the quarrel of Euodia and Syntyche for instance-were to be gibbeted for ever in the same fashion! How careful they would have been, and we would be, of our behaviour if we knew that it was to be pounced down upon and made immortal in that style! Suppose you were to be told-Your thoughts and acts to-morrow at twelve o’clock will be recorded for all the world to read-you would be pretty careful how you behaved. When a speaker sees the reporters in front of him, he weighs his words.
Well, Quartus’ little message is written down here, and the world knows it. All our words and works are getting put down too, in another Book up there, and it is going to be read out one day. It does seem wonderful that you and I should live as we do, knowing that all the while that God is recording it all. If we are not ashamed to do things, and let Him note them on His tablets that they may be for the time to come, for ever and ever, it is strange that we should be more careful to attitudinise and pose ourselves before one another than before Him. Let us then keep ever in mind ‘those pure eyes and perfect witness of the all-judging’ God. The eternal record of this little message is only a symbol of the eternal life and eternal record of all our transient and trivial thoughts and deeds before Him. Let us live so that each act, if recorded, would shine with some modest ray of true light like brother Quartus’ greeting, and let us seek that, like him,-all else about us being forgotten, position, talents, wealth, buried in the dust,-we may be remembered, if we are remembered at all, by such a biography as is condensed into these three words. Who would not wish to be embalmed, so to speak, in such a record? Who would not wish to have such an epitaph as this? A sweet fate to live for ever in the world’s memory by three words which tell his name, his Christianity, and his brotherly love! So far as we are remembered at all, may the like be our life’s history and our epitaph!
And of the whole church - Who has opened his house to entertain "all" Christians; or to show hospitality to them all. He was baptized by Paul himself at 1 Corinthians 1 1 Corinthians 1:14; and was so highly esteemed by the church that John wrote an epistle to him; 3 John 1:1. He was probably a wealthy citizen of Corinth, who freely opened his house to entertain Christians, and for the purpose of religious worship.
The chamberlain - A chamberlain is properly an officer who has charge of a chamber, or of chambers. In England, the lord chamberlain is the sixth officer of the crown, and has charge of the king's lodgings, and wardrobe, etc. He has also an important rank on days of public solemnities, as the coronation day, etc. The word used here is commonly in the New Testament translated "steward." It properly means one who has charge of domestic affairs, to provide for a family, to pay the servants, etc. In this place it means one who presided over the pecuniary affairs of the "city," and should have been translated "the treasurer; the city treasurer;" an once of trust and of some importance, showing that, "all" who were converted at Corinth were not of the lowest rank. This is implied in 1 Corinthians 1:26, "Not many wise men, not many mighty, not many noble, are called," implying that there were some such.
of the whole church—(See Ac 20:4). It would appear that he was one of only two persons whom Paul baptized with his own hand (compare 3Jo 1). His Christian hospitality appears to have been something uncommon.
Erastus the chamberlain—"treasurer."
of the city—doubtless of Corinth. (See Ac 19:22; 2Ti 4:20).
and Quartus a brother—rather, "the" or "our brother"; as Sosthenes and Timothy are called (1Co 1:1; 2Co 1:1, Greek). Nothing more is known of this Quartus.Gaius: we read of more than one that bore this name; there was Gaius of Macedonia, of whom you read, in Acts 19:29; there was Gaius of Derbe, of whom you read, Acts 20:4; he is most likely the person here meant. There was one of this name whom Paul baptized at Corinth, 1 Corinthians 1:14; and there was another Gaius, to whom St. John wrote his Third Epistle: whether any of those were the same, or whether they were all different persons, is uncertain.
Mine host, and of the whole church; i.e. he entertained the apostle, and all Christian strangers that passed that way. That Gaius to whom the apostle John wrote, is commended for the like hospitality, 3Jo 1:5,6.
Erastus the chamberlain of the city; or the receiver or steward of the city; one that had the management of the city’s stock or public treasure. The city was Corinth, from whence the apostle wrote this Epistle. There Erastus is said to abide, 2 Timothy 4:20, possibly to attend upon his office. Yet we find, Acts 19:22, that he was one of them that ministered to the apostle, and was sent by him hither and thither, as he had occasion, which would not well consist with his being chamberlain or steward of so great a city; therefore some are of opinion, that he is so called, because that had been his office in time past. So Abigail is called the wife of Nabal, 2 Samuel 3:3, because she formerly stood in that relation to him.
Quartus; this is no word of number, but it was his name: we had Tertius in the foregoing verse; and we read of Secundus, Acts 20:4. Histories also speak of the name of Quintus, and Sextus, &c. Acts 19:29; and another Gaius of Derbe, that accompanied him into Asia, Acts 20:4; whether either of these, as the latter seems more probable, was this person, is not certain. However, it seems very likely that it is the same Gaius the apostle baptized at Corinth, 1 Corinthians 1:14; and some have thought him to be the same that the Apostle John wrote his third epistle to, and indeed the characters of hospitality and generosity there given him well agree with this, who was not only the apostle's host that entertained him in a kind and liberal manner, but of all the saints:
and of the whole church, saluteth you; that is, of the church at Corinth, to whom he was kind and hospitable, even to as many as stood in need of his assistance; or of the church of Christ in general, being beneficent and liberal to all Christian strangers that came that way, lodged them at his house, and provided every thing proper and convenient for them. Dr. Lightfoot thinks that there was a public hospital or receptacle for strangers at Corinth, in imitation of the Jews, who had a place adjoining to their synagogues to entertain travellers in; and that Gaius was the chief officer and overseer of this house, who, discharging his trust well, is deservedly commended. That the Jews had places near their synagogues for such a purpose is, certain. It is said (b),
"why do they sanctify (or consecrate the day?) that travellers may do their duty, who eat, and drink, and sleep in the synagogue.''
The gloss on it is,
"not the synagogue itself, but the chambers which were near the synagogue, are called the synagogue, and from thence they heard the consecration.''
And elsewhere (c) it is said,
"in the synagogues they neither eat nor drink--but there is a place near the synagogue where travellers used to sleep and eat;''
and then follows what is said before. And Maimonides (d) observes,
"there is no sanctification (of the sabbath) but in the place where the meal is eaten; so a man may not sanctify in one house, and eat in another; but if he sanctifies in this, he must eat in this; but why do they sanctify in the synagogue? because of travellers who eat and drink there.''
Upon which his commentator remarks (e), that
"they do not eat in the synagogue at all, but they eat, , "in a house near the synagogue", where they sit at the time of hearing the sanctification.''
But whether there was such an house at Corinth near the place of public worship, or any where else for this purpose, is not certain; and to make Gains only an overseer over such an house, though a faithful one, greatly sinks his character; since one would conclude from hence, that his entertainment of the apostle, and other saints, was at his own expense.
Erastus the chamberlain of the city saluteth you; whom the apostle is said to leave at Corinth, 2 Timothy 4:20, and at another time to send along with Timotheus into Macedonia, if the same person is intended; for these do not seem so well to accord with his being in such an office, which must require attendance, and would not admit of going from place to place with the apostle, or of being sent by him. The city, of which he was chamberlain, was the city of Corinth, where the apostle and this Erastus were, when this epistle was wrote. The word translated "chamberlain", is often used for a steward; and here it signifies such an officer as had the care of the city chest or coffer, and distributed the public money; and seems to answer to the "quaestor urbanus", or city treasurer, among the Romans, whose business it was to receive the city accounts, and disburse at all occasions of public expenses; so that this was a place of honour and trust; hence it appears, that though not many, yet some rich and honourable were called by grace, and embraced the Gospel. His name signifies beloved, and is the same with David in Hebrew. What nation he was of is not certain, whether a Roman, a Greek, or Jew; one of this name is reckoned among the seventy disciples, and it said to be bishop of Paneas, or of the Philippians; See Gill on Luke 10:1.
Quartus a brother; not of Tertius, nor of Erastus, nor of the apostle according to the flesh, as some have thought, but a brother in a spiritual relation. This man, as appears from his name, was a Roman; probably had before lived at Rome, and therefore sends his salutations to the Christians there: he is mentioned among the seventy disciples, and said to be bishop of Berytus; See Gill on Luke 10:1.Gaius mine host, and of the whole church, saluteth you. Erastus the chamberlain of the city saluteth you, and Quartus a brother.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)Romans 16:23. Γάϊος] Perhaps the same who is mentioned in 1 Corinthians 1:14; it may at the same time be assumed, that the person mentioned in Acts 20:4 (not also he who appears in Acts 19:29) is not a different one, against which the circumstance that he was of Derbe is no proof. But considering the great frequency of the name (see also 3 John 1:1; Constitt. ap. vii. 46. 1; Martyr. Polyc. 22), no decision can be given. Origen: “Fertur traditione majorum, quod hic Cajus fuit episcopus Thessalonicensis ecclesiae.”
ξένος, guest-friend, is in the Greek writers not merely the person entertained, but also, as here, the entertainer (see Sturz, Lex. Xen. III. p. 218; Duncan, ed. Rost. p. 799). Paul lodged with Caius, as during his first sojourn in Corinth with Aquila, and then with Justus (Acts 18:1-7).
καὶ τῆς ἐκκλ. ὅλ.] Whether this be a reference to the circumstance that Caius gave his house for the meetings of the church (Grotius), or to the fact that, while the apostle lodged with him, there were at the same time very numerous visits of persons belonging to the church of Corinth, whom Caius hospitably received,—a view which corresponds better to the thoughtfully chosen designation—in any case ξένος does not stand to τῆς ἐκκλ. ὅλ. in the same strict relation as to μου. Comp. Romans 16:13, τὴν μητέρα αὐτοῦ καὶ ἐμοῦ. If the lodging of those coming from abroad (Hofmann, following Erasmus and others) were meant, τῆς ἐκκλ. ὅλης would have been understood of the collective Christian body, and the hyperbolical expression would appear more jesting than thoughtful. Comp. rather on ἡ ἐκκλησία ὅλη, 1 Corinthians 14:23, also Romans 5:11, Romans 15:22. Nor is the expression suitable to the Roman church, in so far, namely, as Paul converted many of its members during their exile (Märcker), because it would be too disproportionate.
Ἔραστος] Different from the one mentioned in Acts 19:22 and 2 Timothy 4:20; for the person sending greeting here was not, like Timothy, a travelling assistant of the apostle, but administrator of the city-chest, city-chamberlain in Corinth (arcarius civitatis, see Wetstein); unless we should assume—for which, however, no necessity presents itself—that he had given up his civic position and is here designated according to his former office (Pelagius, Estius, Calovius, Klee, and others, comp. also Reiche). For another, but forced explanation, see Otto, Pastoralbr. p. 55. The name Erastus was very frequent. The less are we, with Lucht, to discover an error in Acts 19:22 and 2 Timothy 4:20. Grotius, moreover, has rightly observed: “Vides jam ab initio, quamquam paucos, aliquos tamen fuisse Christianos in dignitate positos.” Comp. 1 Corinthians 1:26 ff.
Respecting Quartus absolutely nothing is known. Were ἀδελφός a brother according to the flesh, namely of Erastus, Paul would have added αὐτοῦ (comp. Romans 16:15); hence it is to be understood in the sense of Christian brotherhood, and to be assumed that the relations of this Quartus suggested to the apostle no more precise predicate, and were well known to the readers.Romans 16:23. Γάϊος ὁ ξένος μου κ. ὅλης τῆς ἐκκλησίας: As the Epistle to the Romans was written from Corinth this hospitable Christian is probably the same who is mentioned in 1 Corinthians 1:14. Three other persons (apparently) of the same name are mentioned in Acts 19:29; Acts 20:4, and 3 John. By ὁ ξένος μου is meant that Gaius was Paul’s host in Corinth; ὁ ξένος ὅλης τῆς ἐκκλησίας might either mean that the whole Christian community met in his house (cf. Romans 16:5; Romans 16:14-15), or that he made all Christians who came to Corinth welcome. Ἔραστος ὁ οἰκονόμος τῆς πόλεως. We cannot be sure that this is the Erastus of Acts 19:22, 2 Timothy 4:20 : the latter seems to have been at Paul’s disposal in connection with his work. But they may be the same, and Paul may here be designating Erastus by an office which he had once held, but held no longer. The city treasurer (arcarius civitatis) would be an important person in a poor community (1 Corinthians 1:26 ff.), and he and Gaius (whose boundless hospitality implies means) are probably mentioned here as representing the Corinthian Church. Κούαρτος ὁ ἀδελφός: Quartus, known to Paul only as a Christian, had perhaps some connection with Rome which entitled him to have his salutation inserted.23. Gaius] The same Latin name as Caius. This Gaius may be the same as Gaius of Macedonia, (Acts 19:29,) or as Gaius of Derbe, (Acts 20:4;) and again the Gaius of 2 John may be identical with either of these. But the name was exceedingly common.
We may be fairly sure that the Gaius here and the Gaius of 1 Corinthians 1:14 are the same. In this Christian’s house St Paul seems to have lodged on this visit to Corinth; and it was a house ever open to Christian guests. Perhaps the words “and of the whole church” mean that St Paul’s stay with Gaius led to a large concourse of other Christian visitors there, whether Corinthian residents or not.
Erastus] A Greek name. This was probably not the Erastus of Acts 19:22, (and probably also of 2 Timothy 4:20,) who was an assistant to St Paul, like Timotheus.
chamberlain] Better, treasurer. Erastus stands almost alone in the apostolic history as a convert from the dignified ranks. Cp. Acts 17:34, and perhaps Acts 13:12. See 1 Corinthians 1:26.
the city] Corinth. The brief phrase indicates the eminence of the place whence the letter is written.—See Introduction, ii. § 1.
Quartus] A Latin name; (in its Greek form here, Kouartos.) Possibly Quartus, like Tertius, was a Roman. We know him only from this verse.
a brother] Lit. the brother; i.e. “our fellow-Christian.”Romans 16:23. Γάϊος, Gaius) a Corinthian, 1 Corinthians 1:14.—ὅλης, of the whole) For very many used to resort to Paul.—οἰκονόμος, the chamberlain) The faith of a man so very high in station could not but be a matter of joy to the Romans.—τῆς πόλεως, of the city) doubtless of Corinth.
 Whom, as well as Paul, Gaius entertained.—ED.Verses 23, 24. - Gaius mine host, and of the whole Church, saluteth you. Probably the person mentioned in 1 Corinthians 1:14 as baptized by St. Paul himself at Corinth. There is no reason for identifying him with those of the same name mentioned in Acts 19:29; Acts 20:4; 3 John 1. Gaius was a common name. He appears to have been one who exercised extensive hospitality to Christians, which the apostle was enjoying at the time of writing. Erastus the chamberlain (rather, treasurer) of the city (not to be identified with the Erastus of Acts 19:22 and 2 Timothy 4:20), and Quartus the brother. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ he with you all. Amen.
See on Luke 16:1. The word appears in the New Testament in two senses: 1. The slave who was employed to give the other slaves their rations. So Luke 7:42. 2. The land-steward, as Luke 16:1. Probably here the administrator of the city lands.
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