Aristarchus my fellow prisoner salutes you, and Marcus, sister's son to Barnabas, (touching whom you received commandments…
was a Thessalonian, and so perhaps one of Paul's early European converts (Acts 20:4). He was a Jew, but like so many of his brethren of the dispersion, bore a Greek name. He was with Paul in Ephesus at the time of the riot, and was one of the two whom the excited mob dragged into the theatre to the peril of their lives. We next find him a member of the deputation which joined Paul on his voyage to Jerusalem. He was in Palestine with Paul, and sailed with him thence (Acts 27:2). Probably he went home to Thessalonica at some point of the journey, rejoining Paul subsequently. At any rate, here he is standing by Paul and enthusiastically devoted to his work. He receives here an honourable and remarkable title, "my fellow-prisoner." Now it is to be noted that in the Epistle to Philemon, where almost all these names reappear, it is not Aristarchus but Epaphras who is honoured by this epithet, and that interchange has been explained by a supposition that Paul's friends took it in turn to keep him company, and were allowed to live with him on condition of submitting to the same restrictions and military guardianship. There is no positive evidence in favour of this, but it is not improbable, and helps to give an interesting glimpse of Paul's prison life, and of the loyal devotion which surrounded him.
(A. Maclaren, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Aristarchus my fellowprisoner saluteth you, and Marcus, sister's son to Barnabas, (touching whom ye received commandments: if he come unto you, receive him;)