Paul's Associates and Co-Workers by Felix Just, S.J., Ph.D.
Some people think that Paul of Tarsus was the first Christian
missionary, or even that he was the real "founder" of the Church. While
he was obviously one of the most important early Christian preachers
and writers, he was definitely not the first one, nor the only one!
A careful reading of the New Testament (of his own letters as well as the
Acts of the Apostles) shows that several other people before Paul
had been sent out by God and/or by the early Christian communities to preach
the good news about Jesus (i.e., "apostles" or "missionaries"). Moreover,
when Paul was traveling and preaching, he never went alone. Rather than
being some kind of "Lone Ranger," Paul always worked together with
other Christian missionaries, indeed with more and more associates as time
The Acts of the Apostles tells us about many other early Christians who were
disciples, apostles, deacons, prophets, and preachers long before Paul even
came to believe in Jesus. Moreover, in his own letters Paul usually distinguishes
between those people who were Christians and/or missionaries before him, whom
he calls apostoloi ("missionaries"), adelphoi ("brothers"), and/or
koinonoi ("equal partners"), and those who were his own converts and
co-workers, to whom he refers as tekna ("children"), synergoi ("junior
partners"), or with a variety of other terms. A careful study of these different
individuals and groups can help us better to understand the growth of the early
I) Christian Leaders and Missionaries before
The Gospels report some tensions between Jesus and his own family during
his lifetime (Mark 3:21, 31-35; John 7:1-10; cf. Luke 14:26).
But the "mother and brothers" (and sisters?) of Jesus are among the community of believers
in Jerusalem after his ascension (Acts 1:14).
Some of the "brothers of the Lord" were probably active as traveling
missionaries (1Cor 9:5), thus might also have been called
James, one of Jesus' "brothers" (Mark 6:3),
later becomes a prominent leader of this community (Acts 12:17;
15:13; 21:18; 1Cor 15:7; Gal 1:19; 2:9, 12), and is even called an
"apostle" by Paul (Gal 1:19); this is not
the same person as "James, the son of Zebedee, the brother of John,"
one of the original twelve apostles (see Mark 1:19-20; Acts
One of the "general" or "catholic" letters of the NT is attributed to
James, and another letter to Jude, the brother of James
(Jude 1; cf. Mark 6:3).
Apostoloi ("missionaries") are mentioned 80 times in the
NT, including 28 times in Acts, over 35 times in the Pauline and deutero-Pauline
letters, but fairly rarely in the four Gospels (only Matt 10:2;
Mark 3:14; 6:30; John 13:16; and six times in Luke).
In the Gospels and Acts, "apostles" usually refers to the twelve
(see above), except in John 13:16, where Jesus speaks of "messengers" in
general, and in Acts 14:14, where the narrator calls Paul and Barnabas "apostles."
Paul frequently calls himself an apostle throughout his
letters (esp. at the beginnings: Rom 1:1; 1 Cor 1:1; Gal 1:1;
etc.), stressing his equal status with the "other apostles" (esp.
the twelve and/or the leaders and missionaries of the Jerusalem church).
He also explicitly calls Barnabas an apostle (1Cor
9:5-6), implies that Apollos (1 Cor 1:12; 3:4--4:6)
and Silas (and possibly also Timothy?) are apostles (1Thess
2:7), and calls Andronicus and Junia (a woman!) "prominent among the
apostles" (Rom 16:7).
A Jewish "Levite" named Joseph, but nicknamed Barnabas ("son of encouragement")
by the apostles (Acts 4:36).
Mentioned a total of 31 times in the NT, mostly in Acts, but also in
1Cor 9:6; Gal 2:1, 9, 13; Col 4:10.
Originally from the island of Cyprus, he becomes a member and generous
benefactor of the Jerusalem community (4:37).
He is the one who introduces Saul (Paul) to the apostles (9:26-27)
and later brings him from Tarsus to Antioch (11:25-26).
Barnabas is sent by the Jerusalem church to teach and preach to the new
Greek-speaking Christians in Antioch (11:19-26).
The Christians of Antioch send Barnabas and Saul back to Jerusalem to
deliver some donations for famine relief (11:27-30).
When Barnabas and Saul are sent out on another mission (13:1--14:28),
Barnabas is the leader and Paul the assistant (14:12).
Barnabas and Paul both attend the "Council of Jerusalem" to discuss the
issue of circumcision with other Christian leaders (15:1-35;
cf. Gal 2:1-13).
After Barnabas and Paul separate (cf. Gal 2:11-14),
Barnabas continues preaching with Mark in Cyprus (Acts 15:39),
but unfortunately Acts says nothing more about him after this, and Col 4:10
only tells us that Mark was "the cousin of Barnabas."
Although they do not belong to "the twelve," Barnabas and Paul are called
"apostles" in a broader sense (i.e. missionaries "sent out" by the
church), both by Luke (Acts 14:14) and by Paul himself
Seven Greek-speaking believers in Jerusalem (Stephen, Philip, Prochorus,
Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolaus) are chosen to help with the daily
distribution of food to the widows and poor members of the community (Acts
Although the noun "deacon" (diakonos) is not directly used for
them (cf. Rom 16:1; Phil 1:1; 1Tim 3:8), Luke describes
their role using the noun "service" (diakonia) and the verb "to serve"
Stephen does "great wonders and signs" and also starts preaching,
for which he is soon stoned to death (6:8--7:60).
Philip also preaches in Samaria (8:4-13),
converts a royal official from Ethiopia (8:26-39), preaches
in the region of Caesarea (8:40), where he later hosts
Paul and his companions at his house (21:8); this Philip
(called "the evangelist" in 21:8) is different from
the "apostle" Philip (1:13).
A woman named Phoebe is also called a "sister" and a "deacon" by Paul (in Rom 16:1); she may well have been a Christian before meeting Paul, rather than being one of his own converts.
Biblical "prophets" convey God's messages to the people through words
and symbolic actions (not just "predicting the future").
Just like Elijah, Isaiah, Ezekiel, and many other OT figures, both John the
Baptist and Jesus are called "prophets" in the NT.
The feminine form "prophetess" is used positively of Anna, an old widow (Luke 2:36), but negatively of Jezebel, regarded as a self-appointed or false prophetess (Rev 2:20).
In addition, some early Christians are also called "prophets" and listed as leaders
of the Church, second in rank directly after the apostles (1Cor
12:28-29; 14:29; Eph 2:20; 4:11).
Agabusis a Christian prophet from Jerusalem who also visits the
Christians in Antioch (Acts 11:28) and Caesarea (21:10).
Other Christians explicitly called "prophets" include Barnabas,
Simeon Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen, and Saulas leaders of
the Church in Antioch (13:1), as well as a certain Judas
(nicknamed Barsabbas) and Silas in Jerusalem (15:22,
Greek presbyteros ("presbyter" or "elder") generally refers to
older men who are respected leaders of some community.
In the Gospels, "elders" always refers to Jewish leaders (along
with the chief priests and scribes) who opposed Jesus.
In Acts, these Jewish elders are also opponents of the apostles (4:5,
8, 23; 6:12; 22:5; 23:14; 24:1; 25:15).
But "elders" (or "apostles and elders") also refers in Acts to
a different group of people: the leaders of the Christian community
in Jerusalem (11:30; 15:2-6, 22-23; 16:4; 21:18).
Later, "elders" are also appointed by the Christian missionaries as leaders
of other local churches (Acts 14:23; 20:17; 1Tim 4:14;
5:17-22; Titus 1:5; James 5:14; 1Pet 5:1-5).
Servants/Slaves of God/Christ:
Paul and other NT writers sometimes refer to themselves as "servants"
or "slaves" (douloi) of God or of Christ
(Rom 1:1; 1Cor 7:22; Gal 1:10; Phil 1:1; Col 4:12; 2Tim 2:24; Titus 1:1;
James 1:1; 2Pet 1:1; Jude 1:1; Rev 1:1; Rev 22:3,6).
Paul calls himself, Cephas/Peter, and Apollos "servants" (hyperetai;
also translated "attendants, guards, or police"
elsewhere in the NT) and "stewards" (oikonomoi;
also translated "managers or trustees")
of God (1 Cor 4:1), thus indicating his equal status
with these other apostles.
Before becoming a Christian himself, Paul opposed and persecuted those who
believed in Jesus (Acts 7:58; 8:1-3; 9:1-5).
After coming to believe in Jesus, Paul does some initial preaching
(Acts 9:19-22, 26-30; cf. Gal 1:15-24).
But for most of his first 14 or more years as a Christian, he is not really
an independent missionary (Gal 2:1).
He is recruited by Barnabas (see above) to help evangelize the early
Christian community in Antioch (11:25-30).
On the first "missionary journey" (Acts 13-14), Barnabas
is clearly the leader and Paul the assistant; not only is Barnabas usually named
before Paul (13:1-2, 7), but after healing a man in Lystra,
the people assume that Barnabas is Zeus (the father god) and Paul is Hermes
(the messenger god).
After Paul breaks up with Barnabas, Paul expands his preaching and traveling,
first with the help of Silvanus (a.k.a. Silas) and Timothy, and later
with the help of more and more missionary associates.
He also interacts with other Christian preachers throughout the years, especially
Apollos and Titus, but also Peter and James (see below).
Among his many associates, Paul distinguishes between those who were Christians
before him or independent of him (converts of other preachers), and those who became
Christians due to his own preaching; for the former he uses more respectful language
and titles (calling them brothers, apostles, or partners), while he feels free
to give commands to his own converts (whom he calls sons, co-workers, junior partners,
"Brothers" and "Sisters":
Adelphos("brother") and adelphe("sister") have
a variety of meanings in the NT, referring sometimes to the family of Jesus (esp.
James in Gal 1:19), sometimes to other people's blood-relatives,
and sometimes to all Christian believers in general (Rom 14:10-23;
1Cor 6:5-6; etc.).
In contrast, syngenes ("relative" or "kin"; Mark 6:4; Luke
1:58; Acts 10:24; etc.) or syngeneia ("family" or "kindred"; Luke
1:61; Acts 7:3, 14) refers to members of one's own (extended) family, or
to "compatriots" from the same ethnic group (clearly Rom 9:3; possibly
Paul calls some people "brothers," even though they are almost
certainly not his blood-relatives, in order to stress their close mutual
connection, such as Quartus (Rom 16:23), Sosthenes
(1Cor 1:1), Apollos (1Cor 16:12),
Timothy (2Cor 1:1; Col 1:1; 1Thess 3:2; Phlm 1), Titus
(2Cor 2:13), two anonymous companions of Titus (2Cor
8:18, 22; 12:18); Tychicus (Eph 6:21; Col 4:7),
Epaphroditus (Phil 2:25), Onesimus (Col
4:9; Phlm 16), and Philemon (Phlm 7, 20).
Paul also calls Phoebe "our sister" (Rom
16:1, in the broader Christian sense), sends greetings to "Nereus and
his sister" (16:15), and greets "Apphia, the sister"
In contrast, Paul calls some people his "relatives" (syngenes), such
as Andronicus and Junia (Rom 16:7), Herodion
(16:11), and Lucius, Jason, and Sosipater (16:21);
Acts also mentions "the son of Paul's sister," but without naming either
one (Acts 23:16).
To stress that someone's status is equal to his own, he sometimes also calls
him a "partner" (koinonos), incl. Titus (2Cor
8:23) and Philemon (Phlm 17 - even though he is one
of Paul's converts).
"Fathers" and "Children":
The Gospels stress that there is really only one "Father," namely God (Matt
6:9; 23:9), and that believers become the "children of God" (Matt
5:9; Luke 20:36; John 1:12; cf. Rom 8:14-21; Gal 3:26; 1John 3:1; etc.).
However, Paul often refers to his converts (those who became Christians
due to Paul's own preaching) as his "children" (tekna) or "sons"
(huioi), especially Timothy (1Cor 4:17; Phil 2:22; 1Tim 1:2;
2Tim 1:2; 2:1), Titus (Tit 1:4), Onesimus
(Phlm 10), and all the Christians in Thessalonica (1Thess 2:11),
Corinth (1Cor 4:14; 2Cor 12:14), and Galatia (Gal
Thus, he also refers to himself as the "father" (pater) of individual
converts (Phil 2:22) or the whole community (1Thess
2:11), or else says that he has "fathered" or "given birth" (gennao)
to those who believe (1Cor 4:15; Phlm 10).
Peter similarly refers to John Mark as "my son" (1Pet 5:13),
even though they are not blood-related.
Paul's closest assistant (mentioned 26 times in the NT), the co-author
and/or deliverer of six of Paul's letters (2Cor; Phil; Col; 1Thess;
2Thess; Phlm), and the addressee of two other (probably deutero-Pauline)
letters (1Tim & 2Tim).
Originally from Lystra in Lycaonia, the son of a Greek father and Jewish-Christian
mother (Acts 16:1; 2Tim 1:5), Timothy joins Paul ca. 49/50
AD and works with him throughout his life.
When Paul (or someone later, writing pseudepigraphically in Paul's name) commends Timothy's sincere faith, he mentions that the same faith was previously also alive in Timothy's grandmother Lois and mother Eunice (2Tim 1:5).
Paul variously calls Timothy "my beloved and faithful child in the Lord"
(1Cor 4:17; cf. 1Tim 1:2; 2Tim 1:2), "our brother" (1Thess
3:2; 2Cor 1:1; Col 1:1; Phlm 1), "a servant of Christ Jesus" (Phil
1:1), and "our/my co-worker" (1Thess 3:2; Rom 16:21).
Timothy was with Paul and Silvanus when they first established Christian communities
in Philippi, Thessalonica, and Corinth (2Cor 1:19; Acts 16:1--18:11),
and also later when Paul was traveling around the Aegaen Sea and to Jerusalem (Acts
19:22; 20:4; Rom 16:21).
But he was also sent as Paul's emissary to revisit the Christians in various
provinces, esp. Macedonia (1Thess 3:1-6; Phil 2:19-24) and
Achaia (1Cor 4:17; 16:10-11).
According to one of the "Pastoral Letters,"
Paul had Timothy stay in Ephesus to guide and teach the church there (1Tim
the same person named "Silas" in Acts is always called "Silvanus" in Paul's
letters and in 1Pet 5:12.
a Christian "leader" and "prophet" from Jerusalem (Acts 15:22,
32), who accompanied Paul and Timothy at the beginning of their missionary
activity in Macedonia and Achaia (1Thess 1:1; 2Thess 1:1; 2Cor 1:19;
probably parted company with Paul, since he is not mentioned later in Acts
nor in Paul's other letters.
later associated with Peter in Rome, serving as his secretary, and called "faithful
brother" (1Pet 5:12).
Synergoi (literally "co-workers," but meaning "assistants" or
"junior partners") is a term that Paul uses mostly for his own missionary assistants,
but only rarely for the apostles or other missionaries who were Christians before
or independent of Paul.
Individuals called synergoi by Paul include Prisca and Aquila (Rom
16:3), Urbanus (Rom 16:9), Timothy (Rom
16:21; 1Thess 3:2), Titus (2Cor 8:23), Epaphroditus
(Phil 2:25), Clement (Phil 4:3), Aristarchus, Mark,
and Justus (Col 4:10-11), Philemon (Phlm 1),
Mark, Aristarchus, Demas, and Luke (Phlm 24)
Interestingly, Paul refers to himself and Apollos as "co-workers / junior partners"
of God (1Cor 3:9; cf. 2Cor 1:24)
Paul uses several other Greek terms containing the prefix syn- ("with")
to designate his assistants, including systratiotes ("fellow soldier")
for Epaphroditus (Phil 2:25) and Archippus (Phlm
2), synaixmalotos ("fellow prisoner") for Aristarchus (Col
4:10), Epaphras (Phlm 23), and Andronicus and Junia
(Rom 16:7), and syndoulos ("fellow slave") for
Epaphras (Col 1:7) and Tychicus (Col 4:7).
More and More Missionaries and Christians:
As time goes on, more and more people not only join the Christian communities
founded by Paul, but also join in his missionary efforts; consider the number of
individuals named in just some of his letters, in approximately chronological order:
1 Thess: only Silvanus and Timothy are mentioned as Paul's co-workers
(1:1; 3:2, 6); the greetings at the end of the letter are sent to the "brothers"
(Christians) in general, but without naming any individuals (5:26).
Phil: along with Timothy (1:1; 2:19-24),
Epaphroditus is mentioned as Paul's co-worker (2:25-30; 4:15-20),
as well as Euodia, Syntyche, Clement, "and the rest of my co-workers" (4:2-3).
Phlm: Paul (with Timothy) writes this letter to Philemon, Apphia,
and Archippus (1-2), talks extensively about Onesimus
(10-16), and concludes by conveying greetings from Epaphras
(his "fellow prisoner"), as well as Mark, Aristarchus, Demas, and Luke,
his "co-workers" (22-23).
1 Cor: in this letter Paul mentions Sosthenes ("our brother";
1:1), Chloe's messengers (1:11),
Apollos and Cephas (as "apostles" or "servants" of Jesus; 1:12;
3:22; etc.), Timothy, his "son," and other brothers (4:17;
16:10), the household of Stephanas ("first converts in Achaia"; 16:15),
Stephanas, Fortunatus, and Achaicus (Corinthians who are visiting Paul;
16:17), and finally conveys greetings from Aquila and Prisca
and "the church in their house" (16:19).
Rom: in the last chapter, Paul commends "Phoebe, a deacon of
the church at Cenchraea" (16:1-2), sends greetings to Prisca
and Aquila (v.3), Epaenetus, "the first convert
in Asia" (v.5), and over twenty-five other individuals, families,
and households (vv.6-16); he also conveys greetings to the
Romans from eight other individuals, including Timothy, Lucius, Jason, Sosispater,
Tertius, Gaius, Erastus, and Quartus (vv.21-23; see below
for further details on all of these).
III) Early Christians associated with Paul (in
Achaicus - see Fortunatus
Agabus - a Christian "prophet" from Jerusalem who also visits the Christians
in Antioch (Acts 11:28; where he predicts a severe famine) and
Caesarea (21:10; while Paul and his companions are staying at
the house of Philip the Evangelist).
Alexander - a coppersmith who did "great harm" to Paul and opposed his
preaching (2Tim 4:14-15); possibly the same person mentioned
in Acts 19:33, and/or the former Christian whom Paul curses (together with Hymenaeus)
in 1Tim 1:20.
Ananias - a disciple in Damascus who restores Paul's sight and baptizes
him (Acts 9:10-19; 22:12; not the same as the Ananias of Acts 5:1-11,
nor the Jewish High priest of Acts 23:2; 24:1).
Apphia - a woman addressed by Paul as "our sister"; probably a member of the household of Philemon (Phlm 2).
Apollos - an Alexandrian Jew who became a Christian missionary, described
as eloquent and knowledgeable of Scripture; he preached and interacted with some
of Paul's associates in Ephesus (Acts 18:24-26), in Corinth
(Acts 18:27-28; 19:1; 1Cor 1:12; 3:4-6, 22; 4:6; 16:12),
and possibly on Crete (Tit 3:13); Paul calls him a "brother"
(1Cor 16:12) and refers to himself, Apollos, and Cephas/Peter collectively
as "servants of Christ and stewards of God's mysteries (1 Cor
Aquila & Prisca(a.k.a. Priscilla) - a married couple, Jewish Christians,
natives of Pontus, who were expelled from Rome ca. 49 AD due to the "Edict of Claudius"
(Acts 18:1-3); close co-workers of Paul's early mission in Corinth
(1Cor 16:19), then leaders of the church in Ephesus (Acts 18:18,
24-28; 2Tim 4:19), and later evidently back in Rome, where they are leaders
of a "house-church" (Rom 16:3-5).
Archippus - a "fellow soldier" of Paul, somehow connected with Philemon
(Phlm 1:2); Paul tells the Colossians to exhort him, "See that
you complete the task you have received from the Lord" (Col 4:17).
Aristarchus - a Christian from Thessalonica in Macedonia; a "traveling
companion" (Acts 19:29, 20:4, 27:2) and "fellow prisoner" (Col
4:10) and "fellow worker" (Phlm 24) of Paul.
Artemas - Paul's messenger to Titus (Titus 3:12).
Barnabas - an early "apostle" and senior partner of Paul (see section
Barsabbas - see Joseph and Judas
Carpus - Paul left books and parchments with him at Troas, and asks Timothy
to retrieve them (2Tim 4:13).
Cephas - an alternate name for the apostle Peter, with whom Paul
occasionally interacts (1Cor 1:12; 3:22; 9:5; 15:5; Gal 1:18-2:14);
just like Petros in Greek, Cephas in Hebrew is simply the nickname
Claudia - see Eubulus
Chloe's people - Christians who brought Paul news about divisions in
the church at Corinth (1Cor 1:11).
Clement - a co-worker of Euodia, Syntyche, and others, of whom Paul says their "names are in the book of life" (Phil 4:3).
Crescens - Paul merely reports that he has gone to Galatia (2Tim
Crispus - a synagogue official in Corinth (Acts 18:8);
one of the very few people that Paul personally baptized (1Cor 1:14).
Damaris - a woman who was one of Paul's few converts in Athens (Acts
Demas - sends greetings to the Colossians (Col 4:14)
and to Philemon (Phlm 24); later deserts Paul and goes to Thessalonica
Dionysius the Areopagite - a man who was one of Paul's few converts in
Athens (Acts 17:34).
Epaphras - a native of Colossae and Paul's "beloved fellow servant,"
who probably founded the Christian community in his hometown (Col
1:7); Paul later conveys Epaphras' greetings back to the Colossians, calling
him a "servant of Christ Jesus" who prays on their behalf (Col
4:12); also Paul's "fellow prisoner," probably while in Ephesus
Epaphroditus - delivers gifts from the Philippian Christians to Paul,
while he is imprisoned (probably in Ephesus); Epaph. becomes ill, but later recovers
(Phil 2:25-30; 4:15-18).
Erastus - the "city treasurer" of Corinth (Rom 16:23; 2Tim
4:20), whom Paul later sends to Macedonia (Acts 19:22).
Eubulus - Paul conveys greetings to Timothy from Eubulus, Pudens, Linus
and Claudia (2Tim 4:21).
Eunice - the mother of Timothy who is also a Christian (2Tim
1:5; cf. Lois).
Euodia and Syntyche - two women whom Paul urges "to be of the same mind in the Lord," and of whom Paul says, "they have struggled beside me [Paul] in the work of the gospel, together with Clement and the rest of my co-workers, whose names are in the book of life" (Phil 4:2-3).
Eutychus - a young man in Troas who hears Paul preaching late at night;
sitting in a window, he falls asleep and falls three stories to the ground; the
other Christians think he is dead, but Paul raises him up (and then continues preaching!
- Acts 20:7-12).
Fortunatus and Achaicus - Christians from Corinth who visit Paul in Ephesus;
Paul commends them (along with Stephanas) to the community, saying they have "refreshed
my spirit" (1Cor 16:17-18).
Gaius - a Christian from Macedonia who becomes a traveling companion
of Paul, is with him in Ephesus (Acts 19:29; 20:4), hosts Paul
and the church in Corinth (Rom 16:23), and is one of the few
people that Paul personally baptized (1Cor 1:14); probably not
the same Gaius who is a leader of a Johannine church (3 John
Hermogenes - see Phygelus
Hymenaeus - see Alexander
James- not the son of Zebedee (killed by Herod Agrippa in Acts
12:2), but a "brother" of Jesus (Mark 6:3), who later
becomes a prominent leader of the Christian community in Jerusalem (Acts
12:17; 15:13; 21:18; 1Cor 15:7; Gal 1:19; 2:9; cf. James 1:1); Paul calls
him an "apostle" (Gal 1:19), although there are some tensions
between Paul and some "people from James" who insist that non-Jewish Christians
must be circumcised (Gal 2:12).
Jason - a Jewish Christian who houses Paul and Silas in Thessalonica,
and is arrested because of his association with them (Acts 17:5-9);
possibly, but probably not the same as the Jason mentioned in Rom 16:21 (see Lucius
Judasa.k.a. Barsabbas (not Judas Iscariot, nor
the same as Joseph Barsabbas, below) - an early disciple sent as a representative
of the community in Jerusalem to the Christians in Antioch after the "Council of
Jerusalem"; he and Silas are "leaders among the brothers" (Acts 15:22)
and messengers (15:27) and "prophets" (15:32).
Justus a.k.a. Jesus - one of only a few Jews ("ones of the circumcision")
among Paul's co-workers; Paul conveys greetings from Justus to the Colossians; a
comfort to him (Col 4:11).
Linus - see Eubulus
Lois - the grandmother of Timothy who was also a Christian (2Tim
1:5; cf. Eunice).
Lucius - Paul conveys to the Romans the greetings of "Lucius and Jason
and Sosipater, my relatives" (Rom 16:21); he is probably a different
person from the following:
Lucius of Cyrene - one of the "prophets and teachers" of the church in
Antioch, named along with Barnabas, Simeon called Niger, Manaean (a Herodian), and
Saul (Acts 13:1).
Luke - described as "the beloved physician"; sends greetings to the Colossians
(Col 4:14) and Philemon (Phlm 24); with Paul again later,
acc. to 2Tim 4:11.
Lydia - a female merchant ("seller of purple cloth") from Thyatira; a
"worshiper of God" (Jewish proselyte?) who is Paul's first convert in Philippi (Acts
16:11-15); Paul briefly stays in her house after being released from prison
Manaen - see Lucius of Cyrene
Mark- a young Christian from Jerusalem, a.k.a. John
Mark, at whose mother's house Peter stays (Acts 12:12); an early
missionary associate of Paul and Barnabas (12:25; 13:5, 13; 15:37-39);
called the "cousin" of Barnabas (Col 4:10); involved
in preaching to the Christians in Colossae (Phlm 24); Paul calls
him "useful in my ministry" (2Tim 4:11); later he is again associated
with the apostle Peter, who calls him "my son" (1Pet 5:13).
Mary - the mother of John Mark (Acts 12:12); Peter
goes to her house in Jerusalem after being freed from prison.
Mnason - a Christian from Cyprus, who gave Paul & companions hospitality
on their journey top Jerusalem (Acts 21:16).
Nympha - a Christian who hosts the community of believers in Colossae;
Paul greets her and "the church in her house" (Col 4:15).
Onesimus - a slave belonging to Philemon, but converted to Christianity
by Paul (who calls him "son"; Phlm 10); Paul asks Philemon to
free Onesimus, so that he can become a "useful" brother (i.e. a missionary; Phlm
11-15); he later evidently did become a Christian leader (Col
Onesiphorus - a faithful benefactor; Paul sends greetings to his household
in Ephesus (2Tim 1:16; 4:19).
Peter - see Cephas
Philemon - a Colossian convert and co-worker of Paul; Paul pleads for
him to release his slave Onesimus (Phlm 1).
Phoebe - deacon of the church at Cenchreae (a port of Corinth) and benefactor
of Paul, whom Paul recommends and who probably delivers Paul's letter to the Roman
church (Rom 16:1-2).
Phygelus and Hermogenes - Christians in Asia Minor who later abandoned
Paul (2Tim 1:15).
Pudens - see Eubulus
Prisca - see Aquila
Quartus - Paul calls him "our brother," and conveys his greetings to
the Christians in Rome (Rom 16:23).
Secundus - a Christian from Thessalonica who accompanies Paul on his
final journey to Jerusalem (Acts 20:4).
Silvanus [Silas]- a Christian "prophet" from Jerusalem who worked with
Paul and Timothy during their initial preaching in Macedonia and Achaia (see section
Simeon Niger - see Lucius of Cyrene
Simeon - another name for the apostle Simon Peter (Acts 15:14; cf. 2 Peter
1:1); see also Cephas
Sopater, son of Pyrrhus - a Christian from Beroea who accompanies Paul
on his final journey to Jerusalem (Acts 20:4).
Sosipater - see Lucius
Sosthenes - an official of the Jewish synagogue at Corinth who becomes
a Christian; Paul calls him a "brother" (1Cor 1:1; Acts 18:17).
Stephen- one of seven Greek-speaking disciples chosen to serve the community
in Jerusalem (Acts 6:1-6); he works miracles and preaches to
other Jews (6:8--7:57); Paul is present and evidently approves
when Stephen is stoned to death (Acts 7:58--8:1; cf. 11:19; 22:20).
Stephanas - a Christian from Corinth; Paul's first convert in Achaia
(1Cor 1:16, 16:15-18).
Syntyche - see Euodia
Tertius - Paul's secretary, who sends his own greetings to the Christians
in Rome: "I, Tertius, the writer of this letter, greet you in the Lord"
Timothy - a convert of Paul, and his closest missionary companion (see
section II above).
Titius Justus - a "worshiper of God" (Jewish proselyte) in whose house
Paul stayed and preached in Corinth (Acts 18:7).
Titus - another early missionary who worked very closely with Paul (see
section II above).
Trophimus - a Christian from Ephesus in Asia who travels with Paul for
a while (Acts 20:4; 21:29); Paul left him ill in Miletus
Tychicus - another traveling companion of Paul from Asia (Acts
20:4); Paul's messenger to the Ephesians, Colossians, and Titus, delivering
news and encouragement (Eph 6:21-22; Col 4:7-9; 2 Tim 4:12; Titus
Zenas - a lawyer whom Paul tells Titus to send along with Apollos, seeing
"that they lack nothing" (Titus 3:13).
The following people are mentioned ONLY in the list of people to whom Paul sends greetings in Rom 16:3-16
Ampliatus - Paul greets him as "my beloved in the Lord"
Andronicus and Junia - a husband/wife team, or possibly a brother/sister
pair of missionaries, whom Paul calls "my relatives" and "prominent among the apostles";
they were in prison with him at some point, and were Christians even before Paul
was (Rom 16:7); some manuscripts read Junias (a man's
name), while others read Junia (a woman's name); since Paul calls them "apostles,"
many people have assumed this must be a man; but it is more likely that it is a
women, and that the spelling was changed slightly in later copies of this letter
because of the assumption that an apostle had to be a man.
Apelles - Paul greets him as "approved in Christ" (Rom 16:10)
Aristobulus - Paul greets the members of his family (Rom
Asyncritus - Paul greets "Asyncritus, Phlegon, Hermes, Patrobas, Hermas,
and the brothers with them"; but we know nothing else about any of these early Christians
Epaenetus - Paul greets him as "my beloved" and "the first fruits
(i.e., first convert) in Asia (Rom 16:5)
Hermas and Hermes - see Asyncritus
Herodion - Paul greets him as "my relative" (Rom 16:11)
Julia - see Philologus
Junia - see Andronicus
Mary - Paul greets her, telling the Christians in Rome, "she has
worked very hard among you" (Rom 16:6)
Narcissus - Paul greets the members of his family who are "in the Lord"
Nereus and his sister - see Philologus
Olympas - see Philologus
Patrobas - see Asyncritus
Persis - Paul greets him as "the beloved," saying "he has worked hard
in the Lord" (Rom 16:12)
Philologus - Paul greets "Philologus, Julia, Nereus and his sister, and
Olympas, and all the saints who are with them"; they are probably members of a "house-church"
in Rome, but we know nothing else about them (Rom 16:15)
Phlegon - see Asyncritus
Rufus and his mother - Paul greets them, calling Rufus "chosen
in the Lord," and describing his mother as "a mother to me also" (Rom
Stachys - Paul greets him as "my beloved" (Rom 16:9)
Tryphaena and Tryphosa - Paul greets them as "workers in the Lord"
Urbanus - Paul greets him as a "co-worker in Christ" (Rom
IV) Other Christians in the Acts of the Apostles
not directly connected with Paul:
Aeneas - a paralyzed man from Lydda who is bedridden for eight years,
Peter heals him (Acts 9:33-34).
Ananias and Saphira - a married couple, early disciples in Jerusalem
who die after "lying to the Holy Spirit" (Acts 5:1-11).
Cornelius - a God-fearing Roman centurion stationed in Caesarea who is
the first Gentile covert to Christianity, he has a vision to invite Peter to his
house (Acts 10:1-48).
Dorcas - Greek name for Tabitha, a female disciple in Joppa who is known
for her good works, Peter raises her from the dead (Acts 9:36-42).
Joseph a.k.a. Barsabbas a.k.a. Justus - a disciple of Jesus nominated
to replace Judas as an "apostle" (Acts 1:23), although Matthias
was selected instead (1:26); not directly connected with Paul;
probably not the same person as Judas Barsabbas (see section III
Matthias- a disciple of Jesus chosen to replace Judas as one of the
twelve apostles (Acts 1:15-26)
Nicanor - see Philip
Nicolaus - see Philip
Parmenas - see Philip
Philip - one of seven Greek-speaking disciples (Stephen, Philip, Prochorus,
Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, Nicolaus) chosen to serve ("diakoneo") the community
in Jerusalem (Acts 6:1-6); it is uncertain, but possible that
Paul knew some of them, esp. Nicolaus, a "proselyte from Antioch," the church
where Paul is later.
Prochorus - see Philip
Rhoda - a maid in the house of Mary the mother of John Mark, she forgets
to open the gate for Peter because she is so overjoyed to hear him (Acts
Tabitha - see Dorcas
Theophilus - the addressee/recipient of both the Gospel of Luke and the
Acts of the Apostles (Luke 1:3; Acts 1:1); his name means "lover
Timon - see Philip
The Twelve Apostles - (Acts 1:26, 6:2)
V) Jews, Romans, and Other Non-Christians connected
with Paul in the Acts of the Apostles:
Agrippa: King Herod Agrippa II & Queen Bernice - appear at the hearing
of Paul in Caesarea (Acts 25:13)
Ananias - the Jewish high priest who supervises the case against Paul
before Felix (Acts 23:2, 24:1).
Bernice - see Agrippa
Claudius - Roman Emperor from 41-54 AD who orders all Jews to leave
Rome (Acts 11:28, 18:2).
Claudius Lysias - see Lysias
Demetrius - silversmith in Ephesus who made silver shrines to Artemis,
he ignites a riot because of the loss of business and diminished worship of Artemis
at the hands Paul's preaching (Acts 19:24-29, 19:38).
Drusilla - Jewish wife of Felix (Acts 24:24).
Elymas a.k.a. Bar-Jesus - a magician who opposes Paul on Cyprus, he was
stricken with temporary blindness (Acts 13:6-12).
Felix - Roman governor of Judea from 52-59 AD who leaves Paul imprisoned
in Caesarea (Acts 23:24-26, 24:22-27, 25:14).
Festus - Roman governor of Judea from 59-62 AD who sends Paul to Rome
for a trial before the emperor, he accuses Pula of being insane (Acts
24:27, 25, 26:24-32).
Gallio - the Roman proconsul of Achaia in 51-52 AD; he refused to hear
a case brought against Paul by the local Jews (Acts 18:12-17);
this incident gives us the only firm date in the entire Pauline Chronology (i.e.,
the only evidence for exactly where Paul was in what year, since Gallio was proconsul
for such a short time).
Gamaliel - a Jewish rabbi and Pharisees who educated Paul
in Jerusalem (Acts 22:3); possibly the same Gamaliel
(or his son) also defends the early disciples in Jerusalem (Acts 5:34),
although he was probably not a Christian himself.
Herod - Paul is jailed at the palace of King Herod Agrippa II in Caesarea
(Acts 23:35); see "Agrippa" above
Julius - a Roman centurion who is given charge over Paul on his journey
from Caesarea to Rome, he treats Paul kindly (Acts 27:1, 3).
Lysias - a Roman tribune of Roman cohort who rescues Paul from being
killed in a riot, writes a letter to Felix explaining the situation (Acts
Porcius Festus - see Festus
Publius - leading Roman official of Malta who lends hospitality to Paul
for three days after his shipwreck, Paul heals his father of fever and dysentery
Sergius Paulus - proconsul of Cyprus who converts after hearing Paul
teach and seeing him strike Elymas blind (Acts 13:7-12).
Seven Sons of Sceva - sons of a Jewish high priest who try to exorcise
demons in the name of Jesus (Acts 19:13-14).
Tertullius - an attorney brought by Ananias to report his case against
Paul to Felix, he accuses Paul of being an agitator (Acts 24:1-8).