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Biblical People
Silas. [Gr. Silas, probably from the Aramaic Sheéla, equivalent to the Heb. Shaul, "Saul." The name Silas occurs in Josephus' writings and in Greek inscriptions. Its Latin form, also attested by inscriptions, is Silvanus, of which the NT Greek form is Silouanos.]

A Roman citizen (Acts 16:37, 38), a companion of Paul during the 2nd Missionary Journey (chs 15:40 to 18:22). Since a comparison of Acts 18:5 with 2 Cor 1:19 shows that he was also called Silvanus, he was doubtless the Silvanus of 1 Th 1:1; 2 Th 1:1; 1 Pe 5:12. He was a leader in the church (Acts 15:22) and a prophet (v 32). After the Jerusalem Council he, with Judas Barsabas, was chosen to go with Paul and Barnabas to convey letters from the Council to the Gentile members in "Antioch and Syria and Cilicia" explaining the decisions reached by the Council (vs. 22, 23). Arriving at Antioch, Silas and the others delivered their messages, and Silas and Judas, being prophets, exhorted and strengthened the church there (vs. 30-32). Later, Silas was chosen by Paul to accompany him on his 2nd Missionary Journey (vs. 40, 41). At Philippi, Silas and Paul were arrested, flogged, and thrown into prison (ch 16:17-24). An earthquake brought about their release, and their Roman citizenship elicited an apology from the magistrates (vs. 25-40). Later, Silas and Paul went to Thessalonica and to Beroea (ch 17:1-10). Silas remained there with Timothy while Paul continued on to Athens (vs. 14, 15). Later, Silas and Timothy joined Paul at Corinth and spent some time preaching (cf. Acts 18:5; 2 Cor 1:19). Nothing is known of Silas' later life unless, as probably indicated by Acts 18:5 and 2 Cor 1:19, he was the secretary who wrote down Peter's 1st epistle (1 Pe 5:12) -- Seventh-day Adventist Bible Dictionary.

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