Rabu, 25 Februari 2009


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Saint Silas

Bishop and Martyr
Died c. AD 50, Macedonia
Venerated in Roman Catholic Church, Eastern Catholic Churches, Eastern Orthodoxy, Oriental Orthodoxy, Anglicanism, and Lutheranism
Feast January 26 (Evangelical Lutheran Church in America)
February 10 (Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod)
July 13 (Roman Martyrology)
July 30 (Eastern Orthodoxy)
July 13 (Syriac, Malankara Calendars)

Saint Silas or Saint Silvanus (flourished 1st century) was a leading member of the early Christian community, who later accompanied Paul in some of his missionary journeys.

There is some disagreement over the proper form of his name: he is consistently called "Silas" in Acts, but the Latin Silvanus, which means "of the forest", is always used by Paul and in the First Epistle of Peter; it may be that "Silvanus" is the Romanized version of the original "Silas", or that "Silas" is the Greek nickname for "Silvanus". Fitzmyer points out that Silas is the Greek version of the Aramaic "Seila", a version of the Hebrew "Saul", which is attested in Palmyrene inscriptions.[1] The name Latin "Silvanus" may be derived from pre-Roman Italian languages (see, e.g., the character "Asilas", an Etruscan leader and warrior-prophet who plays a prominent role in assisting Aeneas in Virgil's epic poem the Aeneid).[citation needed]

St. Silas is currently commemorated in the Calendar of Saints of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America on January 26 with Timothy and the Apostle Titus, and separately on February 10 by the Roman Catholic Church and by the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod.

[edit] Life

Silas first appears in Acts (15:22-29) with Barnabas, after the Council of Jerusalem, as carrying a letter with the council's decision, to Antioch. After his disagreement with Barnabas over John Mark (Acts 15:37-40), Paul then selects Silas to accompany him west to Derbe, Lystra (where they recruited Timothy), Troas, Philippi, Thessalonica and Beroea, where he remained with Timothy while Paul continued to Athens (Acts 16, 17). Both of them are said to rejoin Paul in Corinth (18:5), but neither Silas or Timothy are said to accompany Paul when he sailed to Ephesus, where Silas disappears from Acts.[2] Acts (16:37) also implies that he is a Roman citizen.[3]

Although Paul's own surviving letters confirm that Silvanus was with him in Corinth when he founded the church there (2 Corinthians 1:19), and listed as one of the authors of First and Second Epistle to the Thessalonians, a part of the canon of the New Testament, 1 Thessalonians 3:1-5 implies that Silvanus and Timothy were with Paul in Athens, and explicitly states that Timothy was sent back to Thessalonica to investigate their problems.[4] Ernest Best notes that "there is nothing in the Pauline letters to determine his relationship to Silvanus."[5]

A Silvanus is mentioned in the First Epistle of Peter (5:12) as the amanuensis who wrote down Peter's dictation; he is usually identified as the same person as the companion of Paul.[6] If this letter is a pseudonymous work, then Silvanus' name was added to it to give it greater plausibility.[7] If this letter is the authentic work of Peter, and this is the same Silvanus, then at some point after Silvanus left Corinth he came to Rome, and likely afterwards traveled to Pontus and Cappadocia to deliver this letter.

Silas' ultimate fate is unknown.