Tertius of Iconium Greet You! (Bible Study)

While studying Romans chapter 16 this morning, I came across this verse; “I, Tertius, who wrote this epistle, greet you in the Lord.” Romans 16:22.

After reading that verse I stopped and wondered why he said, “who wrote this epistle..” I thought the book of Romans was written by Paul the great? Why is another person claiming it?

So, I dug deeper to ascertain the claim of brother Tertius, and this was what I found:

Tertius of Iconium (also Tertios) acted as an amanuensis for Paul the Apostle, writing down his Epistle. He is numbered among the Seventy Disciples in a list pseudonymously attributed Hippolytus of Rome, which is found in the margin of several ancient manuscripts.

So, who is an Amanuensis?
According to Wikipedia, an Amanuensis is a person employed to write or type what another dictates or to copy what has been written by another, and also refers to a person who signs a document on behalf of another under the latter’s authority.

The word originated in ancient Rome, for a slave at his master’s personal service “within hand’s reach”, performing any command; later it was specifically applied to an intimately trusted servant (often a freedman) acting as a personal secretary (amanuensis is what he does, not what he is).

In the Bible, the Apostle Paul is shown as the author of the Book of Romans. However, at the end of the book, Tertius describes himself as the scribe who wrote the letter.

Now I understand. Tertius was Apostle Paul’s personal secretary who documented everything Paul dictated to him. So, the inspiration or revelation of the book of Romans was received by Paul, but Tertius documented it. He is not the one who received the inspiration, but he was the one who documented.

So, since his boss (Paul) was greeting the people that contributed immensely to his ministry, brother Tertius added his own greeting too. I believe when Paul saw it he laughed.

You Can Imortalize Your Name By Serving Great Men and Women.

There are people we know today because they served influential people. All through the Bible, there are people who became prominent because they humbled themselves to serve those who were called.

Luke was not among the twelve Apostles, but he was close to Jesus and the Apostles. According to tradition, Saint Luke was a physician and possibly a Gentile. He was not one of the original 12 Apostles but may have been one of the 70 disciples appointed by Jesus.

By accepting to serve those who were called, he documented the life and ministry of Jesus Christ in the Gospel of Luke, and documented the exploits of the Apostles in Acts of Apostles. By serving he became prominent.

There are many verses in Acts of Apostles that points to the fact the Luke was one of those who travelled with Paul and documented his exploits.

“Now after he had seen the vision, immediately WE sought to go to Macedonia, concluding that the Lord had called us to preach the gospel to them.” Acts 16:10.

Did you see the word WE in that verse? Luke indicated that he was part of Paul’s entourage.

“These men, going ahead, waited for US at Troas. But WE sailed away from Philippi after the Days of Unleavened Bread, and in five days joined them at Troas, where we stayed seven days.” Acts 20:5-6.

I am sure you saw the words US and WE in that verse. You can also read Acts 21:1–18. Acts 27:1–37. And Acts 28:1-16.

You can immortalize your name by serving someone who is called by God. In fact, some people are called to serve someone. You may not be visible to the public, but your exploits will speak for you after you have gone to be with the Lord.

We know Saint Paul, but a lot of people played important roles to help him fulfil his ministry. People like sister Phoebe, Priscilla and Aquila, and Tertius who helped to document the book of Romans and many others.

Look at what paul said in verse 7 of Romans 16: “Greet Andronicus and Junia, my countrymen and my fellow prisoners, who are of note among the apostles, who also were in Christ before me.”

They were saved before Paul, but they humbled themselves to serve in his ministry. Dear friend, humble yourself. God may tell you to serve the person you led to Christ. It doesn’t matter, just serve him.

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Keep soaring!

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  1. Learnt something new today. “Amanuensis” – a person employed to write or type what another dictates.

  2. Every call is a high calling. One can be great through service. We need to humble ourselves and serve.

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