3

(KJV) 2 Corinthians 8:18

18 And we have sent with him the brother, whose praise is in the gospel throughout all the churches; 19 And not that only, but who was also chosen of the churches to travel with us with this grace, which is administered by us to the glory of the same Lord, and declaration of your ready mind:

(KJV) 2 Corinthians 8:22

22 And we have sent with them our brother, whom we have oftentimes proved diligent in many things, but now much more diligent, upon the great confidence which I have in you

This brother seems to be well recommended by the churches as well as the apostle Paul. Who is this brother?

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I don't believe that there is a conclusive answer to this question, but in antiquity it was thought that the brother referred to in these verses was Luke:

  • Paul states in 2 Timothy 4:11 that Luke was his companion. Commenting on this verse, John Chrysostom (349-407) wrote, "of him [i.e. Luke] Paul writes, whose praise is in the Gospel throughout all the Churches.1
  • Eusebius (263-339) wrote, "And they say that Paul meant to refer to Luke's Gospel whenever, as if speaking of some gospel of his own he used the words, according to my Gospel.2
  • Jerome (347-420) also stated on at least two occasions that Luke was understood to be the brother to whom Paul refers.3

The longer version of the Epistle to the Ephesians by Ignatius of Antioch (35-107) also credits Luke as being the brother whose praise in in the Gospel ...4


1. Homily X on the Second Epistle to Timothy
2. Church History, III.IV.7
3. Lives of Illustrious Men, ch. VII; Letter LIII
4. Ch. 15

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Who is the brother in 2 Corinthians 8?

There two possibilities ,"Aristarchus"** who became a close associate and travelling companion of Paul (Acts 19:29). The other possibility is "Tychicus" referred to by Paul as a beloved brother and faithful servant.(Col. 4:7,10) The scriptures do not name the brother in 2 Corinthians 8:18

Acts 19:29 (NASB)

29 The city was filled with the confusion, and they rushed together into the theatre, dragging along Gaius and Aristarchus, Paul’s Macedonian traveling companions.

Acts 27:2 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

2 And we boarded an Adramyttian ship that was about to sail to the regions along the coast of [a]Asia, and put out to sea accompanied by Aristarchus, a Macedonian of Thessalonica.

Colossians 4:7,10 (NASB)

7 As to all my affairs, Tychicus, our beloved brother and faithful servant and fellow bond-servant in the Lord, will bring you information.10 Aristarchus, my fellow prisoner, sends you his greetings; and also Barnabas’ cousin Mark (about whom you received [a]instructions; if he comes to you, welcome him

0

I always prefer to play it safe by reminding myself of the following scripture, Deuteronomy 29:29 “The secret things belong to the LORD our God , but those things which are revealed belong to us and to our children forever."

If the Bible does not conclusively state something, maybe it is not worth spending valuable time researching it. The bible has wonderful truths that we need to meditate on, truths like our union with Christ, i find this truth mind boggling. I first got acquainted with it in John 15.

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  • Welcome to BHSX. Thanks for your contribution. Please take the tour (link below) to better understand how this site works. This answer is very brief and contains no references to support its assertions. Please add some references to back up your assertions. – Dottard Nov 28 '20 at 23:17
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Your man of mystery is Apollos, who also wrote the book of Hebrews. Apollos is the only reasonable answer to this question, in my opinion, based on internal evidence alone.

1 Corinthians 4:6 And these things, brethren, I have in a figure transferred to myself and to Apollos for your sakes; that ye might learn in us not to think of men above that which is written, that no one of you be puffed up for one against another.

Except for Paul, none of the Apostles (not even Peter, whom Paul mentions along with himself and Apollos in 1 Corinthians 1:12 and 3:22, but totally ignores in this later passage) attains to the stature of Apollos as an existential threat to the Jewish establishment in every city.

Paul was the pedigreed Pharisee, but Apollos was the "eloquent" orator that was "mighty in the scriptures" (Acts 18:24), a qualification that his letter to the Hebrews bears witness to. Apollos was a dangerous man.

Acts 18:25-28 This man was instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in the spirit, he spake and taught diligently the things of the Lord...and when he was come, helped them much which had believed through grace: for he mightily convinced the Jews, and that publicly, shewing by the scriptures that Jesus was Christ.

In Corinth they were a team: Paul planted, Apollos watered (1 Corinthians 1:6), but beyond that it's evident that Apollos avoided sharing in Paul's persecutions, and preferred to travel incognito. As I see it, Paul's description of the brother "whose praise is in the gospel throughout all the churches" fits Apollos better than any other figure in the early church.

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  • "Apollos, who also wrote the book of Hebrews ..." - What is the source for this claim? – user33515 Dec 4 '17 at 16:46
  • It's not a scholarly source per se, but it is authoritative: the New Testament. A while back I set off to discover the writer of Hebrews, and spent many months comparing, contrasting and cross referencing the contents of Hebrews with the rest of the New Testament. So I can only say that my source for this claim is the internal evidence available to us all. It convinced me that no other New Testament figure, Paul included, could have written Hebrews: stylistic, subjective, anecdotal and circumstantial evidence all point to Apollos, in my opinion. – Eutychus Dec 5 '17 at 4:31
  • Any ideas why no Greek Church Father in antiquity seems to concur? – user33515 Dec 5 '17 at 5:38
  • I tend to think of "church fathers" as those uniquely called and gifted figures who wrote (and who are featured in) the New Testament scriptures. Beyond the internal evidence of scripture itself, there are merely the opinions of folks like the rest of us, opinions ultimately subject to judgment using the same New Testament scriptures most Christians hold as divinely inspired and therefore authoritative. – Eutychus Dec 9 '17 at 14:56

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