Who is Silvanus in the Bible? 


By BibleAsk Team


The apostle Peter mentions a person by the name Silvanus in his message of farewell and peace to the believers that are “scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia.” Peter wrote, “By Silvanus, our faithful brother as I consider him, I have written to you briefly, exhorting and testifying that this is the true grace of God in which you stand” (1 Peter 5:12). 

Form this passage, we understand that the epistle of Peter was penned by Silvanus, who may have been both Peter’s assistant and the carrier of the letter. He is also the person with the same name that is mentioned in 1 Thessalonians 1:1 and 2 Thessalonians 1:1. 


Silvanus is known in Acts by the shorter name Silas (Acts 15:22, 34, 40). A comparison of Acts 18:5 and 2 Corinthians 1:19 affirms the belief that Silvanus is another form of the name Silas. Let us look at these verses:   

“When Silas and Timothy had come from Macedonia, Paul was compelled by the Spirit, and testified to the Jews that Jesus is the Christ” (Acts 18:5)   

“For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was preached among you by us—by me, Silvanus, and Timothy—was not Yes and No, but in Him was Yes” (2 Corinthians 1:19). 

It is possible that Silas was the Hebrew version and Silvanus was the Roman version of the name. In the above verses, Silas’ name appears before Timothy possible because he was older, and he has been working with Paul for a longer time. 

A Minister of God   

Luke first mentioned that Paul and Silas worked together after the Jerusalem Council’s decree regarding Gentile conduct in c. A.D. 49 (Acts 15). Church leaders selected these two workers with others to carry the council’s decision back to Syrian Antioch (Acts 15:22). 

After Paul and Barnabas separated, Paul selected Silas as his companion who “exhorted and strengthened the brethren with many words” (Acts 15:32). Silas was ready for evangelism among the Gentiles and was well fitted for ministry just as Barnabas. 

Paul and Silas ministered together on the second missionary journey c. A.D. 49 to 52 (Acts 15:40). Silas had been with Paul in Philippi (Acts 15:40, 41; 16:12, 19), went with him to Thessalonica (Acts 17:1, 4), had traveled with him to Berea (Acts 17:10), and had stayed in that city after Paul left for Athens (Acts 17:14). 

Silas later reunited with Paul at Corinth (Acts 18:5; 2 Corinthians 1:19). If, as is believed, Peter’s first epistle was written from Rome, Silas may have joined Peter there at some time after he had worked with Paul in Corinth (Acts 18:5). 

In His service,   
BibleAsk Team