|Bishop and Martyr|
|Died||c. AD 50
|Honored 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 (Greek: Σίλας / Σιλουανός; fl. 1st century AD) was a leading member of the Early Christian community, who later accompanied Paul on parts of his first and second 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." Silas is thus often identified with Silvanus of the Seventy. 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. 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).
He was with Paul in Phillipi when they were imprisoned, but were freed when an earthquake broke their chains and opened the prison door. He is thus sometimes depicted carrying broken chains. Acts 16:25-37
He is celebrated in the Calendar of Saints of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and The Episcopal Church on January 26 with Timothy and the Apostle Titus, and separately on July 13 by the Roman Catholic Church and February 10 by the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod.
See also 
- Teachings of Silvanus An apocryphal text that is attributed to Silvanus/Silas.
- "Notes on 1 Peter".
- 1 Peter 5:12
- Fitzmyer, Joseph J. (1998). The Anchor Bible: The Acts of the Apostles. New York: Doubleday. p. 564. ISBN 0-385-49020-8.