Ru'fus (Lat. for red, Graecized ῾Ροῦφος) is mentioned in Mr 15:21, along with Alexander, as a son of Simon the Cyrenmean, whom the Jews compelled to bear the cross of Jesus on the way to Golgotha (Lu 23:26). A.D. 29. As the evangelist informs his readers who Simon was by naming the sons, it is evident that the latter were better known than the father in the circle of Christians where Mark lived. Again, in Ro 16:13, the apostle Paul salutes a Rufus whom he designates as "elect in the Lord" (ἐκλεκτὸν ἐν Κυρίῳ), and whose mother he gracefully recognizes as having earned a mother's claim upon himself by acts of kindness shown to him. A.D. 55. It is generally supposed that this Rufus was identical with the one to whom Mark refers; and in that case, as Mark wrote his gospel in all probability at Rome, it was natural that he should describe to his readers the father (who, since the mother was at Rome, while he, apparently, was not there, may have died or have come later to that city), from his relationship to two well known members of the same community. It is some proof at least of the early existence of this view that in the Acta Andrew et Petri both Rufus and Alexander appear as companions of Peter in Rome. Assuming, then, that the same person is meant in the two passages, we have before us an interesting group of believers — a father (for we can hardly doubt that Simon became a Christian, if he was not already such, at the time of the crucifixion), a mother, and two brothers, all in the same family. Yet we are to bear in mind that Rufus was not an uncommon name (Wettstein, Nov. Test. 1, 634); and possibly, therefore, Mark and Paul may have had in view different individuals. — Smith. The name is Roman, but the man was probably of Hebrew origin. He is said to have been one of the seventy disciples, and eventually to have had charge of the Church at Thebes.

Bible concordance for RUFUS.

See also the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia.

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