From BiblePortal Wikipedia

Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament [1]


Publius was the leading man of Malta at the time of St. Paul’s shipwreck there, when he hospitably entertained the shipwrecked party ( Acts 28:7). His father, who was sick of fever and dysentery, was healed by the Apostle ( Acts 28:8). The epithet ὁ πρῶτος, ‘the chief man,’ seems to have been an official title peculiar to Malta (cf. Ramsay, St. Paul, 1895, p. 343). The form ‘Poplios’ may be either the Greek popular equivalent for the Roman praenomen Publius or the Greek rendering of the nomen Popilius. Ecclesiastical tradition makes him the first bishop of Malta.

W. F. Boyd.

Fausset's Bible Dictionary [2]

Chief ("first," Greek) man of Melita; "lodged courteously for three days" Paul when shipwrecked ( Acts 28:7). His hospitality to Christ's servant was rewarded (compare  Hebrews 13:2) in the cure of his father's bloody flux by Paul. The designation (Greek) "first of the island" could not have been from his "possessions" in his father's lifetime. Two inscriptions at Civita Vecchia in Malta mention the official title, "first of the Meliteans"; thus Publius was legate of the printer of Sicily, to whose jurisdiction Malta belonged.

American Tract Society Bible Dictionary [3]

The prefect of Melita when Paul was shipwrecked on that island A. D. 60,  Acts 28:7-9 . Publius received the apostle and his company into his house, and entertained them with great humanity. The governor's father, dangerously sick, and many others ill of various diseases, were miraculously healed; and their hospitable care of Paul and his friends continued through the three wintry months of their stay, and furnished them abundant supplies on their departure.

Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible [4]

PUBLIUS , or Poplius. The ‘first man’ of Malta, whose father was cured by St. Paul of fever and dysentery by laying on of hands (  Acts 28:7 f.). The title Prôtos (‘first man’) at Malta is attested by inscriptions; it occurs also at Pisidian Antioch (  Acts 13:50; cf.   Acts 25:2 ).

A. J. Maclean.

Smith's Bible Dictionary [5]

Pub'lius. The chief man - probably the governor-of Melita, who received and lodged St. Paul and his companions, on the occasion of their being shipwrecked off that island.  Acts 28:7. (A.D.55).

Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary [6]

the governor of Melita,  Acts 28:7-9 . When St. Paul was shipwrecked on this island, Publius received him and his company into his house very kindly, and treated them for three days with great humanity.

Morrish Bible Dictionary [7]

The chief man, or governor, of Melita (Malta) when Paul was shipwrecked. He treated the company courteously, and Paul healed his father.  Acts 28:7,8 .

Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary [8]

The chief man of the island at Malta when Paul landed there. ( Acts 28:7-9)

Holman Bible Dictionary [9]

 Acts 28:7-8

Easton's Bible Dictionary [10]

 Acts 28:7

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia [11]

pub´li - us ( Πόπλιος , Póplios , from the Latin praenomen Publius , derived from populus , "popular"; according to Ramsay it is the Greek form of the Latin nomen Popilius  ; the Greek title meaning "first," applied to Publius in   Acts 28:7 , was an official one, and has been found on an inscription from the island of Gaulus near Malta (compare Bockh, Corpus Inscriptionum Graecarum , number 5, 754)): Publius held office under the governor of Sicily. As the leading official in Malta, he was responsible for any Roman soldiers and their prisoners who might land there, but the account in  Acts 28:7 implies that he displayed more than ordinary solicitude for Paul and his shipwrecked company, for, according to the writer, he "received us, and lodged us three days courteously" (the King James Version). The Apocryphal "Acts of Paul" (see Apocryphal Acts , B., I.) states also that "he did for them many acts of great kindness and charity" (compare Budge, Contendings of the Apostles , II, 605). On this occasion Paul miraculously healed the father of Publius, who "lay sick of fever and dysentery" ( Acts 28:8 ). The exactitude of the medical terms here employed forms part of the evidence that the writer of Acts was a physician. Tradition relates that Publius was the first bishop of Malta and that he afterward became bishop of Athens.

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature [12]

(Graecized Πόπλιος ) , the chief manprobably the governor of Melita, or Malta, who received and lodged Paul and his companions on the occasion of their being shipwrecked off that island ( Acts 28:7) A.D. 55. It soon appeared that he was entertaining an angel unawares, for Paul gave proof of his divine commission by miraculously healing the father of Publius of a fever, and afterwards working other cures on the sick who were brought to him. Publius possessed property in Melita: the distinctive title given to him is "the first ( Πρῶτος ) of the island;" and two inscriptions one in Greek, the other in Latin have been found at Civita Vecchia, in which that apparently official title occurs. An inscription found in Malta designates the governor of the island by the same title. (See Lewin's St. Paul, ii, 209, where the originals are given, showing this to be the only natural interpretation.) Publius may perhaps have been the delegate of the Roman praetor of Sicily, to whose jurisdiction Melita, or Malta, belonged. The Roman martyrologies assert that he was the first bishop of the island, and that he Was afterwards appointed to succeed Dionysius as bishop of Athens. Jerome records a tradition that he was crowned with martyrdom (De Viris Illust. xix; Baron, Annal. 1, 554). See Walch, De Publio Πρώτῳ Melitensium (Jen. 1755).

Kitto's Popular Cyclopedia of Biblial Literature [13]

Pub´lius, governor of Melita at the time of Paul's shipwreck on that island . Paul having healed his father, probably enjoyed his hospitality during the three months of his stay in the island [MELITA].