One of many worthies whose character adorned the early Church, and whose service edified it, but whom we know only by a casual reference in the NT. In 1 Co 16:17 St. Paul rejoices ‘at the coming of Stephanas and Fortunatus and Achaicus.’ Probably they formed a deputation from the Corinthian Church; they may have been bearers of the letter of inquiry which St. Paul answers in ch. 7ff. His language suggests that their coming somewhat reassured him after the disquieting news brought by Chloe’s household, and other ugly rumours (1 Co 5:1).
Perhaps they represented the parties in Corinth; yet they must have been trusted by the Church and must also have shown themselves loyal to the Apostle. Achaicus is such a rare name that some authorities call it ‘Greek,’ others ‘Roman.’ The suggestion that Achaicus was a slave—either of Stephanas or of Chloe—does not comport either with his position as a delegate or with St. Paul’s appeal to the Church to ‘acknowledge such,’ i.e. to recognize the quality of their service and to treat them with becoming deference.
Literature.—artt. in HDB on ‘Achaicus,’ and ‘I. Corinthians,’ i. 487a; Comm. on 1 Cor. by Findlay (EGT), 950, and by Godet, ii. 467; C. v. Weizsäcker, Apostolic Age, i. 2 [London, 1897] pp. 113, 305, 319, ii. [do. 1895] p. 320; Expositor, 8th ser. i.  341f.
HDB Hastings’ Dict. of the Bible (5 vols.).