🔼The name Demas: Summary
- Popular, The [Common] People
- From the noun δημος (demos), country or people.
🔼The name Demas in the Bible
The name Demas occurs three times in the New Testament and most likely denotes the same man. The apostle Paul mentions Demas twice among his faithful assistants (Philemon 1:24 and Colossians 4:14) but submits no further detail as to the character of this man.
In his second letter to Timothy, the incarcerated Paul wrote that Demas, "having loved this present age" left Paul and went to Thessalonica (2 Timothy 4:10). Most scholars interpret this statement as Paul's complaint that Demas, Crescens and Titus had left him in the lurch, but he may very well have used the word εγκαταλειπω (egkataleipo), meaning to desert or leave behind, to indicate that he considered himself a lost cause and his friends more useful somewhere else (see 2 Timothy 4:12). After all, there's nothing intrinsically wrong with very much loving the world (John 3:16).
🔼Etymology of the name Demas
The name Demas probably has to do with the familiar word δημος (demos), meaning country, district or the commoners who live in it:
The familiar noun δημος (demos) denotes either a country or the grey masses that populate it. It commonly excludes the country's ruling elite and jet set.
For a meaning of the name Demas, NOBSE Study Bible Name List reads Popular, but it may also be a truncated form of words such as δημαγωγος (demagogos), meaning demagogue or people's leader, or δημαρχος (demarchos), a common people's governor.