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Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible


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EPAPHRAS . Mentioned by St. Paul in Colossians 1:7 ; Colossians 4:12 , Philippians 1:23 ; and described by him as his ‘fellow-servant,’ and also as a ‘servant’ and ‘faithful minister’ of Christ. He was a native or inhabitant of Colossæ ( Colossians 4:12 ), and as St. Paul’s representative ( Colossians 1:7 ) founded the Church there ( Colossians 1:7 ). The fact of his prayerful zeal for Laodicea and Hierapolis suggests his having brought the faith to these cities also ( Colossians 4:13 ). He brought news of the Colossian Church to the Apostle during his first Roman imprisonment, perhaps undertaking the journey to obtain St. Paul’s advice as to the heresies that were there prevalent. He is spoken of as St. Paul’s ‘fellow-prisoner’ ( Philippians 1:23 ), a title probably meaning that his care of the Apostle entailed the practical sharing of his captivity. The Epistle to the Colossians was a result of this visit, and Epaphras brought it back with him to his flock. Epaphras is a shortened form of Epaphroditus ( Philippians 2:25 ), but, as the name was in common use, it is not probable that the two are to be identified.

Charles T. P. Grierson.

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These files are public domain.
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Bibliography Information
Hastings, James. Entry for 'Epaphras'. Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible. 1909.

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Tuesday, November 19th, 2019
the Week of Proper 28 / Ordinary 33
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