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Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature
(Ε᾿παφρόδιτος , belonging to Aphrodite, or Venus), a messenger (ἀπόστολος ) of the Church at Philippi to the apostle Paul during his imprisonment at Rome, who was intrusted with their contributions for his support (Philippians 2:25; Philippians 4:18). A.D. 57. Paul's high estimate of his character (see Evans, Script. Biog. 2:300) is shown by an accumulation of honorable epithets (τὸν ἀδελφόν, καὶ συνεργόν, καὶ συστρατιώτην μου ), and by fervent expressions of gratitude for his recovery from a dangerous illness brought on in part by a generous disregard of his per. sonal welfare in ministering to the apostle (Philippians 2:30). Epaphroditus, on his return to Philippi, was the bearer of the epistle which forms part of the canon. Grotius and some other critics conjecture that Epaphroditus was the same as the Epaphras mentioned in the epistle to the Colossians (see Sirk. De Epaphrodito Philippensiumn apostolo, Lips. 1741; Strohbach, De Epaphra Colossensi, Lips. 1710). But, though the latter name may be a contraction of the former, the fact that Epaphras was most probably in prison at the time, sufficiently marks the distinction of the persons. The name Epaphroditus was by no means uncommon (see Tacit. Ann. 15:55; Sueton. Domit. 14; Joseph. Life, 76), as Wetstein has shown (Nov. Test. Gr. 2:273).
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McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Epaphroditus'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. https://www.studylight.org/encyclopedias/eng/tce/e/epaphroditus.html. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.