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Bible Encyclopedias

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature


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(Νυμφᾶς ; Vulg. Nymphas), a wealthy and zealous Christian in Laodicea (Colossians 4:15). A.D. 57. His house was used as a place of assembly for the Christians; and hence Grotius, making an extraordinarily high estimate of the probable number of Christians in Laodicea, infers that he must have lived in a rural district; nor is there any good reason for the supposition of Chrysostom that the Church consisted solely of the family of Nymphas (comp. Romans 16:5; 1 Corinthians 16:19; Philemon 1:2).

In the Vatican MS. (B) this name is taken for that of a woman (αὐτῆς ); and the reading appears in some Latin writers, as pseudo-Ambrose, pseudo-Anseim, and has been adopted in Lachmann's N.T. The common reading, however (αὐτοῦ), is found in most MSS., and is the only one known to the Greek fathers. The Alexandrian and Sinaitic MSS. (A and א ), and that of Ephraem Syrus (C), do not determine the sex (αὐτῶν ). The difficulty presented by the plural in the text is easily explained by referring it to Nymphas and his family (constructio ad sensum), or αὐτῶν may refer to the ἀδελφοί .

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Bibliography Information
McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Nymphas'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.

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