Epaphras in Fausset's Bible Dictionary

Paul's "dear fellow servant, who is for you (the Colossian Christians, Colossians 1:7) a faithful minister of Christ," perhaps implying Epaphras was the founder of the Colossian church. In Philemon 1:23, "my fellow prisoner." Apprehended possibly for his zealous labors in Asia Minor; literally, "fellow captive" (sunaichmalootos), taken in the Christian warfare (Philemon 2:25), or else more probably designated so as Paul's faithful companion in imprisonment. He had been sent by the Colossians to inquire after and minister to Paul. Aristarchus is designated Paul's "fellow prisoner" in Colossians 4:10, and his "fellow laborer" in Philemon 1:24 (both epistles were sent at the same time). But, vice versa, Epaphras in the Epistle to Philemon is" his fellow prisoner," and in the Epistle to the Colossians "his fellow laborer." In Colossians 4:12 Paul thus commends him, "Epaphras who is one of you (a native or resident of Colosse), a servant of Christ, saluteth you, always laboring fervently (agoonizomenos, 'striving as in the agony of a contest') for you in prayers, that ye may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God."

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