epaphras Summary and Overview
epaphras in Easton's Bible Dictionary
lovely, spoken of by Paul (Col. 1:7; 4:12) as "his dear fellow-servant," and "a faithful minister of Christ." He was thus evidently with him at Rome when he wrote to the Colossians. He was a distinguished disciple, and probably the founder of the Colossian church. He is also mentioned in the Epistle to Philemon (1:23), where he is called by Paul his "fellow-prisoner."
epaphras in Smith's Bible Dictionary
(lovely), a fellow laborer with the apostle Paul, mentioned #Col 1:7| as having taught the Colossian church the grace of God in truth, and designated a faithful minister of Christ on their behalf. He was at that time with St. Paul at Rome. (A.D. 57.) For Paul's estimate of him see #Col 1:7,8; 4:12|
epaphras in Schaff's Bible Dictionary
EP'APHRAS (lovely, a contraction of "Epaphroditus"), a distinguished disciple of Colossae, and a faithful minister of the gospel. Col 1:7. His character is described by the apostle Paul, Col 1:7-8, Lev 4:12, whose fellow-prisoner he was at Rome. Phile 23.
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."