Sep 24, 2021

Is Tall el-Hammam Sodom?

There has been considerable buzz concerning a recent article related to a meteoric destruction of Tall el-Hammam which some suggest is the biblical city of Sodom (see Gen 19). I am personally unpersuaded by the linkage between Tall el-Hammam with Sodom. This Christianity Today article highlights some of my concerns. 

Sep 23, 2021

A Snapshot of the Christians in Colossians 4:7-17: Part 2

Yesterday I shared a table of the first five of ten people that are mentioned by Paul in Colossians 4:7-17. Here is the second part.

The Persons

The Passages

The Particulars

Epaphras

“charming”

·   Colossians 1:7; 4:12-13

·   Philemon 23

 

·      Epaphras was from Colossae (Col 4:12)

·      He was called a bond slave of Jesus Christ (Col 4:12)

·      He was a man of earnest prayer (Col 4:12)

·      He probably established (or helped to establish) the church at Colossae, Laodicea and Hierapolis (Col 1:7; 4:13)

·      He is called a “fellow prisoner” by Paul (Phlm 23)

Luke

“luminous”

·   Colossians 4:14

·   2 Timothy 4:11

·   Philemon 24

 

·      He is identified as “the beloved physician” (Col 4:14)

·      He was apparently a Gentile (Col 4:11)

·      He was a “fellow worker” (Phlm 24)

·      He was faithful friend and traveling companion of Paul (2 Tim 4:11; Phlm 24)

·      He is the traditional author of the Gospel of Luke

Demas

(Demetrius)

“popular”

·   Colossians 4:14

·   Philemon 24

·   2 Timothy 4:10

·      He is one of Paul’s coworkers and companions (Col 4:14; Phlm 24)

·      He apparently deserted Paul (and perhaps deserted the faith) near the end of Paul’s like (2 Tim 4:10)

Nympha

“gift of the nymphs”

 

·   Colossians 4:15

·      There is some disagreement over whether this name should be Nympha or Nymphas, or a man or a woman. Most modern commentators usually prefer the feminine designation.

·      She apparently had a church meeting in her house (Col 4:15)

Archippus

“chief groom”

·   Colossians 4:17

·   Philemon 2

 

·      He apparently had some kind of significant ministry (Col 4:17)

·      He is called a “fellow soldier” and seems to have been a member of the church in Colossae (Phlm 2)

Sep 22, 2021

A Snapshot of the Christians in Colossians 4:7-17: Part 1

I count ten people that are mentioned by Paul near the end of Colossians. Here is a table I put together a number of years ago. I have broken the table into two posts because of its size. 

The Persons

The Passages

The Particulars

Tychicus

“fortunate or fortuitous”

·   Acts 20:4

·   Ephesians 6:21

·   Colossians 4:7-8

·   2 Timothy 4:12

·   Titus 3:12

·      He was from the province of Asia (Acts 20:4)

·      One of Paul’s traveling companions (Acts 20:4)

·      He is described as a beloved brother, faithful minister and fellow servant in the Lord (Eph 6:21; Col 4:7)

·      He was one of Paul’s emissaries (Eph 6:21; Col 4:8; 2 Tim 4:12; Tit 3:12)

Onesimus

“useful”

·   Colossians 4:9

·   Philemon

 

·      He was a runaway slave the apparently ran into Paul and was converted (see Philemon)

·      He apparently served Paul (Phlm 11, 13)

·      He was apparently from Colossae (Col 4:9)

·      He is described as a faithful and beloved brother (Col 4:9)

Aristarchus

“the best ruler”

·   Acts 19:29; 20:4; 27:2

·   Colossians 4:10-11

·   Philemon 24

 

·      He was a Macedonian of Thessalonica (Acts 19:29; 27:2)

·      He was one of Paul’s traveling companions (20:4; 27:2).

·      He is called a “fellow prisoner” (Col 4:10)

·      He was apparently Jewish (Col 4:11)

Mark (or John Mark)

“a large hammer”

·   Acts 12:12, 25; 15:37-41

·   Colossians 4:10-11

·   2 Timothy 4:11

·   Philemon 24

·   1 Peter 5:13

 

·      His mother was named Mary and she was a believer (Acts 12:12)

·      He was the cousin of Barnabas (Col 4:10)

·      He was apparently Jewish (Col 4:11)

·      He traveled and ministered with Paul and Barnabas (Acts 12:25)

·      Mark served as a helper or assistant (Acts 13:5)

·      While serving in Perga John Mark bailed out (Acts 13:13)

·      John Mark’s desertion eventually caused a rift between Barnabas and Paul (Acts 15:37-41)

·      The rift between Mark and Paul was apparently later healed since Paul speaks in complimentary tones shortly before Paul dies (2 Tim 4:11)

·      He is called Peter’s “son,” probably figuratively (1 Pet 5:13)

·      Tradition holds that Mark is the author of the Gospel of Mark

Jesus who is called Justus

“Yahweh is salvation”

·   Colossians 4:11

 

All we know is that he was apparently a Jewish Christian