Friday, May 14, 2010

Ephaphroditus?


Meet my boys Lapper and Blur from college. They have "real" names, but their nicknames are more user friendly and capture something of their personalities.

Ephaphroditus
was a close friend of the Apostle Paul, we can see this in his letter to the Philippians:

I have thought it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus my brother and fellow worker and fellow soldier, and your messenger and minister to my need, for he has been longing for you all and has been distressed because you heard that he was ill. Indeed he was ill, near to death. But God had mercy on him, and not only on him but on me also, lest I should have sorrow upon sorrow. I am the more eager to send him, therefore, that you may rejoice at seeing him again, and that I may be less anxious. So receive him in the Lord with all joy, and honor such men, for he nearly died for the work of Christ, risking his life to complete what was lacking in your service to me. - Philippians 2:25-30

In Paul’s caring reference to Epaphroditus, I think we gain a sense of how the special relationship between the Church and those who labor on her behalf should be. This is a feature of the passage I hope to unpack for the congregation a bit this Sunday.

Something that made me wonder, however, relates to Paul's friendship with Epaphroditus and others. That's a long name to be calling your homey. What do you think Paul really called his friends?

Epaphroditus: E-Pap? Phro? E-Man? E? Big E? E-Ditty? Ditus?

Silas: Siley? Siles?

Barnabas: Barney? Barns? Barnzey? Barna? Bassy?

Mark: Marky Mark? Markus? JM? Johnny M? J. Mark's the spot? Chicken? Wussie?

Priscilla: Prissy? Cilla? Cilly?

Aquila: Ackie? Quila? Quils? Quilster?

Tychicus: Tike? Tikey? Cus? Cussy? Special T?

Trophimus: Trophy? Trophe? Phimus?

Onesiphorus: O? Owny? Onezy? Siphor? Siphes? Phor? Phorus?

Titus: I better leave this one...

Luke: Doc? Dr.L? Lukey?

6 comments:

Todd said...

I just checked out the Greek spelling of Epaphroditus, and I find that the accent is on the "phro", and that the last vowel is an omicron. So it should probably be pronounced:

ehpah-FROW-deetoes
(at least that's how the man living in my computer is pronouncing it)

I can't believe I've been misled all these years.

So I think his friends probably called him Phrodee. Or Detox. or Cheetos.

Rick Calohan said...

It's Greek to me. So my guess would be Epsilon

jeff said...

Hey, is that Scott Baio on the right in that picture?

Seriously...are you feeling ok?

Brother Titus said...

For some reason the picture here reminds me of the song, "...clowns to the left of me/jokers to the right/stuck in the middle with you."

Also, I hope you don't know anyone with the name, "Mark." Too bad for that poor fellow if you do.

Zach said...

Perhaps Epaphroditus was affectionately called "Big Papi" by his confreres in Christ.

Woody Woodward said...

Think you are pretty brave warrior yourself to make mention of ole’ Ephaphro, being part of the infamous “Blues Brothers” skit at Moody.