Epeen'etus (Ε᾿παίνετος, commendable), a Christian resident at Rome when Paul wrote his epistle to the Church in that city, and one of the persons to whom he sent special salutations (Ro 16:5). A.D. 55. In the received text he is spoken of as being "the first-fruits ofAchaia" (ἀπαρχὴ τῆς Α᾿χαϊvας); but "the first-fruits of Asia" (τῆς Α᾿σίας) is the reading of the best MSS. (א A B C D E F G 67), of the Coptic, Armenian, AEthiopic, Vulgate, the Latin fathers, and Origen (In Ep. ad Romans Comment. lib. 10, Opera, 7, page 431; In Numer. Hom. 11, Opera, 10, page 109). This reading is preferred by Grotius, Mill, Bengel,Whitby, Koppe, Rosenmuller, Ruckert, Olshausen, and Tholuck; and admitted into the text by Griesbach, Knapp, Tittmann, Scholz, Lachmann, and Tischendorff; also by Bruder, in his edition of Schmidt's Concordance, Lips. 1842. Dr. Bloomfield, who also adopts it in his Greek Testaments (2d ed. 1836), remarks that "the very nature of the term ἀπαρχή suggests the idea of one person only (see 1Co 15:20), and, as in 1Co 16:15, Stephanas is called the ἀπαρχὴ τῆς Α᾿χαϊvας, Epaenetus could have no claim to the name." With respect to the former part of this statement, the learned writer has strangely overlooked such passages as Jas 1:18, " that we should be a kind of first-fruits" (ἀπαρχήν τινα), and Re 14:4, "These were redeemed from among men, being the first-fruits" (ἀπαρχή): and as to the latter part, not Stephanas alone, but his house, is said to be the first- fruits, and to have addicted themselves (ἔταξαν ἑαυτούς) to the ministry of the saints.' Macknight's remark in favor of the received reading, that if Epsenetus was one of that house, he was a part of the first-fruits of Achaia, seems somewhat forced. The synopsis of the pseudo-Dorotheus makes him first bishop of Carthage, but Justinian remarks that the African churches do not recognize him.

See also the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia.

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