Onesiph'orus (Ο᾿νησιφορος, profit-bringing), a believer of Ephesus, who came to Rome during the second captivity of Paul in that city (A.D. cir. 64), and having found out the apostle, who was in custody of a soldier, to whose arm his own was chained, was "not ashamed of his chain," but attended him frequently, and rendered him all the services in his power. This faithful attachment, at a time of calamity and desertion, was fully appreciated and well remembered by the apostle, who in his Epistle to Timothy carefully records the circumstance; and,. after charging him to salute in his name "the household of Onesiphorus," expresses the most earnest and grateful wishes for his spiritual welfare (2Ti 1:16-18; comp. 4:19). It would appear from this that Onesiphorus had then quit Rome (Kitto). It has even been made a question whether this friend of the apostle was still living when the letter to Timothy was written, because in both instances Paul speaks of "the household" (in 2Ti 1:16, δóη ἔλεος ὁ κύριος τῷ Ο᾿νησιφόρου οἴκῳ), and not separately of Onesiphorus himself. If we infer that he was not living, then we have in 2Ti 1:18 almost an instance of the apostolic sanction of the practice of praying for the dead. But the probability is that other members of the family were also active Christians; and as Paul wished to remember them at the same time, he grouped them together under the comprehensive τὸν Ο᾿ν. Οικον (2Ti 4:19), and thus delicately recognized the common merit, as a sort of family distinction. The mention of Stephanas in 1Co 16:17 shows that we need not exclude him from the Στεφανᾶ οικον in 1Co 1:16. It is evident from 2Ti 1:18 (ὅσα ἐν Ε᾿φέσῳ διηκόνησε) that Onesiphorns had his home at Ephesus; though if we restrict the salutation near the close of the epistle (4:19) to his family, he himself may possibly have been with Paul at Rome when the latter wrote to Timothy. Nothing authentic is known of him beyond these notices. According to a tradition in Fabricius (Lux Evang. p. 117), he became bishop of Corone, in Messenia. I

Bible concordance for ONESIPHORUS.

See also the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia.

Topical Outlines Nave's Bible Topics International Standard Bible Encyclopedia Online King James Bible King James Dictionary

Verse reference tagging and popups powered by VerseClick™.