Yet I supposed it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus, my brother, and companion in labor, and fellow soldier, but your messenger…
is known to us only from the notices in this Epistle. He is, doubtless, to be distinguished from Epaphras (Colossians 1:7; Colossians 4:12; Philemon 1:23); for though the names are the same the identity seems improbable.
1. The one appears to have been a native of Philippi (ver. 25); the other of Colossae (Colossians 4:12). The longer form is always used of the Philippian delegate; the shorter, of the Colossian teacher. The name, in fact, is so extremely common in both forms that the coincidence affords no presumption of the identity of persons. The name is not specially characteristic of Macedonia, but occurs abundantly everywhere. On a Thessalonian inscription we meet with one Gaius Claudius Epaphroditus. This concurrence of names is suggestive. The combination which occurs once might well occur again; and it is possible, though in the absence of evidence hardly probable, that Gaius the Macedonia (Acts 19:29) is the same as Epaphroditus the Philippian.
Parallel VersesKJV: Yet I supposed it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus, my brother, and companion in labour, and fellowsoldier, but your messenger, and he that ministered to my wants.