commendable, a Christian at Rome to whom Paul sent his salutation ( Romans 16:5 ). He is spoken of as "the first fruits of Achaia" (RSV, "of Asia", i.e., of proconsular Asia, which is probably the correct reading). As being the first convert in that region, he was peculiarly dear to the apostle. He calls him his "well beloved."
ep-e'-ne-tus (Epainetos, "praised"):
One of the Christians at Rome to whom greetings are sent by Paul (Romans 16:5). All that is known of him is told here. Paul describes him as
(1) "my beloved,"
(2) "who is the firstfruits of Asia unto Christ."
Textus Receptus of the New Testament has "firstfruits of Achaia" but this wrong reading is due to 1 Corinthians 16:15. He was one of the first Christians in the Roman province of Asia.
This salutation brings up the question of the destination of Romans 16:3-16, for it is argued that they are addressed to the church in Ephesus owing to the fact that Prisca and Aquila and Epenetus are known to have dwelt in Asia. On the other hand, there are more than 20 others in this list who are not known to have spent any time in Asia. Prisca and Aquila had once dwelt in Rome (Acts 18:2), and there is nothing unusual in an Ephesian dwelling in the capital of the empire. An interesting discovery was made in Rome of an inscription in which was the name of Epenetus, an Ephesian.
S. F. Hunter
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