nim'-fas (Numphas; Lachmann, Tregelles (margin), Westcott and Hort, The New Testament in Greek read Numpha, the name of a woman (Colossians 4:15)):
1. A Christian in Laodicea:
A Christian resident in Laodicea, to whom Paul sends salutations in the epistle which he wrote from Rome to the church in Colosse, the latter city being only a very few miles distant from Laodicea. Indeed, so near were they, that Paul directs that the Epistle to the Colossians be read also in Laodicea. Nymphas--or if Nympha be read, then it is a Christian lady who is meant--was a person of outstanding worth and importance in the church of Laodicea, for he had granted the use of his dwelling-house for the ordinary weekly meetings of the church. The apostle's salutation is a 3-fold one--to the brethren that are in Laodicea, that is to the whole of the Christian community in that city, and to Nymphas, and to the church in his house.
2. The Church in His House:
This fact, that the church met there, also shows that Nymphas was a person of some means, for a very small house could not have accommodated the Christian men and women who gathered together on the first day of every week for the purposes of Christian worship. The church in Laodicea--judging not only from the Epistle to the Ephesians, which is really Paul's Epistle to the Laodiceans, and which indicates that the church in Laodicea had a numerous membership, but also from what is said of it in Revelation 3:17 the King James Version--must have been large and influential:
"Thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing." The house of Nymphas, therefore, must have possessed a large room or saloon sufficiently commodious to allow the meeting of a numerous company. Nymphas would he a person both of Christian character and of generous feeling, and of some amount of wealth. Nothing more is known regarding him, as this is the only passage in which he is named.
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