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Category Archives: 2 Corinthians

Epaenetus and the brother in 2 Cor 8:18

Richard Fellows recently suggested the possible connection between the name “Epaenetus” and benefaction:

Now, the name “Epaenetus”, means “praised/commended”, and, like “Stephanas”, also belongs to the semantic field of benefaction. There are numerous inscriptions in which beneficiaries agree to “praise” a benefactor, and Rom 13:3 also appears to use the term in connection with benefactions (so Winter).

Stephen Carlson responded with a related suggestion that the “brother of whom the praise is in the Gospel” in 2 Cor. 8:18 might be identified as Epaenetus:

…the thought occurs to me that Paul was actually making a pun. After all, the name of Epaenetus (Paul’s first-fruit in Asia according to Rom 16:5) means “praised.”

Of course, more epigraphical evidence would strengthen the original argument made by Fellows, but Carlson’s suggestion would certainly fit Paul’s frequent employment of lexical wordplays. In the end, I think one could only posit such a wordplay with a degree of probability since Paul is not more explicit in the 2 Cor 8:18 reference.

Best Resources for 2 Corinthians?

Mike tagged me with the question, so here are my suggestions: I agree with Mike on the NIGTC volume by Harris and the NAC volume by Garland, as well as the monograph by Savage. One might also find Barnett helpful (NICNT) or Thrall (ICC). Another nice monograph includes Long‘s Ancient Rhetoric and Paul’s Apology (Cambridge,… Continue Reading