LUCIUS AND MENAEN (Fr. Varghese Paul, S.J.)

Lucius and Menaen are two characters mentioned together by Luke in The Acts of the Apostles. They are among the prophets and teachers in the Church at Antioch.

The name Lucius means light or luminous. Luke tells us that he is a Christian originally from Cyrene on north cost of Africa.

The name Manaen means consoler or comforter. The Acts says about the two characters, In the Church at Antioch there were some prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simon (called the Black), Lucius (from Cyrene), Manaen (who had been brought up with Herod the governor), and Soul (Acts 13, 1).

Manaen is mentioned only once here in The Acts. Lucius is mentioned a second time in Pauls letter to the Romans.

While ending the letter Paul includes the greetings of his companions and collaborators. Timothy, my fellow-worker, sends you his greeting; and so do Lucius, Jason, and Sosipater, fellow-Jews (Rom 16, 21). Here Paul has specifically identified Lucius among fellow-Jews or according to some other translation, Lucius is identified as my kinsman.

The two references to Lucius in The Acts and in the letter to the Romans refer to two different persons or one and the same person, we are not sure. Biblical scholar Ronald Brownrigg in Whos Who the New Testament says that the two references may well have been to the same man of Cyrene (p.150).

Luke says much about Manaen when he identifies him as one who has been brought up with Herod, the governor. The Herod mentioned here is Herod Antipas, the ruler of Galilee.

Brownrigg traces Manaens root to an older Manaen, a well known Essene, and a friend of Herod the Great. Brownrigg says in the above referred book that The young Manaen of Antioch known to Luke may well have been a grandson of the Essene Manaen, brought up with Herods children and later, perhaps, a particular friend of Herod Antipas (p. 158).

We know that the historian Luke is well informed about Herod Antipas and his family. So biblical scholars like Brownrigg believes that Luke might have got all his information about Herod Antipas and his family from Manaen.

Lucius and Manaen are among the prophets and teachers at Antioch who served, fasted and prayed together before sending Paul and Barnabas on the Mission. Luke has narrated the event in The Acts. While they were serving the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said to them, Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul, to do the work to which I have called them.

They fasted and prayed, placed their hands on them, and send them off (Acts 13, 2-3).

Both Lucius and Manaen seem to have played a remarkable role in the early Church. (contact the author: यह ईमेल पता spambots से संरक्षित किया जा रहा है. आप जावास्क्रिप्ट यह देखने के सक्षम होना चाहिए. )

 

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