ARCHIPPUS, A FELLOW SOLDIER (Fr. Varghese Paul, S.J.)

We have just two references to Archippus in two different letters of St. Paul. In the letter to Philemon, Paul refers to Archippus as our fellow Soldier Archippus (Philemon 2). In the letter to Colossians Paul exhorts Archippus, Be sure to finish the task you were given in the Lords service (Col. 4, 17).

The two references do not say much about Archippus. But taking the two references in their contexts we get a fair idea of Archippus.

Pauls reference to Archippus as a fellow-soldier in his letter to Colossians indicates that, perhaps Archippus was probably an overseer of the Church at Colossae and that he has worked with Paul for the spread of Jesus message.

Paul certainly knew Archippus very well and must have worked with him very closely. So addressing the people at Colossae Paul is very specific in his request or exhortation: And say to Archippus, Be sure to finish the task you were given in the Lords service (col. 4, 17).

What exactly was the task which Paul entrusted to Archippus? We can only guess the answer without being certain about it. The task or ministry of Archippus must have been to instruct the followers of Christ in true faith in Christ and guard them from erroneous beliefs and practices. From Pauls letter to Colossians we know that there were false teachers who insisted on rituals and rites like circumcision and strict rules about foods and similar matters.

We get some idea of the important position of Archippus from the fact that Puals letter to Philemon is addressed also to Archippus. Paul writes, To our friend and fellow-worker Philemon, and the Church that meets in your house, and our sister Apphia, and our fellow-soldier Archippus (Philemon 1-2).

This reference to Philemon, Apphia and Archippus in the greeting according to Ronald Brownrigg is indicative that Apphia was the wife of Philemon and that Archippus was their son.

Paul was certainly close and intimate with the family and they must have had a big house where the local Church did meet for regular prayers and instructions.

Pauls reference to the task or ministry entrusted to Archippus shows that Archippus must have had specific responsibilities to the local congregation and in their worship in his house. (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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