|Bishop of Byzantium|
Painting depicting death of Onesimus, from the Menologion of Basil II (c. 1000 AD)
|Holy Disciple Onesimus|
Bishop of Byzantium
|Died||c. 68 AD or 81-95 AD|
Rome (then Roman province)
|Venerated in|| Roman Catholic Church |
Eastern Orthodox Church
|Feast||February 15 or 16, or November 22 (Gregorian calendar), February 28 (Julian calendar)|
Onesimus (Greek : Ὀνήσιμος, translit. Onēsimos, meaning "useful"; died c. 68 AD, according to Catholic tradition), also called Onesimus of Byzantium and The Holy Apostle Onesimus in some Eastern Orthodox churches,[ who? ] was probably a slave to Philemon of Colossae, a man of Christian faith. He may also be the same Onesimus named by Ignatius of Antioch (died c. 107) as bishop in Ephesus which would put Onesimus's death closer to 95 AD. Regardless, Onesimus went from slave to brother to Bishop.
The name "Onesimus" appears in two New Testament epistles—in Colossians 4 and in Philemon. In Colossians 4:9a person of this name is identified as a Christian accompanying Tychicus to visit the Christians in Colossae; nothing else is stated about him in this context. He may well be the freed Onesimus from the Epistle to Philemon.
The Epistle to Philemon was written by Paul the Apostle to Philemon concerning a person believed to be a runaway slave named Onesimus. The traditional designation of Onesimus as a slave is doubted by some modern scholars.Onesimus found his way to the site of Paul's imprisonment (most probably Rome or Caesarea) to escape punishment for a theft of which he was accused. After hearing the Gospel from Paul, Onesimus converted to Christianity. Paul, having earlier converted Philemon to Christianity, sought to reconcile the two by writing the letter to Philemon which today exists in the New Testament. . The letter reads (in part):
I appeal to you for my son Onesimus, whom I have begotten while in my chains, who once was unprofitable to you, but now is profitable to you and to me. I am sending him back. You therefore receive him, that is, my own heart, whom I wished to keep with me, that on your behalf he might minister to me in my chains for the gospel. But without your consent I wanted to do nothing, that your good deed might not be by compulsion, as it were, but voluntary. For perhaps he departed for a while for this purpose, that you might receive him forever, no longer as a slave but more than a slave—a beloved brother, especially to me but how much more to you, both in the flesh and in the Lord.
Although it is doubted by authorities such as Joseph Fitzmyer,it may be the case that this Onesimus was the same one consecrated a bishop by the Apostles and who accepted the episcopal throne in Ephesus following Timothy. During the reign of Roman emperor Domitian and the persecution of Trajan, Onesimus was imprisoned in Rome and may have been martyred by stoning (although some sources claim that he was beheaded). However, since the reign of Domitian was from 81 AD to 96 AD, then Onesimus' death would have to fall within these years and not 68 AD as stated above.
Onesimus is regarded as a saint by many Christian denominations. The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod commemorates him and Philemon on February 15.
Eastern Churches remember Onesimus on 15 February. The traditional Western commemoration of Onesimus is on 16 February.But in the 2004 edition of the Roman Martyrology , Onesimus is listed under 15 February. There, he is described as "[a] runaway slave, whom the apostle Paul received to the faith of Christ while in prison, regarding him as a son of whom he had become father, as he himself wrote to Philemon, Onesimus's master".
Apollos was a 1st-century Alexandrian Jewish Christian mentioned several times in the New Testament. A contemporary and colleague of Paul the Apostle, he played an important role in the early development of the churches of Ephesus and Corinth.
Colossae was an ancient city of Phrygia in Asia Minor, and one of the most celebrated cities of southern Anatolia. The Epistle to the Colossians, an early Christian text which identifies its author as Paul the Apostle, is addressed to the church in Colossae. A significant city from the 5th century BC onwards, it had dwindled in importance by the time of Paul, but was notable for the existence of its local angel cult. It was part of the Roman – and then Byzantine – province of Phrygia Pacatiana, before being destroyed in 1192/3 and its population relocating to nearby Chonae.
The Epistle of Paul to the Colossians,, is the twelfth book of the New Testament. It was written, according to the text, by Paul the Apostle and Timothy to the Church in Colossae, a small Phrygian city near Laodicea and approximately 100 miles (160 km) from Ephesus in Asia Minor.
The Epistle of Paul to Philemon, known simply as Philemon, is one of the books of the Christian New Testament. It is a prison letter, co-authored by Paul the Apostle with Timothy, to Philemon, a leader in the Colossian church. It deals with the themes of forgiveness and reconciliation. Paul does not identify himself as an apostle with authority, but as "a prisoner of Jesus Christ", calling Timothy "our brother", and addressing Philemon as "fellow labourer" and "brother."(Philemon 1:1; 1:7; 1:20) Onesimus, a slave that had departed from his master Philemon, was returning with this epistle wherein Paul asked Philemon to receive him as a "brother beloved."(Philemon 1:9–17)
Ignatius of Antioch, also known as Ignatius Theophorus or Ignatius Nurono, was an early Christian writer and bishop of Antioch. While en route to Rome, where he met his martyrdom, Ignatius wrote a series of letters. This correspondence now forms a central part of a later collection of works known to be authored by the Apostolic Fathers. He is considered to be one of the three most important of these, together with Pope Clement I and Polycarp. His letters also serve as an example of early Christian theology. Important topics they address include ecclesiology, the sacraments, and the role of bishops.
Polycarp was a 2nd-century Christian bishop of Smyrna. According to the Martyrdom of Polycarp, he died a martyr, bound and burned at the stake, then stabbed when the fire failed to consume his body. Polycarp is regarded as a saint and Church Father in the Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, Catholic, Anglican, and Lutheran churches. His name means "much fruit" in Greek. Both Irenaeus and Tertullian record that Polycarp had been a disciple of John the Apostle. In Illustrious Men.17, Jerome writes that Polycarp was a disciple of John and that John had ordained him bishop of Smyrna. Polycarp is regarded as one of three chief Apostolic Fathers, along with Clement of Rome and Ignatius of Antioch.
Timothy was an early Christian evangelist and the first Christian bishop of Ephesus, who tradition relates died around the year AD 97.
Pope Clement I, also known as Saint Clement of Rome, is listed by Irenaeus and Tertullian as Bishop of Rome, holding office from 88 to his death in 99. He is considered to be the first Apostolic Father of the Church, one of the three chief ones together with Polycarp and Ignatius of Antioch.
Archippus was an early Christian believer mentioned briefly in the New Testament epistles of Philemon and Colossians.
The Pauline epistles are the fourteen books in the New Testament traditionally attributed to Paul the Apostle, although many dispute the anonymous Epistle to the Hebrews as being a Pauline epistle.
Epaphras was an observer of the Apostle Paul mentioned twice in the New Testament epistle of Colossians and once in the New Testament letter to Philemon.
The seventy disciples or seventy-two disciples were early emissaries of Jesus mentioned in the Gospel of Luke. According to Luke, the only gospel in which they appear, Jesus appointed them and sent them out in pairs on a specific mission which is detailed in the text.
The Laodicean Church was a Christian community established in the ancient city of Laodicea. The church was established in the Apostolic Age, the earliest period of Christianity, and is probably best known for being one of the Seven churches of Asia addressed by name in the Book of Revelation.
The Epistle of Ignatius to the Smyrnaeans is an epistle from circa 110 A.D. attributed to Ignatius of Antioch, a second-century bishop of Antioch, addressed to the Early Christians in Smyrna.
Philemon was an early Christian in Asia Minor who was the recipient of a private letter from Paul of Tarsus. This letter is known as Epistle to Philemon in the New Testament. He is known as a saint by several Christian churches along with his wife Apphia. Philemon was a wealthy Christian and a minister of the house church that met in his home.
The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to Christianity:
Colossians 1 is the first chapter of the Epistle to the Colossians in the New Testament of the Christian Bible. Traditionally, it is believed to be written for the church in Colossae by Apostle Paul, with Timothy as his co-author, while he was in prison in Ephesus, although there were debatable charges that it is the work of a secondary imitator or that it was written in Rome. This chapter contains the greeting, thanksgiving and prayer, followed by a "Christological Hymn" and the thesis of the letter.
Colossians 3 is the third chapter of the Epistle to the Colossians in the New Testament of the Christian Bible. Traditionally, it is believed to be written for the church in Colossae by Apostle Paul, with Timothy as his co-author, while he was in prison in Ephesus, although there were debatable charges that it is the work of a secondary imitator or that it was written in Rome. This chapter contains the advice how Paul wants the Colossians to live.
Colossians 4 is the fourth chapter of the Epistle to the Colossians in the New Testament of the Christian Bible. Traditionally, it is believed to be written for the church in Colossae by Apostle Paul, with Timothy as his co-author, while he was in prison in Ephesus, although there were debatable charges that it is the work of a secondary imitator or that it was written in Rome. This chapter contains the final exhortations and greetings.
The Epistle of Ignatius to the Philadelphians is an epistle attributed to Ignatius of Antioch, a second-century bishop of Antioch, and addressed to the church in Philadelphia of Asia Minor. It was written during Ignatius' transport from Antioch to his execution in Rome.
For perhaps [Onesimus] was for this reason separated from you for a while, that you would have him back forever, no longer as a slave, but more than a slave, a beloved brother, especially to me, but how much more to you, both in the flesh and in the Lord.(NASB)
... Onesimus, whose love surpasses words, in the flesh as your bishop. I pray that you may love him with a love according to Jesus Christ, and that you may all be like him. For blessed is He Who granted unto you, worthy as you are, to possess such a bishop.(chapter 1)
|Titles of the Great Christian Church|
Stachys the Apostle
| Bishop of Byzantium |
Polycarpus I of Byzantium