Easton's Bible Dictionary
4:3 ), One of the apostle's fellow-labourers. Some have conjectured that Epaphroditus
is meant. Wyckliffe renders the phrase "the german felowe", i.e., "thee, germane
Hitchcock's Dictionary of Bible Names
Smith's Bible Dictionary
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia
yok'-fel-o (sunzugos, "yoked together"):
The word is used by Greek writers of those united by any bond, such as marriage,
relationship, office, labor, study or business; hence, a yoke-fellow, consort,
comrade, colleague or partner.
(1) In the New Testament it occurs once only (Philippians
4:3): "I beseech thee also, true yoke-fellow." Most interpreters hold that
Paul here addresses some particular but unnamed person, who had formerly been
associated with him in the work of the gospel in Philippi. Many guesses have been
made in regard to the identity of the unnamed "yoke-fellow," and these names have
been suggested: Luke, Lydia, Epaphroditus, each of whom had in one way or another
some connection with Philippi.
(2) Renan has suggested that yoke-fellow means Lydia (Acts
16:14 , 15
and that she had been married to Paul. But the fact that the adjective gnesios,
"true," qualifying "yoke-fellow" is masculine and not feminine shows that it is
not a woman but a man who is referred to. Renan's suggestion is an unworthy one,
and is quite devoid of proof. It is a mere fanciful and unsupported creation of
the Frenchman's brain. Renan's idea is a modification of an opinion which is as
old as Clement of Alexandria, that Paul here referred to his own wife. But this
conjecture is contradicted by the statement of the apostle himself, that he had
not a wife (1
Corinthians 7:8 ; 9:5).
(3) There is still another way of interpreting "yoke-fellow," and probably it
is the right one. Some expositors take the word as a proper name. Among these
Westcott and Hort print "Sunzuge," in the margin. In favor of this interpretation
there is much to be said, especially the fact that the word is found in the very
midst of the names of other persons. The names of Euodia and Syntyche are mentioned
immediately before, and that of Clement follows immediately after the true yoke-fellow.
The meaning therefore is probably, "I beseech thee also, true Synzygos," i.e.
I beseech thee, who art a genuine Synzygos, a colleague rightly so called, a colleague
in fact as well as in name. It is obvious to compare the way in which the apostle
plays upon the name Onesimus, in Philemon
apostle's fellow-labourer, bible commentary, bible reference, bible study, define, history of, lydia, sunzugo, yoke fellow