Fellow Servant, Fellow Prisoner, Fellow Worker
In Paul’s letter to the Colossians, he mentions three positions: servant, prisoner, and worker.
He attaches fellow to the beginning of each of these three positions to show that he and those whom he fellows with are under the same master.
Please notice that these fellow terms are used in the King James Version as compound words. You will also see that usage in the following.
The fellowservants Paul mentions in particular are Epaphras and Tychicus.
These men were used as messengers of the Lord declaring the news that was relayed between Paul and the Colossian brethren. They were both described by Paul as faithful ministers to those whom they served. (Col. 1:7, 4:7)
The term fellowservant is also used in Revelation 19:10 and in Revelation 22:9 indicating messengers who were also serving Christ.
The fellowprisoner Paul mentions in particular is a man named Aristarchus. This would signify that even though Aristarchus and Paul were both prisoners of Christ, they were also prisoners of Rome and held within the same structure. (Col. 4:10)
Epaphras, who is not mentioned in this particular letter as a fellowprisoner, was noted by Paul to be a fellowprisoner in Christ Jesus in Paul’s letter to Philemon.
Although not mentioned in his letter to the Colossians, Paul does mention two other men as fellowprisoners in his letter to the Romans (16:7).
These men’s names are Andronicus and Junia. They were Jewish men who were saved before Paul and were noted as being greatly loved by the apostles.
The fellowworkers that are mentioned in particular are Tychicus, Onesimus, Aristarchus, Marcus, and Jesus (called Justus). Marcus is elseward called John Mark. These men were commended for having been a comfort to Paul. (Col. 4:7-11)
Luke the physician and Demas are mentioned in verse 14. Although not included in the above verses, these men are mentioned as fellowlaborers in Paul’s letter to Philemon (vs. 24). The terms fellowworker and fellowlaborer are both derived from the same Greek word meaning co-laborers.
These men were possibly the only men that were engaged with Paul in the labor of the gospel at the time of his writing the last chapter of this letter.
I hope that each of these posts are a help to you as you study The Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Colossians.
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You will also find my reader-friendly commentary on The Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Colossians to be helpful in your study of this amazing letter. So, What's the Latest News? Messages from a Prisoner in Rome is available from WestBow Press, a division of Thomas Nelson & Zondervan; Amazon; Barnes & Noble, as well as other online retailers. Your reviews and comments are welcome.