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Syntyche redirects here, as the only known fact about her, is her implied argument with Euodia.

Euodia (Greek Εὐοδία, "sweet scent"), in the New Testament, was a female member of the church in Philippi. According to the text of Philippians 4: 2-3, she was involved in a disagreement with another female church member named Syntyche. The author of the letter, Paul of Tarsus, whose writings generally reveal his misgivings that internal disunity will seriously undermine the church, beseeched the two women to "agree in the Lord".

Despite the clear context and gender agreement of the original Greek text, the Authorised Version of the Bible incorrectly assigns Euodia the name 'Euodias' (the male gender version of the name) and thus makes the quarrel appear to be between a man and a woman. According to some sources[1] there was a historical theory that 'Euodias' (male) was the Gaoler of Philippi (see Acts 16: 25-34) and Syntyche was his wife. This theory is rejected by modern scholarship, not least because of the clarity in the original text that both characters are female. As a Roman Colony, Philippi gave a level of independence to women that was not common in most Greek cities of the period; this may account for the prominence of the women and their disagreement.

In an unsolved mystery, arising in verse 3 of the passage, Paul calls upon an unnamed individual, charging him to intervene directly to assist in ending the quarrel between Euodia and Syntyche. According to different translations, Paul addresses this person as "my true yokefellow" or "my true comrade". This has led to speculation about the identity of this helper. Timothy, Silas, and others have been suggested. Peter Toon, in his commentary, wrote "His identity is not known, but he was probably a respected and influential member of the church whose word would be heeded".[2] William Barclay, after discussing various possible identities, states "Maybe the best suggestion is that the reference is to Epaphroditus, the bearer of the letter."[3]

There are no extant sources (biblical or otherwise) to suggest the outcome of the argument.



  1. ^ See for example William Barclay, "The Letters to the Philippians, Colossians and Thessalonians", published by The St Andrew Press (Edinburgh), Revised Edition 1975, pages 72-73.
  2. ^ Peter Toon, "Philippians" (Kingsway Bible Studies), Kingsway Publications (Eastbourne), 1979, page 27.
  3. ^ William Barclay, "The Letters to the Philippians, Colossians and Thessalonians", The St Andrew Press (Edinburgh), Revised Edition 1975, page 74.


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