Nicopolis (Titus 3:12)

“When I send Artemas

To you,

Or Tychicus,

Do your best

To come to me

At Nicopolis.

I have decided

To spend

The winter there.”

Ὅταν πέμψω Ἀρτεμᾶν πρὸς σὲ ἢ Τυχικόν, σπούδασον ἐλθεῖν πρός με εἰς Νικόπολιν· ἐκεῖ γὰρ κέκρικα παραχειμάσαι.

Paul said, “When I send (Ὅταν πέμψω) Artemas (Ἀρτεμᾶν) to you (πρὸς σὲ), or Tychicus (ἢ Τυχικόν), do your best (σπούδασον) to come to me (ἐλθεῖν πρός με) at Nicopolis (εἰς Νικόπολιν).  I have decided (γὰρ κέκρικα) to spend the winter (παραχειμάσαι) there (ἐκεῖ).”  Only the Pauline letters used this word σπούδασον, that means to make haste, to give diligence, eager, or zealous.  Paul had plans for Titus.  He wanted to meet him in Nicopolis where he was going to spend the winter.  Thus, Paul was not in prison at the time of this writing.  He was going to send his friend Artemas or Tychicus to Crete to take the place of Titus while he left there to meet with Paul.  Nicopolis, the city of victory, was the capital city of the Roman province of Epirus, located in the western part of the modern state of Greece, founded in 29 BCE by Caesar Augustus in commemoration of his victory over Antony and Cleopatra.  The Apostle Paul decided to spend the winter at Nicopolis and he invited his co-worker Titus to join him there from Crete.  Apparently, a Christian community was in existence in that city.  Pope Eleutherius (174–189) was born in Nicopolis.  Around 330, Eusebius of Caesarea mentioned that bishops from Epirus attended the first Ecumenical Council of Nicaea in 325.  Thus, there was a thriving Christian community there.  However, this is the only mention of Artemas in the New Testament writings, but there were four mentions of Tychicus elsewhere.  In Acts, chapter 20:4, Tychicus was called an Asian.  In 2 Timothy, chapter 4:12, Paul sent him to Ephesus.  In Ephesus, chapter 6:21, Paul said that he was a beloved brother and trustworthy so that he was sending him to Ephesus in order that the Ephesians would know more about how things were going with Paul.  In Colossians, chapter 4:7, once again Paul was sending his beloved brother and trustworthy minister Tychicus to let the people of Colossae know what was happening with him.  Thus, it did not seem out of place to send Tychicus to Crete so that Titus could go to Nicopolis.  Have you ever spent the winter some place?

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