Philemon 1:23

There salute thee Epaphras, my fellowprisoner in Christ Jesus;

There salute thee Epaphras,.... Who was a Colossian, and minister of the church at Colosse, and so might be well known to Philemon, who seems to have been of the same place and church; see Colossians 1:7 his name is omitted in the Ethiopic version:

my fellow prisoner in Christ Jesus; this good man, and minister of Christ, might have been sent by the Colossians, as Epaphroditus was by the Philippians, to the apostle at Rome, to pay him a visit, and comfort and assist him under his afflictions; and staying and preaching the Gospel there, was committed to prison, or was laid in bonds, as the apostle was, and upon the same account; namely, for the sake of Christ, and his Gospel. For by this time Nero began to persecute the Christians, which he did in the better and more moderate part of his reign; for among several things for which he is commended by the historian {b}, this is one;

""Afficti suppliciis Christiani, genus hominum superstitionis novae ac maleficae"; the Christians were punished, a sort of men of a new and bad religion:''

and Epaphras being at Rome, when this persecution broke out, was taken up and put in prison, as were also Aristarchus, Colossians 4:10 and Timothy, Hebrews 13:23.

{b} Suetonius in Vita Neronis, c. 16.