🔼The name Epaphroditus in the Bible
The name Epaphroditus occurs twice in the New Testament (Philippians 2:25 and 4:18) and its common shortened form, Epaphras, occurs three more times (Colossians 1:7. 4:12 and Philemon 1:23). It's not clear whether or not Epaphroditus and Epaphras are the same person, but both these names were common enough in Roman times to have accounted for two individuals names such.
In his letter to the Philippians, the apostle Paul tells of Epaphroditus, their messenger to him and his messenger back to them, who had fallen ill to the point that he was nearly dying but had convalesced enough to resume his duties. At the end of his letter, Paul speaks of a gift that the Philippians appear to have sent him by means of Epaphroditus, but it's not clear of what nature that gift might have been.
🔼Etymology of the name Epaphroditus
The name Epaphroditus consists of the prefix of intensification επι (epi) and the name Aphrodite (Αφροδιτη), and that name probably relates to the noun αφρος (aphros), meaning foam:
It's no longer clear what the name Aphrodite might have literally meant , or even what people from the first century figured it literally meant, because everybody knew Aphrodite as the embodiment of love, beauty and pleasure; the Greek counterpart of the Roman Venus and the Semitic Ashtoreth.
The name Epaphroditus (Very Foamy) probably stems from a dedicative title of Aphrodite worshippers: Dedicated to Aphrodite, but subsequently came to mean Very Lovely or Dedicated To Love and Beauty.