🔼The name Mnason: Summary
- From the verb μναομαι (mnaomai), to remember or recollect.
🔼The name Mnason in the Bible
The name Mnason occurs only once in the Bible and that in a somewhat curious context. The apostle Paul and companions had travelled from Tyre to Ptolemais and arrived at Caesarea, where Philip and his four daughters lived (Acts 21:8), as a prophet named Agabus arrived from Judea with a rather theatrical warning for Paul (Acts 21:11). But Paul wouldn't budge and the group set out for Jerusalem.
Then some disciples from Caesarea took the group to an otherwise unknown man named Mnason of Cyprus, a long-time disciple, with whom the group was to lodge. (Acts 21:16).
It's not immediately clear why spending the night in the house of Mnason of Cyprus is so important that it needs to be mentioned by the Lucan author of Acts. Paul had stayed for months, and sometimes even years, at certain places and we never learn with whom he lodged.
Here at Abarim Publications we surmise that "Mnason of Cyprus" is not really a person, but rather something like a movement. The author of Acts, after all, was writing in a time when the Jesus movement had been deemed illegal and a conspiracy to commit high treason, and doubtlessly he submitted certain details of the Pauline effort in a kind of poetic code.
🔼Etymology of the name Mnason
The name Mnason is a noun derived from the verb μναομαι (mnaomai), meaning to remember or to recollect:
The verb μναομαι (mnaomai) means to remember, to recollect or to be mindful (hence our English adjective "mnemonic"). Noun μνημα (mnema) describes a memorial, monument or tomb.
The name Mnason means Remembering. The phrase "Mnason of Cyprus" means the Cypriot Tradition and may very well have been the code name for a kindred movement that too sought to topple Roman tyranny by means of theology and philosophy (instead of an armed revolt).
Remember that Paul's good friend Barnabas was from Cyprus (Acts 4:36), and although the two individuals parted ways due to a disagreement (Acts 15:39), the two movements may still have remained kindly inclined to one another.