🔼The name Tychicus: Summary
- Fortuitous, Casual
- From τυχικος (tuchikos), fortuitous or casual, from τυχη (tuche), luck, fortune.
🔼The name Tychicus in the Bible
The name Tychicus belongs to one of Paul's closest companions, or so it seems. He appears to have served Paul mostly as messenger, but was obviously also somewhat of an authority himself.
We hear first from Tychicus when Paul travelled from Greece through Macedonia and was accompanied by a group of seven men, among whom Tychicus, although he was probably among those who had gone ahead to Troas (Acts 20:4-5). At Troas, significantly, the young man named Eutychus fell out the window and was revived by Paul and since the names Eutychus and Tychicus are nearly the same name, the author is probably telling more than mere anecdote.
Tychicus appears to have been with Paul when he was incarcerated in Rome, but he sent him to the Ephesians (most probably while carrying Paul's famous Letter To) so that they might learn about Paul's circumstances (Ephesians 6:21-22). It seems likely that Tychicus carried Paul's letter to the Colossians at the same time, since Paul sent him (together with Onesimus) to them as well and for the same reason (Colossians 4:7-8).
In between his two incarcerations, Paul intended to spend the winter in Nicopolis and wanted Titus to join him there. For this reason he sent either Artemas or Tychicus to Titus (Titus 3:12). At some point during Paul's second imprisonment in Rome, he wrote to Timothy that although Luke was with him and he longed for Timothy and Mark, he had sent Tychicus back to Ephesus again (2 Timothy 4:12).
The name Tychicus occurs 5 times in the New Testament; see full concordance.
🔼Etymology of the name Tychicus
The name Tychicus is the same as the word τυχικος (tuchikos), meaning fortuitous or casual:
The verb τυγχανω (tugchano) means to happen or to chance, and relates to being lucky or fortunate. The derived noun τυχη (tuche) hence means luck or fortune. Adjective τυχικος (tuchikos) means fortuitous or casual.
Tychicus means Fortuitous or Casual or even Serendipitous, but it's by no means certain that Tychicus is actually a name, or else that Tychicus is one physical person. The word τυχικος (tuchikos) is fairly common but in no other writing of the ancient world is this word used as somebody's personal name.
It should be remembered that the New Testament authors could certainly not literally discuss certain sensitive topics in a letter that was open to inspection by Roman troops, and most likely resorted to code much more than is today commonly expected. In other words: the literary character Tychicus may represent a whole lot more than just a faithful mailman.