Ἀσπάζεταί σε Ἐπαφρᾶς ὁ συναιχμάλωτός μου ἐν Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ, Μᾶρκος, Ἀρίσταρχος, Δημᾶς, Λουκᾶς, οἱ συνεργοί μου.Epaphras, my fellow prisoner in Christ Jesus, sends greetings to you, and so do Mark, Aristarchus, Demas, and Luke, my fellow workers.
In Col 4:10-11 we read,
It seems to me that the error was made, not by a copyist, but by the author of Colossians. He seems to have got the names of the greeters from a copy of Philemon. The presence of "Jesus called Justus" in Col 4:11 is explicable if he missed that
This reading error explains the rather odd "Jesus called Justus" in Col 4:11. He is odd because he upsets the exact correspondence between the names of the greeters in Colossians and those in Philemon. He is also odd because he has a Semitic name. Paul never uses Semitic names for his co-workers. We would have to suppose, as some do, that this Jesus was an evangelist from Palestine, but it would then be surprising that he does not appear in Acts, for example. Also, the name "Jesus" seems to have been reserved exclusively for the founder of the movement, so it would be odd if the Jesus of 1 Cor 4:11 had retained the name.
Colossians no only includes the same greeters as Philemon, it also duplicates their diminutive name forms. I think this shows that Colossians is dependent on Philemon. In the next post in this series I will suggest that the author of Colossians has misidentified Mark. I will then discuss Aristarchus and Demas, and (eventually) get to the all-important Luke.