The aim of this study is to investigate the reception of Apphia (who is mentioned
in Philemon 2 as one of the recipients of the letter) in the fourth and fifth centuries
C.E. For this purpose the available sources are investigated in a chronological order:
Jerome, John Chrysostom, Pelagius, Theodore of Mopsuestia and Theodoret of Cyrus
(Apphia is not mentioned in the commentary of Ambrosiaster). Firstly, it is shown that
the difference in the Biblical texts that were used by these five scholars may have had
an influence on the way in which they interpreted Apphia’s role. Secondly, it is argued
that one can identify a slow progression in the way in which the relationship between
Philemon, Apphia and Archippus was interpreted. Lastly it is shown that personal
views on women and their role had no mean influence on the perception of Apphia.
For example, this can be seen in the way in which some of these authors tried to
explain why Apphia was mentioned before Archippus in Paul’s letter.