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Phygelus, Phygellus

PHYGELUS, PHYGELLUS (fĭ-jĕl'ŭs, Gr. Phygelos). In his second letter to Timothy (1:15) Paul mentions Phygelus and Hermogenes by name as being among those Christians of Asia (western province of Asia Minor) who had turned away from the apostle. From the context (2Tim.1.13-2Tim.1.14) it may be assumed that the apostasy included the repudiation of Paul’s doctrine. If we connect Phygelus with 2Tim.4.16 (“at my first defense, no one came to my support”), we may infer that he, being in Rome, forsook Paul’s personal cause in the Roman courts at a crucial time when his testimony could have meant much for the future of the church. Some scholars feel that Phygelus may also have been one of the leaders of a group of wayward Christians in Rome (Phil.1.15-Phil.1.16).