Was Onesiphorus Dead When Paul Prayed for Him?

Was Onesiphorus Dead When Paul Prayed for Him? May 3, 2019

Data from 16 Protestant Commentaries (1992-2016)

Links go right to the relevant passages in the commentaries / books. Very few commentaries appear to be certainly against his being dead. I didn’t include those, for brevity’s sake; but there weren’t many.
Dead or Likely Dead
1) Jouette M. Bassler, Abingdon New Testament Commentaries: 1 & 2 Timothy and Titus (Abingdon Press: 2011).
2) Gordon D. Fee, 1 & 2 Timothy, Titus (Understanding the Bible Commentary Series) (Baker Books: 2011).
3) James B. Gould, Understanding Prayer for the Dead: Its Foundation in History and Logic (Wipf and Stock Publishers: 2016).
4) Murray J. Harris, Slave of Christ: A New Testament Metaphor for Total Devotion to Christ (InterVarsity Press: 2001).
Possibly Dead or Neutral Stance
1) Craig S. Keener, The IVP Bible Background Commentary: New Testament (InterVarsity Press, 2nd edition, 2014).
2) Raymond F. Collins, 1 & 2 Timothy and Titus: A Commentary (Westminster John Knox Press: 2002).
3) Africa Bible Commentary (Zondervan: 2010).
4 Samuel Ngewa, 1 & 2 Timothy and Titus (Harper Collins: 2009).
5) R. Kent Hughes, Bryan Chapell, 1–2 Timothy and Titus (ESV Edition): To Guard the Deposit (Crossway: 2012).
6) Bruce B. Barton, David R. Veerman, Livingstone, Neil Wilson, 1 and 2 Timothy and Titus (Tyndale House Publishers, 1993).
7) Philip H. Towner, The Letters to Timothy and Titus (Eerdmans: 2006).
8) George W. Knight III, The Pastoral Epistles (Eerdmans: 1992).
9) I. Howard Marshall, Philip H. Towner, The Pastoral Epistles (Bloomsbury: 2004).
10) Linda Belleville, Jon C. Laansma, J. Ramsey Michaels, 1-2 Timothy, Titus, Hebrews (Tyndale House Publishers, 2008).
11) Thomas Lea & Hayne P. Griffin, 1, 2 Timothy, Titus: An Exegetical and Theological Exposition of Holy Scripture (The New American Commentary) (Holman Reference: 1992).
[use “Look Inside” Amazon feature and search for “Onesiphorus”. See pp. 197-198]

Related Reading:

Paul Prayed for Dead Onesiphorus (Protestant Commentaries) [7-14-09]

Cardinal Newman on Onesiphorus and Prayer for the Dead [Facebook, 3-18-15]

St. Paul Prayed for a Dead Man: Onesiphorus [8-19-15]

St. Paul Prayed for Onesiphorus, Who Was Dead [National Catholic Register, 3-19-17]


(originally 3-20-17 on Facebook)

Photo credit: An Elderly Man as Paul, probably 1659, by Rembrandt (1606-1669) [public domain / Wikimedia Commons]


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