Biblical People

Biblical People: Archippus

Archippus pops up twice in the Bible, both times in letters from Paul. The first is in Paul’s message to his friend Philemon. In addition to Philemon, Archippus (along with Apphia) is listed as a recipient of the note.

Though the letter is mainly to Philemon, for some reason Archippus is also included. The message must be relevant to him as well. He may be a leader in the church that meets in Philemon’s home.

Regardless of the reason, after listing Archippus, Paul affirms him as a colleague, a fellow soldier in the cause of Jesus.

Then in Paul’s letter to the church in Colossae, he adds a personal message to Archippus. It’s a seemingly random insertion as Paul wraps up his communication.

Paul encourages Archippus to be sure to finish the work God gave him to do. We don’t know what this job is, but we do see that Paul feels it’s important to encourage Archippus to not leave things undone.

Over the years, many people have enthusiastically told me that God called them to do something for him. Yet when I run into them later, I learn they never followed through. Distractions, life, and their preconceived ideas get in the way. They may even question if they correctly heard God. 

When God calls us to a task, we must complete it. We must be faithful to his request.

Inaction is not an option. 

What has God called us to do that we must strive to complete?

[Discover more about Archippus in Colossians 4:17 and Philemon 1:1–3.]

Read more about other biblical characters in The Friends and Foes of Jesus, now available in e-book, paperback, and hardcover.

A lifelong student of the Bible, Peter DeHaan, PhD, wrote the 1,000-page website to encourage people to explore the Bible. His main blog and many books urge Christians to push past the status quo and reconsider how they practice their faith in every area of their lives.

By Peter DeHaan

Peter writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and make a faith that matters. Learn more at