discussion φαιλόνην

It has been suggested that the greek word φαιλόνην,as St Paul uses it in 2 Timothy 4:13 has a link to the shroud of Turin, as a early relic of Christianity; with links to the mendalion of the 4th century in Eddessa.

τὸν φαιλόνην ὃν ἀπέλιπον ἐν Τρῳάδι παρὰ Κάρπῳ ἐρχόμενος φέρε, καὶ τὰ βιβλία μάλιστα τὰς μεμβράνας. (2 Tim. 4:13, NA27)

Penulam, quam reliqui Troade apud Carpum, veniens affer tecum, et libros, maxime autem membranas. (Ed. electronica, 2 Tim. 4:13, Biblia Sacra juxta Vulgatam Clementinam)

When you come, bring the cloak I left with Carpus in Troas, the papyrus rolls, and especially the parchments. (2 Tim. 4:13, The New American Bible)

Is there any mileage in this suggestion.

Ray Pyle

  • You have not quoted the actual occurrence of the word - just the chapter. And you have not given any evidence of the 'link' to the artefacts you mention. I would suggest that this question is not actually about the text of scripture, hermeneutically, but is a question about religious trophies.
    – Nigel J
    Jun 8 '19 at 13:41
  • I agree with Nigel - all the items listed in 2 Tim 4:13 are Paul's personal property, including the cloak. I cannot see any link here.
    – user25930
    Jun 8 '19 at 20:30

In 2 Tim 4:13 Paul makes a simple request for Timothy to bring some personal items including his thick cloak for the winter, scrolls, and parchments. All personal items. I can see no link, even a tenuous stretched link to the shroud of Turin or any other such object. Ellicott notes:

The cloke that I left at Troas.--The apparently trivial nature of this request in an Epistle containing such weighty matter, and also the fact of such a wish on the part of one expecting death being made at all, is at first a little puzzling. To explain this seemingly strange request, some have wished to understand by "the cloke" some garment St. Paul was in the habit of wearing when performing certain sacred functions: in other words, as a vestment; but such a supposition would be in the highest degree precarious, for nowhere in the New Testament is the slightest hint given us that any such vestment was ever used in the primitive Christian Church. It is much better to understand the words as simply requesting Timothy, on his way, to bring with him a thick cloak, or mantle, which St. Paul had left with a certain Carpus at Troas. Probably, when he left it, it was summer, and he was disinclined to burden himself in his hurried journey with any superfluous things. Winter was now coming on, and the poor aged prisoner in the cold damp prison, with few friends and scant resources, remembered and wished for his cloak. It is just such a request which the master would make of his disciple, who, knowing well the old man's frail, shattered health, would never be surprised at such a request even in an Epistle so solemn.

  • 1
    Besides, commentators of prior times (and our own!) forget that such trivialities are there because of, not despite, Paul having used the letter format for his teaching. "This is really me writing. See what big letters I'm using!" and "Oh wait, I also baptized Stephen's household. Can't remember if I baptized anyone else." Sometimes things just pop into your head. :) Jun 10 '19 at 10:20
  • Quite right Luke, I agree
    – user25930
    Jun 10 '19 at 10:53

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