Here’s an interesting commentary explanation about Epaphroditus’s illness that is worth sharing: ( Philippians 2:25-30 )
“There is a word in this passage which later had a famous usage. The King James Version speaks of Epaphroditus not regarding his life; the Revised Standard Version uses risking his life; we have translated it hazarding his life. The word is the verb paraboleuesthai ( G3851); it is a gambler’s word and means to stake everything on a turn of the dice. Paul is saying that for the sake of Jesus Christ Epaphroditus gambled his life. In the days of the Early Church there was an association of men and women called the parabolani, the gamblers. It was their aim to visit the prisoners and the sick, especially those who were ill with dangerous and infectious diseases. In A.D. 252 plague broke out in Carthage; the heathen threw out the bodies of their dead and fled in terror. Cyprian, the Christian bishop, gathered his congregation together and set them to burying the dead and nursing the sick in that plague-stricken city; and by so doing they saved the city, at the risk of their lives, from destruction and desolation.” a
That insight into Epaphroditus is an interesting commentary because of the information about his risk, life and faith. I share it because it’s worth to me is the one Greek verb the Bible mentions associated with gamblers. Faith is a definite gamble. There’s a risk involved with believing a) there is a God, b) Jesus as God walked the earth as a man with a specific purpose — to reveal His truth about dealing with the risks of life and finally c) at the end of His earthly life God/Jesus left an internal helper for those who believe; the Holy Spirit. The main evidence we have to support those risky truths is the Bible, but there is risk there too. What if some, of many, translators got their words wrong? You might gamble and be wrong…but are you willing to the risk your life on betting God couldn’t get it right?
Everything about mitigating that risk depends on learning the truth about a) accepting, b) believing and c) confirming truth for yourself. It’s a calculated risk. No one else’s investigating really matters. It really is all about you! God/Jesus/Holy Spirit does not demand — He reveals Himself to those willing to risk investigating. When that revelation happens you begin to understand the risk/benefits of personal faith. Read on! If you read/hear something from your investigation once, it’s information. If you read/hear the echo of that truth again, it’s confirmation and finally if you read/hear it a third time, it’s affirmation that you’ve just experienced the Holy Spirit, personally! God really is teaching you! May it be so!