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Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament [1]

(Περσίς, a Greek name)

Persis is a woman saluted by St. Paul in  Romans 16:12. She is described as ‘the beloved’ (τὴν ἀγαπητήν), by which may be meant a personal convert and disciple of the Apostle (see C. von Weizsäcker, Apostolic Age, Eng. tr._, i.2 [1897] 394) or one closely associated with him in his work. If so, it may be with intentional delicacy that St. Paul has so described her and not as ‘my beloved,’ the term which he applies to three men whom he salutes (Epaenetus [ Romans 16:5], Ampliatus [ Romans 16:8], Stachys [ Romans 16:9]). On the other hand, ‘the beloved’ may indicate not personal relationship to the Apostle but the affection in which Persis was held by the whole Church to which she belonged and in which she ‘laboured much in the Lord’ (ἥτις πολλὰ ἐκοπίασεν ἐν κυρίῳ). This further description completes our information with regard to Persis. It is noteworthy that the verb κοπιᾶν, which suggests painstaking effort, is used in Romans 16 only of women-of Mary ( Romans 16:6), of Tryphaena and Tryphosa ( Romans 16:12), and that the description of Persis includes the terms used of these, viz. πολλὰ ἐκοπίασεν (Mary), κοπιώσας ἐν κυρίῳ (Tryphaena and Tryphosa). Elsewhere κοπιᾶν is employed to describe the Apostle’s missionary labours ( 1 Corinthians 15:10,  Galatians 4:11,  Philippians 2:16,  Colossians 1:29), as well as the manual toil involved ( 1 Corinthians 4:12,  Ephesians 4:28); also the work of the leaders of the Church at Thessalonica ( 1 Thessalonians 5:12), of Christians like those who formed ‘the household of Stephanas’ ( 1 Corinthians 16:16), and of certain elders in  1 Timothy 5:17 ‘who labour in the word and in teaching.’ It is therefore impossible to regard the work of Persis and of the other women as limited to practical benevolence, such as the showing of hospitality. The aorist, in contrast to the present used in the same verse of the labours of Tryphaena and Tryphosa, may point to some definite occasion of special importance in the past; or we may suppose that Persis was an aged woman whose active work was over. The sphere in which we shall picture her activities will be determined by our acceptance of the Roman or Ephesian destination of these salutations. The name Persis does not appear in inscriptions of the Imperial household.

T. B. Allworthy.

Fausset's Bible Dictionary [2]

A Christian woman, saluted and praised by Paul ( Romans 16:12) as having "laboured much in the Lord"; compare Priscilla' s ministrations as to Apollos ( Acts 18:26).

Smith's Bible Dictionary [3]

Per'sis. (A Persian Woman). A Christian woman at Rome,  Romans 16:12, whom St. Paul salutes. (A.D. 55).

Morrish Bible Dictionary [4]

A Christian woman at Rome, to whom Paul sent a salutation. He called her, "the beloved Persis, which laboured much in the Lord."  Romans 16:12 .

American Tract Society Bible Dictionary [5]

A Roman lady, whom Paul salutes,  Romans 16:12 , and calls his beloved sister.

Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible [6]

PERSIS. A Christian woman saluted in   Romans 16:12 .

Holman Bible Dictionary [7]

 Romans 16:12

Easton's Bible Dictionary [8]

 Romans 16:12

Webster's Dictionary [9]

(n.) A kind of coloring matter obtained from lichens.

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature [10]

( Περσίς , fem. of Περσικός , Persian, so used by A Eschylus, Pers. 151, 281, and often), a female Christian at Rome, whom Paul salutes ( Romans 16:12). A.D. 55. The apostle commends her with special affection on account of some work which she had performed with singular diligence (see Origen, ad loc.).

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia [11]

pûr´sis ( Περσίς , Persı́s ): The name of a female member of the Christian community at Rome, to whom Paul sent greetings (  Romans 16:12 ). Paul designates her "the beloved, who labored much in the Lord." The name is not found in inscriptions of the imperial household, but it occurs as the name of a freedwoman (Cil, Vi 23, 959).