AMPLIATUS (Ἀμπλιᾶτος [Ro 16:8 א ABFG], a common Lat. name of which AV Amplias [Ἀμπλίας, DELP] is a contraction)
Saluted by St. Paul and described as ‘my beloved in the Lord’ (τὸν ἀγαπητόν μου ἐν Κυρίῳ). The only other persons described in Ro 16 as ‘my beloved’ are Epænetus (v. 5) and Stachys (v. 9). A woman is saluted—perhaps with intentional delicacy—as ‘Persia the beloved’ (v. 12). The precise phrase ‘my beloved in the Lord’ does not occur again in the NT. The special term of Christian endearment might suggest that Ampliatus was a personal convert of St. Paul’s or closely associated with him in Christian work. Such friends, however, are referred to as ‘beloved child’ (Timothy, 1 Co 4:17), ‘beloved brother’ (Tychicus, Eph 6:21), ‘beloved fellow-servant’ (Epaphras, Col 1:7), etc. (cf. art. Beloved). Nothing whatever is known of Ampliatus beyond this reference.
Assuming the integrity of the Epistle and the Roman destination of these salutations, he was perhaps a Roman, whom St. Paul had met on one of his missionary journeys, and who was known by the Apostle at the time of writing to be residing in or visiting Rome. It is interesting to find the name Ampliatus several times in inscriptions belonging to the Imperial familia or household (see Lightfoot, Philippians4, 1878, p. 174, and Sanday-Headlam, Romans5, 1902, p. 424). Sanday-Headlam also refer to a Christian inscription in the catacomb of Domitilla belonging to the end of the 1st or beginning of the 2nd cent. in which the name occurs, possibly as that of a slave or freedman prominent in the Church. If the view be held that the salutations in Ro 16 were part of a letter to the Church of Ephesus, Ampliatus must have been a Roman, resident in Ephesus, with whom St. Paul became acquainted during his long stay in that city. It is possible that he was a Jew who had taken a Latin name (cf. the names Paulus, and Lucius a ‘kinsman,’ i.e. a Jew, Ro 16:21).
AV Authorized Version.