(Hy·me·naeʹus) [named after Hymen, the Greek god of marriage].
An apostate from Christianity during the first century, Hymenaeus was identified by Paul as a blasphemer, full of “empty speeches that violate what is holy.” In his deviation from the truth, Hymenaeus, along with a certain Philetus, taught false doctrine, subverting the faith of some. One of their false teachings was that ‘the resurrection had already occurred’ in their day. Evidently this was their teaching: that the resurrection was merely a spiritual one, of a symbolic kind, and that the dedicated Christians had already had their resurrection, that this was all there was to the matter and there was no further resurrection in the future under God’s Messianic Kingdom.—2Ti 2:16-18; compare 1Co 15:12-23.
In Paul’s first letter to Timothy, Hymenaeus’ name is associated with another apostate, Alexander. The apostle states that he had handed Hymenaeus and Alexander “over to Satan,” evidently referring to Paul’s expelling or disfellowshipping them from the congregation.—1Ti 1:18-20.