International Standard Bible Encyclopedia
nik-o-la'-us (English Versions of the Bible), nik'-o-las (Nikolaos): One of "the seven" chosen to have the oversight of "the daily ministration" to the poor of the church in Jerusalem (Acts 6:5). He is called "a proselyte of Antioch"; the other 6 were therefore probably Jews by birth. This is the first recorded case of the admission of a proselyte into office in the Christian church. Some of the church Fathers (Irenaeus, Hippolytus, Pseudo-Tertullian) state that he was the founder of the sect called NICOLAITANS (which see) (Revelation 2:15). Other Fathers seem to suggest that this was a vain claim made by this sect in seeking apostolic authority for their opinions. It may be that the opinions of this sect were an antinomian exaggeration of the preaching of Nicolaus.