Eutychus was a young man of Troas tended to by St. Paul. Eutychus fell asleep due to the long nature of the discourse Paul was giving and fell from a windowsill out of the three story building. Paul then embraced him, insisting that he was not dead, and they carried him back upstairs alive; those gathered then had a meal and a long talk which lasted until dawn. This is related in the New Testament book of the Acts of the Apostles 20:7-12.
Though some (e.g. William Barclay, F. F. Bruce), viewing this account through a naturalistic lens, do not believe that Eutychus died, Wayne Jackson observes the following facts: 1) the author Luke, a physician (Col. 4:14), plainly states that Eutychus was "taken up dead" (ἤρθη νεκρός erthe nekros); 2) after Paul embraces Eutychus, he says, "Trouble not yourselves, for his life is in him" (ἡ γὰρ ψυχὴ αὐτοῦ ἐν αὐτῷ ἐστιν he gar psuche autou en auto estin), not "still in him" as the Weymouth translation erroneously interprets; 3) Eutychus was then "brought alive" by which the others were "not a little comforted," which words would make no sense if Eutychus had not died; and 4) Luke was fully capable of describing someone as only being "supposedly dead," as he did of Paul in Acts 14:19, but he did not do so here.
The name Eutychus means "fortunate".
Following the "source critic" theory of the historical-critical method of higher criticism, Dennis MacDonald, writing for the Institute for Higher Critical Studies, rejects the historical veracity of Luke's written accounts as described in his Gospel (Luke 1:1-4). McDonald postulates that the Eutychus account might have come from the pseudepigraphal The Acts of Paul, or more likely in his view, it is a retelling of the story of Elpenor from the Odyssey. He also notes the account's resemblance to numerous other stories from Greco-Roman mythology, such as Misenus, Palinurus, and Thespesius.
- Barclay, William (1955), The Acts of the Apostles (Philadelphia: Westminster Press).
- Bock, Darrell L. (2007), "Acts: Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament" (Ada, Michigan: Baker Publishing Group)
- Bruce, F.F. (1977), Paul: Apostle of the Heart Set Free (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans).
- Oster, Richard (1979), The Acts of the Apostles, Part II (Austin, Texas: Sweet Publishing Company).
- The Case of Eutychus, Christian Courier