The Letter to the Romans
Chapter 16
Copyright ©2004, Charles Hess, Lakeside, California

Chapter 16 brings to a close the marvelous letter to the Roman saints.[ 1 ] Paul commends Phoebe to them. He greets some twenty-five people including some congregations meeting in houses. He warns about divisive individuals. His amanuensis Tertius was allowed to write his own greeting. Seven others sent greetings. The letter closes by glorifying the God who by prophetic Scriptures made known the gospel for obedience of the faith (see chart ROMANS 16 OUTLINE).


    1. Phoebe commended (Ro 16:1, 2).
    2. Greetings to twenty-five people and house congregations (Ro 16:3-16).
    3. Warning about divisive people (Ro 16:17-20).
    4. Tertius' and others send greetings (Ro 16:21-24).
    5. God who made known the gospel for obedience
    is glorified (Ro 16:25-27).


16:1, 2 I commend to you Phoebe our sister, who is a servant of the church in Cenchrea, 2 that you may receive her in the Lord in a manner worthy of the saints, and assist her in whatever business she has need of you; for indeed she has been a helper of many and of myself also.

I commend to you [but I commend unto you].[ 2 ] Verses 1, 2 serve as a "letter" of recommendation[ 3 ] for a sister in Christ who would be carrying not only the portion that praised her but Paul's entire epistle to the church of Christ in Rome.


    (Ro 16:1,2)

    1. A servant, deaconess [Greek DIAKONON], Latin MINISTRA] (Arndt 184); deaconess [Latin MINISTRA], a woman to whom care of either poor or sick women was entrusted (Thayer 138).
    2. A widow, implied by her travels to Rome.

Phoebe, our sister [ our sister Phebe].[ 4 ] Phoebe was a Christian, a sister in Christ. Living Oracles, the translation that Alexander Campbell admired has:

I recommend to you Phoebe, our sister, who is a deaconess of the congregation in Cenchrea."

Conybeare and Howson suppose that Phoebe was a widow of consideration and wealth who acted as one of the deaconesses of the Church and was now about to sail to Rome upon some private business apparently connected with a lawsuit in which she was engaged. She could not (according to Greek manners) have been mentioned as acting in the independent manner described either if her husband had been living or if she had been unmarried.[ 5 ]

Spiros Zodhiates summarized church activities of women as follows:

In this regard we must note that the story of the early church significantly begins with the inclusion of women in the apostolic meetings for prayer (Ac 1:14). Their presence and activity are clearly illustrated by the references to Tabitha (Ac 9:36), Mary the mother of John Mark (Ac 12:12), Lydia (Ac 16:14), Damaris (Ac 17:34), and Priscilla (Ac 18:2). The story of Sapphira (Ac 5:7f) implies the comparatively independent membership and responsibility of women within the Christian community. Priscilla illustrates their active evangelism (Ac 18:26).[ 6 ]

Who is a servant [a, which is a, deaconess, who is minister].[ 7 ] A deaconess is a servant. So is a deacon. The word translated "deacon" or "deaconess" is used several times in Scripture of servants in an ordinary non-official sense. If the early church had special female servants, what did they do?

Adam Clarke described the work of women as follows:

There were deaconesses in the primitive Church, whose business it was to attend the female converts at baptism; to instruct the catechumens, or persons who were candidates for baptism; to visit the sick, and those who were in prison and, in short, perform those religious offices for the female part of the Church which could not with propriety be performed by men. They were chosen in general out of the most experienced of the Church, and were ordinarily widows, who had borne children. Some ancient constitutions required them to be forty, others fifty, and others sixty years of age.... In the tenth or eleventh century the order became extinct in the Latin Church, but continued in the Greek Church till the end of the twelfth century.[ 8 ]

Marvin Vincent gives additional information. According to him, the third century Apostolical Constitutions distinguish deaconesses from widows and virgins, prescribe their duties and a form for their ordination. Pliny the younger[ 9 ] appears to refer to them in his letter to Trajan, in which he speaks of the torture of two maids who were called ministrae.[ 10 ] Vincent observes further: The office or work seems to have been confined mainly to widows, though virgins were not absolutely excluded. Their duties were to take care of the sick and poor, to minister to martyrs and confessors in prison to instruct catechumens, to assist at the baptism of women and to exercise a general supervision over the female church-members[ 11 ] (see note on 1Ti 3:11).[ 12 ]

Of the church in Cenchrea [of the assembly at, which, that, is at, is in, Cenchrea].[ 13 ] Cenchrea was a seaport town nearly nine miles east of Corinth on the shore of the Aegean Sea. Its prime location made it a trade city. The Isthmian games were held nearby on the six mile wide isthmus. Paul got a haircut at Cenchrea after leaving Corinth (Ac 18:18).

That you may receive her [that ye receive her].[ 14 ] Paul realized he was writing Scripture. He knew the Roman letter was inspired by the Holy Spirit and by God's grace it would be delivered to the church at Rome. The church there was instructed to look for Phoebe's arrival with the letter and to welcome her as a sister in the Lord.

In the Lord [in the Lord].[ 15 ] Phoebe was a faithful Christian, one who was "in the Lord" by virtue of baptism (see Ro 6:3; Ga 3:27) and one who possessed the Spirit of Christ (Ro 8:9).

In a manner worthy of the saints [as befits, as becometh, worthily of saints].[ 16 ] All Christians are saints. As such, they should be received with honor and treated with dignity.

And assist her [and help her, and that ye assist, may assist, her].[ 17 ] Phoebe was almost certainly a widow.[ 18 ] Although Paul had confidence in her as an intelligent and competent woman, in the metropolis of Rome she would need introductions to leading citizens with whom she would transact business or file a lawsuit. She would require assistance in obtaining lodging as well as arranging local and return transportation.

In whatever business she has need of you [in whatever, in whatsoever matter, she hath, she may require, from you, have need of you].[ 19 ] The Greek PRAGMATI matter was sometimes used in secular writings in a technical sense to denote a matter at law, a case, a lawsuit. Some have imagined that Phoebe was a lawyer or at least a paralegal who needed information and arrangements or funds for a trial in Rome. Along this line, J. S. Howson wrote,

From the use of legal terms here, it would seem that the business on which Phoebe was visiting Rome was connected with some trial at law.[ 20 ]

For indeed she has been a helper of many [for she, for she herself, hath been also a succorer of many].[ 21 ] Phoebe had been generous and hospitable to numerous others (compare Ro 12:8).

And of myself also [and of mine own self as well].[ 22 ] One thing Phoebe did for Paul was to deliver the Roman letter from Corinth to the church in Rome.[ 23 ] No doubt, she assisted him in other ways as implied by the word PROSTATIS a patroness or protectress.


    (Ro 16:3-5)

    1. Tent-makers when Paul met them at Corinth
    (Ac 18:2).
    2. Sailed with Paul from Corinth [Cenchrea] (Ac 18:18).
    3. Instructed Apollos more perfectly (Ac 18:24-26).
    4. Sent greetings to Corinth from Ephesus where the
    church met in their house (1Co 16:19).
    5. The church also in their house in Rome (Ro 16:3-5).
    6. Risked their own necks for Paul (Ro 16:4),
    7. Just before his death in Italy, Paul greeted them
    at Ephesus (2Ti 4:19).


16:3-6 Greet Priscilla and Aquila, my fellow workers in Christ Jesus, 4 who risked their own necks for my life, to whom not only I give thanks, but also all the churches of the Gentiles. 5 Likewise greet the church that is in their house. 5 Greet my beloved Epaenetus, who is the firstfruits of Achaia to Christ. 6 Greet Mary, who labored much for us.

Greet [salute].[ 24 ] Paul begins his greetings to several people at Rome. Right now, I cannot think of a single instance where he ever sent greetings to a non-Christian anywhere (but see note on Narcissus at verse 11; compare 2Jo 10).

Priscilla and Aquila [Prisca and Aquila].[ 25 ] First to be honored by Paul with a greeting is his favorite couple, Priscilla and Aquila. Apparently these converts were from Rome but had been banished along with other Jews by Claudius Caesar (Ac 18:2, 18, 26). Paul found them in Corinth. They travelled with him to Ephesus.[ 26 ] When he left to go to Jerusalem, they stayed behind, prepared the soil and sowed gospel seed for a harvest of souls when Paul returned. Later, they returned to Rome and were there when Paul wrote the Roman letter. When he wrote 2 Timothy from Rome, they were again at Ephesus (2Ti 4:19; see chart PRISCILLA AND AQUILA).

May I call attention to Paul's unusual and courteous mention of the wife before the husband? This was contrary to custom (see Ac 18:18, 26; 2Ti 4:19). Priscilla, in some way, seemed to stand out as the more important of the two. This is an indication that Paul was not prejudiced against women. Certainly the Holy Spirit was not.

My fellow workers [my helpers, my fellow-workmen].[ 27 ] Priscilla and Aquila worked along with Paul in making tents, but more importantly, in. the teaching of the gospel.


    (Ro 16:3)

    1. Baptized into Christ (Ro 6:3; Ga 3:27).
    2. No condemnation in Christ Jesus (Ro 8:1).
    3. A new creature (2Co 5:17).
    4. The churches are "in Christ" (Ga 1:22).
    5. Every spiritual blessing in Christ (Eph 1:3).

In Christ Jesus.[ 28 ] Priscilla and Aquila were in Christ. That is, they were Christians. They enjoyed a close union with the Son of God (see Ro 16:2, 7, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13; chart WHAT IT MEANS TO BE IN CHRIST).

[16:4] Who.[ 29 ] The Greek word HOITINES who is a little stronger than the English "who." It carries an explanatory connotation. One might translate it "seeing that they" (see footnote).

[16:4] Risked their own necks [laid down, have laid down, staked, their necks, their own neck].[ 30 ] Since Priscilla and Aquila were with Paul both in Corinth and Ephesus and no one laid a hand on him in Corinth,[ 31 ] it has been suggested that the heroic risking of life by Priscilla and Aquila occurred in or near Ephesus.

For my life.[ 32 ] Somehow in the past Priscilla and Aquila had saved Paul's life. At this point, I have been unable to determine when and where they did this.

To whom not only I give thanks [ unto whom not I only give thanks, am thankful].[ 33 ] Paul was not an ingrate. He took opportunity to express his deep appreciation for what Priscilla and Aquila had done for him.

But also all the churches of the Gentiles [but all the churches, assemblies, of the nations, of the Gentiles also].[ 34 ] Priscilla and Aquila were Jews like Paul. They had worked with him among Gentiles in both Corinth and Ephesus. Gentile churches respected them and were appreciative of what they did for the apostle.


    (Ro 16:5)

    1. Church in house of Prisca and Aquila (Ro 16:5).
    2. Of the household of Aristobulus (Ro 16:10).
    3. Household of Narcissus (Ro 16:11).
    4. Asyncritus, Phlegon, Hermas, Patrobas, Hermes and
    the brethren with them (Ro 16:14).
    5. Philologus, Julia, Nereus and his sister, Olympas and
    all the saints who are with them (Ro 16:15).

[16:5] Likewise greet the church that is in their house [greet also, also greet]. and salute, the assembly in, that is at, their house].[ 35 ] According to Lightfoot, there is no clear example of a separate building set apart for Christian worship within the limits of the Roman Empire before the third century.[ 36 ] The Christian Chronicle printed an article by David Emery, stating:

The countries lying adjacent to the Mediterranean Sea contain remains of thousands of early Christian meeting places. Included among these are more than 500 Christian basilicas with baptisteries that date from Ad 313 to 539. These dates are significant in that they mark the beginning of the legal status of the Christian faith by a decree of Emperor Constantine and of mandatory baptism of all children in their "tender age," by Emperor Justinian.[ 37 ]

At first, Jewish synagogues were made available to the Christians but prejudice soon brought an end to this privilege. However, in nearly every large city there was an amphitheater suitable for a meeting-place of thousands of Christians.

Greet my beloved Epaenetus [salute Epaenetus my beloved, salute my well-beloved Epaenetus].[ 38 ] Epaenetus was a Christian and a dear friend of Paul's (see chart BELOVED IN THE LORD).


    (Ro 16:5)

    1. Epaenetus - first convert of Achaia [Asia] (Ro 16:5).
    2. Ampliatus - Paul's beloved in the Lord (Ro 16:8).
    3. Stachys - Paul's beloved (Ro 16:9).
    4. Persis - the beloved who labored much in the
    Lord (Ro 6:12).

Who is the firstfruits [who was, the first convert, first converted].[ 39 ] Some have become confused because of what Paul had previously written about the household of Stephanas being the firstfruits of Achaia.

I urge you, brethren-- you know the household of Stephanas, that it is the firstfruits of Achaia, and that they have devoted themselves to the ministry of the saints (1Co 16:15).

Most likely Epaenetus was of the household of Stephanas. He may have been the first one in that family to have obeyed the gospel. Evidently, he was the only member of it in Rome at the time Paul sent greetings.

Of Achaia[ 40 ] [in, of, Asia].[ 41 ] There is some doubt that "of Achaia" is the correct word here. Harrison and others plainly state that the KJV is wrong in its reading "Achaia."[ 42 ] At least twelve manuscripts and several modern versions have "of Asia" which is thought to be the correct reading (see note on 1Co 16:15).
To Christ [for, unto, Christ].[ 43 ] Notice how Christians are described in this chapter. They are "sisters" or "brethren" (verses 1, 14, 17), "in the Lord" (verses 1, 8, 11 12, 13), "in Christ" or "in Christ Jesus" (verses 3, 7, 9, 10), converted to Christ (verse 5), "saints" (verse 15) and slaves of the Lord (implied in verse 18).


    (Ro 16:6)

    1. Work mentioned:
    Priscilla, a fellow-worker (Ro 16:3).
    Mary (Ro 16:6).
    Tryphnena (Ro 16:12).
    Tryphosa (Ro 16:12).
    Persis (Ro 16:12).
    2. Mother of Rufus "and mine" (Ro 16:13).
    3. Women mentioned without explanation.
    Julia (Ro 16:15).
    Sister of Nereus (Ro 16:15).


    (Ro 16:6)

    1. Mary - labored much for us (Ro 16:6).
    2. Andronicus and Junias, Paul's kinsmen, fellow-
    prisoners, of note among the apostles, in Christ
    before Paul (Ro 16:7).
    3. Urbanus - fellow worker in Christ (Ro 16:9).
    4. Apelles - approved in Christ (Ro 16:10).
    5. Herodion - Paul's countryman (Ro 16:11).
    6. Tryphaena and Tryphosa - labored in the Lord
    (Ro 16:12).
    7. Rufus - chosen in the Lord, his mother and Paul's.


    (Ro 16:6)

    1. Priscilla, "fellow-worker" (Ro 16:3).
    2. Mary, "labored much for us" (Ro 16:6).
    3. Persis, "labored much in the Lord" (Ro 16:12).
    4. Tryphena, "labored in the Lord" (Ro 16:12).
    5. Tryphosa, "labored in the Lord" (Ro 16:12).

[16:6] Greet Mary [salute Mary, Maria].[ 44 ] Mary was a fairly common name in the first century. This one is generally called "Mary of Rome" to distinguish her from four other Marys in the NT. For all I know, this fine lady may have been one of them but there is no way I can be sure. Priscilla, Aquila and others travelled back and forth from Asia to Rome. It is possible that one or more of the other Marys did the same (see note and chart PRISCILLA AND AQUILA at verse 3).

Who labored much for us [who worked, has worked, hard for you, among you, who bestowed much labor on us].[ 45 ] Nothing identifies this particular Mary except her diligent work for the church (see charts PAUL GREETS EIGHT WOMEN; HARD-WORKING WOMEN).


16:7 Greet Andronicus and Junia, my countrymen and my fellow prisoners, who are of note among the apostles, who also were in Christ before me.


    (Ro 16:7)

    1. Andronicus and Junias (Ro 16:7).
    2. Mother of Rufus "and mine" (Ro 16:13).
    3. Herodion (Ro 16:11).
    4. Lucius, Jason and Sosipater (Ro 16:21).

Greet Andronicus [salute Andronicus][ 46 ] (see note below on And Junia; also verse 3).

And Junia [and Junias].[ 47 ] The variation in spelling of Junia(s) is due a textual variation in various manuscripts (see note below and footnote). Junia is feminine and Junias is masculine. Arndt and Ginrich state that ancient commentators regarded Andronicus and Junia as a married couple but most regard Junias as a man.[ 48 ]

Some writers have had an agenda to make Junias (masculine) into Junia (feminine). They attempted to claim that there was a female apostle in order to prop up their obsession to put women into the pulpit! However, the language is not definitive enough to do that. In fact, there is not much support at all for "Junia" (feminine) being the correct reading. Junias (masculine) appears in several manuscripts and is carried in most modern versions. Zondervan assumes he was a man, stating, "He had become a Christian before Paul's conversion."[ 49 ]

The meticulous NASB translators render the name "Junias" (masculine). Andronicus and Junias, long-time faithful Christian men, were well-known by Paul and other apostles.

My kinsmen [my relatives].[ 50 ] The Greek word for "kinsmen" or "relatives" is broad enough to mean Paul's own family members, members of his tribe or his fellow-Jews. To say the least, Paul implied by "kinsmen" that Andronicus and Junias were his fellow-countrymen. However, some other Christians mentioned in this chapter were Jews but are not designated by him as "kinsmen." For example, Priscilla and Aquila were not.[ 51 ] Elsewhere Paul apparently applied "kinsmen" to Jews in general (see Ro 9:3; 16:10, 21).

Some have taken a middle course in order to make "kinsmen" mean more than fellow-Jews and less than family, suggesting that they were of Paul's own tribe of Benjamin.

And my fellow prisoners [and fellow-captives].[ 52 ] Paul was converted about AD 34-37. He was imprisoned at least seven times.[ 53 ] Some of his fellow-prisoners had obeyed the gospel during confinement. Other Christians were with him voluntarily or were arrested because they stayed with him too long or aroused suspicion in some other manner. Just when or why Andronicus and Junias were with him in prison is not known.

Who are of note [they are men of note, eminent, noted, outstanding].[ 54 ]


    (Ro 16:7)

    1. Paul's kinsmen, Andronicus and Junias who became Christians before Paul (Ro 16:7).
    2. Epaphras, faithful servant from Colossae
    (Col 1:4, 7, 8; 4:12, 13; Phm 23).
    3. Aristarchus, Paul's traveling companion from
    Thessalonica (Ac 19:29; 20:4; 27:2; Col 4:10;
    Phm 24).

Among the apostles.[ 55 ] Apostles are simply those sent forth as messengers or those on a commission. Other than the twelve, several others were "apostles" in a general sense. For example, Barnabas was called an apostle (Ac 13:3). Some have postulated that Andronicus and Junias were apostles in this sense. However, the language does not require that they were apostles at all. The verse says they were known "among the apostles." Under the heading of APOSTOLOS apostle, Thayer lists this passage and wrote, in part:

In a broader sense the name is transferred to other eminent Christian teachers; as Barnabas.[ 56 ]

Thayer then cites Romans 16:7 with a question mark to imply uncertainty as to whether the title of "apostle" should be attributed to Junias. It is interesting that apostles are mentioned but Peter is not even alluded to. Was he in Rome? Was he the first Pope? If so, it is peculiar that Paul passed him by without even a greeting, but mentioned Junia(s)!

Who also were in Christ before me [and they were, have been, who were, who were also, in Christ before I was].[ 57 ] Andronicus and Junias became Christians before Paul did. It is possible they were converted on or after Pentecost and knew the apostles in Jerusalem. The church began on Pentecost in AD 30 and the Roman letter was written about AD 56. If Andronicus and Junias became members of the church of Christ on Pentecost, they could have been Christians for as long as twenty-six years when Paul wrote the Roman letter. The Greek perfect tense indicates that they were still faithful when Paul wrote the Roman epistle.


16:8 Greet Ampliatus, my beloved in the Lord.

Greet Ampliatus [salute Amplias].[ 58 ] F. F. Bruce commented:

A branch of the gens[ 59 ] Aurelia bore this cognomen.[ 60 ] Christian members of this branch of the family are buried in one of the oldest Christian burying-places in Rome, the Cemetery of Domitilla, the beginnings of which go back to the end of the first century. One tomb in that cemetery, decorated with paintings in a very early style, bears the inscription AMPLIAT in uncials of the first or early second century.[ 61 ]

My beloved in the Lord [beloved in the Lord].[ 62 ] Except that Ampliatus was Paul's personal friend, I know nothing about him (see chart BELOVED IN THE LORD at verse 5).


16:9 Greet Urbanus, our fellow-worker in Christ, and Stachys my beloved.

Greet Urbanus [salute Urbane].[ 63 ] Nothing else is known about Urbanus except that he worked with Paul and his name means "city-bred" or "polite" (see chart PERSONS OF WHOM LITTLE IS KNOWN at verse 6).

Our fellow-worker in Christ [our helper, fellow-workman, in Christ].[ 64 ] Urbanus had worked with Paul and others but the circumstances are not known.

And Stachys my beloved [and my beloved Stachys][ 65 ] Stachys whose name means "a head of grain" was another of Paul's friends in Christ (see chart BELOVED IN THE LORD at verse 5).


    (Ro 16:10, 11)

    1. Those of the household of Aristobulus (Ro 16:10).
    2. Those of the household of Narcissus who are in the Lord (Ro 16:11).


16:10 Greet Apelles, approved in Christ. Greet those who are of the household of Aristobulus.

Greet Apelles [salute Apelles].[ 66 ] Some have suggested that Apelles is Apollos but I doubt it (see chart PERSONS OF WHOM LITTLE IS KNOWN at verse 6).
Approved in Christ [the approved, who is approved, in Christ].[ 67 ] Apelles must have undergone a severe test and had come through it sound and unscathed. Regardless of the severity of the situation, he continued to show by his manner of life that he was a true Christian.

Greet those who are of the household of Aristobulus [salute them which, that, belong to the family of Aristobulus].[ 68 ] The name Aristobulus" means "the best counselor." Tradition makes him one of the seventy (see Lu 10:1, 17).[ 69 ] Aristobulus may not be included in the greeting as are those of his household.


16:11 Greet Herodion, my countryman. Greet those who are of the household of Narcissus who are in the Lord.

Greet Herodion, my countryman [salute my kinsman Herodion, Herodion my kinsman, my relative].[ 70 ] Herodion was Paul's kinsman. This at least means he was a Jew who had become a Christian (but see note on verse 7; chart PAUL'S KINSMEN at verse 7).

Greet those who are of the household of Narcissus [salute them who belong to Narcissus, that be of, the family of, Narcissus, Narcissus' house].[ 71 ] The favorite freedman of the emperor Claudius Caesar bore this name[ 72 ] but was put to death before the Roman letter was penned. Since only his household is greeted, it is possible that this particular Narcissus was dead when Paul wrote.[ 73 ] Another Narcissus[ 74 ] in Rome was a favorite of Nero. Which ever one is intended, some of his slaves and/or family members were Christians.

Who are in the Lord [in, which, that, are in, the Lord].[ 75 ] Those greeted here were Christians. Some others in the household may not have been as yet baptized. Everyone who is "in the Lord" has been immersed into Him (see Ro 6:3, 4; Ga 3:26, 27).


16:12 Greet Tryphaena and Tryphosa, who have labored in the Lord. Greet the beloved Persis who labored much in the Lord.

Greet Tryphaena and Tryphosa [salute Tryphena and Tryphosa].[ 76 ] All I am sure of is that these two were sisters in Christ worked very hard for the Lord. Their similar names suggest to some that they were twins, blood sisters or possibly slaves. Both names are derived from a Greek word meaning to live luxuriously. Slaves were sometimes named "Prosperous" or "Profitable" (see notes on Phm 11, 20). A slave-owner might have so named these girls to reflect his actual or desired financial status. The name "Tryphaena" has been found on inscriptions of name plates in the burial places of the servants of the royal household of Rome from the time of Paul[ 77 ] (see chart HARD-WORKING WOMEN).

Who have labored in the Lord [workers, those workers, who labor, in the Lord].[ 78 ] Tryphaena and Tryphosa toiled and labored for the Lord and in the Lord. The exact nature of their work is unknown. Because Paul approved it, we may infer that it was in line with the Scriptural role of women in the church.[ 79 ]


Greet the beloved Persis [salute Persis the beloved, greet Persis].[ 80 ] The name "Persis" suggests that this beloved lady was a Persian or an Iranian (see chart PERSONS BELOVED IN THE LORD, verse 5).

Who labored much in the Lord [who has, which, worked hard in the Lord].[ 81 ] The only work acceptable to heaven is that done "in Christ" (see Mt 7:21-23: 1Co 15:58). Persis "labored much in the Lord" as compared to Tryphaena and Tryphosa who were "workers in the Lord."


16:13 Greet Rufus, chosen in the Lord, and his mother and mine.

Greet Rufus [salute Rufus].[ 82 ] The son of Simon of Cyrene[ 83 ] wore the Latin name "Rufus" or "Red." Mark had probably read Paul's letter to the church in Rome before he wrote his own gospel. No doubt he knew personally Ruphus who was a member there. The manner in which Mark mentions him suggests that he was well-known and certainly had become a Christian (see Mk 15:21).

Chosen in the Lord [eminent, the chosen, in the Lord].[ 84 ] "Chosen" or is often used in Scripture in the sense of eminent or outstanding (see Ge 23:6; De 12:11; Jg 20:16; Ps 78:31). Rufus was no ordinary bench-warmer. As a Christian, he was choice, chosen, outstanding!

And his mother and mine [also his mother and mine, and greet his and my mother].[ 85 ] "His mother" is understood to be the literal mother of Rufus and the figurative mother of Paul. If I am right in assuming the Rufus whom Paul greets was the son of Simon, then "his mother and mine" was the wife of the Simon of Cyrene who was pressed into service to bear the cross of Jesus. When she heard Paul's letter being read including the words "His mother and mine" her tender and elderly heart must have overflowed with emotion as tears welled up in her eyes.


16:14 Greet Asyncritus, Phlegon, Hermas, Patrobas, Hermes, and the
brethren who are with them.

Greet Asyncritus [salute Asyncritus].[ 86 ]

Phlegon.[ 87 ]

Hermas [Hermes].[ 88 ]

Patrobas.[ 89 ]

Hermes [Hermas].[ 90 ] The names Hermas and Hermes both mean "Mercury" or "interpreter." They are similar to our word "hermeneutics," the science of interpretation. There is a "church fathers" manuscript called The Shepherd of Hermas. Perhaps the Hermas whom Paul greets wrote it.

And the brethren who are with them [and the brethren with, which, that, are with, them].[ 91 ] The five men listed in verse 14 were associated in one group. Possibly they met together in a "house church" (see chart HOUSEHOLDS AND HOUSE CHURCHES at verse 5).


16:15 Greet Philologus and Julia, Nereus and his sister, and Olympas, and
all the saints who are with them.

Greet Philologus and Julia [salute Philologus, Julia].[ 92 ]

Nereus and his sister[ 93 ] and Olympas.[ 94 ]

And all the saints who are with them [and all the saints with them, that are, which are, with them].[ 95 ] Possibly this is another house church (see chart HOUSEHOLDS AND HOUSE CHURCHES at verse 5).


16:16 Greet one another with a holy kiss. The[ 96 ] churches of Christ greet you.

Greet one another [salute one another].[ 97 ] If Paul could would visited the saints in Rome he surely would have tried to personally greet each one with a holy kiss. Did the entire membership at Rome assemble in such a place as the colosseum for the reading of the Roman letter? At the conclusion of which, did everyone turn and greet one another as Paul would have done?

With a holy kiss [with an holy kiss].[ 98 ] From early times, the kiss was a common form of greeting. It was generally on the cheek, beard or forehead. Sometimes it was on the lips (Pr 24:26; compare Song 1:2; 8:1). Men kissed men (Ge 29:13; 33:4; 45:15; Ex 4:27; 18:7; 2Sa 14:33). Men and women kissed each other (Ge 29:11; 31:28). People kissed each other goodbye (Ge 31:55; Ru 1:9, 14; Ac 20:37). Friends kissed (1Sa 20:41; 2Sa 19:39). A sinful woman kissed Jesus' feet (Lu 7:38, 45).

Kisses as greetings were seldom abused. However, they were not always a sign
of genuine affection (see 2Sa 15:5; 20:9; Pr 27:6; Mt 26:48, 49; Mk 14:44, 45).

The churches of Christ greet you [all the churches of Christ, the assemblies of Christ, salute you].[ 99 ] Paul had travelled among the churches in Greece, Asia, Syria, Judea and other places. Now doubt he often expressed to them his desire to visit Rome (see Ro 15:23). Brethren in various localities asked him to greet the large and well-known church in Rome on their behalf.


Dwell on the splendid name given to the congregations of God's people-- "the churches of Christ." The name honors the one who established the church. It recognizes its head. It pays homage to the one who purchased it with His own blood. All of God's congregations are His. They are all "churches of Christ." One congregation is a church of Christ. Jesus said, "On this rock I will build My church" (Mt 16:18). The church universal is made up of all the congregations. It is also His. That great body of saved people is "the church of Christ."


16:17 Now I urge you, brethren, note those who cause divisions and offenses, contrary to the doctrine which you learned, and avoid them.

Now I urge you [I, but I, appeal to you, beseech you, admonish you].[ 100 ] With the word "urge" Paul introduces a very solemn and vital topic.

Brethren.[ 101 ] The term "brethren" distinguishes the faithful from those who cause dissensions. Brethren are baptized believers. They are Christians, those who are "spiritual" (see Ga 6:1). Included are both brothers and sisters in Christ.

Mark those [to consider, to take note of, be on the lookout for, them].[ 102 ] Church-splitters are to be noted and watched carefully. The command to greet one another with a holy kiss does not necessarily apply to them.

Who cause divisions [who create, which cause, those who cause, that are causing, dissensions, the divisions].[ 103 ] The definite article in the Greek suggests the dissensions or disturbances were well-known to the brethren in Rome. The only division of which I am aware had to do with Jew-Gentile problems. However, most any false teaching, if preached long enough by someone with charisma, can gain a following. When people accept error, it nearly always causes division. In our day, divisions have been caused by stressing various issues both conservative and liberal.

When a congregation divides, who is responsible? Are there not two sides to every story? Yes, but in the case of division, the ones who are wrong are the ones guilty of church-splitting. For example, those who insisted on introducing the instrument of music into churches of Christ caused division in the ranks of those interested in restoring NT Christianity.

And offenses [and difficulties, occasions of stumbling, falling].[ 104 ] Hindrances and obstacles are whatever makes it easier to sin and harder to do what is right.

Contrary to the doctrine which you learned [in opposition to the doctrine which you received, have been taught, which ye, which ye have, learned, learnt].[ 105 ] It makes a great difference what kind of doctrine one teaches, believes or follows. The gospel preached by the apostles was inspired by the Holy Spirit (see Ac 2:1-5; 1Co 2:10, 13; 14:37; 2Co 12:1; Ga 1:12). Teaching contrary to it is sinful and leads to eternal damnation (Ga 1:7-9).

And avoid them [avoid them, and turn away from them].[ 106 ] False teachers are not to be kept in the fellowship nor should they be invited to speak on lectureships or in pulpits.


16:18 For those who are such do not serve our Lord Jesus[ 107 ] Christ, but their own belly, and by smooth words and flattering speech deceive the hearts of the simple.

For those who are such [for such, for such persons, people, they that are such].[ 108 ] The men under consideration in the present verse are those who cause disturbances and divisions (see verse 17).

Do not serve our Lord Jesus Christ [serve not our Lord Christ].[ 109 ] The life of a Christian is one of service to the Savior. No matter how smooth and nice false teachers may seem to be, they do not belong to Christ. They are in the
service of Satan.

But their own belly [but their own appetites, selves].[ 110 ] Some false teachers serve their own belly. Paul, on the other hand, taught that the kingdom of God is not "eating and drinking" (Ro 14:17) but everyone in his day had not learned that. Sadly, in our generation there have been preachers, television evangelists and others whose primary motivation seemed to be to engage in sins of the flesh and to line their own pockets. Paul described them as follows:

For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: whose end is destruction, whose god is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame-- who set their mind on earthly things (Php 3:18, 19).

And by smooth words [and through good words, fair words, their smooth speech, fair speeches].[ 111 ] The crafty schemes cooked up by smooth talkers involve "every wind of doctrine" and "trickery of men" (Eph 4:14). They employ "persuasive argument" (Col 2:4) but Paul calls them "idle talkers" (Tit 1:10).

And flattering speech [and fair talk, speeches, words].[ 112 ] Flattering speech is a style of speaking designed not to teach the truth but to captivate the hearers.

Deceive [they deceive, beguile].[ 113 ] "Deceitful workers" (2Co 11:13) not only dupe others but are themselves deceived (2Ti 3:13). They speak "deceptive words" (2Pe 2:3). Their number is "many" (2Jo 7).

The hearts of the simple [the hearts of the simple-minded, the innocent, the unsuspecting].[ 114 ] Weak Christians may listen to deceptive preaching week after week without detecting anything wrong with it. They ought to be studying the Bible for themselves (see Ac 17:11). Their "antennae" should go up when they hear a tiny bit of error. If they fail to investigate and think for themselves, they will be led into apostasy and, perhaps, be lost forever.


16:19 For your obedience has become known to all. Therefore I am glad on your behalf; but I want you to be wise in what is good, and simple concerning evil.

For your obedience [the report of, for while, your obedience].[ 115 ] In chapter 1, Paul complimented his readers:

First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, that your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world (Ro 1:8).

The only way anybody knows for certain about his faith is by his obedience (see Jas 2:26).

Has become known to all [is known, has reached, is come abroad, has come unto all men].[ 116 ] Christians everywhere had heard about the great church in Rome. Conservative estimates from burials of Christians in the catacombs suggest a membership of more than 250,000 members of the Lord's church when Paul penned the Roman letter. But it was not the size of the church but the obedience of the members that impressed people in other cities.

Therefore I am glad on your behalf [so that I rejoice, I rejoice therefore, over you, as it regards you].[ 117 ] Even though Paul had not yet been in Rome, he was delighted that the faith of the Roman Christians was magnificent and strong.

But I want you to be wise [I would, but I would, but yet I would, have you wise, wish you to be wise].[ 118 ]

See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is (Eph 5:15-17).

In what is good [unto, about, as to, that which, is good].[ 119 ] Christians are always thinking about that which is good (Php 4:8). They are making wise decisions based on an understanding of the truth. They are doing good deeds at appropriate times (see Pr 3:27; Joh 12:35; Ga 6:10; Eph 5:16; 2Ti 4:2, 3).

And simple [and guileless, but innocent].[ 120 ] God said of the Jews:

For My people are foolish, they have not known Me. They are silly children, and they have no understanding. They are wise to do evil, but to do good they have no knowledge (Jer 4:22).

God wants a people so isolated and apart from sin that they do not understand evil innuendos and double-talk and who can still blush (see Jer 6:15; 8:12).

Concerning evil [as to, as to what is, unto that which is, about what is, evil].[ 121 ] Christians who enjoy reading or watching immorality and violence cannot be described as innocent in what is evil.


16:20 And the God of peace will crush Satan under your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.

And the God of peace [then the, but the, God of peace][ 122 ] (see note on Now the God of peace at Ro 15:33).

Will crush Satan [shall bruise Satan].[ 123 ] The crushing of Satan has presented a puzzle to several writers. Some have imagined that Paul thought that Christ was to return soon (see chart at Ro 13:11, DID APOSTLES THINK THE FINAL JUDGMENT WAS NEAR?).

James Macknight[ 124 ] and others saw the divisive false teachers as ministers of Satan (see 2Co 11:15). According to this view, either Paul's letter or his presence in Rome would crush Satan and heal whatever division existed there. If this view is correct, Satan would be crushed when peace once again reigned in the church at Rome.

In just a few years after Paul's second imprisonment in Rome, he would finish his course and suffer martyrdom just outside Rome. It was Satan's desire to topple his faith and thus destroy the confidence so many had in him. If Satan could accomplish this, he hoped he could "crush" the Lord's church. If Paul could only faithfully finish his course, he would finally be at peace. Satan's plot would be defeated. The church would be immeasurably strengthened by the manner in which the faithful apostle died. That is exactly what happened.

Under your feet.[ 125 ] "Under your feet" is a figurative expression but it seems to locate Rome as the place where Satan would be crushed. The term does not appear to be general enough to apply to Jerusalem, Ephesus, Antioch or some other place.

Shortly [soon].[ 126 ]

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you [the grace of our Lord Jesus be with you].[ 127 ] To the Corinthians, Paul the exact words.

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you (1Co 16:23).

There is a connection between the God of peace (verse 20) and the grace of Christ (verse 21). Both Father and Son possess deity. Both give grace and peace to the saints.


16:21 Timothy, my fellow worker, and Lucius, Jason, and Sosipater, my countrymen, greet you.

Timothy my fellow-worker [Timotheus my fellow-workman, workfellow].[ 128 ] Timothy was with Paul in Corinth when he wrote the Roman letter (see note on Ac 16:1; also the Introduction to 1 Timothy).

And Lucius [so do Lucius].[ 129 ] Lucius "of Cyrene" may well be the person sending greetings to Rome. If so, he was one of the "prophets and teachers" at Antioch (see Ac 13:1).

Jason [and Jason].[ 130 ] When Paul was in Thessalonica, the Jews took some wicked men, stirred up a mob and attacked the house of Jason (see Ac 17:5-9). If this is the man Paul alludes to, he had travelled to Corinth and was with him at the time of writing.

And Sosipater.[ 131 ] Paul was accompanied by "Sopater" and others when he left Greece for Macedonia. The "Sosipater" in the present verse may or may not be the same as "Sopater" (see Ac 20:1-4).

My countrymen [my kinsmen][ 132 ] (see notes on Ro 9:3; 16:7; chart PAUL'S KINSMEN at verse 7).

Greet you [greets you, salute, saluteth, you][ 133 ] (see note on verse 3).


16:22 I, Tertius, who wrote this epistle, greet you in the Lord.

I, Tertius.[ 134 ] Tertius is Latin for "third." Perhaps he was the third child born into his family. He was the scribe, stenographer, secretary or amanuensis to whom Paul dictated the inspired letter addressed to the Romans. Tertius wrote down what Paul said.

Who wrote this epistle [the writer of, who write, who have written, this letter].[ 135 ] "Who wrote" is said to be the epistolary aorist. Greek writers commonly pretended they were present with the recipients of their letters as they were read. Paul often employed an amanuensis or secretary to write for him. In some instances the apostle added a greeting with his own hand to authenticate his letters (see 1Co 16:21; Ga 6:11; Col 4:18).

Greet you in the Lord [salute you in the Lord].[ 136 ] Tertius sends his own special greeting to the church at Rome. His salutation indicates that he was a Christian.


16:23 Gaius, my host and the host of the whole church, greets you. Erastus, the treasurer of the city, greets you, and Quartus, a brother.

Gaius, my host [Gaius, mine host, host to me, who is host to me].[ 137 ] I find it difficult to perfectly identify all the men in Scripture named Gaius. It is almost impossible since people moved around a lot (see chart PRISCILLA AND AQUILA at verse 3). The Gaius who was baptized by Paul may have been the same man who was host to Paul and to the whole church at Corinth (1Co 1:14). However, more than one Gaius is mentioned in the NT, any one of whom might have sent greetings to the church at Rome.[ 138 ]

And the host of the whole church [and to, and of the whole assembly].[ 139 ] There is an implication that Gaius was well-to-do. Until the church of Christ at Corinth became very large, the whole congregation at times met in the home of Gaius, socially, for worship or both.

Greets you [saluteth you].[ 140 ]

Erastus, the treasurer of the city [Erastus, the city steward, the city treasurer, the chamberlain of the city].[ 141 ] Erastus was administrator of the city lands, director of public works or, possibly, city treasurer of Corinth (see footnote). He was one of the few "noble" men in that city who were called (see 1Co 1:26). Paul sent him and Timothy north to Macedonia (Ac 19:22). Afterward, the apostle said Erastus "stayed at Corinth" (2Ti 4:20).

Greets you [greet, salutes, saluteth, you].[ 142 ]

And Quartus, a brother [and our brother, the brother, Quartus, and Quartus the brother, and brother Quartus].[ 143 ]

16:24 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.[ 144 ]

Several students have questioned the genuineness[ 145 ] of verse 24. However, the same words except the "Amen" appear in Romans 16:20; see also the close of the Roman letter (Ro 16:27). Really nothing at all is in question.


16:25-27 Now to Him who is able to establish you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery kept secret since the world began 26 but now has been made manifest, and by the prophetic Scriptures has been made known to all nations, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, for obedience to the faith-- 27 to God, alone wise, be glory through Jesus Christ forever. Amen.

Now to him who is able [now to him that is able, that is of power].[ 146 ] This begins the "doxology" which runs through verse 27. It is a section of praise to God.[ 147 ] In some manuscripts it appears after Romans 14:23 but most have it as it appears here quoted from the NKJV (see notes on Eph 3:20).


    (Ro 16:25)

    1. Rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught (Col 2:7).
    2. Comfort your hearts and establish you in every
    good word and work (2Th 2:17).
    3. The Lord is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me? (Heb 13:6).
    4. For it is good that the heart be established by
    grace, not with foods which have not profited those who have been occupied with them (Heb 13:9).

To establish you [to stablish, strengthen, you].[ 148 ] God is able to establish Christians (see chart GOD IS ABLE TO ESTABLISH YOU). Christ is "able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him" (Heb 7:25). God is able to keep Christians from falling (Jude 24). His establishing power is wielded according to the gospel of Christ that Paul preached.

According to my gospel [according to my glad tidings].[ 149 ] The word of God is that by which God builds up Christians and establishes them. Earlier in the Roman letter, Paul said the gospel is "the power of God to salvation" (Ro 1:16). He also wrote that the judgment itself would be "according to my gospel" (Ro 2:16). To the Ephesian elders, Paul praised God and His precious Word:

So now, brethren, I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified (Ac 20:32).

And the preaching of Jesus Christ [the proclamation of Jesus Christ].[ 150 ] To preach the word is to preach Christ, the Kingdom of God, the name of Christ and baptism (see Ac 8:4, 5, 12).

According to the revelation of the mystery [according to the revelation of the mystery].[ 151 ] In secular writings, a mystery is generally understood to be something difficult or impossible to understand. According to Scripture, "the mystery" was at one time hidden. After it was revealed it was still called "the mystery." Jesus Himself uttered things "kept secret from the foundation of the world" (Mt 13:35). The fact that salvation is made available to everyone through Christ is a mystery revealed. Paul said of it:

But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God ordained before the ages for our glory (1Co 2:7).

He added:

Let a man so consider us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God (1Co 4:1; compare 2Ti 1:9).

The mystery for which Paul was imprisoned had to do with Him who had been revealed to the world, that is, Christ Himself (see Col 2:2; 4:3; charts FACTS ABOUT THE MYSTERY; WHAT IS THE MYSTERY?).


    (Ro 16:25)

    1. For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him (Ro 11:12).
    2. To be specific, Gentiles should be fellow heirs, of the same body, and partakers of His promise in Christ through the gospel (Eph 3:6).
    3. The mystery which has been hidden from ages
    and from generations, but now has been revealed
    to His saints. To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the
    hope of glory (Col 1:26, 27).


    (Ro 16:25, 26)

    1. Paul's preaching of Christ and the gospel was
    "according to" it (Ro 16:25).
    2. Kept secret since the world began (Ro 16:25).
    3. Was revealed (Ro 16:25).
    4. Was made manifest (Ro 16:26).
    5. By the prophetic Scriptures has been made known
    to all nations, according to the commandment
    of the everlasting God (Ro 16:26).
    6. For obedience to the faith (Ro 16:26).

Kept secret since the world began [which was, which hath been, as to which silence has been, concealed, kept in silence, for long ages, through times eternal, in the times of the ages, for ages].[ 152 ] The word for "kept secret" is SESIGEMENOU kept silent. In Ephesians 3:9 and Colossians 1:26, APOKEKRUMMENON hidden away is used.[ 153 ] The mystery was both hidden away and kept silent for "since the world began" or from "long ages past." The KJV rendering "times eternal" is a little confusing because the two words "times" and "eternal" are contradictory. The meaning seems to be "the times of the ancient dispensation" (see note on Tit 1:2). Except for several prophecies in the Hebrew Scriptures about the future salvation of all peoples, the "revelation of the mystery" was kept secret from the Gentiles through past generations, essentially throughout the Jewish age.


    (Ro 16:25,26)

    1. NT prophets commanded to write it (Ro 16:25, 26).
    2. Paul's written words are the Lord's commandments
    (1Co 14:37).
    3. Christians to "stand fast and hold the traditions which you were taught, whether by word or our epistle (2Th 2:15).
    4. Paul wrote by the word of the Lord" (1Th 4:15).
    5. Paul wrote what "the Spirit expressly says"
    (1Ti 4:1).
    6. Paul's epistles were "Scripture" (2Pe 3:15, 16).

But now is made manifest [but is now, but which has now, shown forth, disclosed, manifested, been made manifest].[ 154 ] It was not until Christ gave the Great Commission at the close of the Jewish age that God's word was commanded to be preached to all the world.[ 155 ]

And by the prophetic Scriptures [through, and through, the prophetic writings, and by prophetic scriptures, the scriptures, the writings, of the prophets].[ 156 ] The gospel was promised "before through His prophets in the Holy Scriptures" (Ro 1:2). NT Scriptures were written by NT prophets. Various Scriptures mention the latter prophets (Ac 11:27; 13:1; 15:32; 19:6; 21:9; 1Co 11:4; 12:28, 29; 13:2, 8; 14:29, 32, 37; Eph 4:11). Paul included himself as one who had the gift of prophecy (Ro 12:6). Prophets "spoke forth" the word of God by inspiration. They sometimes foretold the future but did not necessarily have to do so in order to be called prophets (see 1Co 14:3, 4). The entire NT was written by prophets but much of it is not predictive.

Made known for all nations [is, has been, made known to, unto, all the nations].[ 157 ] After Paul arrived in Rome, he confirmed to Colossae the fact that the gospel "was preached to every creature under heaven" (Col 1:23).

According to the commandment [according to commandment, the command].[ 158 ] Under the Great Commission, NT prophets were commanded to write Scripture (see 1Co 14:37; Jude 3; Re 1:11, 19; 2:1, 8, 12, 18; 3:1, 7, 12, 14; 14:13; 19:9; 21:5).

Of the everlasting God [of the eternal God].[ 159 ] God is the God of the living. He is also the living God. Elihu remarked concerning the eternity of God:

Behold, God is great, and we do not know Him; nor can the number of His years be discovered (Job 36:26).

Jeremiah spoke to an idolatrous nation.

But the LORD is the true God; he is the living God and the everlasting King. At His wrath the earth will tremble, and the nations will not be able to endure His indignation (Jer 10:10; compare Mk 12:26, 27; Lu 20:37 38; see charts THE ETERNAL GOD A, B and C).

For obedience to the faith [unto, unto the, to bring about the, obedience of faith].[ 160 ] Grace and apostleship were given to Paul to enable him to carry out his commission with power, which he accomplished among the Gentiles for the sake of the Lord's name (see notes on 2Th 1:8; Heb 5:9).

Through Him we have received grace and apostleship for obedience to the faith among all nations for His name (Ro 1:5).

But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, "Lord, who has believed our report?" (Ro 10:16).


    (Ro 16:27)

    1. With Him are wisdom and strength, he has counsel and understanding (Job 12:13).
    2. 0 LORD, how many are Thy works! In wisdom Thou
    hast made them all (Ps 104:24).
    3. The LORD by wisdom founded the earth (Pr 3:19).
    4. For among all the wise men of the nations, and in
    all their kingdoms, there is none like You (Jer 10:7),
    5. Wisdom and might are His (Da 2:20).
    6. Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and
    knowledge of God! (Ro 11:33).
    7. The foolishness of God is wiser than men
    (1Co 1:25).


    (Ro 16:26)

    1. As I live forever (De 32:40; see Ps 9:7; Lam 5:19).
    2. The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms (De 33:27).
    3. LORD, You have been our dwelling place in all generations (Ps 90:1)
    4. Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever You had formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God (Ps 90:2).
    5. Your years are throughout all generations
    (Ps 102:24).
    6. But You are the same, and Your years will have no end (Ps 102:27).


    (Ro 16:26)

    1. But the mercy of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear Him (Ps 103:17).
    2. Blessed be the LORD God of Israel from everlasting to everlasting! (Ps 106:48).
    3. Your name, O LORD, endures forever, your fame, O LORD, throughout all generations (Ps 135:13).
    4. Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom (Ps 145:13).
    5. The High and Lofty One who inhabits eternity
    (Isa 57:15).


    (Ro 16:26)

    1. Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, to God who alone is wise, be honor and glory forever and ever (1Ti 1:17),
    2. But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day (2Pe 3:8),
    3. "I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End," says the Lord, "who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty" (Re 1:8).
    4. O Lord God Almighty, the One who is and who was and who is to come (Re 11:17).

To God alone wise [the; to the, only wise God, to God only wise].[ 161 ] Through Isaiah, God said compared his wisdom with that of man.

For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways," says the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts (Isa 55:8, 9; see chart THE ONLY WISE GOD).

Be glory [to whom be glory, the glory].[ 162 ] The only wise God richly deserves glory forever.

For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever. Amen (Ro 11:36).

Through Jesus Christ.[ 163 ] The only avenue for men to glorify God in the present age is through Jesus Christ. To pray Christless prayers and sing Christless songs is to worship in vain.

And in vain they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men (Mt 15:9; Mk 7:7).

Forever [for evermore, for endless ages].[ 164 ]

Amen.[ 165 ] The Holy Spirit ends the letter with "Amen," meaning it is so.
Christians read it and say "Amen," meaning so be it.


This final chapter of the epistle to the Romans began by commending Phoebe. Some twenty-five people including some congregations meeting in houses were greeted. The readers were warned about divisiveness in the church. Eight others, including Tertius, the stenographer, sent greetings. God who by prophetic Scriptures made known the gospel for obedience of the faith was glorified.


Themes of the book of Romans are God's righteousness and salvation by faith, both of which have been revealed in the gospel. Gentiles did not succeed in making a way of salvation. Neither did Jews who depended upon a ritual observance of the Law. The life of Abraham demonstrated salvation by faith. Adam and Christ were contrasted. In chapter 6, we read about immersion into Christ to be followed by righteous living. Support was given to the idea that Gentiles as well as Jews may become Christians and be saved in heaven. Chapter 12 listed practical details of virtuous living. Submission to civil government, receiving those weak in the faith and marking false and divisive teachers were taught. The book closes with personal greetings and praise to God.


[ 1 ]The basic text in this chapter is the NKJV. Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright 1979, 1980, 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Alternate phrases in brackets are from ASV, Darby, ESB, KJV and RSV and occasionally another version. Greek transliteration approximates the BibleSoft method.
[ 2 ]SUNISTEEMI DE HUMIN, now I commend to you (Marshall 652; Lenski 898); SUNISTEEMI is first person singular, present active indicative of SUNISTEEMI (Han 316); literally, place together, hence of setting one person with another by way of introducing or presenting him, and hence commend. Also put together with a view of showing, proving or establishing (Vincent 3.33); present, introduce or recommend someone to someone else (Arndt 790); now I introduce [Greek commend] to you (Williams).
[ 3 ]Another example of a letter of recommendation in the NT is the book of Philemon which re-introduces the runaway slave Onesimus as a new Christian to his master, Philemon.
[ 4 ]PHOIBEEN TEEN ADELPHEEN HEEMOON, Phoebe the sister of us (Marshall 652); the bearer of the epistle; the word means bright (Vincent 3.176); [ADELPHEEN is used] of spiritual relationship based upon faith in Christ (Vine 1049); Phoebe or Phebe, a deaconess of the church at Cenchreae near Corinth (Thayer 656); our sister Phoebe (Williams).
[ 5 ]Conybeare 542.
[ 6 ]Zodhiates 430, 431.
[ 7 ]OUSAN [KAI] DIAKONON, being also a minister (Marshall 652); OUSAN is the present active participle, accusative singular feminine of EIMI (Han 316); masculine or feminine. Commonly explained as deaconess. The term DIAKONISSA deaconess is found only in classical Greek (Vincent 3.176); servant (Vine 1019); deaconess [MINISTRA: Pliny, Epistle 10, 96, 8. Compare Corpus Inscriptionum Graecarum 1828-77, 2.81, 6; Mitt. Ath. 14, 1889, page 210; Pelagia-Legenden der hi. Pelagia, edited by H. Usener 1879, 11, 181 (Arndt 184); a deaconess [MINISTRA, Pliny, epistles 10, 97], a woman to whom the care of either poor or sick women was entrusted (Thayer 138); The word "servant" here is the Greek "DIAKONON, "which actually means "deacon" or "deaconess" (Deaver 601); who is a deaconess (Williams); being a deaconess (Lenski 898); the only possible reference to a woman as a deacon is Romans 16:1, 2, although the word DIAKONON may just as well be translated "servant." . . . Nevertheless, aside from the normal and expected involvement of women in a wide range of church activities and auxiliary ministries, they are never found to be holding ordained offices or engaging in the work of those positions (Zodhiates 430, 431).
[ 8 ]Clarke 6.161.
[ 9 ]Pliny the younger, who died AD 113, was the nephew and adopted son of Pliny the elder.
[ 10 ]MINISTRAE is Latin for female servants.
[ 11 ]Vincent 3.176, 177.
[ 12 ]"Besides, right in the midst of the discussion in 1 Timothy 3:8-13 Paul has a discussion of GUNAIKAS, verse 11, either as women as deaconesses or as the wives of deacons [less likely though possible]" (A. T. Robertson, Word Pictures 4.425).
[ 13 ]TEES EKKLEESIAS TEES EN KENCHREAIS, of the church in Cenchrea (Marshall 652); [one] who serves the church (Vine 265); the church or congregation as the totality of Christians living in one place . . . of Cenchreae (Arndt 241); a company of Christians . . . those who anywhere in city or village, constitute such a company and are united into one body ... with specification of place (Thayer 196); in the church at Cenchreae (Williams).
[ 14 ]HINA AUTEEN PROSDEXEESTHE, in order that her ye may receive (Marshall 652); PROSDEXEESTHE is second person plural, first aorist middle subjunctive of PROSDECHOMAI (Han 316); receive to yourselves, receive favorably, also look for, wait for, used of receiving (Vine 928); take up receive welcome . . . welcome someone in the Lord, that is, as a Christian brother or sister (Arndt 712); receive one coming (from some place] (Thayer 544); that you may give her a Christian [literally, welcome in the Lord] welcome (Williams).
[ 15 ]EN KURIOO, in [the] Lord (Marshall 652); designate[s] a close personal relation [to Christ]; the use of the word [KURIOO Lord] raises Jesus above the human level (Arndt 259, 260, 459, 460); literally, welcome in the Lord (Williams).
[ 16 ]AXIOOS TOON HAGIOON, worthily of the saints (Marshall 652); of receiving a fellow-believer in such a manner as befits those who bear the name of "saints" (Vine 1249); worthy, in a manner worthy of, suitably, with genitive of the person[s] following (Arndt 78); in a manner becoming God's people (Williams).
[ 17 ]KAI PARASTEETE AUTEE, and may stand by her (Marshall 652); PARASTEETE is second person plural, second aorist active subjunctive of PARISTEEMI (Han 316); (PARA by, HISTEEMI to cause to stand], stand by, be at hand, used of standing up for help (Vine 544, 545); used as a legal term, of presenting culprits or witnesses in a court of justice (Vincent 3.177); feminine of PARASTATEES a [female] helper (Arndt 622); stand by, help succor (Thayer 489);
[ 18 ]That Phoebe was a widow is implied by her independent travel to Rome.
[ 19 ]EN HOO AN HUMOON CHREEZEE PRAGMATI, in whatever of you she may have need thing (Marshall 652); [akin to PRASSOO to do], that which is being done, an affair (Vine 720); [have] need [of] Arndt 885); a matter [in question], affair; have need of, be in want of (Thayer 534, 671); ;whatever help she needs from you (Williams).
[ 20 ]Conybeare and Howson 581.
[ 21 ]KAI GAR AUTEE PROSTATIS POLLOON EGENEETHEE, for indeed she a protectress of many became (Marshall 652); EGENEETHEE is third person singular, first aorist passive indicative of GINOMAI (Han 316); a feminine form of PROSTATEES, denotes a protectress, patroness; used metaphorically of Phoebe. It is a word of dignity, evidently chosen instead of others which might have been used, and indicates the high esteem with which she was regarded, as one who had been a protectress of many. PROSTATES was the title of a citizen in Athens, who had the responsibility of seeing to the welfare of resident aliens who were without civic rights. Among the Jews it signified a wealthy patron of the community (Vine 1101, 1102); patroness (Vincent 3.178). protectress, patroness, helper ... she has been of great assistance to many, including myself (Arndt 718); properly, a woman over others, a female guardian, protectress, patroness, caring for the affairs of others and aiding them with her resources (Thayer 549); for she herself has given protection [literally, been protectress] to many (Williams); for she herself has become an assistant of many (Lenski 898).
[ 22 ]KAI EMOU AUTOU, and of myself (Marshall 652; Vine 1013); ;including myself (Williams); even of myself (Lenski 898).
[ 23 ]The Roman letter was written from Corinth but may have been handed over to Phoebe at her residence in the port town of Cenchrea, some nine miles from Corinth.
[ 24 ]ASPASASTHE, greet ye (Marshall 652); ASPASASTHE is second person plural, first aorist middle imperative of ASPAZOMAI (Han 316); greet, welcome, salute (Vine 507); the imperative may be translated greetings to [someone] or remember me to [someone] (Arndt 116); with an accusative of the person, salute one, greet, bid welcome, wish well to ... of the absent, saluting by letter (Thayer 81); remember me to [Greek greet] (Williams).
[ 25 ]PRISKAN KAI AKULAN, Prisca and Aquila (Marshall 652); Priscilla is the diminutive of Prisca (Vincent 3.178); Aquila, a Jew of Pontus, a tent-maker, convert to Christ, companion and ally of Paul in propagating the Christian religion; Prisca [a Latin name, literally, ancient], a Christian woman, wife of Aquila; also called by the diminutive name PRISKILLA [Priscilla (Thayer 24, 536).

[ 26 ]Priscilla and Aquila were at Ephesus when Paul wrote the letter of 1 Corinthians (1Co 16:19).
[ 27 ]TOUS SUNERGOUS MOU, the fellow-workers of me (Marshall 652); workers with (Vine 1244); Paul refers to those who helped him in spreading the gospel as his fellow-workers [subjective genitive] (Arndt 787); companions in work, fellow-workers . . . with a genitive of the person, [those] who labor with another in furthering the cause of Christ (Thayer 603) see also Romans 16:9, 21; Philippians 2:25: 4:3; 1 Thessalonians 3:2.
[ 28 ]EN CHRISTOO 'IEESOU, in Christ Jesus (Marshall 652); ingrafted as it were in Christ, in fellowship and union with Christ, with the Lord (Thayer 211); in the work of Christ Jesus (Williams).
[ 29 ]HOITINES, who (Marshall 652); the double relative, with an explanatory force: seeing that they (Vincent 3.178).
[ 30 ]TON HEAUTON TRACHEELON HUPETHEEKAN, the of themselves neck risked (Marshall 652); HUPETHEEKAN is third person plural, first aorist active indicative of HUPOTITHEEMI (Han 316); [HUPO under, TITHEEMI to put, place, set, lay], metaphorically of risking their lives, "laid down" [their own necks] (Vine 649); literally, placed under [the axe] (Vincent 3.178); necks, throats . . . who risked their necks for my life (Arndt 825); [were] ready to incur the most imminent peril to life (Thayer 630); once risked their very necks (Williams); [once, aorist] laid down their own necks (Lenski 902).
[ 31 ]That Paul received no bodily harm in Corinth is implied in Acts 18:9, 10.
[ 32 ]HUPER TEES PSUCHEES MOU, on behalf of the life of me (Marshall 652); earthly life itself (Arndt 893); life (Thayer 677); for my life (Williams).
[ 33 ]HOIS OUK EGOO MONOS EUCHARISTOO, to whom not I only give thanks (Marshall 652); EUCHARISTOO is first person singular, present active indicative of EUCHARISTEOO (Han 316); [EU well, CHARIZOMAI to give freely], give thanks, of Paul and others (Vine 1134); be thankful, feel obligated to thank . . . this meaning is possible in some passages, but is not absolutely necessary in any; for example, Luke 18:11; Romans 16:4. The latter verse is the only passage in our literature that deals with thankfulness toward men [as 2 Macc 12:31] (Arndt 328); give thanks (Thayer 263); I am so thankful to them (Williams).
[ 34 ]ALLA KAI PASAI HAI EKKLEESIAI TOON ETHNOON, but also all the churches of the nations (Marshall 653); [EK out of, KLEESIS a calling, churches, congregations, of the nations (Vine 75 474); Christian assemblies, in contrast with those of the Jews . . . gathered from the Gentiles (Thayer 196); not only I but also all the churches among the heathen thank them (Williams).
[ 35 ]KAI TEEN KAT' OIKON AUTOON EKKLEESIAN, and the in house of them church (Marshall 653); not the whole church, but that portion of it which met at Aquila's house, the church that is in their house (Vincent 3.178, 179); house, dwelling (Vine 566); to the church too that meets at their house (Williams); in their house; KAT' OIKON AUTOON says more than the mere genitive "of their house"; it means rather, "pertaining to their house" (Lenski 902, 904) see note on verse 3.
[ 36 ]Vincent 3.178, 179.
[ 37 ]David Emery, Christian Chronicle, "Baptistries and Buildings in the Early Church," October 1996, pages 16, 17.
[ 38 ]ASPASASTHE EPAINETON TON AGAPEETON MOU, greet Epaenetus the beloved of me (Marshall 653); ASPASASTHE is second person plural, first aorist middle imperative of ASPAZOMAI (Han 316); a Greek name, meaning praised (Vincent 3.179); [from AGAPAOO to love], beloved (Vine 110); Epaenetus, the name of a Christian mentioned in Romans 16:5 (Thayer 227); remember me to my dear Epaenetus (Williams).
[ 39 ]HOS ESTIN APARCHEE, who is firstfruit (Marshall 653); ESTIN is third person singular, present active indicative of EIMI (Han 316); an early convert (Vincent 3.179); the earliest believer in [Asia] in relation to those of [his] countrymen subsequently converted (Vine 435); of persons consecrated to God, leading the rest in time ... the first person in Achaia to enroll himself as a Christian, 1 Corinthians 16:15; with EIS CHRISTON [in Christ] added, Romans 16:5 (Thayer 54); converted [from APARCHEE firstfruit], the first act of sacrifice, first portion, firstling (Littrell); who was the first convert [literally, first fruits] (Williams); who is the firstfruits (Lenski 904).
[ 40 ]NU-Text reads Asia.
[ 41 ]TEES ASIAS, of Asia (Marshall 653); the Roman province of Asia (Vincent 3.179); the "Asia" of the NT must not be confounded with the "Asia proconsularis" of the 4th century, embracing Mysia, Lydia. Phrygia and Caria (Thayer 80); Asia, not Achaia, is the reading of the best manuscripts. The province of proconsular Asia is of course meant. If, however, the reading "Achaia" were retained, we should be at liberty to suppose that Epaenetus was a member of the household of Stephanas, and thus we might reconcile 1 Corinthians 16:15 with Romans 16:5 (Conybeare 349, 581); of Asia (Lenski 904); in the province of Asia (Williams).
[ 42 ]Harrison 581.
[ 43 ]EIS CHRISTON, for Christ (Marshall 653; Lenski 904); to Christ (Williams).
[ 44 ]ASPASASTHE MARIAN or MARIAM, Greet Mary (Marshall 653); ASPASASTHE is second person plural, first aorist middle imperative of ASPAZOMAI (Han 316); Mariam, a Jewish name, the same as Miriam, meaning obstinacy, rebelliousness (Vincent 3.179); remember me to Mary (Williams).
[ 45 ]HEETIS POLLA EKOPIASEN EIS HUMAS, who many things (much) labored for you (Marshall 653); EKOPIASEN is third person singular, first aorist active indicative of KOPIAOO (Han 316); KOPIAOO has two meanings (a) growing weary, (b) toiling; it is sometimes translated to bestow labor; bestowed labor, worked with toil (Vine 113, 634); in biblical Greek alone, labor with wearisome effort, toil . . . of the toilsome efforts of teachers in proclaiming and promoting the kingdom of God and Christ (Thayer 355); who has toiled so hard for you (Williams); who labored much for us (Lenski 905).
[ 46 ]ASPASASTHE 'ANDRONIKON. greet Andronicus (Marshall 653); ASPASASTHE is second person plural, first aorist middle imperative of ASPAZOMAI (Han 316); remember me to Andronicus (Williams);
[ 47 ]KAI IOUNIAN, and Junias (Marshall 653; Williams); [and] Junias, a convert from Judaism Paul's kinsman and fellow-prisoner: Romans 16:7 [here KJV Junia (a woman's name) which is possible] (Thayer 306); this is Junias, a man, not Junia (Julia), a woman (Lenski 905).
[ 48 ]Arndt and Ginrich 380.
[ 49 ]Zondervan's Pictorial Bible Dictionary 460.
[ 50 ]TOUS SUNGENEIS MOU, the kinsmen of me (Marshall 653); the primary meaning is related by blood; but it is used in the wider sense of fellow-countrymen (Vincent 3.180); of tribal or racial
kinship, fellow-nationals (Vine 621); my fellow-countrymen (Williams); my kinsmen (Lenski 905); compare usage in Romans 9:3.

[ 51 ]Some have taken a middle course in order to make "kinsmen" mean more than fellow-Jews and less than family, suggesting that they were of Paul's own tribe of Benjamin. Was the mother of Rufus Paul's "adopted" mother?
[ 52 ]KAI SUNAICHMALOOTOUS MOU, and fellow-captives of me (Marshall 653); [AICHMEE a spear, HALISKOMAI to be taken], fellow-prisoner, primarily one of fellow-captives in war (Vine 886); who also served in prison with me (Williams); and my fellow war captives (Lenski 905).
[ 53 ]Paul was in prison with Silas at Philippi (Ac 16:23-40), in Jerusalem (Ac 23:18), in Caesarea
(Ac 25:27), on shipboard (Ac 27:1, 42) and in Rome twice (Ac 28:16, 17, 30; 2Ti 1:8, 16; 2:9). He alludes to other imprisonments in 2 Corinthians 11:23.

[ 54 ]HOITINES EISIN EPISEEMOI, who are notable (Marshall 653); EISIN is third person plural, present active indicative of EIMI (Han 316); literally, bearing a mark [SEEMA noted] (Vincent 3.180); nota is Latin for mark [EPI upon, SEEMA a mark, a sign], metaphorically in a good sense, "of note," illustrious (Vine 788); tropically, marked [Latin INSIGNIS] both in a good and bad sense; in a good sense, of note, illustrious (Thayer 242); they are held in high esteem (Williams).
[ 55 ]EN TOIS APOSTOLOIS, among the apostles (Marshall 653; Williams); Vine 55; in a broader sense the name [apostle is transferred to other eminent Christian teachers; as Barnabas, Acts 14:14, and perhaps also Timothy and Silvanus, 1 Thessalonians 2:7 [6], compare too Romans 16:7 (?) (Thayer 68).
[ 56 ]Thayer 68.
[ 57 ]HOI KAI PRO EMOU GEGONAN EN CHRISTOO, who indeed before me have been in Christ (Marshall 653); GEGONAN is third person plural, second perfect active indicative of GINOMAI (Han 316); perfect tense indicates a present state resultant upon a past action (Machen 452); and became Christians [became in Christ before me] before I did (Williams).
[ 58 ]ASPASASTHE AMPLIATON, greet Ampliatus (Marshall 653); ASPASASTHE is second person plural, first aorist middle imperative of ASPAZOMAI (Han 316); Amplias [a contraction from the Latin Ampliatus, which form appears in some authorities ... a certain Christian at Rome (Thayer 32, 33).
[ 59 ]"Gens is a Roman clan embracing the families of the same stock in the male line with members having a common name.
[ 60 ]Romans often had three names: praenomen, nomen and cognomen.
[ 61 ]F. F. Bruce, The Epistle of Paul to the Romans, 272, quoted by Woodrow Michael Kroll, Liberty Bible Commentary, 2271.
[ 62 ]TON AGAPEETON MOU EN KURIOO, the beloved of me in [the] Lord (Marshall 653); Christians, bound together by mutual love, are AGAPEETOI also to one another [Phm 16; 1Ti 6:2]; hence they are dignified with this epithet very often in tender address (Thayer 5); my dear friend [my beloved in the Lord] (Williams); see note on verse 5.
[ 63 ]ASPASASTHE OURBANON, greet Urbanus (Marshall 653); ASPASASTHE is second person plural, first aorist middle imperative of ASPAZOMAI (Han 316); the correct reading is Urbanus, city bred (Vincent 3.180); a Latin name, a certain Christian (Thayer 465); remember me to Urbanus (Williams).
[ 64 ]TON SUNERGON HEEMOPN EN CHRISTOO, the fellow-worker of us in Christ (Marshall 653)-worker with (Vine 1244); a companion in work, fellow-worker . . . with a genitive of the person one who labors with another in furthering the cause of Christ (Thayer 603); my fellow-worker in the work of Christ (Williams).
[ 65 ]KAI STACHUN TON AGAPEETON MOU, and Stachys the beloved of me (Marshall 653); ear of corn (Vincent 3.180); an ear of corn [or growing grain], the name of a man (Thayer 586); see note on verse 3.
[ 66 ]ASPASASTHE 'APELLEEN, greet Apelles (Marshall 653); ASPASASTHE is second person plural, first aorist middle imperative of ASPAZOMAI (Han 316); the proper name of a certain Christian (Thayer 56); see note on verse 3.
[ 67 ]TON DOKIMON EN CHRISTOO, the approved in Christ (Marshall 653; Lenski 907); [used] particularly of coins and metals . . . proved, tried: in the NT one who is of tried faith and integrity . . . the approved servant of Christ (Thayer 155); that most venerated Christian (Williams).
[ 68 ]ASPASASTHE TOUS EK TOON 'ARISTOBOULOU, greet the [ones] of the (family] of Aristobulus (Marshall 653); ASPASASTHE is second person plural, first aorist middle imperative of ASPAZOMAI (Han 316); [literally, best counselling], Aristobulus a certain Christian (Thayer 73); remember me to Aristobulus' family (Williams).
[ 69 ]J. B. Lightfoot has suggested that Aristobulus was the grandson of Herod the Great and brother of Herod Agrippa I. If so, he lived in Rome as a private citizen and enjoyed a close friendship with the Emperor Claudius (quoted from Liberty Bible Commentary, 2272.
[ 70 ]ASPASASTHE HEEROODIOONA TON SUNGENEE MOU, greet Herodion the kinsman of me (Marshall 653); ASPASASTHE is second person plural, first aorist middle imperative of ASPAZOMAI (Han 316); of tribal or racial kinship, fellow-nationals (Vine 621); Herodion, a certain Christian [Paul's kinsman"]; of the same kin, akin to, related by blood (Thayer 281, 592); remember me to Herodion my fellow-countryman (Williams); see note on verse 3.
[ 71 ]ASPASASTHE TOUS EK TOON NARKISSOU, greet the [ones] of the [family] of Narcissus (Marshall 653); ASPASASTHE is second person plural, first aorist middle imperative of ASPAZOMAI (Han 316); Narcissus [that is, "daffodil"], a Roman mentioned in Romans 16:11, whom many interpreters without good reason suppose to be the noted freedman of the emperor Claudius [Suetonius, Claudius 28; Tacitus, Annals 11.29 sp.; 12.57, etc] (Thayer 423); remember me to the Christian members of Narcissus' family (Williams); Tacitus died about-AD 117. Suetonius who died AD 160 was a historian and friend of Pliny the younger.
[ 72 ]Zondervan 572; mentioned by Suetonius in his life of that prince, cap 37; and by Tacitus, Annals, book 12.57 (cited by Clarke 6.163); Suetonius, Claudius 28, Tacitus, Annals 12.57, 65; 13.1). He was put to death by Nero in AD 54 soon after the death of Claudius and before the book of Romans
was written (Conybeare 582).

[ 73 ]It is possible also that Narcissus was not a Christian (see note above on Aristobulus, verse 10).
[ 74 ]This Narcissus was put to death by Galba (Dio 69.3, cited by Conybeare 582).
[ 75 ]TOUS ONTAS EN KURIOO, being in [the] Lord (Marshall 653); ONTAS is the present active participle, accusative plural masculine of EIMI (Han 316); as a periphrasis for Christian [whether person or thing] . . . opposed to the family of Narcissus who were not Christians (Thayer 211). A periphrasis the use of a longer form of expression than necessary to express an idea.
[ 76 ]ASPASASTHE TRUPHAINAN KAI TRUPHOOSAN, greet Tryphaena and Tryphosa (Marshall 653); ASPASASTHE is second person plural, first aorist middle imperative of ASPAZOMAI (Han 316); [from TRUPHAOO live luxuriously], Christian women (Thayer 631);
[ 77 ]Zondervan 873.
[ 78 ]TAS KOPIOOSAS EN KURIOO, the [ones] laboring in [the] Lord (Marshall 653); KOPIOOSAS is the present active participle, accusative plural feminine of KOPIAOO (Han 316); KOPIAOO has two meanings (a) growing weary, (b) toiling; it is sometimes translated to bestow labor (Vine 634); in biblical Greek alone, labor with wearisome effort, toil (Thayer 355); who continued to toil in the work of the Lord (Williams); see note on verse 6.
[ 79 ]It appears to me that Adam Clarke (6.163) wrongly assumes Tryphaena and Tryphosa were preachers. He said, "Many have spent much useless labor in endeavoring to prove that these women did not preach." If the normally astute Mr. Clarke had considered 1 Corinthians 14:34 and Titus 2:11, 12, he would have answered himself.
[ 80 ]ASPASASTHE PERSIDA TEEN AGAPEETEEN, greet Persis the beloved (Marshall 653); ASPASASTHE is second person plural, first aorist middle imperative of ASPAZOMAI (Han 316); literally, a Persian woman (Thayer 567); Persian (Zondervan 640); remember me to my dear friend Persis (Williams); salute Persis, the beloved (Lenski 910); see notes on verses 3, 5.
[ 81 ]HEETIS POLLA EKOPIASEN EN KURIOO, who many things (much) labored in [the] Lord (Marshall 653); EKOPIASEN is third person singular, first aorist active indicative of KOPIAOO (Han 316); of the toilsome efforts of teachers in proclaiming and promoting the kingdom of God and Christ (Thayer 355); who toiled so hard in the work of the Lord (Williams); see note on verse 6.
[ 82 ]ASPASASTHE RHOUPHON, greet Rufus (Marshall 653); ASPASASTHE is second person plural, first aorist middle imperative of ASPAZOMAI (Han 316); red (Vincent 3.180); [that is "red", "reddish"], a Latin proper name of a certain Christian (Thayer 564); see note on verse 3.
[ 83 ]F. F. Bruce speculates that Simon of Cyrene was the same as Simon of Niger, a disciple with whom Paul had lodged (see Ac 13:1).
[ 84 ]TON EKLEKTON EN KURIOO, the chosen in the Lord (Marshall 653); chosen out, selected [perhaps in the sense of eminent] (Vine 182); perhaps the outstanding Christian (Arndt 242); excellent preeminent applied to certain individual Christians, with [in the Lord] added, eminent as a Christian (Thayer 197); one of great excellence in Christianity (Clarke 6.163); that choicest Christian (Williams).
[ 85 ]KAI TEEN MEETERA AUTOU KAI EMOU, and the mother of him and of me (Marshall 653), figuratively, one who takes the place of a mother (Vine 758); often tropically of that which is like a mother (Thayer 413); and to his mother, who has been a mother to me too (Williams).
[ 86 ]ASPASASTHE 'ASUNKRITON, greet Asyncritus (Marshall 653); ASPASASTHE is second person plural, first aorist middle imperative of ASPAZOMAI (Han 316); [A private, SUNKRINOO to compare; incomparable]; Asyncritus, the name of an unknown Christian at Rome (Thayer 82).
[ 87 ]PHLEGONTA, Phlegon (Marshall 653); [that is, "burning"], Phlegon, the name of a Christian at Rome (Thayer 655).
[ 88 ]HERMEEN, Hermes (Marshall 653; Williams); or Hermas, a common slave name, Vincent 3.181; a proper name, Hermes ... a certain Christian (Thayer 250); Mercury, interpreter or the Egyptian "Thoth" (Bible Almanac 127, 635);
[ 89 ]PATROBAN, Patrobas (Marshall 653); Patrobas, a certain Christian (Thayer 496).
[ 90 ]HERMAN, Hermas (Marshall 654); a certain Christian [whom Origen and others thought to be the author of the book entitled "The Shepherd" (Thayer 250).
[ 91 ]KAI TOUS SUN AUTOIS ADELPHOUS, and the with them brothers (Marshall 654); fellow-believers, united to another by the bond of affection; so most frequently of Christians, constituting as it were but a single family (Thayer 11); and the brothers who are associated with them (Williams).
[ 92 ]ASPASASTHE PHILOLOGON KAI 'IOULIAN, greet Philologus and Julia (Marshall 654); ASPASASTHE is second person plural, first aorist middle imperative of ASPAZOMAI (Han 316); greet, welcome, salute (Vine 507); the imperative may be translated greetings to (someone] or remember me to [someone] (Arndt 116); with an accusative of the person, salute one, greet, bid welcome, wish well to ... of the absent, saluting by letter; Philologus, a certain Christian; Julia, a Christian woman (Thayer 81, 306, 654).
[ 93 ]NEEREA KAI TEEN ADELPHEEN AUTOU, Nereus and the sister of him (Marshall 654); Nereus, a Christian who lived at Rome; with a subject genitive, a Christian woman especially dear to one (Thayer 10, 425); to Nereus and his sister (Williams).
[ 94 ]KAI OLUMPAN, and Olympas (Marshall 654); Olympas, a certain Christian (Thayer 444).
[ 95 ]KAI TOUS SUN AUTOIS PANTAS HAGIOUS, and the with them all saints (Marshall 654); and all God's people who are associated with them (Williams).
[ 96 ]NU-Text reads All the churches.
[ 97 ]ASPASASTHE ALLEELOUS, greet one another (Marshall 654; Williams); ASPASASTHE is second person plural, first aorist middle imperative of ASPAZOMAI (Han 316); greet, welcome, salute (Vine 507); the imperative may be translated greetings to [someone] or remember me to (someone] (Arndt 116); with an accusative of the person, salute one, greet, bid welcome, wish well to ... of the absent, saluting by letter (Thayer 81).
[ 98 ]EN PHILEEMATI HAGIOO, with kiss a holy (Marshall 654); among friends, the greeting is accompanied by a kiss (Arndt 116); a salutation was made nor merely by gesture and a few words, but generally by embracing and kissing; a journey was retarded by saluting frequently (Thayer 81); with a consecrated kiss (Williams).
[ 99 ]ASPAZONTAI HUMAS HAI EKKLEESIAI PASAI TOU CHRISTOU, greet you the churches all of Christ (Marshall 654); ASPAZONTAI is third person plural, present middle indicative of ASPAZOMAI (Han 316); churches or congregations as the totality of Christians living in [various] places (Arndt 241); companies of Christians, or those who, hoping for eternal salvation through Jesus Christ, observe their own religious rites, hold their own religious meetings, and manage their own affairs according to regulations prescribed for the body for order's sake; those who anywhere, in city or village, constitute such a company and are united into one body (Thayer 196); all the churches of Christ wish to be remembered to you (Williams).
[ 100 ]PARAKALOO DE HUMAS, now I beseech you (Marshall 654); PARAKALOO is first person singular, present active indicative of PARAKALEOO (Han 316); address, speak to, [call to, call on], which may be done in the way of exhortation, entreaty, comfort, instruction, etc.; hence result a variety of senses . . . admonish, exhort (Thayer 482); but I beg you (Williams); now I admonish you (Lenski 913).
[ 101 ]ADELPHOI, brothers (Marshall 654); fellow-believers, united to [others] by the bond of affection; so most frequently of Christians, constituting as it were but a single family (Thayer 11).
[ 102 ]SKOPEIN TOUS, to watch the [ones] (Marshall 654); SKOPEIN is the present active infinitive of SKOPEOO (Han 316); look at, behold, watch, contemplate [akin to SKOPOS a mark on which to fix the eye], metaphorically of looking to, and translated "mark," of a warning against those who cause divisions (Vine 715); fix one's eyes upon, direct one's attention to, any one (Thayer 579); look out for those who cause divisions, that is, avoid them (Arndt 756); to keep on the lookout for those (Williams); to look out for those (Lenski 913).
[ 103 ]TAS DICHOSTASIAS, the divisions (Marshall 654); the article with the noun points to some well-known disturbances (Vincent 3.181); dissensions, divisions; plural (Thayer 153); who stir up divisions (Williams); causing the divisions (Lenski 913).
[ 104 ]KAI TA SKANDALA, and the offenses (Marshall 654); to cause persons to be drawn away from the true doctrine into error and sin (Thayer 577); bring about temptations to sin (Arndt 753); and put hindrances in your way (Williams); and the death-traps (Lenski 913).
[ 105 ]PARA TEEN DIDACHEEN HEEN HUMEIS EMATHETE POIOUNTAS, beside the teaching which ye learned making (Marshall 654); EMATHETE is second person plural, second aorist active indicative of MANTHANOO (Han 316); contrary to (Thayer 478); in opposition to the instruction that you had (Williams); contrary to the doctrine (Lenski 913).
[ 106 ]KAI EKKLINETE AP' AUTOON, and turn away from them (Marshall 654); ENKLINETE is second person plural, present active indicative of ENKLINOO (Han 316); turn aside, not only keep out of their way, but remove from it if you fall in with them (Vincent 3.181); with genitive of person, turn away from, keep aloof from, one's society; shun [them] (Thayer 196); and always avoid them (Williams); and definitely incline away from them! (Lenski 913, 914).
[ 107 ]NU-Text and M-Text omit Jesus.
[ 108 ]HOI GAR TOIOUTOI, for such men (Marshall 654).
[ 109 ]TOO KURIOO HEEMOON CHRISTOO OU DOULEUOUSIN, the Lord of us Christ serve not (Marshall 654); DOULEUOUSIN is third person plural, present active indicative of DOULEUOO (Han 316); are really not serving our Lord Christ (Williams).
[ 110 ]ALLA TEE HEAUTOON KOILIA, but the of themselves belly (Marshall 654); given up to the pleasures of the palate, to gluttony (Thayer 351); but their own base appetites [literally, their own belly] (Williams).
[ 111 ]KAl DIA TEES CHREESTOLOGIAS, and through fair speech (Marshall 654); literally, good speaking, smooth speech (Vincent 3.181); fair speaking, the smooth and plausible address which simulates goodness (Thayer 671); and by their fair talk (Williams); and by means of flattering words (Lenski 914).
[ 112 ]KAI EULOGIAS, and flattering speech (Marshall 654); fine discourse, polished language . in a bad sense, language artfully adapted to captivate the hearer, fair speaking, fine speeches [joined with CHREESTOLOGIA (smooth speech), the latter relating to the substance, EULOGIA to the expression] (Thayer 260); and flattering talk [Greek, smooth talk and blessing] (Williams); and pious words (Lenski 914).
[ 113 ]EXAPATOOSIN, deceive (Marshall 654); third person plural, present active indicative of EXAPATAOO (Han 316); EX strengthens the simple verb to deceive (Thayer 221); they are deceiving (Williams); they thoroughly deceive (Lenski 914).
[ 114 ]TAS KARDIAS TOON AKAKOON, the hearts of the guileless (Marshall 654); literally, not evil, without positive wickedness (Vincent 3.182); fearing no evil from others, distrusting no one (Thayer 21); the hearts of unsuspecting people (Williams); the hearts of the innocent (Lenski 914).
[ 115 ]HEE GAR HUMOON HUPAKOEE, the for of you obedience (Marshall 654); an obedience shown in observing the requirements of Christianity HUPAKOEE HUMOON, that is, contextually, the report concerning your obedience (Thayer 637); yes, your obedience (Williams).
[ 116 ]EIS PANTAS APHIKETO, to all men came (Marshall 654); APHIKETO is third person singular, second aorist middle indicative of APHIKNEOMAI (Han 316); your obedience has reached [become known to] everyone (Arndt 126); has been told to everybody (Williams); has come [to the ears of] all (Lenski 921).
[ 117 ]EPH HUMIN OUN CHAIROO, over you therefore I rejoice (Marshall 654); CHAIROO is first person singular, present active indicative of CHAIROO (Han 316); rejoice, be glad (Thayer 663); so I am delighted about you (Williams); over you, therefore, I rejoice (Lenski 921).
[ 118 ]THELOO DE HUMAS SOPHOUS EINAI, I wish and you wise to be (Marshall 654); skilled, expert (Thayer 582); but I want you to be wise (Williams); yet I want you to be wise (Lenski 921).
[ 119 ]EIS TO AGATHON, to the good (Marshall 654); what is intrinsically valuable, morally good (Arndt 3); about what is good (Williams); toward the good (Lenski 921).
[ 120 ]AKERAIOUS DE, but simple (Marshall 654); of the mind, without admixture of evil free from guile, innocent, simple (Thayer 22); pure, innocent [literally, "unmixed"], innocent as far as evil is concerned (Arndt 30); and innocent (Williams); while immune (Lenski 921).
[ 121 ]EIS TO KAKON, to the evil (Marshall 654); evil, what is contrary to law, either divine or human, wrong, crime (Thayer 320); about what is bad (Williams); toward the evil (Lenski 921).
[ 122 ]HO DE THEOS TEES EIREENEES, and the God of peace (Marshall 654); the Lord who is the author and promoter of peace (Thayer 182); now the peace-giving God (Williams);.
[ 123 ]SUNTRIPSEI TON SATANAN, will crush Satan (Marshall 654; Williams); SUNTRIPSEI is third person singular, future active indicative of SUNTRIBOO (Han 316); put Satan under foot and [as a conqueror] trample on him (Thayer 607); of enemies annihilate, crush (Arndt 793).
[ 124 ]Macknight 136.
[ 125 ]HUPO TOUS PODAS HUMOON, under the feet of you (Marshall 654); under your feet (Williams).
[ 126 ]EN TACHEI, soon (Marshall 654); swiftly (Lenski 922).
[ 127 ]HEE CHARIS TOU KURIOU HEEMOON 'IEESOU METH' HUMOON, the grace of the Lord of us Jesus [be] with you (Marshall 654); the spiritual blessing of our Lord Jesus be with you (Williams).
[ 128 ]ASPAZETAI HUMAS TIMOTHEOS HO SUNERGOS MOU, greets you Timothy the fellow-worker of me (Marshall 655); ASPAZETAI is third person singular, present middle indicative of ASPAZOMAI (Han 316); [my] worker with, "workfellow" (Vine 1244); a companion in work, fellow-worker . . . with a genitive of the person, one who labors with another in furthering the cause of Christ (Thayer 603); Timothy, my fellow-worker, wishes to be remembered to you (Williams).
[ 129 ]KAI LOUKIOS, and Lucius (Marshall 655); Lucius, of Cyrene, a prophet and teacher of the church at Antioch: Acts 13:1; perhaps the same Lucius that is mentioned in Romans 16-21 (Thayer 382); and so do Lucius (Williams).
[ 130 ]KAI 'IASOON, and Jason (Marshall 655); Jason, a Thessalonian, Paul's host: Acts 17:5-7, 9; whether he is the same who is mentioned in Romans 16:21 as a kinsman of Paul is uncertain (Thayer 296).
[ 131 ]KAl SOOSIPATROS, and Sosipater (Marshall 655); possibly Sopater of Ac 20:4 (Vincent 3.182); Sosipater, a certain Christian, one of Paul's kinsmen, [perhaps the same man who in Acts 20:4 is called SOOPATROS, yet the latter was from Berea, Sosipater in Corinth] (Thayer 612); and Sosipater too (Williams).
[ 132 ]HOI SUNGENEIS MOU, the kinsmen of me (Marshall 655); of tribal or racial kinship, fellow-nationals (Vine 621); of the same kin, akin to, related by blood . . . some take the word in a wider sense, of the same race, fellow-countrymen (Thayer 592); my fellow-countrymen (Williams).
[ 133 ]ASPAZETAI HUMAS, greets you (Marshall 655); ASPAZETAI is third person singular, present middle imperative of ASPAZOMAI (Han 316).
[ 134 ]EGOO TERTIOS, I Tertius (Marshall 655); Paul's amanuensis, Vincent 3.182; Tertius, an amanuensis of the apostle Paul (Thayer 620).
[ 135 ]HO GRAPSAS TEEN EPISTOLEEN, the [one] writing the epistle (Marshall 655); GRAPSAS is the first aorist active participle, nominative singular masculine of GRAPHOO (Han 316); write, the epistolary aorist (Vincent 3.182); who write this letter (Williams).
[ 136 ]ASPAZOMAI HUMAS EN KURIOO, greet you in [the] Lord (Marshall 655); the verb is used as a technical term for conveying greetings at the close of a letter, often by an amanuensis, for example, Romans 16:22, the only instance of the use of the first person in this respect in the NT (Vine 507); wish to be remembered to you as a fellow-Christian (Williams).
[ 137 ]GAIOS HO XENOS MOI, Gaius the host of me (Marshall 655); where Paul was entertained, [my] host (Vine 76, 565); Gaius, my host (Williams). Gaius of Derbe was probably not the man in view here (see Ac 20:4); still another Gaius is mentioned by John (see 3Jo 1, 5-8).
[ 138 ]During the Demetrius riot at Ephesus, a Gaius was dragged into the theater along with Aristarchus (Ac 19:29). Later, Gaius of Derbe became a travelling companion with Paul during his third missionary tour. He was one of the men who accompanied him from Greece to Macedonia (Ac 20:4).
[ 139 ]KAI HOLEES TEES EKKLEESIAS, and all the church (Marshall 655); that Gaius was the host of the whole church," simply suggests that the assembly in Corinth had been accustomed to meet in his house (Vine 76); and host of the whole church here (Williams).
[ 140 ]ASPAZETAI HUMAS, greets you (Marshall 655; Vine 507); ASPAZETAI is third person singular, present middle indicative of ASPAZOMAI (Han 316); see note on verse 16.
[ 141 ]'ERASTOS HO OIKONOMOS TEES POLEOOS, Erastus the treasurer of the city (Marshall 655; Williams); the word appears in the NT in two senses: 1. The slave who was employed to give the other slaves their rations. So Luke 12:42. 2. The land-steward, as Luke 16:1. Probably here the administrator of the city lands (Vincent 3.182); a person who manages the domestic affairs of a family, in general, a manager, a steward, is translated "chamberlain" in the KJV, which the ASV corrects to "treasurer" (Vine 171). A "chamberlain" was a chief officer in the household of a ruler.
[ 142 ]ASPAZETAI HUMAS, greets you (Marshall 655); ASPAZETAI is third person singular, present middle indicative of ASPAZOMAI (Han 316); see note on verse 16.
[ 143 ]KAI KOUARTOS HO ADELPHOS, and Quartus the (his?) brother (Marshall 655); Quartus, an unknown Christian (Thayer 358).
[ 144 ]HEE CHARIS TOU KURIOU HEEMOON 'IEESOU CHRISTOU META PANTOON HUMOON, AMEEN, the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen [verse 24] is omitted by Nestle (Marshall 655); some ancient authorities insert here verse 24; NU-Text omits this verse; verse 24 is not in Aleph, A, B or C. It is in D, 33 and many others (Littrell).
[ 145 ]"Genuineness" means that a manuscript actually came from its professed source or author claimed.
[ 146 ]TOO DE DUNAMENOO, now to the [one] being able (Marshall 655); is able, has power (Thayer 158); to Him who can (Williams).
[ 147 ]"Doxology" is from the Greek DOXA glory and indicates praise to God.
[ 148 ]HUMAS STEERIZAI, you to establish (Marshall 655); STEERIZAI is the first aorist active infinitive of STEERIZOO (Han 316); the confirmation of the saints is the work of God, Vine 371); make you strong (Williams).
[ 149 ]KATA TO EUANGELION MOU, according to the gospel of me (Marshall 655); in accordance with the good news I bring (Williams).
[ 150 ]KAI TO KEERUGMA 'IEESOU CHRISTOU, and the proclamation of Jesus Christ (Marshall 655); literally, proclamation (Conybeare 583); and in accordance with the message preached about Jesus Christ (Williams).
[ 151 ]KATA APOKALUPSIN MUSTEERIOU, according to [the] revelation of [the] mystery (Marshall 655); the divine plan of redemption. The particular mystery of the conversion of the Gentiles is included, but the reference is not to be limited to this, Vincent 3.183); in accordance with the uncovering of the secret (Williams).
[ 152 ]CHRONOIS AIOONIOIS SESIGEEMENOU, in times eternal having been kept silent (Marshall 655); SESIGEEMENOU is the perfect passive participle, genitive singular neuter of SIGAOO (Han 316); kept in silence, Vincent 3.183); which for ages past had not been told (Williams).
[ 153 ]Vincent 3.183.
[ 154 ]PHANEROOTHENTOS DE NUN, manifested but now (Marshall 655); PHANEROOTHENTOS is the first aorist passive participle, genitive singular masculine of PHANEROOO (Han 316); the true meaning is to uncover, lay bare. reveal . . . made manifest (Vine 708); but now has been fully brought to light (Williams).
[ 155 ]For accounts of the Great Commission, see Matthew 28:19, 20; Mark 16:15, 16.
[ 156 ]DIA TE GRAPHOON PROPHEETIKOON, and through writings prophetic (Marshall 655); of or relating to prophecy, or proceeding from a prophet, prophetic, is used of the OT Scriptures, Romans 16:26, of the prophets," literally, "[by] prophetic [Scriptures] (Vine 894); by means of the prophetic Scriptures (Williams).
[ 157 ]EIS PANTA TA ETHNEE GNOORISTHENTOS, to all the nations made known (Marshall 655); GNOORISTHENTOS is the first aorist passive participle, genitive singular neuter of GNOORIZOO (Han 316); has been made known to all the heathen (Williams).
[ 158 ]KAT' EPITAGEEN, according to [the] command (Marshall 655); [akin to EPITASSOO to appoint over, put in charge; EPI over, TASSOO to appoint], stresses the authoritativeness of the command (Vine 201, 202); in accordance with the command (Williams).
[ 159 ]TOU AIOONIOU THEOU, of the eternal God (Marshall 655; Williams).
[ 160 ]EIS HUPAKOEEN PISTEOOS, for obedience of faith (Marshall 655); to win them to obedience inspired by faith (Williams).
[ 161 ]MONOO SOPHOO THEOO, only wise to God (Marshall 655); to the one wise God (Williams).
[ 162 ]DIA 'IEESOU CHRISTOU HOO HEE DOXA. through Jesus Christ to whom (him) the glory (Marshall 655); God, who, through Christ, appears as "the only wise" (Vincent 3.183); be glory (Williams).
[ 163 ]DIA 'IEESOU CHRISTOU, through Jesus Christ (Marshall 655; Williams).
[ 164 ]EIS TOUS AIOONAS TOON AIOONAS, unto the ages of the ages (Marshall 655); forever (Williams).
[ 165 ]AMEEN, Amen (Marshall 655); Amen, when said by God signifies "It is and shall be so," and by men, "So let it be" (see Vine 45).

Copyright ©2004, Charles Hess, Lakeside, California, U.S.A.
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The basic text, and all quotations not designated otherwise, are from the New King James Version, copyrighted ©1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. All rights reserved. Used by permission. Bracketed alternatives are drawn from various sources such as the ASV, Darby, KJV and RSV. Greek transliteration follows the BibleSoft method.

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