Romans 16


Paul ends his powerful and thorough masterpiece with greetings to many friends and co-workers in the Lord.

Personal Greetings

16 I commend to you our sister Phoebe, a servant of the church in Cenchrea. 2 I ask you to receive her in the Lord in a way worthy of the saints and to give her any help she may need from you, for she has been a great help to many people, including me.

3 Greet Priscilla and Aquila, my fellow workers in Christ Jesus. 4 They risked their lives for me. Not only I but all the churches of the Gentiles are grateful to them.

5 Greet also the church that meets at their house.

I know we need well-educated leaders, but I often wonder what would happen if we had more house churches in the U.S.  We need an authority structure but the bureaucracy and seemingly inevitable bad teaching that comes from larger organizations is disappointing.

Greet my dear friend Epenetus, who was the first convert to Christ in the province of Asia.

6 Greet Mary, who worked very hard for you. 7 Greet Andronicus and Junias, my relatives who have been in prison with me. They are outstanding among the apostles, and they were in Christ before I was.

8 Greet Ampliatus, whom I love in the Lord. 9 Greet Urbanus, our fellow worker in Christ, and my dear friend Stachys.

10 Greet Apelles, tested and approved in Christ.

Greet those who belong to the household of Aristobulus.

11 Greet Herodion, my relative.

Greet those in the household of Narcissus who are in the Lord.

12 Greet Tryphena and Tryphosa, those women who work hard in the Lord.

Greet my dear friend Persis, another woman who has worked very hard in the Lord.

13 Greet Rufus, chosen in the Lord, and his mother, who has been a mother to me, too.

14 Greet Asyncritus, Phlegon, Hermes, Patrobas, Hermas and the brothers with them.

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

16 Greet one another with a holy kiss.

All the churches of Christ send greetings.

Consider how many women Paul greeted and how he acknowledged their hard work in the Lord.  He is falsely considered a chauvinist but if you study all of what he said and the context of the culture in which he said it, Paul is quite the feminist (in the good sense).

17 I urge you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you have learned. Keep away from them. 18 For such people are not serving our Lord Christ, but their own appetites. By smooth talk and flattery they deceive the minds of naive people. 19 Everyone has heard about your obedience, so I am full of joy over you; but I want you to be wise about what is good, and innocent about what is evil.

20 The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you.

21 Timothy, my fellow worker, sends his greetings to you, as do Lucius, Jason and Sosipater, my relatives.

22 I, Tertius, who wrote down this letter, greet you in the Lord.

23 Gaius, whose hospitality I and the whole church here enjoy, sends you his greetings.

Erastus, who is the city’s director of public works, and our brother Quartus send you their greetings.

Paul wrote this from Corinth.  Archaeologists found a block of stone that may refer to this man.  It said, “Erastus, commissioner of public works, bore the expense of this pavement.”

25 Now to him who is able to establish you by my gospel and the proclamation of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery hidden for long ages past, 26 but now revealed and made known through the prophetic writings by the command of the eternal God, so that all nations might believe and obey him— 27 to the only wise God be glory forever through Jesus Christ! Amen.

The Holy Bible : New International Version. 1996, c1984. Grand Rapids: Zondervan.

Note how Paul desired that all nations would believe in and obey Jesus and that God is the only wise God.  There is a good reason you’ll rarely, if ever, hear false Christian teachers preach from Romans.

What parts of this chapter stood out to you and why?

0 thoughts on “Romans 16”

  1. v.1 – Phoebe was probably the carrier of the letter to Rome and served as a deaconess. She came from Cenchrea, a port located about six miles east of Corinth on the Saronic Gulf.

    v.3 – Priscilla and Aquila were close friends of Paul who worked in the same trade of tentmaking.

    v.7 – Junias is a feminine name.

    v. 8,9,10 – Ampliatus…Urbanus…Stachys…Apelles…are all common slave names found in the imperial household.

    v. 10 – The Aristobulus mentioned could very well be the grandson of Herod the Great and brother of Herod Agrippa I.

    v. 11 – Narcissus is sometimes identified with Tiberius Claudius Narcissus, a wealthy freedman of the Roman emperor Tiberius.

    v. 12 – Tryphena and Tryphosa were perhaps sisters, even twins, because it was common for such persons to be given names from the same root. Persis means “Persian Woman”.

    v. 13 – It is possible that Rufus is the same person mentioned in Mark 15:21, as also Mark no doubt wrote his Gospel to the Christians in Rome and Italy.

    v. 16 – Justin Martyr (A.D. 150) tells us that the holy kiss was a regular part of the worship service in his day. It is still a practice in some churches.

    v. 17 – Paul warned against factions, which plagued the church at Corinth and was also the place where he wrote his letter to the Romans. However, he wasn’t meaning just any divisions and obstacles, but those which were contrary to the teaching they had learned.

    v. 19 – Christians are to be adequate judges of false doctrine. This is why I feel Bible study is so important.

    v. 27 – To God be the glory! The ultimate purpose of all things.


  2. Thanks, for this post. I always wondered why passages like this were included in the bible. Your post did a great job of explaining the relevance. I like what you said about people seeing the bible as a chauvinist book. I thought that ,when I was in college and that was hindrance for me. It slowed my progress at seeking a relationship with God. I always like to see text where women were acknowledged for their faith and their works.


  3. I’ve always been deeply touched by Paul identifying specific persons to greet.

    Most of these persons were probably quite ordinary, but stood out among the early Christians for their simple dedication to Christ, generosity towards others, and love of the Gospel.

    Whenever I read Paul greeting others it reminds me of just how all knowing and all seeing God is. No faith, no witness, no good work, no matter how small, goes unnoticed and unrecorded in the Book of Life. The simple acts of faith of these persons resulted in them being forever recorded in Sacred Scripture, and their very existence forever intertwined with the Word of God in a unique and special way.

    The witness of the early Christians is always near to my heart, because many of them (especially many of the early martyrs) are forgotten in all but name. We know little of what they did or who they were. But at the appointed hour they followed Christ to glorious martyrdom and received the martyr’s crown for all eternity.

    The empires of this word are powerless when they confront faithful Christians. Christ Jesus has defeated even death. Death has no sting. What power do these earthly empires, these kingdoms of the wicked ruled by the prince of this world, have left if not the power of death? None at all.


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