18 Sept. Romans 16:1-27

18 Sept. Paul sends greetings from Corinth to Rome

"I recommend to you our sister Phoebe, who is a helper in the church in Cenchrea. I ask you to accept her in the Lord in the way God's people should. Help her with anything she needs, because she has helped me and many other people also."

"Give my greetings to Priscilla and Aquila, who work together with me in Christ Jesus and who risked their own lives to save my life. I am thankful to them, and all the non-Jewish churches are thankful as well. Also greet for me the church that meets at their house."

"Greetings to my dear friend Epenatus, who was the first person in the country of Asia [in Turkey] to follow Christ. Greetings to Mary, who worked very hard for you. Greetings to Andronicus and Junias, my relatives, who were in prison with me. They are very important apostles. They were believers in Christ before I was."

"Greetings to Ampliatus, my dear friend in the Lord. Greetings to Urbanus, a worker together with me for Christ. And greetings to my dear friend Stachys. Greetings to Apelles, who was tested and proved that he truly loves Christ."

"Greetings to all those who are in the family of Aristobulus. Greetings to Herodion, my fellow citizen. Greetings to all those in the family of Narcissus who belong to the Lord. Greetings to Tryphena and Tryphosa, women who work very hard for the Lord. Greetings to my dear friend Persis, who also has worked very hard for the Lord."

"Greetings to Rufus, who is a special person in the Lord, and to his mother, who has been like a mother to me also. Greetings to Asyncritus, Phlegon, Hermes, Patrobas, Hermas and all the brothers who are with them. Greetings to Philologus and Julia, Nereus and his sister, and Olympas, and to all God's people with them. Greet each other with a holy kiss. All of Christ's churches send greetings to you..."

"Timothy, a worker with me, sends greetings, as well as Lucius, Jason and Sosipater, my relatives."

"I am Tertius, and I am writing [scribing] this letter from Paul. I send greetings to you in the Lord."

"Gaius is letting me and the whole church here use his home. He also sends greetings to you, as do Erastus, the city treasurer, and our brother Quartus."

"To the only wise God be glory for ever through Jesus Christ! Amen."

          (Romans 16:1-27)

 

 

It's tempting to dismiss the final chapter of Paul's Letter to the Romans as just a list of names. But, in reality, this final part of the letter tells us a good deal about Paul's circle of friends and the way he conducted his missionary work.

Paul began by commending Phoebe from Cenchrea (the eastern port of Corinth) to the believers in Rome. From what he said, it appears likely that Phoebe was the person who took this letter by hand from Paul in Corinth to the believers in Rome.

Paul then sent greetings to his friends Aquila and Priscilla "who risked their own lives" for him – perhaps a reference to the riot in Ephesus (see Acts 19:30). Paul had stayed for eighteen months with Aquila and his wife in Corinth (in 51-52AD) and, more recently, for three years in Ephesus (in 53-56AD). By the time of writing (in 57AD), Aquila and Pricilla had returned to Rome from where they had been expelled by the Emperor Claudius eight years earlier in 49AD (see Acts 18:2, 18:19, 18:26 & 1 Corinthians 16:19). As had happened in Ephesus some five years earlier, the Christian believers in Rome were meeting at their home.

Paul also sent his greetings to twenty four other named believers (and their families) in Rome including Epenetus from the Roman province of Asia - the first believer to follow Christ in that area of modern-day Turkey. He also included two of his own family - Andronicus and his wife Junias, who were Christians (in Jerusalem?) before Paul's dramatic conversion on the road to Damascus (see Acts 9:1-19) and spent some time in prison with Paul (though we're not told where).

We often think of Paul working alone, but It's clear from his letter that Paul worked as part of a team and his missionary activities relied on many co-workers. Paul sent personal greetings from the believers he had recently been working with in Corinth. These included Timothy (see Acts 20:2-4), Jason (from Thessalonica in Macedonia – see Acts 17:5) and Erastus (from Ephesus – see Acts 19:22 & 2 Timothy 4:20). Erastus was the Director of Public Works in Corinth, and his name can still be seen today on an inscription in the Roman theatre at Corinth.

We also learn in the closing sentences that Paul dictated his letter to a close friend called Tertius who wrote it down (Romans 16:22), and that the church in Corinth was meeting at the home of Gaius in 57AD.

The photo (by Chris Oxford) shows the site of the Roman theatre in Ancient Corinth.

You can read the whole of Paul's Letter to the Romans starting @ https://www.thebiblejourney.org/…/14-…/pauls-letter-to-rome/


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