A very different, and I believe more suitable response is provided by Karl Barth, who writes the following humorous and insightful summary of the significance of the list of people in this chapter—a summary that contributes to our understanding of the whole chapter’s value: The possibility that Tryphaena and Tryphosa and the other ‘laymen’—not to speak of the ‘theologians’ included in this long list!—would not have been able to understand the Epistle, does not seem to have been considered. Here the apostle solemnly closes his epistle with a magnificent ascription of glory to the blessed God, as one that terminated all in the praise and glory of God, and studied to return all to him, seeing all is of him and from him. Dec 14, 2003. In an excellent article that reflects on what ethnicity meant for the historical Paul, Charles Cosgrove concludes that “on the basis of Rom 9:1-4, it seems fair to say that Paul loved Jews as his own people.”18 The references to his relatives in chapter 16 seem to confirm Cosgrove’s point, for they solidify the impression Paul seems determined to make in this letter, that he loves his people and values his Jewish identity (Rom. On the other hand, even if a strong case can be made that Phoebe held an office or leadership position, what cannot be determined is what exactly the function of a first century deacon was. Romans 16:25-27. Chapter 16. A danger discovered is half prevented. "Receive her in the Lord," that is, "for the Lord's sake receive her as a servant and friend of Christ." As N. T. Wright writes in another essay in this volume, “I used to think Romans 16 was the most boring chapter in the letter…” (see p. 7). He was one of a thousand for integrity and holiness.--And his mother and mine, his mother by nature and mine by Christian love and spiritual affection as he calls Phebe his sister, and teaches Timothy to treat the elder women as mothers, 1 Timothy 5:2. He gives a very good character of her. Lest any should object, "Why was this mystery kept secret so long, and why made manifest now?" 9 Salute Urbane, our helper in Christ, and Stachys my beloved. Thus it was hid from ages and generations, even among the Jews, much more among the Gentiles that sat in darkness and had no notices at all of it. Now Paul was the more solicitous for the Roman church, that it might preserve its integrity, because it was so famous it was a city upon a hill, and many eyes were upon the Christians there, so that an error prevailing there would be a bad precedent, and have an ill influence upon other churches: as indeed it has since proved in fact, the great apostasy of the latter days taking its rise from that capital city. Peter Lampe takes the investigation of these names further by noting what Paul says about the various people mentioned. It seems, Paul was of a good family, that he met with so many of his kindred in several places. There may be occasion sometimes to improve our interest in our friends, not only for ourselves, but for others also, interest being a price in the hand for doing good. It was wrapped up in silence from eternity so some--a temporibus æ ternis it is no new and upstart notion, no late invention, but took rise from the days of eternity and the purposes of God's everlasting love. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. Before the foundation of the world was laid, the mystery was hid in God, Ephesians 3:9. What does Romans chapter 16 mean? Nay, they did not only do much, but they ventured much, for Paul: They have for my life laid down their own necks. He warned to be careful of those who claim to be good and those who are evil. Romans 2:1-16 is a powerful passage about the nature of God’s justice. He was of approved knowledge and judgment, approved courage and constancy a man that one might trust and repose a confidence in. 6 Greet Mary, who bestowed much labour on us. The devil and his agents have a particular spite against flourishing churches and flourishing souls. If you just jumped into chapter 16 it’s just a group of rules; it’s just a group of verses. (8-15) The gospel way of justification by faith, for Jews and Gentiles. 3:1-2; 9:1-5; 11:2, 25-32; 15:9-12). Concerning Rufus (Romans 16:13), chosen in the Lord. "Receive her in the Lord. Romans 16:17 "Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them." His wisdom (Romans 16:27): To God only wise. Note that there is nothing about Israel in this benediction, nothing of “to the Jew first and then to the Greek.” Indeed Marshall, who takes a positive view of the benediction, betrays the problem when he describes what happens in it: “The Gentile readers are assured that there is almost a divine ‘bias toward the Gentiles,’ despite the fact that the gospel comes ‘to the Jews [sic] first’ and despite the intensity of Paul’s concern for his own people.”29. (2.) He was a choice Christian, whose gifts and graces evinced that he was eternally chosen in Christ Jesus. The method they take to compass their design: By good words and fair speeches they deceive the hearts of the simple. 1:1 and 1 Tim. She knew God’s Word and she was able to deal with these kinds of doctrinal matters. The veil is rent, the shadows of the evening are done away, and life and immortality are brought to light by the gospel, and the Sun of righteousness has risen upon the world. You are a willing good-natured people, but you had best take heed of being imposed upon by those seducers." Perhaps this Tertius was the same with Silas for Silas (as some think) signifies the third in Hebrew, as Tertius in Latin. This leads some textual critics to conclude that Π. had an antecedent that ended at chapter 15, since the final benediction was shifted to the end of that chapter. Our words ‘deacon’ and ‘deaconess’ are derived from it.” Phoebe may have been the person who personally delivered Paul’s epistle to the Romans. To God only wise through Jesus Christ so some. (1-7) Prays for the saints at Rome, and expresses his desire to see them. A holy jealousy of our friends may very well comport with a holy joy in them. To be simple concerning evil--so wise as not to be deceived, and yet so simple as not to be deceivers. The “leveling of names” was due to upwardly mobile freedmen/women who gained wealth and sought noble names and the low fertility rates and economic stagnation of the nobility. I will examine each of these parts of the chapter and then conclude with a reflection on the significance of Romans 16 for the church. Probably they used to meet at her house, and she undertook the care of entertaining the ministers, especially strangers. Among English translations, from Tyndale to near the end of the nineteenth century, the name was usually translated as though it were the woman’s name, Junia. Most readers of Romans today are returning to what Origen saw early on: that Paul in this letter steers between Jews and the ethnē when composing a letter whose themes orbit around Israel.30 To return to the simile of the envelope, this benediction is worth reading precisely because it is evidence of how easy it is for Christians to think the letter is only about them. He is only wise not the Father only wise, exclusive of the Son, but Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, three persons and one God, only wise, compared with the creatures. If the Root Is Holy, the Branches Are Holy. At Corinth, Paul became acquainted with them, wrought with them at the trade of tent-making after some time, when the edge of that edict was rebated, they returned to Rome, and thither he now sends commendations to them. Paul was as well skilled in the art of obliging as most men. "Let them know that I remember them, and love them, and wish them well." Lest any should find themselves aggrieved, as if Paul had forgotten them, he concludes with the remembrance of the rest, as brethren and saints, though not named. 14:1-15:6), and the women and slaves or former slaves we have met in Romans 16:1-15. Chapter Contents. In Paul’s full acknowledgement of the prominent places that women occupied in these house churches, we may see that Paul is here operating within a church network that does not have the leisure to debate whether or not people from a given gender, class, or rank are suited to be church leaders. The poor servant is called, and chosen, and faithful, while the rich master is passed by, and left to perish in unbelief. Now. Paul was in a great deal of danger at Corinth, while he sojourned with them but they sheltered him, though they thereby made themselves obnoxious to the enraged multitudes, Acts 18:12,17. The five sections of chapter 16 begin with a commendation and introduction of Phoebe, the woman who probably carried the letter and perhaps read it to some of the house churches in Rome. He concludes with a solemn celebration of the glory of God, Romans 16:25-27. It is evident that Paul is conscious of the real struggles that his addressees faced while living under the power of Rome, an empire that asked all to pledge allegiance to its grandiose self-perception and vision for the world. They exposed themselves to secure Paul, hazarded their own lives for the preservation of his, considering how much better they might be spared than he. Some think there was a church there, distinct from that at Corinth, though, being so near, it is very probable that the church of Corinth is called the church of Cenchrea, because their place of meeting might be there, on account of the great opposition to them in the city (Acts 18:12), as at Philippi they met out of the city by the water-side, Acts 16:13. As it becometh saints to receive, who love Christ, and therefore love all that are his for his sake or, as becometh saints to be received, with love and honour and the tenderest affection. She is “our sister, who is minister of the church which is in Cenchreae” (16:1). Feb 1, 2004. The household of Stephanas is likewise said to be the first-fruits of Achaia, 1 Corinthians 16:15. Thus does he insinuate their commendation, the better to make way for the caution. The sixteenth chapter of Romans was treated as a detachable unit at least as early as the second century, showing that some considered it to be a tagalong compared with the rest of Paul’s letter to the Romans.1 The oldest surviving manuscript of Romans, Chester Beatty Papyrus II, also known as Π46, dating from the early third century, places the benediction of 16:25-27 between 15:33 and chapter 16. Paul sometimes calls Timothy his son, as an inferior but here he styles him his work-fellow, as one equal with him, such a respect does he put upon him: and Lucius, probably Lucius of Cyrene, a noted man in the church of Antioch (Acts 13:1), as Jason was at Thessalonica, where he suffered for entertaining Paul (Acts 17:5,6): and Sosipater, supposed to be the same with Sopater of Berea, mentioned Acts 20:4. Tertius either wrote as Paul dictated, or transcribed it fairly over out of Paul's foul copy. The blessing he expects from God--a victory over Satan. 18 For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple. The apostle's commission. Concerning Andronicus and Junia, Romans 16:7. Therefore it — The blessing; is of faith, that it might be by grace — That it might appear to flow from the free love of God; that God might magnify the riches of his grace, in proposing justification and eternal life to us, in a way that might, in multitudes of instances, be effectual. "THE EPISTLE TO THE ROMANS" Chapter Sixteen OBJECTIVES IN STUDYING THIS CHAPTER 1) To be impressed with such Christians as Phoebe, Priscilla, and Aquila 2) To understand the warning against those who cause division SUMMARY In this last chapter, Paul closes with miscellaneous instructions, greetings, warnings, and a doxology. The master they serve: not our Lord Jesus Christ. Not many mighty, not many noble, are called, but some are. ... (John 14:1-3) and fully explained by Paul (1 Cor. © 2020 CBE International - All rights reserved. It is rather to be applied to the victory which all the saints shall have over Satan when they come to heaven, and shall be for ever out of his reach, together with the present victories which through grace they obtain in earnest of that. Salute them which are of Aristobulus' household. It is the preaching of Jesus Christ. It is now made manifest. The apostle's commission. Tradition tells us that Peter and Paul were both martyred in Rome, a circumstance that was explicitly used to elevate Rome’s status among other Christian centers of the Mediterranean world. Greet them, salute them it is the same word, aspasasthe. 451201 > ROMANS 12:1-21 HERE we enter on the second division of this Epistle, where Paul, according to his accustomed method, enforces the duties of believers, by arguments dependent on his previous exhibition of the grand and influential doctrines of the Gospel.These doctrines, as well as all the commandments of God, may be summed up in one word, namely, in\parLOVE. Salutations added from some who were with Paul, Romans 16:21-24. But Paul was in prisons more frequent (2 Corinthians 11:23), in some of which, it seems, he met with his friends Andronicus and Junia, yoke-fellows, as in other things, so in suffering for Christ and bearing his yoke. After the “God of peace” benediction, the people with Paul, apparently in Corinth, send their greetings. 3:8,12. Paul stated in Romans Chapter 2 that people were storing up wrath because of their hatred. This bespeaks the honour of the gospel it is no vulgar common thing, hammered out by any human wit, but it is the admirable product of the eternal wisdom and counsel of God, and has in it such an inconceivable height, such an unfathomable depth, as surpass knowledge. He is to everlasting, intimating the eternal continuance to us. It is appropriate now to complete Wright’s quotation, since I only offered the first part of it at the beginning of this essay: “I used to think Romans 16 was the most boring chapter in the letter, and now, as I study and reflect on the names it includes, I am struck by how powerfully they illustrate how the teachings of both Jesus and Paul were being worked out in practice.”, The warning in 16:17-20 appears to some as an abrupt change from the preceding greetings, but with the majority of commentators, it is probably right to view this as integral to the letter and not a later insertion. It is a holy simplicity, not to be able to contrive, nor palliate, nor carry on, any evil design akeraious--harmless, unmixed, inoffensive. Dec 24, 2006. It is the good property of saints to delight in being together and Paul thus joins them together in his salutations to endear them one to another. Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. Amen. They come from various places. (2.) We do not find in the story of the Acts any imprisonment of Paul before the writing of this epistle, but that at Philippi, Acts 16:23. • Verses 16-17 (the first part of the lectionary It is a very sweet promise (Romans 16:20): The God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet. But those were old and poor, whereas Phebe seems to have been a person of some account and yet it was no disparagement to her to be a servant to the church. Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ The reason why he was so ready and willing to preach it, even where he ran the greatest risk of his character and life, was, because it was "the Gospel of Christ" he preached, and he was not ashamed of it. Some have also suggested that the Iounian here in Romans 16:7 is a contraction of the masculine Iounianós (Iunianus). A pliable temper is good when it is under good government but otherwise it may be very ensnaring and therefore he gives two general rules:-- [1.] As in the main body of the epistle he appears to have been a very knowing man, so in these appurtenances of it he appears to have been a very loving man. The victory shall be complete: He shall bruise Satan under your feet, plainly alluding to the first promise the Messiah made in paradise (Genesis 3:15), that the seed of the woman should break the serpent's head, which is in the fulfilling every day, while the saints are enabled to resist and overcome the temptations of Satan, and will be perfectly fulfilled when, in spite of all the powers of darkness, all that belong to the election of grace shall be brought triumphantly to glory. Romans 3:21-31; 4:1-25). (1-7) Prays for the saints at Rome, and expresses his desire to see them. 1. One would have thought that solemn benediction which closed the foregoing chapter should have ended the epistle and yet here he begins again, and in this chapter he repeats the blessing (Romans 16:20), "The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you, Amen." I am not lying. This mystery was kept secret since the world began: chronois aioniois sesigemenou. 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