Monday, August 1, 2011

Commentary on Scripture: Romans 16

I commend to you our sister Phoebe... that you receive her in the Lord in a manner worthy of the saints, and that you help her in whatever matter she may have need of you.

Romans 16:1-15 ~~ Paul offers greetings to various individuals known to him personally. Most of the names are unfamiliar to us, though some of them are referenced elsewhere. Also note the number of female names in the list.

Romans 16:3-4 ~~ Prisca and Aquila are referenced in Acts 18, worked with Paul as tent-makers, and apparently risked their own necks to save Paul's life.

Romans 16:5 ~~ "Epaenetus... who is the first convert to Christ from Asia." Whoa. Nice credentials.

Romans 16:6 ~~ "Mary, who has worked hard for you." There are six other people known by that name in the New Testament; nothing is known about this Mary beside this one cryptic reference.

Romans 16:17 ~~ Paul exhorts the Romans to be wary against those who teach against the apostolic teaching and would lead them astray.

Romans 16:18 ~~ Paul is specifically addressing the heretics in Rome that were slaves to their appetites and who deceived themselves and others with smooth rhetoric.

Romans 16:19 ~~ Rome was apparently famed for their obedience to the apostolic tradition.

Romans 16:20 ~~ Here again, Paul concludes the letter. See also 15:33, 16:24 and 16:27.

Romans 16:21-22 ~~ Paul sends greetings from his companions, including a personal salutation from his scribe Tertius.

Romans 16:25-27 ~~ Here at last Paul offers a brief and impromptu doxology. "To Him... be the glory forever." Paul is awesome, and here ends his epistle to the Romans.

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 which has been kept secret for long ages past but now is manifested, and by the Scriptures of the prophets according to the commandment of the eternal God has been made known to all the nations, leading to obedience of faith; to the only wise God, through Jesus Christ, be the glory forever. Amen.

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