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Word Pictures in the New Testament
(Romans: Chapter 16)

16:1 {I commend} (\sunistēmi\). The regular word for letters of
commendation as in 2Co 3:1 (\sustatikōn epistolōn\). See also
Ro 3:5. So here verses 1,2 constitute Paul's recommendation
of Phoebe, the bearer of the Epistle. Nothing else is known of
her, though her name (\Phoibē\) means bright or radiant. {Sister}
(\adelphēn\). In Christ, not in the flesh. {Who is a servant of
the church}
(\ousan diakonon tēs ekklēsias\). The etymology of
\diakonos\ we have had repeatedly. The only question here is
whether it is used in a general sense or in a technical sense as
in Php 1:1; 1Ti 3:8-13. In favour of the technical sense of
"deacon" or "deaconess" is the addition of "\tēs ekklēsias\" (of
the church)
. In some sense Phoebe was a servant or minister of
the church in Cenchreae. Besides, right in the midst of the
discussion in 1Ti 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). The _Apostolic
Constitutions_ has numerous allusions to deaconesses. The strict
separation of the sexes made something like deaconesses necessary
for baptism, visiting the women, etc. Cenchreae, as the eastern
port of Corinth, called for much service of this kind. Whether
the deaconesses were a separate organization on a par with the
deacons we do not know nor whether they were the widows alluded
to in 1Ti 5:9f.

16:2 {Worthily of the saints} (\axiōs tōn hagiōn\). Adverb with
the genitive as in Php 1:27 because the adjective \axios\ is
used with the genitive (Lu 3:8). "Receive her in a way worthy
of the saints." This word \hagios\ had come to be the accepted
term for followers of Christ. {Assist her} (\parastēte\). Second
aorist (intransitive) active subjunctive of \paristēmi\, to stand
by, with the dative case ("beside her"), the very word used by
Paul of the help of Jesus in his trial (\parestē\, 2Ti 4:17).
Used with \hina\ as \prosdexēsthe\. {In whatsoever matter} (\en
hōi pragmati\)
. Incorporation of the antecedent (\pragmati\) into
the relative clause (\hōi\). {She may have need of you} (\an
humōn chrēizēi\)
. Indefinite relative clause with \an\ and the
present subjunctive of \chrēizō\ with genitive. {A succourer}
(\prostatis\). Old and rare feminine form for the masculine
\prostatēs\, from \proistēmi\ (\prostateō\, common, but not in
the N.T.)
, here only in the N.T. and not in the papyri. The word
illustrates her work as \diakonon\ and is perhaps suggested here
by \parastēte\, just before. {Of mine own self} (\emou autou\).
"Of me myself."

16:3 In verses 3-16 Paul sends his greetings to various
brethren and sisters in Rome. {Prisca and Aquila} (\Priskan kai
. This order always (Ac 18:18,26; 2Ti 4:19, and here)
save in Ac 18:2; 1Co 16:19, showing that Prisca was the more
prominent. Priscilla is a diminutive of Prisca, a name for women
in the Acilian gens. She may have been a noble Roman lady, but
her husband was a Jew of Pontus and a tent-maker by trade. They
were driven from Rome by Claudius, came to Corinth, then to
Ephesus, then back to Rome, and again to Ephesus. They were good
travelling Christians. {My fellow-workers} (\tous sunergous
. Both in tent-making and in Christian service in Corinth
and Ephesus.

16:4 {Laid down their own necks} (\ton heautōn trachelon
. First aorist active of \hupotithēmi\, old verb to
place under (the axe of the executioner), only here in N.T. in
this sense, though in 1Ti 4:16 to suggest. If literal or
figurative, the incident may be connected with the uproar created
by Demetrius in Ephesus. Certainly Paul felt deep obligation
toward them (see Ac 20:34). {Not only I} (\ouk egō monos\).
Rather, "not I alone" (adjective \monos\). The Gentile churches
also (great mission workers).

16:5 {The church that is in their house} (\tēn kat' oikon autōn
. The early Christians had no church buildings. See
also Ac 12:2; 1Co 16:19; Phm 1:2; Col 4:15. The Roman
Christians had probably several such homes where they would meet.
{Epainetus} (\Epaineton\). Nothing is known of him except this
item, "the first-fruits of Asia" (\aparchē tēs Asias\). An early
convert from the province of Asia. Cf. Ac 2:9; 1Co 16:15 (about
Stephanus and Achaia)

16:6 {Mary} (\Marian\). Some MSS. have \Mariam\, the Hebrew form.
The name indicates a Jewish Christian in Rome. Paul praises her
toil. See Lu 5:5.

16:7 {Andronicus and Junias} (\Andronicou kai Iounian\). The
first is a Greek name found even in the imperial household. The
second name can be either masculine or feminine. {Kinsmen}
(\suggeneis\). Probably only fellow-countrymen as in 9:13.
{Fellow-prisoners} (\sunaichmalōtus\). Late word and rare (in
. One of Paul's frequent compounds with \sun\. Literally,
fellow captives in war. Perhaps they had shared one of Paul's
numerous imprisonments (2Co 11:23). In N.T. only here, Phm
1:23; Col 4:10. {Of note} (\episēmoi\). Stamped, marked (\epi
. Old word, only here and Mt 27:16 (bad sense) in N.T.
{Among the apostles} (\en tois apostolois\). Naturally this means
that they are counted among the apostles in the general sense
true of Barnabas, James, the brother of Christ, Silas, and
others. But it can mean simply that they were famous in the
circle of the apostles in the technical sense. {Who have been in
Christ before me}
(\hoi kai pro emou gegonan en Christōi\).
Andronicus and Junias were converted before Paul was. Note
\gegonan\ (_Koinē_ form by analogy) instead of the usual second
perfect active indicative form \gegonasin\, which some MSS. have.
The perfect tense notes that they are still in Christ.

16:8 {Ampliatus} (\Ampliaton\). Some MSS. have a contracted form

16:9 {Urbanus} (\Ourbanon\). "A common Roman slave name found
among members of the household" (Sanday and Headlam). A Latin
adjective from _urbs_, city (city-bred). {Stachys} (\Stachun\). A
Greek name, rare, but among members of the imperial household. It
means a head or ear of grain (Mt 12:1).

16:10 {Apelles} (\Apellēn\). A name among Jews and a famous
tragic actor also. {The approved} (\ton dokimon\). The tried and
true (1Co 11:19; 2Co 10:18; 13:7). {Them which are of the
household of Aristobulus}
(\tous ek tōn Aristoboulou\). The
younger Aristobulus was a grandson of Herod the Great. Lightfoot
suggests that some of the servants in this household had become
Christians, Aristobulus being dead.

16:11 {Herodion} (\Herōidiōna\). Probably one belonging to the
Herod family like that above. {Kinsman} (\suggenē\). Merely
fellow-countryman. {Them of the household of Narcissus} (\tous ek
tōn Narkissou\)
. "Narcissiani." There was a famous freedman of
this name who was put to death by Agrippa. Perhaps members of his

16:12 {Tryphaena and Tryphosa} (\Truphainan kai Truphōsan\).
Probably sisters and possibly twins. Both names come from the
same root, the verb \truphaō\, to live luxuriously (Jas 5:5).
Denney suggests "Dainty and Disdain." {Persis} (\Persida\). A
freedwoman was so named. She is not Paul's "beloved," but the
"beloved" of the whole church.

16:13 {Rufus} (\Rouphon\). A very common slave name, possibly the
Rufus of Mr 15:21. The word means "red." {The chosen} (\ton
. Not "the elect," but "the select." {And mine} (\kai
. Paul's appreciation of her maternal care once, not his
real mother.

16:14 {Asyncritus} (\Asunkriton\). There is an inscription of a
freedman of Augustus with this name. {Phlegon} (\Phlegonta\). No
light on this name till the historian of the second century A.D.
{Hermes} (\Hermēn\). A very common slave name. {Patrobas}
(\Patroban\). Name of a freedman of Nero, abbreviated form of
Patrobius. {Hermas} (\Hermān\). Not the author of the Shepherd of
Hermas. Common as a slave name, shortened form of Hermagoras,
Hermogenes, etc. {The brethren that are with them} (\tous sun
autois adelphous\)
. Perhaps a little church in the house of some

16:15 {Philologus} (\Philologon\). Another common slave name.
{Julia} (\Ioulian\). The commonest name for female slaves in the
imperial household because of Julius Caesar. Possibly these two
were husband and wife. {Nereus} (\Nērea\). Found in inscriptions
of the imperial household. But the sister's name is not given.
One wonders why. {Olympas} (\Olumpān\). Possibly an abbreviation
for Olympiodorus. {All the saints that are with them} (\tous sun
autois pantas hagious\)
. Possibly another church in the house.
These unnamed, the "and others," constitute the great majority in
all our churches.

16:16 {With a holy kiss} (\en philēmati hagiōi\). The near-east
mode of salutation as hand-shaking in the Western. In China one
shakes hands with himself. Men kissed men and women kissed women.
See 1Th 5 26; 1Co 16:20; 2Co 13:12.

16:17 {Mark} (\skopeite\). Keep an eye on so as to avoid.
\Skopos\ is the goal, \skopeō\ means keeping your eye on the
goal. {Divisions} (\dichostasias\). Old word for "standings
apart," cleavages. In N.T. only here and Ga 5:20. {Those which
are causing}
(\tous--poiountas\). This articular participle
clause has within it not only the objects of the participle but
the relative clause \hēn humeis emathete\ (which you learned), a
thoroughly Greek idiom.

16:18 {But their own belly} (\alla tēi heautōn koiliāi\). Dative
case after \douleuousin\. A blunt phrase like the same picture in
Php 3:19 "whose god is the belly," more truth than caricature
in some cases. {By their smooth and fair speech} (\dia tēs
chrēstologias kai eulogias\)
. Two compounds of \logos\ (speech),
the first (from \chrēstos\ and \logos\) is very rare (here only
in N.T.)
, the second is very common (\eu\ and \logos\). {Beguile}
(\exapatōsin\). Present active indicative of the double compound
verb \exapataō\ (see 2Th 2:3; 1Co 3:18). {Of the innocent}
(\tōn akakōn\). Old adjective (\a\ privative and \kakos\),
without evil or guile, in N.T. only here and Heb 7:26 (of

16:19 {Is come abroad} (\aphiketo\). Second aorist middle
indicative of \aphikneomai\, old verb, to come from, then to
arrive at, only here in N.T. {Over you} (\eph' humin\). "Upon
you." Simple unto that which is evil (\akeraious eis to kakon\).
Old adjective from \a\ privative and \kerannumi\, to mix. Unmixed
with evil, unadulterated.

16:20 {Shall bruise} (\suntripsei\). Future active of \suntribō\,
old verb, to rub together, to crush, to trample underfoot.
Blessed promise of final victory over Satan by "the God of
peace." "Shortly" (\en tachei\). As God counts time. Meanwhile
patient loyalty from us.

16:21 Verses 21-23 form a sort of postscript with greetings
from Paul's companions in Corinth. Timothy was with Paul in
Macedonia (2Co 1:1) before he came to Corinth. Lucius may be
the one mentioned in Ac 13:1. Jason was once Paul's host (Ac
in Thessalonica, Sosipater may be the longer form of
Sopater of Ac 20:4. They are all Paul's fellow-countrymen

16:22 {I Tertius} (\egō Tertios\). The amanuensis to whom Paul
dictated the letter. See 2Th 3:17; 1Co 16:21; Col 4:18.

16:23 {Gaius my host} (\Gaios ho xenos mou\). Perhaps the same
Gaius of 1Co 1:14 (Ac 19:29; 20:4), but whether the one of
3Jo 1:1 we do not know. \Xenos\ was a guest friend, and then
either a stranger (Mt 25:35) or a host of strangers as here.
This Gaius was plainly a man of some means as he was the host of
all the church. Erastus (2Ti 4:20) was "the treasurer of the
city" (\ho oikonomos tēs poleōs\), one of the outstanding men of
Corinth, the "steward" (house-manager) or city manager. See Lu
12:42; 16:1. He is probably the administrator of the city's
property. {Quartus} (\Kouartos\). Latin name for fourth.

16:24 Is not genuine, not in Aleph A B C Coptic.

16:25 Verses 25-27 conclude the noble Epistle with the finest
of Paul's doxologies. {To him that is able} (\tōi dunamenōi\).
Dative of the articular participle of \dunamai\. See similar
idiom in Eph 3:20. {To stablish} (\stērixai\). First aorist
active infinitive of \stērizō\, to make stable. {According to my
(\kata to euaggelion mou\). Same phrase in 2:16; 2Ti
2:8. Not a book, but Paul's message as here set forth. {The
(\to kērugma\). The proclamation, the heralding. {Of
Jesus Christ}
(\Iēsou Christou\). Objective genitive, "about
Jesus Christ." {Revelation} (\apokalupsin\). "Unveiling." {Of the
(\mustēriou\). Once unknown, but now revealed. {Kept in
(\sesigēmenou\). Perfect passive participle of \sigaō\,
to be silent, state of silence. {Through times eternal}
(\chronois aiōniois\). Associative instrumental case, "along with
times eternal" (Robertson, _Grammar_, p. 527). See 1Co

16:26 {But now is manifested} (\phanerōthentos de nun\). First
aorist passive participle of \phaneroō\, to make plain, genitive
case in agreement with \mustēriou\. {By the scriptures of the
(\dia graphōn prophētikōn\). "By prophetic scriptures."
Witnessed by the law and the prophets (3:21). This thread runs
all through Romans. {According to the command of the eternal God}
(\kat' epitagēn tou aiōniou theou\). Paul conceives that God is
in charge of the redemptive work and gives his orders (1:1-5;
. The same adjective \aiōnios\ is here applied to God
that is used of eternal life and eternal punishment in Mt
25:46. {Unto obedience of faith} (\eis hupakoēn tēs pisteōs\).
See 1:5. {Made known unto all the nations} (\eis panta ta ethnē
. First aorist passive participle of \gnōrizō\,
still the genitive case agreeing with \mustēriou\ in verse 25.

16:27 {To the only wise God} (\monōi sophōi theōi\). Better, "to
God alone wise." See 1Ti 1:17 without \sophōi\. {To whom}
(\hōi\). Some MSS. omit.

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Word Pictures in the New Testament
(Romans: Chapter 16)