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The Collection for the Saints


Now concerning the collection for the saints: you should follow the directions I gave to the churches of Galatia. 2On the first day of every week, each of you is to put aside and save whatever extra you earn, so that collections need not be taken when I come. 3And when I arrive, I will send any whom you approve with letters to take your gift to Jerusalem. 4If it seems advisable that I should go also, they will accompany me.

Plans for Travel

5 I will visit you after passing through Macedonia—for I intend to pass through Macedonia— 6and perhaps I will stay with you or even spend the winter, so that you may send me on my way, wherever I go. 7I do not want to see you now just in passing, for I hope to spend some time with you, if the Lord permits. 8But I will stay in Ephesus until Pentecost, 9for a wide door for effective work has opened to me, and there are many adversaries.

10 If Timothy comes, see that he has nothing to fear among you, for he is doing the work of the Lord just as I am; 11therefore let no one despise him. Send him on his way in peace, so that he may come to me; for I am expecting him with the brothers.

12 Now concerning our brother Apollos, I strongly urged him to visit you with the other brothers, but he was not at all willing to come now. He will come when he has the opportunity.

Final Messages and Greetings

13 Keep alert, stand firm in your faith, be courageous, be strong. 14Let all that you do be done in love.

15 Now, brothers and sisters, you know that members of the household of Stephanas were the first converts in Achaia, and they have devoted themselves to the service of the saints; 16I urge you to put yourselves at the service of such people, and of everyone who works and toils with them. 17I rejoice at the coming of Stephanas and Fortunatus and Achaicus, because they have made up for your absence; 18for they refreshed my spirit as well as yours. So give recognition to such persons.

19 The churches of Asia send greetings. Aquila and Prisca, together with the church in their house, greet you warmly in the Lord. 20All the brothers and sisters send greetings. Greet one another with a holy kiss.


21 I, Paul, write this greeting with my own hand. 22Let anyone be accursed who has no love for the Lord. Our Lord, come! 23The grace of the Lord Jesus be with you. 24My love be with all of you in Christ Jesus.

15. Ye know the house of Stephanas We know, from daily experience, of what advantage it is, that those should have the highest authority, whom God has adorned with the most distinguished gifts. Accordingly, if we wish to secure the welfare of the Church, let us always take care that honor be conferred upon the good: let their counsels have the greatest weight; let others give way to them, and allow themselves to be governed by their prudence. This Paul does in this instance, when admonishing the Corinthians to show respect to the house of Stephanas. Some manuscripts add, and Fortunatus. 170170     The Alex. and Copt. MSS. readand Fortunatus. The Vulgate readsFortunatum et Achaicum; in accordance with which the rendering in Wiclif (1380) is, Ye knowen the hous of stephart and of fortunati, and acacie. The Rheims version (1582) reads — You know the house of Ste-phanas and of Fortunatus.Ed. For God manifests himself to us when he shows us the gifts of his Spirit. Hence, if we would not appear to be despisers of God, let us voluntarily submit ourselves to those, on whom God has conferred superior gifts.

Now, that they may be the more inclined to put honor upon that house, (for as to the other, it appears to me to be, in this place at least, a spurious addition,) he reminds them that they were the first-fruits of Achaia, that is, that the household of Stephanas were the first that had embraced the gospel. Not indeed as though the first in order of time were in every case superior to the others, but where there is perseverance along with this, it is with good reason, that honor is conferred upon those, who have in a manner paved the way for the gospel by promptitude of faith. It must be observed, however, that he dignifies with this honorable title those, who had consecrated to believers their services and resources. For the same reason, he bestows commendation a little afterwards upon Fortunatus and Achaicus, that, in proportion to a man’s superiority of excellence, 171171     “Selon que chacun estoit plus homme de bien et vertueux;” — “In proportion as an individual was an honorable and virtuous man.” he might be held so much the more in esteem, that he might be able to do the more good. Farther, in order that the Corinthians may be the more disposed to love them, he says, that what had been wanting on the part of their entire Church had been compensated for by their vicarious services.

19. With the Church that is in their house A magnificent eulogium, inasmuch as the name of the Church is applied to a single family! At the same time it is befitting, that all the families of the pious should be regulated in such a manner as to be so many little Churches. As to the term Congregation, which Erasmus has used in preference, it is foreign to Paul’s design; for it was not his intention to designate a crowd of persons by a mere common term, but to speak in honorable terms of the management of a Christian household. His saluting them in the name of Aquila and Priscilla, confirms what I have noticed above — that the Epistle was written at Ephesus, not at Philippi. For Luke informs us, that they remained at Ephesus, when Paul went elsewhere. (Acts 18:19.)

20. Salute one another with a holy kiss. The practice of kissing was very common among the Jews, as is manifest from the Scriptures. In Greece, though it was not so common and customary, it was by no means unknown; but the probability is, that Paul speaks here of a solemn kiss, with which they saluted each other in the sacred assembly. For I could easily believe, that from the times of the Apostles a kiss was used in connection with the administration of the Supper; 172172     “That the Apostle,” says Dr. Brown in his Commentary on 1st Peter, “meant the members of the Churches, on receiving this Epistle, to salute one another is certain; that he meant, that at all their religious meetings they should do so, is not improbable. That he meant to make this an everlasting ordinance in all Christian Churches, though it has sometimes been asserted, has never been proved, and is by no means likely. That the practice prevailed extensively, perhaps universally, in the earlier ages, is established on satisfactory evidence. ‘After the prayers,’ says Justin Martyr, who lived in the earlier part of the second century, giving an account in his Apology of the religious customs of the Christians — ’after the prayers, we embrace each other with a kiss.’ Tertullian speaks of it as an ordinary part of the religious services of the Lord’s day; and in the Apostolical Constitutions, as they are termed, the manner in which it was performed is particularly described. ‘Then let the men apart, and the women apart, salute each other with a kiss in the Lord.’ Origen’s Note on Romans 16:16, is: ‘From this passage the custom was delivered to the Churches, that, after prayer, the brethren should salute one another with a kiss.’ This token of love was generally given at the Holy Supper. It was likely, from the prevalence of this custom, that the calumny of Christians indulging in licentiousness at their religious meetings originated; and it is not improbable that, in order to remove everything like an occasion to calumniators, the practice which, though in itself innocent, had become not for the use of edifying, was discontinued.”Brown’s Expository Discourses on 1st Peter, volume in. pages 309, 310. “It is remarkable that, by the testimony of Suetonius, an edict was published by one of the Roman Emperors, for the abolition of this practice among his subjects, — perhaps in order to check abuses, for the prevention of which our Apostle enjoins that it shall be a holy salutation.”Chalmers on the Romans, volume in. page 428. — Ed. in place of which, among nations that were somewhat averse to the practice of kissing, there crept in the custom of kissing the patine. 173173     By the patine or paten, is meant the plate or salver on which the wafer or bread was placed in the observance of the mass. The term is made use of by Dr. Stillingfleet in his “Preservative from Popery,” (title 7, chapter 5,) in speaking of the practice of the Church of Rome in the adoration of the host: “The priest in every mass, as soon as he has consecrated the bread and wine, with bended knees, he adores the sacrament; that which he has consecrated, that very thing which is before him, upon the patine, and in the chalice; and gives the same worship and subjection, both of body and mind, to it as he could to God or Christ himself.” In Young’s Lectures on Popery, (Loud. 1836,) page 140, the following account is given of the sacrifice of the mass: “Upon the altar is the chalice, or cup, which is to contain the wine, mixed with a little water; and covering the cup is the paten, or plate, intended to hold the cake or wafer. After an almost endless variety of movements, and forms, and prayers, and readings, the priest goes to the altar, and, taking the cup containing wine and water, with the wafer upon the cover,these having been before consecrated and transubstantiated into the body and blood of Christ, — he raises his eyes and says, ‘Take, O Holy Trinity, this oblation, which I, unworthy sinner, offer in honor of thee, of the blessed Virgin Mary, and of all the saints, for the salvation of the living, and for the rest and quiet of all the faithful that are dead.’ Then, setting down the chalice, he says, ‘Let this sacrifice be acceptable to Almighty God.’” The name paten is preserved in the English Liturgy to this day. In the prayer of consecration, in the communion service — in connection with the words, “who, in the same night that he was betrayed, took bread,” it is said, “here the priest is to take the paten into his hands.” Calvin, when commenting upon Romans 16:16, after having stated that it was customary among the primitive Christians, before partaking of the Lord’s Supper, to kiss each other in token of sacred friendship, and afterwards to give alms, says, Hinc fluxit ritus ille, qui hodie est apud Papistas, osculandoe patents, et conferendse oblationis. Quorum alterum merae est superstitionis, sine ullo fructu: alterum non alto facit, nisi ad explendam sacerdotum avari-tiam, si tamen expleri posset;From this has sprung that ceremony which is at this day among Papists, of kissing the patine, and making an offering. The former is mere superstition without any advantage: the latter serves no purpose, except to satisfy the greed of the priests, if satisfied it can be.” ­Poole, in his Annotations on Romans 16:16, says, “The primitive Christians did use it” (the holy kiss) “in their assemblies; so Tertullian testifieth, (Lib. Dec.,) and they did it especially in receiving the Eucharist. So Chrysostom witnesseth, (Hom. 77 in John 16,) ‘we do well,’ saith he, ‘to kiss in the mysteries, that we may become one.’ This custom for good reasons is laid down, and the Romanists in room of it, keep up a foolish and superstitious ceremony, which is to kiss the pax in the mass.” — Ed. However this may be, as it was a token of mutual love. I have no doubt, that Paul meant to exhort them to the cultivation of good-will among themselves — not merely in their minds 174174     “Par affection interieure;” — “By inward affection.” and in needful services, but also by that token, provided only it was holy, that is, neither unchaste nor deceitful, 175175     “Ou consistast en mine seulement;” — “Or consisted in mere appearance.” — though, at the same time, holy may be taken to mean sacred.

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