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Bible Commentaries

John Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible
Romans 16

 

 

Verses 1-27


Greetings and Warnings

1-16. Commendation and greetings.

Observe the number of women to whom the Apostle sends greeting. The fact is indicative of the change wrought in the position of women by the gospel, and of the honourable place taken by them in the Christian Church. Observe also the difference of nationality indicated by the names. St. Paul, a Hebrew, sends salutation to Greeks, Romans, and perhaps Asiatics, many of them probably slaves—marking the universality of the gospel: cp. Galatians 3:28; Colossians 3:11.

1. Commend] i.e. introduce: cp. Romans 12:18; 2 Corinthians 3:1. Apparently, Phoebe was the bearer of the Epistle. Servant] lit. 'deacon,' RM 'deaconess': translated 'deacon' in Philippians 1 etc., but 'minister' in Ephesians 3:7; Ephesians 6:21, etc. Either Phoebe had been definitely appointed to minister to women (cp. 1 Timothy 5:3.), or she is called 'minister' because she voluntarily devoted herself to good works. Cenchrea] the eastern port of Corinth.

2. Succourer] or, 'patroness.' The Gk. word is used for an influential friend or protector.

3. Priscilla] RV 'Prisca.' For the history of Aquila and Prisca cp. Acts 18, 1 Corinthians 16:19; 2 Timothy 4:19.

4. Laid down, etc.] Perhaps they risked their lives at Ephesus: cp. Acts 19.

5. In their house] i.e. meeting in their house: cp. Acts 12:12; 1 Corinthians 16:19; Colossians 4:15; Philemon 1:2.

Firstfruits] i.e. an early convert. Achaia] RV 'Asia,' i.e. the Roman province of which Ephesus was the chief city.

7. Junia] RV 'Junias.' Kinsmen] i.e. Jews belonging to the same 'Tribe' of citizens of Tarsus as St. Paul. Of note among the apostles] i.e. distinguished apostles. 'Apostle' means 'one sent on a mission and representing the sender.' 'Apostles of Churches,' cp. 2 Corinthians 8:23; (RM) Philippians 2:25; (RM), were men sent on special missions by particular Churches. But, specially, 'apostles' means 'apostles of Christ,' cp. 1 Thessalonians 2:6, i.e. men sent to be Christ's witnesses everywhere. Such were the Twelve; Paul and Barnabas, cp. Acts 14:14; James, 1 Corinthians 15:7; Galatians 1:19 and Andronicus and Junias. 'Apostles of Christ' must have seen the Lord, cp. Luke 24:48; Acts 1:8, Acts 1:22; 1 Corinthians 9:1 have shown spiritual power, cp. 1 Corinthians 9:2; 2 Corinthians 12:12 and have received a call from God, cp. 1 Corinthians 12:28; Ephesians 4:11.

9. Urbane] RV 'Urbanus.'

12. Persis] the name of a woman.

13. Rufus] cp. Mark 15:21. St. Mark probably wrote his Gospel at Rome.

Mine] i.e. St. Paul felt for her the affection of a son.

17-20. Warning against false teachers, probably Judaistic, whose doctrines St. Paul has dealt with in the Epistle. They may not have appeared at Rome as yet: cp. Philippians 1:15; (written from Rome).

17. Offences] RV 'occasions of stumbling.'

Avoid] RV 'turn away from.'

18. Their own belly] i.e. they seek their own interests, and their religious ideas are low and materialistic: cp. Philippians 3:17.; Colossians 2:20.

19. For] i.e. 'But they ought not to deceive you, for,' etc. Simple] i.e. harmless: cp. Matthew 10:16.

20. Bruise Satan] by defeating the false teaching: cp. 2 Corinthians 11:12.

21-23. Greetings from St. Paul's companions.

21. Lucius] cp. Acts 13:1. Jason] cp. Acts 17:5. Sosipater] cp. Acts 20:11. Kinsmen] cp. Romans 16:7.

22. Wrote] RV 'write.' St. Paul's habit was to dictate his letters: cp. 1 Corinthians 16:21; Colossians 4:18; 2 Thessalonians 3:17; Galatians 6:11.

23. Gaius] cp. 1 Corinthians 1:14.

Of the whole church] i.e. the meetings were held in his house. A brother] RV 'the brother,' i.e. the Christian.

24. RV omits: see Intro.

25-27. Concluding doxology, summing up the main points of the Epistle.

25. My gospel] i.e. his special teaching of acceptance by faith for Jew and Gentile. Of Jesus Christ] i.e. the object of his preaching was to bring about faith in Jesus the Messiah: cp. Romans 10:8. According to the revelation, etc.] i.e. the preaching of Jesus Christ explains God's purpose, which had been hidden: cp. Romans 9-11, 1 Corinthians 2:6.

Secret] RV 'in silence.' Since the world began] RV 'through times eternal.'

26. By the scriptures] cp. Romans 1:1.; Romans 3:21. For the] RV 'unto,' i.e. leading to the obedience which faith implies: cp. Romans 1:5.

Subscription. The subscriptions to the Epistles are said to have been the work of Euthalius, a bishop of the 5th cent.

 


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Bibliography Information
Dummelow, John. "Commentary on Romans 16:4". "John Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dcb/romans-16.html. 1909.

Lectionary Calendar
Thursday, November 14th, 2019
the Week of Proper 27 / Ordinary 32
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