Bible Commentaries

Cambridge Greek Testament for Schools and Colleges

Romans 16

Verse 1

1. συνίστημι δὲ κ.τ.λ. This verse is in close connexion with the preceding section: he has explained his desire to visit them, the reasons for delay; instead of coming, he is writing and commends to them the bearer of the letter.

συνίστημι. Cf. 2 Corinthians 3:1; cf. Milligan, Greek Papyri, 14. 5, and for instances of letters of introduction ib[314] 8, and for the word ib[315] 3. 2, 5 = ‘I introduce, commend’ hereby. The common formula makes it clear that Phoebe was the bearer of this letter.

Φοίβην. Mentioned only here. Wetstein qu. Suet. Aug. for the name.

τὴν ἀδελφὴν ἡμῶν. Cf. Philemon 1:2. S. Paul seems to give this title (with ἡμῶν and μου) to fellow workers to whom he was under obligation for personal service; of Titus 2 Corinthians 2:13; anon. Romans 8:22; Epaphroditus, Philippians 2:25; Timothy, 1 Thessalonians 3:2; and the phrase may here anticipate the πρ. καὶ ἐμοῦ αὐτοῦ of Romans 16:2.

οὖσαν [καὶ] διάκονον τῆς ἐκκλ. As ἡ ἀδ. . marks a relation to S. Paul, this phrase marks her relation to the Church: and the form of the phrase suggests that διάκονον implies an official position. If so, it is the only mention of this office in N.T. (unless we take 1 Thessalonians 3:11 in this sense). The next mention is Plin. Ep. x. 96. 8 duabis ancillis quae ministrae dicebantur: then later still in the Apostol. Constitutions. The existence of such an office cannot be thought improbable even at this early stage, in view of the social condition of women; cf. S. H. Against this is the very general use of διάκονος and διακονία (cf. 1 Corinthians 16:15) in this group of Epistles, and the unlikelihood that the word would be used in the official sense in this passage alone; n. also the similar combination in 1 Thessalonians 3:2; cf. Ency. Bibl. ‘Deacon’ and Hort Eccles. p. 207 f. On the whole there seems to be insufficient reason for taking it officially. So in the ordinary sense ‘being also one that ministers to …,’ an additional ground of commendation.

τῆς ἐκκλ. τῆς ἐν Κ. The address of 2 Corinthians 1:1 and Romans 15:26 above suggest that there were other Churches in Achaia besides Corinth. This was one of them.

Κενχρεαῖς. The seaport of Corinth on its eastern shore; cf. Acts 18:18; Acts 20:3. See Introd. p. xi.

Verse 1-2

1–2. Commendation of Phoebe (the bearer of the letter).

Verse 2

2. προσδέξησθε. Luke 15:2; Philippians 2:29.

ἀξίως τῶν ἁγίων. In a manner worthy of the saints—as saints should.

παραστῆτε, help; cf. 2 Timothy 4:17.

ἐν ᾧ ἂν κ.τ.λ. This suggests that Phoebe was going to Rome on her own business, and that S. Paul used the opportunity of sending his letter.

προστάτις. Only here in N.T.; cf. προΐστασθαι, Romans 12:8; 1 Thessalonians 5:12; 1 Timothy 5:17; cf. Witkowski, Ep. Priv. 48. 9, ib[316] 9. 4, ‘protectress.’ A word used technically to mean the representative or patron; but here to describe the way in which Phoebe ‘looked after’ any who wanted her help.

Verse 3

3. Πρίσκαν καὶ Ἀκύλαν; cf. Acts 18:2; Acts 18:18; Acts 18:26; 1 Corinthians 16:19; 2 Timothy 4:19. We first hear of this pair at Corinth, where they were found by S. Paul on his first visit and that connexion was formed which lasted for the rest of his life. They had then lately come from Rome, and presently went with S. Paul to Ephesus, where they remained while he went on his way to Jerusalem. At Ephesus they were when Apollos arrived, and probably were influential in the small Church there, as they put Apollos in the way of full Christian teaching. They were there still, or again, when S. Paul wrote 1 Cor., certainly nine months, perhaps more than a year, before this Epistle. Now they are at Rome, and again some years later (2 Tim.) in the province of Asia. A difficulty has been raised about this frequent change of home: and it has been directed against the originality of this passage in this place. But, apart from the migratory habits of Jews engaged in business, it is clear from Acts, 1 Corinthians 16:19 and this passage that A. and P. had given themselves to the work of propagating the Gospel: and it is not unreasonable to conjecture that just as they were left behind at Ephesus (Acts 18:18) to begin the work there and to prepare for S. Paul’s return, so they may now have been sent by him to Rome to prepare the way for his intended visit; and returned to Asia at a later date, perhaps when he himself was released from Rome. This conjecture is supported by the fact that S. Paul’s intention to go to Rome was already formed at least before he left Ephesus (Acts 19:21). It would explain his knowledge of the Christians who were at Rome at this time, both of those who seem to have centred round these two and of the other groups mentioned. For if they went to Rome to prepare for S. Paul’s visit, they would naturally communicate with him as soon as they had got into full touch with the Church there. The list of salutations gains much in naturalness and point, if we can suppose it to have been based on information sent by A. and P. And we may see in such a letter from Rome the direct occasion of S. Paul’s letter and even in some degree the influence which determined its character. (Zahn, Einl. p. 275, also makes this suggestion.) See Introd. p. xii f.

τοὺς συνεργούς μου. Cf. 2 Corinthians 8:23; Philippians 2:25; Philippians 4:3; Colossians 4:11; Philemon 1:24; 1 Thessalonians 3:2 (v. l.): in all cases of sharing in the apostolic labours. Jews as they were, they were devoted workers in the Gospel with S. Paul, and shared his mission to the Gentiles: see below on π. αἱ ἐκκ. τ. .

Verses 3-16

3–16. Greetings; see Lightfoot, Phil. pp. 171 ff. S. H. ad loc[317]

Verse 4

4. οἵτινες. ‘For they,’ ‘seeing that they,’ a ground for this prominent greeting.

ὑπὲρ τῆς ψ. κ.τ.λ. We have no further information about this. It may have been either at Corinth or at Ephesus.

ὑπέθηκαν. In this sense only here in N.T. = ‘they pledged’ risked, cf. Plat. Protag. 313 A (L. and S.); for the form cf. Thackeray, 23 § 10.

εὐχαριστῶ. The only place in the N.T. where the verb or subst. is used with a human object (cf. and c[318], Acts 24:3).

π. αἱ ἐκκλ. τῶν ἐθνῶν. A unique combination and very significant. It emphasises their share in carrying the Gospel to the Gentiles, and shows the purpose of this elaborate reference to them, πᾶσαι. We know of P. and A. at Rome, Corinth and Ephesus only. But Corinth and Ephesus mean Achaia and Asia: and their influence, direct and indirect, may well have gone further. The occasion for gratitude should not be limited to this special service rendered to S. Paul.

Verse 5

5. καὶ τὴν κατ' οἶκον κ.τ.λ. Cf. 1 Corinthians 16:19. It is natural to suppose that as P. and A. had formed a centre at Ephesus they would also form one at Rome. This phrase suggests that S. Paul had heard from them since their arrival at Rome: and this to some extent supports the suggestion that they had gone there to prepare the way for him. Some communication from them may have been the direct occasion for this letter. Zahn suggests that all the names that follow to Romans 16:13 are to be included in this group of Christians, Romans 16:14-15 naming two other groups. This seems probable.

For the ‘Church in the house’ cf. Colossians 4:15; Philemon 1:2; Acts 12:12; cf. S. H., Lft ad Col. l.c[319] “no clear example of a separate building set apart for Christian worship before the third century, though apartments in private houses might be specially devoted to this purpose”; cf. Hort, Eccles. 117.

Ἐπαίνετον. “Not an uncommon name in inscriptions from Asia Minor” S. H. Zahn suggests that he was an early convert of P. and A. at Ephesus and possibly worked under them in their trade, and so accompanied them to Rome.

τὸν ἀγ. μου. This phrase (and below 8, 9) marks of course personal intimacy (contrast Romans 16:12).

ἀπαρχὴ τῆς Ἀ. εἰς Χρ. means that he was the first or at least among the first converts at Ephesus, therefore of P. and A.; cf. 1 Corinthians 16:15.

Verse 6

6. ΄αρίαν. As this name may be either Roman or Jewish, it tells us nothing. The v.l. ΄αριάμ. would be decisive.

ἥτιςεἰς ὑμᾶς. It may be questioned whether the reading ὑμᾶς is not too difficult to come under the praestat ardua rule. The names before and after at least to Romans 16:9 inclusive are all of personal friends and some of fellow-labourers of S. Paul. It is unlikely that one who was known to him only by report would be included at this point. Moreover the selection of one person at Rome as having laboured much for them is remarkable. If ἡμᾶς be read, the ἥτις clause here is exactly |[320] οἵτινες κ.τ.λ. in 7 and brings the name into line with the others. But see Introd. p. xxv.

Verse 7

7. Ἀνδρόνικον. A Greek name, used, as so often, by a Jew. Zahn, p. 607 n. 56, remarks that Jewish names are rare in the Jewish inscriptions of Italy. This name occurs among members of the imperial household, S. H.

Ἰουνίαν. Probably for Junias = Junianus a man’s name, though not a common one.

τοὺς συγγενεῖς μου, i.e. Jews. So Romans 16:11, Romans 16:21; cf. Romans 9:3.

συναιχμαλώτους. Cf. Colossians 4:10; Philemon 1:23. We have no ground for identifying the occasion.

οἵτινές εἰσιν κ.τ.λ. [1] ἐπίσημοι = marked men, notable: here of course in a good sense; c[321], Matthew 27:16. Class. both in good and bad sense; cf. 3 Maccabees 6:1 (not elsewhere in LXX[322] of persons). [2] ἐν τοῖς ἀποστόλοις (a) among the apostles sc. of Christ, themselves being reckoned as apostles: so Lft Gal. p. 96 n. 1, S. H. ad loc[323] This is the obvious meaning. In that case, according to S. Paul’s use, they must belong to the class which he describes in Galatians 1:17 as τοὺς πρὸ ἐμοῦ ἀποστόλους. He uses the term to include members of the primitive community who had received their commission from the Lord Himself, a class not limited to the Twelve (e.g. Barnabas, perhaps Silas), S. Paul himself being its latest member (1 Corinthians 15:8). (b) Others take it = men of note in the judgment of the Apostles (Gif., Zahn). There is no advantage in this rendering, unless it is assumed, wrongly, that A. and J. cannot have been apostles. We may conclude then that A. and J. were among the earliest preachers of the Gospel, and that they had shared S. Paul’s labours, as well as his imprisonment. They are now at Rome, and may have been among those who first brought the Gospel to Rome. See Introd. p. xxv, Add. Note, p. 225.

οἳγέγοναν ἐν Χρ. We should probably supply ἀπόστολοι; = ‘Who were made and have been apostles in Christ.’ The form ἐν Χρ. is occasioned by the turn of phrase: if he had repeated ἀποστ. he would have written ἀποστ. Χριστοῦ. This is quoted as a clear use of γέγονα as aoristic; cf. Joseph. c. Apion. 4. 21 ὀλίγῳ πρότερον τῆς Πεισιστράτου τυρρανίδος ἀνθρώπου γεγονότος qu. Moulton, Prol. p. 146, who quotes two instances from papyri, though he doubts the use in N.T.; cf. Dr Weymouth ap. S. H. But we have to note that πρὸ ἐμοῦ gives a mark of time = ‘even longer than I’: and the use is |[324] to the case of pert. with πάλαι (see Moulton, p. 141). Cf. John 6:25; Matthew 19:8; Matthew 24:21; 1 Corinthians 13:11; Galatians 3:17; 1 Timothy 5:9. There is no clear case of the strictly aoristic meaning of this form in N.T. For the form -αν cf. Thackeray, pp. 209, 212; Mayser, p. 323; Moulton, p. 52: cf. Colossians 2:1; Acts 16:36, and γέγοναν, Revelation 21:6 only: it is a case of the gradual intrusion of the weak aorist form into the perfect and strong aorist.

Verse 8

8. Ἀμπλιᾶτον. S. H. refer to inscriptions showing that this common slave name occurs among the imperial household: but in particular, to a chamber in the cemetery of Domitilla, one of the earliest of Christian catacombs, containing the name AMPLIATI, in bold letters of the end of the first or beginning of the second century. The single personal name suggests a slave: the honour of an elaborately painted tomb suggests that he was very prominent in the earliest Roman Church: the connexion with Domitilla seems to show that it is the name of a slave or freedman through whom Christianity had penetrated into a second great Roman household. See the whole note.

Verse 9

9. Οὐρβανὸν. “A common slave name, found among the members of the (imperial) household,” S. H. The name of course tells us nothing as to nationality. He may have been a Jew or a Greek.

τὸν συνεργὸν ἡμῶν. Prob., as S. H., a general description of working in the same cause as S. Paul and his companions, not necessarily of personal fellowship; cf. Philemon 1:1 only: elsewhere always μου (Romans 16:3; Romans 16:21; Philippians 2:25; Philippians 4:3; 2 Corinthians 8:23 (ἐμὸς); Philemon 1:24).

Στάχυν. “Rare but found in the imperial household,” S. H.; cf. Witkowski, Ep. Priv., p. 73.

Verse 10

10. Ἀπελλῆν. A name borne by Jews; cf. Hor. Sat. I v. 100, see Lft.

τὸν δόκιμον ἐν Χρ. marks some special difficulty faithfully overcome; cf. 1 Corinthians 11:19; 2 Corinthians 10:18; 2 Timothy 2:15; James 1:12.

τοὺς ἐκ τῶν Ἀριστοβούλου prob. = Aristobulus, brother of Herod Agrippa I., who lived a long time in Rome and was a friend of the Emperor Claudius, οἱ ἐκ τ. = some of his slaves, probably now connected with the imperial household, though treated as a separate group; A. being either dead or resident in Palestine. Zahn, ad loc[325] Lft, S. H.

Verse 11

11. Ἡρῳδίωνα. Coming between the two groups of slaves, prob. belonged to the former: the name suggests a connexion with the Herod family.

τοὺς ἐκ τῶν Ναρκίσσου. N. is reasonably identified with the freedman of that name, powerful under Claudius and put to death by Agrippina shortly after Nero’s accession. S. H., Lft.

Verse 12

12. Τρύφαινον καὶ Τρυφῶσαν, perh. sisters, and belonging to the last-named group. The names are found in household inscriptions: Tryphaena in one case with Tryphonilla, in another with Τρυφω[ν or σα]. Zahn, Einl. pp. 297–8.

Περσίδα κ.τ.λ. A slave name (not in the household inscriptions): the special emphasis (τὴν ἀγπολλά) indicates some special knowledge on S. Paul’s part, possibly personal, though μου is omitted.

Verse 13

13. Ῥοῦφον κ.τ.λ. The unique epithet (unless cf. 2 John 1:1; 2 John 1:13) suggests that there was some marked peculiarity attending his conversion, and the reference to his mother points to personal connection with S. Paul; perh. = Rufus of Mark 15:21 (Swete’s note).

Verse 14

14. Ἀσύνκριτον. The two groups of five persons now following make it probable that we have here two more centres of Christian life in Rome, known to S. Paul by report, but not otherwise; there are no distinguishing epithets. The names are all slave names, many of them found among the imperial household.

Πατρόβαν, abbrev. for Patrobius.

Ἑρμᾶν, abbrev. for Hermagoras or other variations on Hermes.

Verse 15

15. Φιλόλογον. The name may suggest the occupation, in the secretariat or the record department; cf. Lft, op. cit[326] p. 177 n. 1.

Ἰουλίαν. Very common, and esp. in the imperial household.

Νηρέα. Cf. S. H. on the association of this, name with the early history of the Roman Church.

Ὀλυμπᾶν = Olympiodorus.

Verse 16

16. ἐν φιλ. ἁγίῳ. Cf. 1 Corinthians 16:20; 2 Corinthians 13:12; 1 Thessalonians 5:26; 1 Peter 5:14 (ἀγάπης): earliest reference to the ‘kiss of peace’ in the Christian service is in Just. Mart. Apol. I. 65. S. H.

αἱ ἐκκλησίαι πᾶσαι τοῦ χριστοῦ. The Phrase is unique in N.T.: S. Paul speaks of αἱ ἐκκ. τῶν ἁγίων (1 Corinthians 14:33), τῆς Γαλατίας alibi (Galatians 1:2 alibi), τῶν ἐθνῶν (Romans 16:4), τοῦ θεοῦ (1 Corinthians 11:16; 2 Thessalonians 1:4): for the inclusion of Χριστός in the phrase we have only Galatians 1:22; 1 Thessalonians 2:14 : for the relation of Χριστός to (αἱ ἐκκ.) ἡ ἐκκλ. cf. Ephesians 5:23 f.

[1] ὁ χριστός in this Ep. emphasises the relation of Christ as Messiah to Gentiles as well as Jews (Hort, Eccles. p. 111, cf[329], Romans 7:4, Romans 9:3; Romans 9:5, Romans 15:3; Romans 15:7). Hort, l.c[330], concludes that the phrase refers to the Churches of Judea: but the limitation to a single group seems quite inconsistent with the emphatic πᾶσαι; and he himself gave up this view, R. and E. p. 53. Romans 16:4 shows such a limitation; so Galatians 1:22; 1 Thessalonians 2:14. The force of the phrase seems rather to lie in its formal assertion of the equality and unity of all the Churches, as equally and together belonging to the Christ, in whom, as truly conceived, the ancient barriers are thrown down and mankind is one in GOD’s mercy; cf. Romans 11:25 ff. It is a definite step to the ἡ ἐκκλησία of Eph.

[2] In what sense can S. Paul convey this greeting? “Doubtless S. Paul had information which enabled him to convey this greeting,” Hort, R. and E., p. 53. We may however go further. There were in his company at Corinth representatives, probably all formally appointed (cf. 2 Corinthians 8:19; 2 Corinthians 8:23), of many if not of all (cf. Acts 20:4) of the Churches of his own foundation. He may have regarded himself or there may have been others in his company who could be regarded, as representing the Church in Jerusalem; cf. Igna. Trall. 12 ἀσπάζομαι ὑμᾶς ἀπὸ Σμύρνης, ἅμα ταῖς συμπαρούσαις μοι ἐκκλησίαις τοῦ θεοῦ; cf. id. Magn. 15. The inclusion of the Jewish churches is parallel to the emphasis on his Jewish friends in the above greetings.

[3] For πᾶσαι in emphatic position cf. 1 Corinthians 7:17 and c[331], 1 Corinthians 14:33; 2 Corinthians 8:18; 2 Corinthians 11:28.

Verse 17

17. ἀδελφοί. Cf. Romans 12:1, Romans 15:14; Romans 15:30; Philippians 3:17. σκοπεῖν. ‘Keep an eye upon’; cf. Galatians 6:1; Philippians 2:4; Philippians 3:17 (for imitation).

τοὺς τὰς δ. κ.τ.λ. These persons are described in quite general terms: the warning is based on S. Paul’s own experience in Asia Minor and Greece, rather than on any particular information from Rome, and may be due to the event described in Acts 20:3. See Introd. p. xi.

τὰς διχοστασίας. ‘The divisions’ of which he had had such bitter experience and which no Church could be ignorant of; cf. Philippians 1:15 f.; Galatians 5:20; cf. Philippians 3:18 f. The great instance was the attempt to maintain division between Jew and Gentile in the Church: subsidiary to this but probably at this time more practically operative was the attempt to set up authorities in rivalry to S. Paul. In both cases the effect would be to establish two rival Churches in every locality, and to render nugatory the union in Christ.

τὰ σκάνδαλα. Such teachings and precepts as put difficulties in the way of the practical exercise of Christian love, reinstating those barriers of convention and exclusiveness which had been done away in Christ; cf. Romans 14:13.

παρὰ τὴν διδ. with τὰς δ. καὶ τὰ σκ.; for ἐμάθετε cf. Ephesians 4:20; Philippians 4:9 (in a similar connexion). The ‘teaching’ is all the instruction which led them to become Christians and informed them in what true Christianity consists (ἐμάθετε).

Verses 17-20

17–20. A brief but pointed warning against teachers, who under fair seeming introduce divisions and offences. The fundamental strain in the Epistle, the assertion that in the Gospel all men are united to each other and to GOD in Christ, has been enforced by the long list of greetings, giving detailed and practical point to teaching and exhortation. It is natural that before ending S. Paul should give a clear and strong warning against those elements in the Christian society which tended to establish divisions and to create or continue practices which were the cause of offence. Philippians 3:18 f. is a close parallel, in the general character of the warning following upon the exposition of the teaching which the persons indicated endanger, and in the immediately added contrast with the true state of Christians.

Verse 18

18. οἱ γὰρ κ.τ.λ. The warning is against men who claimed to be true servants of Christ and were not; cf. 2 Corinthians 11:13 : therefore Judaising Christians, not necessarily themselves originally Jews.

τῇ ἑαυτῶν κοιλίᾳ. Cf. John 7:38; Philippians 3:19 (metaph. only in N.T.) = selfish desires and objects in the widest sense. He does not say ἑαυτοῖς because they are not even serving their own true interests.

διὰ τῆς χρ. The ‘fair speech’ employed by them or characteristic of them; cf. Galatians 3:1; Galatians 4:17. S. H. qu. Jul. Capitol. Pertinax 13, χρ. eum appellantes qui bene loqueretur et male faceret.

εὐλογίας seems to get a bad meaning here by its connexion with χρ. S. H. qu. Aesop Fab. 229, p. 150 ed. Av. In N.T. elsewhere always of ‘blessing.’ Plat. Rep. 400 D of fine speech, in a good sense.

τῶν ἀκάκων = simple, guileless, and therefore unsuspicious; combined with εὐήθης Diod. Sic. ap. Wetstein; )[332] πανοῦργος Dio Cass., ib[333]; cf. Proverbs 1:4; Hebrews 7:26. S. Paul is careful not to suggest that they have as yet any hold upon the Church.

Verse 19

19. γὰρ justifies his appeal to them and what they had learnt.

ὑπακοὴ. Their response to the teaching—obedience; cf. 2 Corinthians 10:5; above Romans 6:17; 2 Thessalonians 1:8.

ἀφίκετο (only here in N.T.); cf. 1 Thessalonians 1:8, supra Romans 1:8. This would not be a natural form of expression, if S. Paul was writing to a Church with which he was personally acquainted.

ἐφ' ὑμῖν. The warning is not due to his distrust of their present state, but to apprehension of what the future may bring.

σοφοὺςἀκεραίους. Cf. Matthew 10:16; Philippians 2:15 only; cf. Lft. In Polyb. the word = uninfluenced from without (cf. Schweighäuser’s Index). So here = admitting no influence for evil.

Verse 20

20. ὁ δὲ θεὸς τῆς εἰρήνης. The GOD who gives us our peace which these men are breaking up; cf. Romans 15:33 and Romans 15:5 n.

τὸν Σατανᾶν. Cf. 2 Corinthians 2:5-11; 2 Corinthians 11:14. One special work of ‘the Satan’ is to set men at variance; cf. 1 Thessalonians 2:18 and cf. Genesis 3:15?.

ἡ χάρις κ.τ.λ. There is no parallel to the position of these words before more greetings. For the whole question see Add. Note, p. 233.


1. Romans 16:20. The Benediction.

The case is stated by S. H. thus:

אABC Orig.-lat. have a benediction at Romans 16:21 only.

DEFG have one at Romans 16:24 only.

L Vulg. clem. Chrys. and the mass of later authorities have it in both places.

P has it at Romans 16:21 and after Romans 16:27.

The correct text therefore has it at Romans 16:21, and there only; it was afterwards moved to a place after 24 [presumably as in any case the more natural place] which was in some MSS very probably the end of the Epistle [e.g. FG], and in later MSS, by a natural conflation, appears in both.”

Zahn holds that both benedictions are original, the slightly different form of the second (+ Χριστοῦ and πάντων) justifying the repetition.

Verse 21

21. Τιμ. ὁ συνεργός μου. Cf. on 3. The last we have heard of Timothy is in 2 Corinthians 1:1. He probably accompanied S. Paul to Corinth; unless we detect him in 2 Corinthians 8:18.

Λούκιος. Perh. = Acts 13:1, not = Luke (Lucanus, Λουκᾶς).

Ἰάσων. Cf. Acts 17:5-7; Acts 17:9, the host of S. Paul at Thessalonica: he had probably accompanied or preceded S. Paul; cf. 2 Corinthians 8:23.

Σωσίπατρος. Cf. Σώπατρος, Acts 20:4, of Beroea. Was he in charge of the contribution from Beroea?

οἱ συγγενεῖς μου. Cf. Romans 16:7 n.

Verses 21-23

21–23. Greetings from companions.

Verse 22

22. Τέρτιος ὁ γράψας κ.τ.λ. On S. Paul’s use of an amanuensis cf. 1 Corinthians 16:21; Galatians 6:11; Colossians 4:18; 2 Thessalonians 3:17. S. H.

Verse 23

23. Γαῖος ὁ ξ. μου. Perh. = 1 Corinthians 1:14 : for . τ. . cf. Romans 16:4; prob. refers to hospitality exercised by Gaius in Corinth to all Christian travellers—not to his house being the place of assembly for Corinthian Christians. It is not probable that they had only one such place.

Ἔραστος. Cf. 2 Timothy 4:20.

οἰκονόμος. “In civitatibus Graecis saepe commemoratur” Herwerden; cf. Dittenberg for Ephesus, Magnesia, Cos; and for Egypt, Pap. Berl. alibi; ‘the treasurer.’

Κούαρτος ὁ ἀδελφός. S. Paul seems to use this title of men who were closely associated with him in his work. Cf. 1 Corinthians 1:1; 1 Corinthians 16:12; 2 Corinthians 1:1; 2 Corinthians 8:22; Ephesians 6:21; Philippians 2:25 alibi

Verse 25

25. τῷ δὲ δυναμένῳΧριστοῦ. Cf. Romans 1:16 τὸ εὐαγγέλιον, δύναμις γὰρ θεοῦ ἐστιν εἰς σωτηρίαν.

στηρίξαι. Cf. Romans 1:11-12, of GOD 2 Thessalonians 2:17; 2 Thessalonians 3:3; 1 Peter 5:10 (a near |[336]). ὑμᾶς. The need for strengthening is indicated in Romans 1:11, Romans 16:17-20. “The pronouns face each other with an emphasis which in such a context is hard to explain till we remember the presaging instinct with which S. Paul saw in the meeting of himself and the Roman Christians the pledge and turning point of victory”; Hort ap. Lft, Biblical Essays, p. 325; cf. Romans 1:10 f., Romans 15:29-32.

κατὰ τὸ εὐαγγ. Adverbial to δυναμένῳ: κατὰ = as my Gospel declares; cf. Romans 2:16, Romans 11:28 in both cases with the same special reference as here to the inclusion of Gentiles, St Paul’s distinctive Gospel.

καὶ τὸ κήρυγμα Ἰ. Χρ. explains τὸ εὐαγγέλιον, cf. Romans 1:2-3 εὐαγγέλιον θεοῦπερὶ τοῦ υἱοῦ αὐτοῦ followed by the two clauses which severally correspond to the names Ἰησοῦς and Χριστός, and are recapitulated in Romans 16:4 by the full name and title; for κήρυγμα cf. Romans 2:16, Romans 10:8-15, Romans 15:15 f.; 1 Corinthians 1:21; 1 Corinthians 2:4; 1 Timothy 3:16; . Χρ. objective genitive.

κατὰ ἀποκάλυψιν κ.τ.λ. This should probably be taken as |[337] κατὰ τὸ εὐαγγ., describing in its character what that phrase states specifically. Cf. Romans 1:16 f., Romans 11:25 f.; 1 Corinthians 2:6-7; 1 Corinthians 2:10.

κατὰ ἀποκάλυψιν verbally = Galatians 2:2; Ephesians 3:3; but the reference is different; nearer in thought is Galatians 3:23; closest Ephesians 3:5-9; Colossians 1:26; cf. ἀποκαλ. Romans 1:17.

μυστηρίου. ‘Of a secret’; cf. Romans 11:25; 1 Corinthians 2:1; 1 Corinthians 2:7-10; 1 Corinthians 4:1; then Ephesians 1:9; Ephesians 3:3-9; Ephesians 6:19 (|[338] Col.); 1 Timothy 3:16. The secret is the whole purpose of GOD for man’s redemption, formed in and ultimately revealed in the Christ, as born of David’s seed and marked by the resurrection as Son of GOD. In the argument of this Epistle, the special lesson of that secret, as revealed in Christ, is the union of all mankind in Him with GOD, as connected with justification by faith. The word has the same bearing in Eph., Col.: but there the special lesson is the development of this conception of union to illustrate the nature and work of the Church as such. In Romans this development is not directly treated but the foundation thought is here fully worked out.

χρόνοις αἰωνίοις. Cf. πρὸ χρόνων αἰωνίων, 2 Timothy 1:9; Titus 1:2, the only occurrences of the combination; cf. ἀπ' αἰῶνος, Luke 1:70; Acts 3:21; Acts 15:18; John 9:32. It seems to be a vague expression for an indefinitely long time, πρὸ τῶν αἰώνων, 1 Corinthians 2:7, Ephesians 3:9; Ephesians 3:11 is more definite, but probably not very different in meaning. For the dative of extension of time cf. Luke 8:29 and epistolary formulae ἐρρῶσθαί σε εὔχομαι πολλοῖς χρόνοις, Moulton, Prol. 75.

σεσιγημένου = ἀποκεκρυμμένον of 1 Corinthians 2:7, Ephesians 3:9 (= Colossians 1:26). The silence of that long time past is contrasted with the utterance of the present; but it was not complete, as the next clause shows; cf. 1 Peter 1:12, supra Romans 1:2; Titus 1:2. Tr. by pluperfect—‘which had been kept in silence.’

Verses 25-27

25–27. It appears from Romans 16:22 that the whole letter was written by Tertius from dictation up to this point. We may conclude that S. Paul wrote these last verses in his own hand, by way of signature; cf. Galatians 6:11; 2 Thessalonians 3:17.

The doxology forms a conclusion, unique in S. Paul’s Epistles, the only parallels in Epp. are 2 Peter 3:18 b; Judges 1:24-25. For other doxologies in S. Paul, concluding and summarising a section, cf. Ephesians 3:20-21; 1 Timothy 1:17; cf. also 2 Timothy 4:18; Hebrews 13:21; supra Romans 11:33-36. This doxology sums up, tersely but completely, the main conception of the Epistle, and reproduces its most significant language. In particular, it is so closely related to Romans 1:1-17 that it takes the place of a categorical statement that the description there given of S. Paul’s mission has been justified by the detailed arguments of the Epistle. The comparison is drawn out below.

Verse 26

26. φανερωθέντος. Cf. Romans 3:21 where exactly the same relation between the manifestation and the witness of prophets is expressed. The secret was manifested in the Person and history of Christ; He is the secret of GOD cf. 1 Corinthians 1:24.

νῦν = ‘in our day’ as contrasted with the χρ. αἰ.; cf. 1 Peter 1:12 (Hort, p. 59), supra Romans 5:11, Romans 11:30-31.

διά τε κ.τ.λ. The τε connects γνωρ. closely with φαν., both in contrast with σεσιγ. ‘But has in our day been manifested (in Christ) and made known.’ The aorists should be translated by perfects. Then this clause tersely describes the apostolic preaching [1] in its support in the prophets, [2] in its commission from GOD, [3] in its direct aim, [4] in its range in the world.

διὰ γραφῶν προφ. For διὰ cf. 2 Timothy 2:2 = on the authority of; cf. Romans 12:1; Romans 12:3 n., an extension of the use of διὰ for the means or instrument: cf. a slight further extension = under the guidance of 1 Thessalonians 4:14; Hebrews 3:16.

γρ. προφ. Cf. Romans 1:2, Romans 3:21. The fact is seen throughout the Epp. and Acts; e.g. cc. 9–11, Romans 15:4; Romans 15:9 ff.; cf. 1 Peter 1:12; 2 Corinthians 1:20; Luke 1:70. The particular phrase is unique, and includes all the O.T. as all in its degree prophetic, cf. 2 Peter 1:20. The absence of the article emphasises the character of all, rather than any specific writing.

κατ' ἐπιταγὴν τ. αἰ. θ. corresponds to κλητὸς ἀποστ. ἀφωρισμένος (Romans 1:1) and δι' οὗ ἐλάβομεν χάριν καὶ ἀποστολήν (Romans 1:5) but describes the authority of all apostolic work = διὰ ἀποστόλων; cf. 1 Timothy 1:1; Titus 1:3.

τοῦ αἰ. θεοῦ. Only here in N.T. In LXX[339], Genesis 21:33; Isaiah 26:4; Isaiah 40:28; 2 Maccabees 1:25; 3 Maccabees 6:12; 3 Maccabees 7:16; for the idea cf. Romans 11:33-36; 1 Corinthians 2:7; 1 Corinthians 10:11; and Ephesians 3:9; Ephesians 3:11; Colossians 1:26; 1 Timothy 1:17; 2 Timothy 1:9; Titus 1:2.

εἰς ὑπακοὴν πίστεως = Romans 1:5 only; cf. Romans 15:18, Romans 16:19, 1 Peter 1:2; = to secure an obedience rendered by faith; ὑπ. in this sense only in the earlier epistles Romans 6:17, Romans 10:16; 2 Thessalonians 1:8; 2 Corinthians 7:15.

εἰς πάντα τὰ ἔθνη. Cf. Romans 1:5, Romans 15:11, Romans 16:4; Galatians 3:8; 2 Timothy 4:17 and Rev. (saepe) for the whole phrase; cf. παντὶ τῷ πιστ. . καὶ Ἕ. Romans 1:16.

γνωρισθέντος. Cf. Romans 9:22-23; 1 Corinthians 15:1; Ephesians 6:19.

Verse 27

27. μόνῳ. Cf. Romans 3:30 where the ‘singleness’ of GOD is the basis of the universality of the Gospel, as here. See note ad loc[340] For μόνος cf. John 5:44; John 17:3; 1 Timothy 1:17; 1 Timothy 6:15 (in a similar connexion); Judges 1:25.

σοφῷ. Cf. Romans 11:33 : specially of the wisdom which orders in detail the age-long and world-wide purpose. Cf. 1 Corinthians 1:21-30; 1 Corinthians 2:7; Ephesians 3:10; Colossians 2:3.

θεῷ. To GOD as GOD, sole and supreme Creator and Dispenser of all His wondrous dealings with men.

διὰ Ἰ. Χρ. As through Him GOD has manifested Himself to men, so through Him returns the due acknowledgment from man to GOD cf. Romans 1:8, Romans 7:25.

ἡ δόξα κ.τ.λ. Cf. Romans 11:36.


2. Romans 16:27. om. B. 33. 72, Pesh., Orig.-lat., ins. rel. exc. αὐτῷ P. 31, 54.

The strongest argument for retaining is the difficulty of the reading, and the consequent unlikelihood of its invention. But this principle must not be pressed to the adoption of an all but impossible reading. With we can only explain on the assumption of a very awkward anacoluthon. Zahn and Weiss defend this by referring to the strong emotion, with which this passage is written. But even so this is not a natural anacoluthon; there is no parenthesis or interruption of thought; the sentence is regularly and strongly constructed up to Χριστοῦ, and throughout it is obvious that it is to end with ἡ δόξα; after the participial clauses, the dative has come, picking up τῷ δυναμένῳ and resuming the whole thought (μόνῳ σοφῷ); then διὰ Ἰης. Χρ. again makes us expect ἡ δόξα, and cannot be connected with anything that has gone before: no amount of emotion could justify the insertion of here, between the words that are crying for ἡ δόξα, and ἡ δόξα itself. It is a sheer though early blunder due to the frequent occurrence of the combination ᾧ ἡ δόξα. There is a closely similar case in Mart. Polycarp. xx. 2 (qu. by Weiss but with the wrong reading), τῷ δὲ δυναμένῳ πάντας ὑμᾶς εἰσαγαγεῖν ἐν τῇ αὐτοῦ χάριτι καὶ δωρεᾷ εἰς τὴν αἰώνιον αὐτοῦ βασιλείαν διὰ τοῦ παιδὸς αὐτοῦ τοῦ μονογενοῦς Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ δόξα, τιμή, κράτος, μεγαλοσύνη εἰς τοὺς αἰῶνας. Here ᾧ ἡ are inserted by two MSS before δόξα (Lightfoot, Ap. Fathers II. § ii. p. 983). Further, Judges 1:24-25, clearly modelled on this passage, supports the omission of ; and even in Jude א* am. and apparently aeth. insert before δόξα.

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Bibliographical Information
"Commentary on Romans 16". "Cambridge Greek Testament for Schools and Colleges". 1896.