Various commendations and greetings
I commend to you Phoebe our sister, who is a servant of the church that is at Cenchreae, 2 that you may welcome her in the Lord in a way worthy of the saints, and I ask that you assist her in whatever matter she may have need of you. For she herself also has been a helper of many and of my own self.
3 Greet Prisca and Aquila my fellow-workers in Christ Jesus, 4 who for my life laid down their own necks. To whom not only I give thanks, but also all the churches of the Gentiles, 5 and greet the church that is in their house. Greet Epaenetus my beloved, who is the firstfruits of Asia to Christ.
6 Greet Mary, who bestowed much labour on you. 7 Greet Andronicus and Junias, my kinsmen and my fellow-prisoners, who are of note among the apostles, who also have been in Christ before me.
8 Greet Ampliatus my beloved in the Lord. 9 Greet Urbanus our fellow-worker in Christ, and Stachys my beloved. 10 Greet Apelles the approved in Christ. Greet them that are of the household of Aristobulus. 11 Greet Herodion my kinsman. Greet them of the household of Narcissus, that are in the Lord. 12 Greet Tryphaena and Tryphosa, who labour in the Lord. Greet Persis the beloved, who laboured much in the Lord. 13 Greet Rufus the chosen in the Lord; and his mother, who also was as a mother to me. 14 Greet Asyncritus, Phlegon, Hermes, Patrobas, Hermas and the believers that are with them. 15 Greet Philologus and Julia, Nereus and his sister and Olympas, and all the saints that are with them.
16 Greet one another with a holy kiss. All the churches of Christ greet you.
17 Now I urge you brothers, mark those that are causing divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught. Turn away from these. 18 For they that are such serve not our Lord Christ, but their own belly, and by their smooth and fair speech they deceive the hearts of the innocent. 19 For your obedience is known to all. I rejoice therefore over you, but I would have you to be wise regarding that which is good and simple concerning evil. 20 And the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.
21 Timothy my fellow-worker greets you, as do Lucius, Jason and Sosipater, my kinsmen. 22 I Tertius, who write this epistle, greet you in the Lord. 23 Gaius my host (and of the whole church) greets you. Erastus the treasurer of the city greets you; and Quartus the brother. 24 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.
25 Now to him that is able to establish you according to the gospel I preach, which is the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery which has been kept in silence through times eternal 26 but now is manifested, and in accordance with the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the eternal God, is made known to all the nations to obedience of faith: 27 To the only wise God, through Jesus Christ, be the glory forever. Amen.
16:1 A servant- Greek ‘diakonos’. Women played an important part in the early Christian church, at a time when religion was largely a hobby for men.
16:5 The early churches met in homes; there is little archaeological evidence of specific church buildings until two hundred years after Jesus.
16:17 The book of Proverbs gave similar advice to the ‘ecclesia’ of Israel in the Old Testament. There are those within the community of believers from whom we may not formally separate, but from whom it is wiser to just stay away. Paul says that we should “mark” those who are always stirring up division and putting obstacles in the way of those wishing to walk towards the Kingdom; and just quietly keep away from them.
16:23 Erastus must have been a very wealthy man of high social profile. In this list, he is purposefully placed next to Quartus- a common slave name- who is simply described as a “brother”. The true church of Christ will be characterized by an amazing unity between persons of very different social, ethnic and personal background. Our unity should be enough to stop this world dead in its tracks and win it for Christ (Jn. 17:23).