Romans 16

Romans 16 is the sixteenth (and the last) chapter of the Epistle to the Romans in the New Testament of the Christian Bible. It is authored by Paul the Apostle, while Paul was in Corinth in the mid 50s CE,[1] with the help of a secretary (amanuensis), Tertius, who adds his own greeting in Romans 16:22.[2] Chapter 16 contains Paul's personal recommendation, personal greetings, final admonition, grace, greetings from companions, identification of writer/amanuensis and blessing.[3]

Romans 16
Epistle to the Romans 16:1,4–7, 11–12 in Papyrus 118 (verso side), written in the 3rd century.
BookEpistle to the Romans
CategoryPauline epistles
Christian Bible partNew Testament
Order in the Christian part6


The original text was written in Koine Greek. This chapter is divided into 27 verses.

Textual witnesses

Some early manuscripts containing the text of this chapter are:


Verses 1–2

I commend to you our sister Phoebe, who is a servant of the church at Cenchrea, 2 that you welcome her in the Lord in a manner worthy of the saints, and that you assist her in whatever matter she may have need of you, for she has been a helper of many and of myself as well.[4]

"Phoebe": is described as a "servant" (Greek: διακονον, diakonon) of the church in the New King James Version, as a "deacon" in the New International Version and the New Revised Standard Version, a "deaconess" in the Revised Standard Version and the Jerusalem Bible, and a "leader" in the Contemporary English Version. According to the contemporary idiom in The Message, she was "a key representative of the church at Cenchreae" (or Cenchrea).[5] The Jerusalem Bible suggests she was "probably the bearer of the letter" [6] and verse 2 suggests she also had other "business" [7] to deal with in Rome.

Priscilla and Aquila

Verses 3–4

3Greet Priscilla and Aquila, my fellow workers in Christ Jesus, 4who risked their own necks for my life, to whom not only I give thanks, but also all the churches of the Gentiles.[8]

"Priscilla": is a diminutive and affectionate name for Prisca. She and her husband, Aquila, were expelled from Rome as Jews under Claudius, and had been converted at Corinth by Paul (Acts 18:1).[9] Priscilla was remarkably mentioned first, perhaps inferring that she was 'the more active and conspicuous of the two'[10] as also in Acts 18:18 and 2 Timothy 4:19; except in 1 Corinthians 16:19, where they send greetings, the husband naturally gets a precedence.[11]

Afterwards this married couple appear in Paul's company at Ephesus (Acts 18:18; Acts 18:26; 1 Corinthians 16:19). When this Epistle was written they were at Rome, but later they seem to have returned to Ephesus (2 Timothy 4:19).[10]

"Aquila" was a Jew of Pontus. There is another Jew named Aquila from Pontus (Sinope), living more than a century later, who made a translation of the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) into Greek, critically compared with the LXX in the Hexapla of Origen.[10]

Andronicus and Junia

Verse 7

Salute Andronicus and Junia, my kinsmen, and my fellow-prisoners, who are of note among the apostles, who also were in Christ before me.[12]
  • "Andronicus": was a kinsman of Paul and a fellow prisoner at some time, particularly well-known among the apostles; who had become a follower of Jesus Christ before Paul's Damascus road conversion, and whom Paul commended together with Junia as being remarkable Christian workers and "apostles" alongside Silas, Timothy, and others given that title in the early Church.[13]
  • "Junia": Despite the existence of a view in the past that this was a man named Junias (Ἰουνιᾶς or Ἰουνίας, the latter being the Hebrew name Yĕḥunnī), the consensus among most modern New Testament scholars is that this person was a woman named Junia (Ἰουνία),[14] whom Paul the Apostle may have considered as an apostle.[15] Craig Hill states that no example has been found for the masculine form "Junias", while the feminine form of "Junia" is "very well attested", so the rendering to "Junias" in some Bible versions is a "scandalous mistranslation".[3]


Verse 22

I Tertius, who wrote this epistle, salute you in the Lord.[16]

"Tertius": He was an amanuensis of the apostle, who wrote this letter, either from the apostle's notes, or from his mouth.[17] This name is a Latin one, and perhaps the person might be a Roman, for the names Secundus, Tertius, Quartus, Quintus, etc. were common with the Romans, although it could be argued that this man was the same with Silas, which Hebrew word is the same as Tertius.[17] Silas is known as a companion of apostle Paul, also is numbered among the seventy disciples, and said to be bishop of Iconium (See Luke 10:1).[17] The phrase "in the Lord" could be connected with "wrote this epistle" and make the sense that Tertius wrote this epistle for the Lord's sake (not by inspiration, but being only scribe to the apostle). However, that phrase is better connected with the word "salute" and the sense is that his salutation was meant to wish the people well in the Lord, so that "they might have much communion with him".[17]

Gaius, Erastus and Quartus

Verse 23

Gaius, my host and the host of the whole church, greets you. Erastus, the treasurer of the city, greets you, and Quartus, a brother.[18]
  • "Erastus" (Greek: Ἔραστος, Erastos): also known as "Erastus of Paneas", was a steward (Greek: οἰκονόμος, oikonomos) in Corinth, a political office of high civic status. The word is defined as "the manager of household or of household affairs" or, in this context, "treasurer";[19] The King James Version uses the translation "chamberlain", while the New International Version uses "director of public works". An inscription mentioning an Erastus was found in 1929 near a paved area northeast of the theater of Corinth, dated to the mid-first century and reads "Erastus in return for his aedileship paved it at his own expense."[20] Some New Testament scholars have identified this aedile Erastus with the Erastus mentioned in the Epistle to the Romans but this is disputed by others.[21]
  • "Quartus": the description "a brother" is interpreted by most scholars as "a fellow believer", rather than 'a brother of Erastus'.[22] According to church tradition, he is known as "Quartus of Berytus", a Bishop of Beirut (around AD 50) and one of the seventy disciples.[23][24]

Final verse

Verse 27

To God only wise, be glory through Jesus Christ for ever. Amen.[25]

Paul's doxology in the conclusion of the epistle, aside from effectively summing up some of the key themes, gives a high note of ascription of glory to the only wise God.[26]

See also


  1. Hill 2007, p. 1084.
  2. Donaldson, Terence L. (2007). "63. Introduction to the Pauline Corpus". In Barton, John; Muddiman, John (eds.). The Oxford Bible Commentary (first (paperback) ed.). Oxford University Press. p. 1077. ISBN 978-0199277186.
  3. Hill 2007, p. 1107.
  4. Romans 16:1–2 MEV
  5. Romans 16:1-3 The Message
  6. Footnote in Jerusalem Bible at Romans 16:1, Darton, Longman & Todd, 1966
  7. Romans 16:1-3 Geneva Bible
  8. Romans 16:3–4 NKJV
  9. Meyer, Heinrich August Wilhelm (1880). Commentary on the New Testament. Romans 16. Translation by Peter Christie from Meyer's sixth edition. Accessed February 14, 2019.
  10. Ellicott, C. J. (Ed.) 1905). Ellicott's Bible Commentary for English Readers. Romans 16. London : Cassell and Company, Limited, [1905-1906] Online version: (OCoLC) 929526708. Accessed 28 April 2019.
  11. Expositor's Greek Testament. Romans 16. Accessed 24 April 2019.
  12. Romans 16:7 KJV
  13. Stagg, Evelyn and Frank Stagg. Woman in the World of Jesus. Westminster Press, 1978. ISBN 0-664-24195-6
  14. Al Wolters, "ΙΟΥΝΙΑΝ (Romans 16:7) and the Hebrew name Yĕḥunnī," JBL 127 (2008), 397.
  15. Epp, Eldon. Junia, the First Woman Apostle. Augsburg Fortress, 2005. ISBN 0-8006-3771-2
  16. Romans 16:22 KJV
  17. Gill, John. Exposition of the Entire Bible – Romans 16:22
  18. Romans 16:23 NKJV
  19. "οἰκονόμος" [Steward]. Blue Letter Bible -Lexicon. Retrieved 18 May 2012.
  20. "PH209961". Searchable Greek Inscriptions. The Packard Humanities Institute. Retrieved 18 May 2012. Inscription: Latin: ERASTVS. PRO. AED. S. P. STRAVIT, abbreviated for ERASTUS PRO AEDILITATE SUA PECUNIA STRAVIT.
  21. GILL, David (1989). "David W.J. Gill, "Erastus The Aedile." Tyndale Bulletin 40.2 (1989): 298". Tyndale Bulletin 40.2: 298.
  22. John Murray, Epistle to the Romans, Volume II, p. 239.
  23. Smith, William (1967), "Quartus", Smith's Bible Dictionary, Westwood: Revell, OCLC 6053170
  24. Goodrich, J. (2011). Erastus of Corinth (Romans 16.23): Responding to Recent Proposals on his Rank, Status, and Faith. New Testament Studies, 57(4), 583-593. doi:10.1017/S0028688511000063
  25. Romans 16:27 KJV
  26. Moo 1994, p. 1160.


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