What does Romans chapter 16 mean?Romans 16 is the final passage in Paul's long letter to the Christians in Rome. It contains four sections: his greetings to specific people in Rome, a quick and urgent warning about the danger of false teachers, greetings from those who are with him in Corinth, and a final hymn of praise to God called a doxology.
Though Paul has not yet been to Rome at the time of this writing, he knows many of the believers there personally or by reputation. He begins these greetings by commending the lady who will deliver this letter to them. Phoebe is a servant of the church a Cenchreae, a town not far from Corinth. She is described as a patron or benefactor to Paul and many others (Romans 16:1–2).
Next Paul mentions Prisca—or Priscilla—and Aquila, a married couple Paul has spent much time with both in their secular work of making tents and in the ministry. Aquila was forced to leave Rome when Jews were banned from the city. Apparently, the pair returned after the ban was lifted, perhaps accompanied by a man named Epaenetus, described as the first convert to Christ in the region where Priscilla and Aquila ministered (Romans 16:3–4).
The rest of Paul's greetings include people we know little or nothing about outside of this list, though some seem to have been slaves, members of royal households, close friends, and groups that met together in several different house churches in Rome (Romans 16:5–16).
Before signing off, Paul seems compelled to offer a quick warning about false teachers who might show up among the Christians in Rome. These people will cause division and teach a distorted version of Christian doctrine. Their deception had the potential to lead naive people away from Christ. Paul tells his readers both to look out for them and to avoid them (Romans 16:17–20).
Next, Paul sends greetings from those who are with him in Corinth, including his longtime partner and student in ministry Timothy. Of the six others he mentions, several show up elsewhere in the New Testament and were known to be companions and fellow workers with Paul. Paul seems to have always worked with a team and never as a solitary minister of the gospel (Romans 16:21–23).
The text labelled as the 24th verse of this chapter is not usually included in modern translations. It repeats the statement made in verse 20 and is only found in later manuscripts. More than likely, it was inadvertently added during the copying process, but was not part of Paul's original writing (Romans 16:24).
Paul ends his letter with a hymn of praise to God called a doxology. In keeping with the point of this letter, his doxology praises the God who has revealed the long-hidden mystery of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Paul calls it his gospel, making clear to the Romans that they—and we—should hold his teaching in this letter as the authoritative truth about Jesus. The final words of Paul's majestic letter about God's grace and forgiveness for all who come to Him by faith in Jesus declare that God be glorified forever through Jesus Christ (Romans 16:25–27).