What does 1 Corinthians 16:15 mean?
ESV: Now I urge you, brothers — you know that the household of Stephanas were the first converts in Achaia, and that they have devoted themselves to the service of the saints —
NIV: You know that the household of Stephanas were the first converts in Achaia, and they have devoted themselves to the service of the Lord’s people. I urge you, brothers and sisters,
NASB: Now I urge you, brothers and sisters: you know the household of Stephanas, that they are the first fruits of Achaia, and that they have devoted themselves to ministry to the saints;
CSB: Brothers and sisters, you know the household of Stephanas: They are the firstfruits of Achaia and have devoted themselves to serving the saints. I urge you
NLT: You know that Stephanas and his household were the first of the harvest of believers in Greece, and they are spending their lives in service to God’s people. I urge you, dear brothers and sisters,
KJV: I beseech you, brethren, ye (know the house of Stephanas, that it is the firstfruits of Achaia, and that they have addicted themselves to the ministry of the saints,)
NKJV: I urge you, brethren—you know the household of Stephanas, that it is the firstfruits of Achaia, and that they have devoted themselves to the ministry of the saints—
Verse Commentary:
Paul recognizes a man named Stephanas and his family from Corinth. He says they were the first converts to Christianity in Achaia. Corinth was the capital of the Roman province of Achaia, and it's possible the name referred not to the whole province but an area closer to Corinth. Paul mentioned at the start of this letter that he personally had baptized Stephanas and his household.

It's likely that Paul is mentioning Stephanas here at the end of the letter because he is one of the three men who came to visit Paul in Ephesus, perhaps bringing the letter from Corinth that Paul replies to throughout this letter.

After coming to Christ, Stephanas and his household went all in on following Christ. Paul writes that they devoted themselves to the service of the saints, meaning all the others who came to Christ after them. The language suggests that Stephanas and family set themselves aside for this specific service of meeting the needs of God's people.
Verse Context:
First Corinthians 16:12–18 contains some of Paul's last-minute instructions to the Corinthians at the close of his letter. He tells them Apollos will not be coming to visit them right away. He urges them to be on guard and stand firm in the faith, likely against false teachers. They must be strong but also do everything in love. Finally, Paul tells them to submit and give recognition to people like those of Stephanas's household. These devoted servant-leaders were the first Christians in Corinth and have greatly encouraged him by coming to see him in Ephesus.
Chapter Summary:
Having finished the main teaching parts of his letter, Paul wraps up with some matters of business. He tells the Corinthians how to gather funds for a special contribution. He describes his travel plans, including his plan to arrive there before winter. He warns them to treat Timothy well and commends a delegation from Corinth that have come to see him. He concludes with greetings from other believers, along with a curse and a blessing. He curses those who do not love the Lord—here apparently meaning false teachers—and prays the grace of the Lord on everyone else.
Chapter Context:
First Corinthians 16 concludes Paul's long letter to the church in Corinth with several business matters. He instructs them on how to prepare a special contribution for needy Christians in Jerusalem. He describes his plan to visit them in person after wrapping up his ministry in Ephesus and stopping by churches in Macedonia. He reveals that Timothy is coming to them more quickly and that Apollos is not. Finally, he commends a delegation from Corinth that has come to see him. His final words in the letter are a declaration of love for all of them.
Book Summary:
First Corinthians is one of the more practical books of the New Testament. Paul writes to a church immersed in a city associated with trade, but also with corruption and immorality. These believers are struggling to properly apply spiritual gifts and to resist the ungodly practices of the surrounding culture. Paul's letter gives instructions for real-life concerns such as marriage and spirituality. He also deals with the importance of unity and gives one of the Bible's more well-known descriptions of love in chapter 13.
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