What does 1 Corinthians 16:20 mean?
ESV: All the brothers send you greetings. Greet one another with a holy kiss.
NIV: All the brothers and sisters here send you greetings. Greet one another with a holy kiss.
NASB: All the brothers and sisters greet you. Greet one another with a holy kiss.
CSB: All the brothers and sisters send you greetings. Greet one another with a holy kiss.
NLT: All the brothers and sisters here send greetings to you. Greet each other with a sacred kiss.
KJV: All the brethren greet you. Greet ye one another with an holy kiss.
Verse Commentary:
In concluding his letter to the Corinthians, Paul has sent greetings from the churches in Asia, as well as from Aquila and Prisca, former Corinthians and his fellow workers in tent-making and ministry. Now he sends more general greetings from "all the brothers." By this, Paul likely means all the other believers in Ephesus and, perhaps, in the world generally. Paul may once again be emphasizing that the Corinthians are just one church among a growing number of churches in the world.

As he does in the conclusion to other letters, he tells his readers to greet each other with a holy kiss (1 Thessalonians 5:26; Romans 16:16; 2 Corinthians 13:12). A quick kiss on one or both cheeks has been a common greeting between friends in many cultures down through history. Early Christians formalized this kiss of greeting as a "holy" expression of the family bond between believers in Jesus. It is difficult—though possible—to maintain resentment between believers when they must kiss each other in greeting, at least without making it clear one is being dishonest. Such a kiss would at least represent their unity, mutual forgiveness, and inclusion in the "set apart" community of Christians.
Verse Context:
First Corinthians 16:19–24 concludes Paul's first letter to the church in Corinth. These are final greetings from the churches in Asia, from their friends Aquila and Prisca, and from believers elsewhere. Paul writes the last lines with his own hand, taking the pen from his scribe. He curses those who do not love the Lord—meaning false teachers—then prays for Christ's return, and prays for the grace of the Lord to be with them. His final words declare his love for all of them in Christ Jesus.
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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