What does Romans 16 mean?
Chapter Commentary:
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).
Verse Context:
Romans 16:1–16 includes a list of two dozen or so people or groups that Paul wants his readers to greet for him in Rome. He begins by introducing them to Phoebe, the lady who will deliver this letter from him in Corinth. He asks them to greet his good friends and longtime partners in work and ministry Prisca—or Priscilla—and Aquila, who have returned to Rome from their time in Asia. Also on the list are close friends, slaves, royal families, and members of the various house churches that meet in Rome.
Romans 16:17–23 includes last-minute instruction from Paul and greetings to those in Rome from the men with him in Corinth. Before closing the letter, Paul urgently warns his readers to be on the watch for false teachers; to avoid them. These people do not serve Christ and will deceive the naive with their distorted version of Christian truth, thus dividing the church. Paul sends greetings from Timothy, his longtime partner and student in ministry. Paul also sends greetings from his host in Corinth and several other friends and co-workers.
Romans 16:25–27 is a one-sentence doxology or hymn of praise to God. Paul praises the One who has revealed the long-hidden mystery of the gospel, or good news, of salvation through faith in Jesus, making it available to all nations. Paul calls it ''his'' gospel, a personal touch and reference to Paul's own personal ministry and teachings. This is an idea Paul uses in other letters, such as Galatians. He concludes by declaring God's glory through Jesus Christ forevermore.
Chapter Summary:
The final chapter of Romans contains four sections intended to wrap up the letter. Paul commends the woman who will deliver the letter and then sends greetings to many people he knows in Rome. After last-minute, urgent instruction about false teachers, Paul sends greetings to the Roman Christians from those who are with him in Corinth, including Timothy. Paul closes out the letter with a hymn of praise to the God who has revealed to all the nations of the earth the gospel of salvation by faith in Christ Jesus.
Chapter Context:
Prior verses detailed Paul's plans to visit Rome and asked for prayer. This text concludes his letter to the Christians in Rome with four quick sections. He sends his greetings to a list of people he knows, or at least knows of, in Rome. Paul offers last-minute instruction about false teachers. He sends greetings from those who are with him in Corinth. And he closes out the letter with a beautiful praise hymn to the God who has revealed the mystery of the gospel of Jesus to all nations so that all might obey faith in Jesus.
Book Summary:
The book of Romans is the New Testament's longest, most structured, and most detailed description of Christian theology. Paul lays out the core of the gospel message: salvation by grace alone through faith alone. His intent is to explain the good news of Jesus Christ in accurate and clear terms. As part of this effort, Paul addresses the conflicts between law and grace, between Jews and Gentiles, and between sin and righteousness. As is common in his writing, Paul closes out his letter with a series of practical applications.
Accessed 4/22/2024 2:39:02 PM
© Copyright 2002-2024 Got Questions Ministries. All rights reserved.
Text from ESV, NIV, NASB, CSB, NLT, KJV © Copyright respective owners, used by permission.