What does Romans 16:13 mean?
ESV: Greet Rufus, chosen in the Lord; also his mother, who has been a mother to me as well.
NIV: Greet Rufus, chosen in the Lord, and his mother, who has been a mother to me, too.
NASB: Greet Rufus, a choice man in the Lord, also his mother and mine.
CSB: Greet Rufus, chosen in the Lord; also his mother--and mine.
NLT: Greet Rufus, whom the Lord picked out to be his very own; and also his dear mother, who has been a mother to me.
KJV: Salute Rufus chosen in the Lord, and his mother and mine.
Verse Commentary:
Paul continues to list people he would like his Roman readers to greet for him. Now he comes to Rufus. It is not known if this Rufus is the same one mentioned in Mark 15:21 as the son of Simon of Cyrene, who carried the cross of Jesus. If this is that Rufus, then he would have been of North African descent.

Paul describes Rufus as one chosen in the Lord, perhaps meaning that Paul felt Rufus had been singled out by God for a specific work. It is also possible that Paul simply described Rufus as being one of the elect, a description he gave to all believers (Ephesians 1:4).

Paul offers greeting as well to Rufus's mother, saying that she had been a mother to him, too. She was not his biological mother. Instead, she had served Paul in a maternal way, functioning as a spiritual mother in his life.
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.
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.
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