What does Romans 16:5 mean?
ESV: Greet also the church in their house. Greet my beloved Epaenetus, who was the first convert to Christ in Asia.
NIV: Greet also the church that meets at their house. Greet my dear friend Epenetus, who was the first convert to Christ in the province of Asia.
NASB: also greet the church that is in their house. Greet Epaenetus, my beloved, who is the first convert to Christ from Asia.
CSB: Greet also the church that meets in their home. Greet my dear friend Epaenetus, who is the first convert to Christ from Asia.
NLT: Also give my greetings to the church that meets in their home. Greet my dear friend Epenetus. He was the first person from the province of Asia to become a follower of Christ.
KJV: Likewise greet the church that is in their house. Salute my well-beloved Epaenetus, who is the firstfruits of Achaia unto Christ.
NKJV: Likewise greet the church that is in their house. Greet my beloved Epaenetus, who is the firstfruits of Achaia to Christ.
Verse Commentary:
Paul concludes his instructions that his readers greet his longtime friends and co-workers Priscilla and Aquila with another greeting. He asks that they greet the church that meets in their house. By this, we know that Priscilla and Aquila were likely quite wealthy by the standards of their day, having a home large enough to host one of the house churches. They had done the same when they lived in Ephesus (1 Corinthians 16:9).

Since Paul greets the church that meets at their house, this likely indicates that the church in Rome was large enough to gather at multiple locations.

Next Paul asks his readers to greet a man named Epaenetus. Paul describes him as the first convert to Christianity in Asia. The literal word used here is aparchē, sometimes translated as "firstfruits." Ephesus, where Priscilla and Aquila helped to establish a church, is a major city in the Roman province of Asia. Scholars speculate that Epaenetus was led to Christ by Priscilla and Aquila and then traveled to Rome with them to help with the ministry there.
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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