The Berean Expositor
Volume 53 - Page 149 of 215
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16: 1 - 27.
pp. 101 - 109
When we consider the names of the believers which are brought forward in Rom.16:,
there are two things we must remember: (1) arguments based on names are worth little in
view of the fact that men of all races met in Rome. All roads led to Rome, and (2) most
of the names are common ones which could be borne by a number of individuals. We
give the first sixteen verses as rendered in the N.I.V.:
"I commend to you our sister Phoebe, a servant of the church in Cenchrea. I ask you
to receive her in the Lord in a way worthy of the saints and to give her any help she may
need from you, for she has been a great help to many people, including me.
Greet Priscilla and Aquila, my fellow-workers in Christ Jesus. They risked their lives
for me. Not only I but all the churches of the Gentiles are grateful to them.
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.
Greet Mary, who worked hard for you.
Greet Andronicus and Junias, my relative who have been in prison with me. They are
outstanding among the apostles, and they were in Christ before I was.
Greet Ampliatus, whom I loved in the Lord.
Greet Urbanus, our fellow-worker in Christ, and my dearest friend Stachys.
Greet Apelles, tested and approved in Christ.
Greet those who belong to the household of Aristobulus.
Greet Herodion, my relative.
Greet those in the household of Narcissus who are in the Lord.
Greet Tryphena and Tryphosa, those women who work hard in the Lord.
Greet my dear friend Persis, another woman who has worked very hard in the Lord.
Greet Rufus, chosen in the Lord, and his mother, who has been a mother to me too.
Greet Asyncritus, Phlegon, Hermes, Patrobas, Hermas and the brothers with them.
Greet Philologus, Julia, Nereus and his sister, and Olympas and all the saints with them.
Greet one another with a holy kiss. All the churches of Christ send greetings"
(Rom. 16: 1-16, N.I.V.).
The first two verses commence with Phoebe, a Christian who was traveling to Rome
from Cenchreae, the eastern port of Corinth. She is described as a "deaconess" of the
church there. The word "servant" is diakonos, deacon. This was a form of Christian
service which could be performed by men or women.  In I Tim. 3: 11 (A.V.) "their
wives" is more likely to be "women" (R.V., R.S.V.), i.e. women-deacons.
Phoebe was then a trusted servant of the church, and so the Roman believers are
exhorted to receive her warmly and help her in any matter in which they could render
Paul's first greeting is sent to two outstanding Christians, Priscilla and Aquila, to
whom we have already referred. Paul calls her Prisca (II Tim. 4: 19), whereas Luke uses
the more familiar form Priscilla (Acts 18: 2, 18, 26). They had gone so far as to risk
their lives for the Apostle, though when this happened we do not know, but it was most
likely at one of the critical phases of his ministry. So loyalty was a joy and stimulus to