1 Now I commend to you our sister Phoebe, who is a servant#tn Or “deaconess.” It is debated whether διάκονος (diakonos) here refers to a specific office within the church. One contextual argument used to support this view is that Phoebe is associated with a particular church, Cenchrea, and as such would therefore be a deacon of that church. In the NT some who are called διάκονος are related to a particular church, yet the scholarly consensus is that such individuals are not deacons, but “servants” or “ministers” (other viable translations for διάκονος). For example, Epaphras is associated with the church in Colossians and is called a διάκονος in Col 1:7, but no contemporary translation regards him as a deacon. In 1 Tim 4:6 Paul calls Timothy a διάκονος; Timothy was associated with the church in Ephesus, but he obviously was not a deacon. In addition, the lexical evidence leans away from this view: Within the NT, the διακον- word group rarely functions with a technical nuance. In any case, the evidence is not compelling either way. The view accepted in the translation above is that Phoebe was a servant of the church, not a deaconess, although this conclusion should be regarded as tentative. of the church in Cenchrea, 2 so that you may welcome her in the Lord in a way worthy of the saints and provide her with whatever help she may need from you, for she has been a great help to many, including me.
3 Greet Prisca and Aquila,#sn On Prisca and Aquila see also Acts 18:2, 18, 26; 1 Cor 16:19; 2 Tim 4:19. In the NT “Priscilla” and “Prisca” are the same person. The author of Acts uses the full name Priscilla, while Paul uses the diminutive form Prisca. my fellow workers in Christ Jesus, 4 who risked their own necks for my life. Not only I, but all the churches of the Gentiles are grateful to them. 5 Also greet the church in their house. Greet my dear friend Epenetus,#sn The spelling Epenetus is also used by NIV, NLT; the name is alternately spelled Epaenetus (NASB, NKJV, NRSV). who was the first convert#tn Grk “first fruit.” This is a figurative use referring to Epenetus as the first Christian convert in the region. to Christ in the province of Asia.#tn Grk “Asia”; in the NT this always refers to the Roman province of Asia, made up of about one-third of the west and southwest end of modern Asia Minor. Asia lay to the west of the region of Phrygia and Galatia. The words “the province of” are supplied to indicate to the modern reader that this does not refer to the continent of Asia. 6 Greet Mary, who has worked very hard for you. 7 Greet Andronicus and Junia,#tn Or “Junias.” sn The feminine name Junia, though common in Latin, is quite rare in Greek (apparently only three instances of it occur in Greek literature outside Rom 16:7, according to the data in the TLG [D. Moo, Romans [NICNT], 922]). The masculine Junias (as a contraction for Junianas), however, is rarer still: Only one instance of the masculine name is known in extant Greek literature (Epiphanius mentions Junias in his Index discipulorum 125). Further, since there are apparently other husband-wife teams mentioned in this salutation (Prisca and Aquila [v. 3], Philologus and Julia [v. 15]), it might be natural to think of Junia as a feminine name. (This ought not be pressed too far, however, for in v. 12 all three individuals are women [though the first two are linked together], and in vv. 9-11 all the individuals are men.) In Greek only a difference of accent distinguishes between Junias (male) and Junia (female). If it refers to a woman, it is possible (1) that she had the gift of apostleship (not the office), or (2) that she was not an apostle but along with Andronicus was esteemed by (or among) the apostles. As well, the term “prominent” probably means “well known,” suggesting that Andronicus and Junia(s) were well known to the apostles (see note on the phrase “well known” which follows). my compatriots#tn Or “kinsmen,” “relatives,” “fellow countrymen.” and my fellow prisoners. They are well known#tn Or “prominent, outstanding, famous.” The term ἐπίσημος (epishmo") is used either in an implied comparative sense (“prominent, outstanding”) or in an elative sense (“famous, well known”). The key to determining the meaning of the term in any given passage is both the general context and the specific collocation of this word with its adjuncts. When a comparative notion is seen, that to which ἐπίσημος is compared is frequently, if not usually, put in the genitive case (cf., e.g., 3 Macc 6:1 [Ελεαζαρος δέ τις ἀνὴρ ἐπίσημος τῶν ἀπὸ τής χώρας ἱερέων “Eleazar, a man prominent among the priests of the country”]; cf. also Pss. Sol. 17:30). When, however, an elative notion is found, ἐν (en) plus a personal plural dative is not uncommon (cf. Pss. Sol. 2:6). Although ἐν plus a personal dative does not indicate agency, in collocation with words of perception, (ἐν plus) dative personal nouns are often used to show the recipients. In this instance, the idea would then be “well known to the apostles.” See M. H. Burer and D. B. Wallace, “Was Junia Really an Apostle? A Re-examination of Rom 16.7,” NTS 47 (2001): 76-91, who argue for the elative notion here. to the apostles,#tn Or “among the apostles.” See discussion in the note on “well known” for these options. and they were in Christ before me. 8 Greet Ampliatus, my dear friend in the Lord. 9 Greet Urbanus, our fellow worker in Christ, and my good friend Stachys. 10 Greet Apelles, who is approved in Christ. Greet those who belong to the household of Aristobulus. 11 Greet Herodion, my compatriot.#tn Or “kinsman,” “relative,” “fellow countryman.” Greet those in the household of Narcissus who are in the Lord. 12 Greet Tryphena#sn The spelling Tryphena is also used by NIV, NKJV, NLT; the name is alternately spelled Tryphaena (NASB, NRSV). and Tryphosa, laborers in the Lord. Greet my dear friend#tn Grk “Greet the beloved.” Persis, who has worked hard in the Lord. 13 Greet Rufus, chosen in the Lord, and his mother who was also a mother to me.#tn Grk “and his mother and mine.” 14 Greet Asyncritus, Phlegon, Hermes, Patrobas, Hermas, and the brothers and sisters#tn Grk “brothers.” See note on the phrase “brothers and sisters” in 1:13. with them. 15 Greet Philologus and Julia, Nereus and his sister, and Olympas, and all the believers#tn Grk “saints.” who are with them. 16 Greet one another with a holy kiss. All the churches of Christ greet you.
17 Now I urge you, brothers and sisters,#tn Grk “brothers.” See note on the phrase “brothers and sisters” in 1:13. to watch out for those who create dissensions and obstacles contrary to the teaching that you learned. Avoid them! 18 For these are the kind who do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites. By their smooth talk and flattery they deceive the minds#tn Grk “hearts.” of the naive. 19 Your obedience is known to all and thus I rejoice over you. But I want you to be wise in what is good and innocent in what is evil. 20 The God of peace will quickly crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you.
21 Timothy, my fellow worker, greets you; so do Lucius, Jason, and Sosipater, my compatriots.#tn Grk “kinsmen, relatives, fellow countrymen.” 22 I, Tertius, who am writing this letter, greet you in the Lord. 23 Gaius, who is host to me and to the whole church, greets you. Erastus the city treasurer and our brother Quartus greet you.#tc Most mss (D [F G 629 without “Jesus Christ”] Ψ  1881 Ï al) include here 16:24 “The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with all of you. Amen.” Other mss (P 33 104 365 pc) include the verse after 16:27. The verse is entirely lacking in Ì46,61 (א A) B C 81 1739 2464 pc co. The strength of the external evidence, combined with uncertainty in other mss over where the verse should be located and the fact that it is a repetition of v. 20b, strongly favors omission of the verse. The present translation follows NA27 in omitting the verse number, a procedure also followed by a number of other modern translations.
25#tc There is a considerable degree of difference among the mss regarding the presence and position of the doxology of 16:25-27. Five situations present themselves from the ms tradition. The doxology is found in the ancient witnesses in three separate locations: (1) here after 16:23 (Ì61 א B C D 81 365 630 1739 2464 al co), (2) after 14:23 (Ψ 0209vid Ï), or (3) after 15:33 (Ì46). The situation is further complicated in that some of the mss have these verses in two places: (4) after 14:23 and after 16:23 (A P 33 104 2805 pc); or (5) after 14:23 and after 15:33 (1506). The uncertain position of the doxology might suggest that it was added by later scribes. But since the mss containing the doxology are so early and widespread, it almost certainly belongs in Romans; it is only a question of where. Further, the witnesses that omit the doxology are few: F G 629 Hiermss. (And of these, G has a blank space of several lines large enough for the doxology to belong there.) Only two positions (after chapter 14 only and at the end of the letter only) deserve particular notice because the situation of the mss showing the doxology in two places dates back to the 5th century. Later copyists, faced with the doxology in two different places in the mss they knew, may have decided to copy the doxology in both places, since they were unwilling to consciously omit any text. Because the textual disruption of the doxology is so early, TCGNT 472 suggests two possibilities: either (1) that Paul may have sent two different copies of Romans – a copy lacking chapter 16 and a copy with the full text of the epistle as we now have it, or (2) Marcion or some of his followers circulated a shortened form of the epistle that lacked chapters 15 and 16. Those mss that lacked chapters 15-16 would naturally conclude with some kind of doxology after chapter 14. On the other hand, H. Gamble (The Textual History of the Letter to the Romans [SD], 123-32) argues for the position of the doxology at 14:23, since to put the doxology at 16:25 would violate Paul’s normal pattern of a grace-benediction at the close of the letter. Gamble further argues for the inclusion of 16:24, since the mss that put the doxology after chapter 14 almost always present 16:24 as the letter’s closing, whereas most of the mss that put the doxology at its traditional position drop 16:24, perhaps because it would be redundant before 16:25-27. A decision is difficult, but the weight of external evidence, since it is both early and geographically widespread, suggests that the doxology belongs here after 16:23. For a full discussion, see TCGNT 470-73. Now to him who is able to strengthen you according to my gospel and the proclamation of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery that had been kept secret for long ages, 26 but now is disclosed, and through the prophetic scriptures has been made known to all the nations, according to the command of the eternal God, to bring about the obedience of faith – 27 to the only wise God, through Jesus Christ, be glory forever! Amen.