‘All the saints greet you.’ In the original language, Greek, the word for ‘saints’ is HAGIOI. That word is simply the plural form of the word that means ‘holy’. So, a correct translation would be: ‘All the holy people greet you.’
We may ask whom Paul means by the ‘holy people’. The word ‘holy’ describes someone, or something, that belongs to God. In 1 Peter 2:9-10, Peter calls Christians: the ‘people who belong to God’. In 1 Peter 1:18-19, he explains the reason. God has bought them for himself, by means of the blood of Christ*. In other words, because of Christ’s death, God has freed them from the power of the devil, sin (evil deeds) and death*. So, Peter tells Christians to be holy in all that they do*. In other words, they should live in the way that is right for God’s holy people to live.
These passages do not just refer to a few special Christians. They refer to all Christians. Every Christian is one of God’s holy people; every Christian belongs to God. The first Christians often referred to other Christians generally by the word that we translate ‘saints’.
So, by the word ‘saints’ in 2 Corinthians 13:13, Paul means all the Christians who were with him at that time. That would include some of Paul’s companions, like Timothy, Titus and Luke. However, it would also include some of the ordinary Christians in Macedonia, from where Paul wrote this letter. Paul did not have the space or time to record their names. However, they all wanted to send their greetings to the church at Corinth. They all wanted to express their love, as Christians, to the Christians in Corinth.
* See complete article for these Bible references.
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© 2016, Keith Simons.