Useful Bible Studies > Romans Commentary > chapter 16

The Christians with Paul send their greetings

Romans 16:21-23

Perhaps the main lesson to learn from these final greetings is the friendly attitude that the first Christians showed. We cannot say whether any of these people had been to Rome. Perhaps they did not actually know any of the Christians there. However, they had heard about the Christians in Rome (1:8), and they felt only love towards them (1 John 4:19-21). So when Paul sent his letter, the Christians with him wanted to send their greetings too.

Timothy is Paul’s younger helper, to whom he wrote the Books of 1 Timothy and 2 Timothy. He assisted Paul at Corinth, where Paul probably wrote the Book of Romans.

In Acts 20:4, there is a list of the Christian men who travelled with Paul on his journey from Corinth to Jerusalem. They include Sopater, which may perhaps be a different spelling of Sosipater. Similarly, Lucius may be a different spelling of Luke, the author of the Books of Luke and Acts.

We think that Paul usually wrote his own letters (Galatians 6:11). However, on this occasion Tertius, who was perhaps a scribe (professional writer), wrote down his words. Tertius’s name means ‘third’; he would have been the third son in his family. Quartus’s name means ‘fourth’; possibly he was Tertius’s younger brother.

When Paul first visited Corinth, he stayed with Aquila and Prisca (Acts 18:1-3). On Paul’s return there, they had gone back to Rome (16:3), so Paul stayed with Gaius. Perhaps he is the same man whose name appears in 1 Corinthians 1:14.

In 1 Corinthians 1:26, Paul says that not many important people there had trusted Christ. However, here he mentions an important official in the city of Corinth, called Erastus. Erastus had become a Christian and he too sent his greetings to Rome’s Christians.

Next part: A special prayer to praise God (Romans 16:24-27)


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