Romans 13-16

Submit to the government, since the government is God’s servant to punish wrongdoers.  Love one another and follow the ten commandments; the return of Jesus Christ is imminent.  Do not judge each other for keeping the Sabbath or eating kosher, or alternatively, for not observing these rituals–let each act according to his own conscience.  Welcome one another and live in harmony.

I have already finished proclaiming the gospel “in these regions” (probably the eastern Roman Empire), so I plan to go to Spain.  I’ll visit you on the way, and I hope you’ll receive me and give me support for my trip.  Before this trip, I’ll go to Jerusalem to give that church the monetary aid of the Gentile churches–hopefully the unbelievers won’t do anything to me.  Meet Phoebe, a deacon of the church at Cenchreae; greet Prisca, Aquila, Mary, Andronicus, and the others for me.  Timothy, my co-worker, greets you; so do Lucius, Jason, Sospitaer, and Tertius.

Commentary:

  • Paul greets a total of 26 people in chapter 16.  The person entrusted to carry this letter to Rome is a woman, Phoebe, who is deacon of the church at Cenchreae as well as “a benefactor of many”.  (Cenchreae is very close to Corinth, where Paul probably wrote the letter.)  There are many other women as well, including Prisca (“Greet Prisca and Aquila, who work with me in Christ Jesus and who risked their necks for my life”), Mary (“who has worked very hard among you”), Junia (“prominent among the apostles”).
  • Paul’s planned trip to Jerusalem would end in his arrest (Acts 21:7-28:31), and eventually his death.
  • We find out in 16:22 that it was Tertius, Paul’s secretary, who actually wrote the letter.  Paul dictated it.
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