8:23 Not only this, but we ourselves also, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, 1 groan inwardly as we eagerly await our adoption, 2 the redemption of our bodies. 3
11:16 If the first portion 4 of the dough offered is holy, then the whole batch is holy, and if the root is holy, so too are the branches. 5
16:5 Also greet the church in their house. Greet my dear friend Epenetus, 6 who was the first convert 7 to Christ in the province of Asia. 8
1 tn Or “who have the Spirit as firstfruits.” The genitive πνεύματος (pneumatos) can be understood here as possessive (“the firstfruits belonging to the Spirit”) although it is much more likely that this is a genitive of apposition (“the firstfruits, namely, the Spirit”); cf. TEV, NLT.
3 tn Grk “body.”
4 tn Grk “firstfruits,” a term for the first part of something that has been set aside and offered to God before the remainder can be used.
5 sn Most interpreters see Paul as making use of a long-standing metaphor of the olive tree (the root…the branches) as a symbol for Israel. See, in this regard, Jer 11:16, 19. A. T. Hanson, Studies in Paul’s Technique and Theology, 121-24, cites rabbinic use of the figure of the olive tree, and goes so far as to argue that Rom 11:17-24 is a midrash on Jer 11:16-19.
6 sn The spelling Epenetus is also used by NIV, NLT; the name is alternately spelled Epaenetus (NASB, NKJV, NRSV).
7 tn Grk “first fruit.” This is a figurative use referring to Epenetus as the first Christian convert in the region.
8 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.