15:1 But we who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak, and not just please ourselves. 1 15:2 Let each of us please his neighbor for his good to build him up. 15:3 For even Christ did not please himself, but just as it is written, “The insults of those who insult you have fallen on me.” 2 15:4 For everything that was written in former times was written for our instruction, so that through endurance and through encouragement of the scriptures we may have hope. 15:5 Now may the God of endurance and comfort give you unity with one another 3 in accordance with Christ Jesus, 15:6 so that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
15:7 Receive one another, then, just as Christ also received you, to God’s glory. 15:8 For I tell you that Christ has become a servant of the circumcised 4 on behalf of God’s truth to confirm the promises made to the fathers, 5 15:9 and thus the Gentiles glorify God for his mercy. 6 As it is written, “Because of this I will confess you among the Gentiles, and I will sing praises to your name.” 7 15:10 And again it says: “Rejoice, O Gentiles, with his people.” 8 15:11 And again, “Praise the Lord all you Gentiles, and let all the peoples praise him.” 9 15:12 And again Isaiah says, “The root of Jesse will come, and the one who rises to rule over the Gentiles, in him will the Gentiles hope.” 10 15:13 Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you believe in him, 11 so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
15:14 But I myself am fully convinced about you, my brothers and sisters, 12 that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, and able to instruct one another. 15:15 But I have written more boldly to you on some points so as to remind you, because of the grace given to me by God 15:16 to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles. I serve 13 the gospel of God 14 like a priest, so that the Gentiles may become an acceptable offering, 15 sanctified by the Holy Spirit.
15:17 So I boast 16 in Christ Jesus about the things that pertain to God. 15:18 For I will not dare to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me in order to bring about the obedience 17 of the Gentiles, by word and deed, 15:19 in the power of signs and wonders, in the power of the Spirit of God. So from Jerusalem even as far as Illyricum I have fully preached the gospel of Christ. 15:20 And in this way I desire to preach where Christ has not been named, so as not to build on another person’s foundation, 15:21 but as it is written: “Those who were not told about him will see, and those who have not heard will understand.” 18
15:22 This is the reason I was often hindered from coming to you. 15:23 But now there is nothing more to keep me 19 in these regions, and I have for many years desired 20 to come to you 15:24 when I go to Spain. For I hope to visit you when I pass through and that you will help me 21 on my journey there, after I have enjoyed your company for a while.
15:25 But now I go to Jerusalem to minister to the saints. 15:26 For Macedonia and Achaia are pleased to make some contribution for the poor among the saints in Jerusalem. 15:27 For they were pleased to do this, and indeed they are indebted to the Jerusalem saints. 22 For if the Gentiles have shared in their spiritual things, they are obligated also to minister to them in material things. 15:28 Therefore after I have completed this and have safely delivered this bounty to them, 23 I will set out for Spain by way of you, 15:29 and I know that when I come to you I will come in the fullness of Christ’s blessing.
15:30 Now I urge you, brothers and sisters, 24 through our Lord Jesus Christ and through the love of the Spirit, to join fervently with me in prayer to God on my behalf. 15:31 Pray 25 that I may be rescued from those who are disobedient in Judea and that my ministry in Jerusalem may be acceptable to the saints, 15:32 so that by God’s will I may come to you with joy and be refreshed in your company. 15:33 Now may the God of peace be with all of you. Amen. 26
16:1 Now I commend to you our sister Phoebe, who is a servant 27 of the church in Cenchrea, 16:2 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.
16:3 Greet Prisca and Aquila, 28 my fellow workers in Christ Jesus, 16:4 who risked their own necks for my life. Not only I, but all the churches of the Gentiles are grateful to them. 16:5 Also greet the church in their house. Greet my dear friend Epenetus, 29 who was the first convert 30 to Christ in the province of Asia. 31 16:6 Greet Mary, who has worked very hard for you. 16:7 Greet Andronicus and Junia, 32 my compatriots 33 and my fellow prisoners. They are well known 34 to the apostles, 35 and they were in Christ before me. 16:8 Greet Ampliatus, my dear friend in the Lord. 16:9 Greet Urbanus, our fellow worker in Christ, and my good friend Stachys. 16:10 Greet Apelles, who is approved in Christ. Greet those who belong to the household of Aristobulus. 16:11 Greet Herodion, my compatriot. 36 Greet those in the household of Narcissus who are in the Lord. 16:12 Greet Tryphena 37 and Tryphosa, laborers in the Lord. Greet my dear friend 38 Persis, who has worked hard in the Lord. 16:13 Greet Rufus, chosen in the Lord, and his mother who was also a mother to me. 39 16:14 Greet Asyncritus, Phlegon, Hermes, Patrobas, Hermas, and the brothers and sisters 40 with them. 16:15 Greet Philologus and Julia, Nereus and his sister, and Olympas, and all the believers 41 who are with them. 16:16 Greet one another with a holy kiss. All the churches of Christ greet you.
16:17 Now I urge you, brothers and sisters, 42 to watch out for those who create dissensions and obstacles contrary to the teaching that you learned. Avoid them! 16:18 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 43 of the naive. 16:19 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. 16:20 The God of peace will quickly crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you.
16:21 Timothy, my fellow worker, greets you; so do Lucius, Jason, and Sosipater, my compatriots. 44 16:22 I, Tertius, who am writing this letter, greet you in the Lord. 16:23 Gaius, who is host to me and to the whole church, greets you. Erastus the city treasurer and our brother Quartus greet you.16:24 [[EMPTY]] 45
16:25 46 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, 16:26 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 – 16:27 to the only wise God, through Jesus Christ, be glory forever! Amen.
1 tn Grk “and not please ourselves.” NT Greek negatives used in contrast like this are often not absolute, but relative: “not so much one as the other.”
3 tn Grk “grant you to think the same among one another.”
4 tn Grk “of the circumcision”; that is, the Jews.
5 tn Or “to the patriarchs.”
6 tn There are two major syntactical alternatives which are both awkward: (1) One could make “glorify” dependent on “Christ has become a minister” and coordinate with “to confirm” and the result would be rendered “Christ has become a minister of circumcision to confirm the promises…and so that the Gentiles might glorify God.” (2) One could make “glorify” dependent on “I tell you” and coordinate with “Christ has become a minister” and the result would be rendered “I tell you that Christ has become a minister of circumcision…and that the Gentiles glorify God.” The second rendering is preferred.
13 tn Grk “serving.” This is a continuation of the previous sentence in the Greek text, but in keeping with contemporary English style, a new sentence was started here in the translation.
14 tn The genitive in the phrase τὸ εὐαγγέλιον τοῦ θεοῦ (to euangelion tou qeou, “the gospel of God”) could be translated as either a subjective genitive (“the gospel which God brings”) or an objective genitive (“the gospel about God”). Either is grammatically possible. This is possibly an instance of a plenary genitive (see ExSyn 119-21; M. Zerwick, Biblical Greek, §§36-39). If so, an interplay between the two concepts is intended: The gospel which God brings is in fact the gospel about himself.
15 tn Grk “so that the offering of the Gentiles may become acceptable.” This could be understood to refer to an offering belonging to the Gentiles (a possessive genitive) or made by the Gentiles (subjective genitive), but more likely the phrase should be understood as an appositive genitive, with the Gentiles themselves consisting of the offering (so J. D. G. Dunn, Romans [WBC 38], 2:860). The latter view is reflected in the translation “so that the Gentiles may become an acceptable offering.”
16 tc ‡ After οὖν (oun), several important Alexandrian and Western
tn Grk “Therefore I have a boast.”
17 tn Grk “unto obedience.”
19 tn Grk “now no longer having a place…I have.”
20 tn Grk “but having a desire…for many years.”
21 tn Grk “and to be helped by you.” The passive construction was changed to an active one in the translation.
22 tn Grk “to them”; the referent (the Jerusalem saints) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
23 tn Grk “have sealed this fruit to them.”
27 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.
28 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.
29 sn The spelling Epenetus is also used by NIV, NLT; the name is alternately spelled Epaenetus (NASB, NKJV, NRSV).
30 tn Grk “first fruit.” This is a figurative use referring to Epenetus as the first Christian convert in the region.
31 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.
32 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).
33 tn Or “kinsmen,” “relatives,” “fellow countrymen.”
34 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.
35 tn Or “among the apostles.” See discussion in the note on “well known” for these options.
36 tn Or “kinsman,” “relative,” “fellow countryman.”
37 sn The spelling Tryphena is also used by NIV, NKJV, NLT; the name is alternately spelled Tryphaena (NASB, NRSV).
38 tn Grk “Greet the beloved.”
39 tn Grk “and his mother and mine.”
41 tn Grk “saints.”
43 tn Grk “hearts.”
44 tn Grk “kinsmen, relatives, fellow countrymen.”
45 tc Most
46 tc There is a considerable degree of difference among the