Ark of the Covenant - Bible History Online
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Romans 16:5 also [greet] the church that is in their house. Greet Epaenetus, my beloved, who is the first convert to Christ from Asia.

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Romans 16:3 >

      5. Likewise the church that is in their house--The Christian assembly that statedly met there for worship. "From his occupation as tent-maker, he had probably better accommodations for the meetings of the church than most other Christians" [HODGE]. Probably this devoted couple had written to the apostle such an account of the stated meetings at their house, as made him feel at home with them, and include them in this salutation, which doubtless would be read at their meetings with peculiar interest.
      Salute my well beloved Epænetus, who is the first-fruits--that is, the first convert
      of Achaia unto Christ--The true reading here, as appears by the manuscripts, is, "the first-fruits of Asia unto Christ"--that is, Proconsular Asia (see Ac 16:6). In 1Co 16:15 it is said that "the household of Stephanas was the first-fruit of Achaia"; and though if Epænetus was one of that family, the two statements might be reconciled according to the received text, there is no need to resort to this supposition, as that text is in this instance without authority. Epænetus, as the first believer in that region called Proconsular Asia, was dear to the apostle. (See Ho 9:10; Mic 7:1). None of the names mentioned from Ro 16:5-15 are otherwise known. One wonders at the number of them, considering that the writer had never been at Rome. But as Rome was then the center of the civilized world, to and from which journeys were continually taken to the remotest parts, there is no great difficulty in supposing that so active a travelling missionary as Paul would, in course of time, make the acquaintance of a considerable number of the Christians then residing at Rome.

JFB.


Questions Related to this Verse

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Romans Images and Notes

The Book of Romans

Romans 1:20 - For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, [even] his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:

Romans 8:28 - And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to [his] purpose.

Romans in The New Testament - A Brief Overview

Painting of the Apostle Paul by Rembrandt - 1657
Painting of Paul the Apostle by Rembrandt - 1657

Introduction to The Epistle to the Romans

Brief Summary. Paul's message in his profound epistle to the Romans 1-8 is that a man is justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the Law. Righteousness is by Christ alone, and when a man believes in Christ, he becomes dead to sin and the law and alive in Christ. The Holy Spirit sanctifies the believer and empowers him to live a holy life. A relationship with Christ brings adopted sonship and the assurance of salvation from sin. The question about the Jews and their fate is answered in Romans, they were chosen to possess the oracles of the Lord. Romans 9-11 reveals that the Jews failed to recognize Christ as the fulfillment of the Law and rejected their own Messiah. Therefore God rejected Israel, yet, this rejection is not total or final. Paul makes it abundantly clear that God will show mercy to those Jews who acknowledge Jesus as Lord. In Romans 12-16 Paul exhorts the Christians in Rome regarding the practical aspects of the new life in Christ.

Summary of The Book of Romans

Purpose. Paul was called by God to bring Christianity to the gentile world, and to establish churches for worship and ministry. Rome was the capital of the gentile world, and a church had developed there. Paul no doubt knew the strategic value of strengthening the body of believers by laying a strong doctrinal foundation. There is also indications that Paul had desired to preach the Gospel in Spain, and it would have been wise to create a solid base in Rome. Paul was continually challenged by the Jews regarding the Gospel of Christ and the Law of Moses. Paul obviously wanted to clear up any confusion by creating a strong doctrinal statement in his epistle. He addresses the same issues as in his other epistles, false doctrine, false teachers, and troublemakers who would stir up dissension in the church. In the epistle to the Romans Paul also introduces the deaconess Phoebe, he petitions the church at large to pray for the Roman brethren, and to greet the believers in Christ at the church in Rome.

Audience. The epistle begins with "to all God's beloved in Rome" and this would clearly indicate that Paul was addressing the Christian church in Rome. Throughout the book of Romans it is clear that in the church at Rome there were many Jews and gentiles.

Authorship. Paul the apostle is universally accepted as the author of the epistle to the Romans. Throughout the entire letter it is easy to see Paul's sincerity, his unique insights in the teachings about God, the Jews, Jesus and salvation to all mankind. Statements in the epistle indicate that Paul was going to Jerusalem with the collection for the poor which he had gathered (Romans 15:25-27).

Date. The epistle to the Romans appears to have been written near the end of Paul's third missionary journey, probably around 57 or 58 AD. One of the main reasons for this date is because 1 Corinthians and 2 Corinthians refer to this collection and this would indicate that Romans was written just after 1 and 2 Corinthians, toward the end of Paul's third missionary journey. Most scholars date the epistle near AD 58 and name Corinth as the city of its origin.

Outline of the Book of Romans

Doctrine and Theology - Chapters 1-8
God's Plan for Israel -  Chapters 9-11
The New Life in Christ - Chapters 12-16

Jesus written in Hebrew
The Name Jesus In Ancient Hebrew Text
"Yeshua" in First Century Hebrew Text. This is how the name "Jesus" would have been written in ancient Hebrew documents. The four letters or consonants from right to left are Yod, Shin, Vav, Ayin (Y, SH, OO, A). Jesus is the Greek name for the Hebrew name Joshua or Y'shua which means "The LORD or Yahweh is Salvation".

Interesting Notes

- Some ancient manuscripts omit the word, "Rome," scholars generally agree that the epistle was addressed to the Christian church in Rome.

Romans Resources

Map of the Roman Empire (14 AD) - This map reveals the Roman Empire during the time shortly after the birth of Jesus, in 14 AD at the time of the death of Augustus. The order which prevailed in this extensive empire, the good military roads, and the use of Koine Greek as the general language of culture throughout the area were among the factors which multiplied the rapid spread of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. (Color Map)

Map of Paul's Third Missionary Journey (54 AD) - This map reveals the areas in Asia and Greece where Paul visited in his third missionary journey. On Paul's third missionary journey he returned to the cities he had first visited on his first missionary journey. During this time he decided to remain in Ephesus for about 3 years, and this city was the main focus of his activities and an important Christian community (Acts 19). (Color Map)

Map of Paul's Voyage to Rome (61 AD) - This map reveals the journey of the Apostle Paul to Rome in 61 AD. Paul had appealed to Caesar in Caesarea (Acts 24-25), his goal was to spread the Gospel of Jesus throughout the Roman Empire all the way to her great capital, Rome. He demanded that his case be heard by the Roman Emperor. According to the Book of Acts, after his shipwreck on the Island of Malta (Acts 28) he came to Italy and was put on house arrest for two years (Acts 28:30). (Color Map)

Map of the New Testament World - This map reveals the "Nations" within the ancient world during the first century A.D., the time of the New Testament. The map includes the areas of Israel, Asia, Greece, and Italy. (Color Map)

Map of New Testament Italy - This map reveals the cities within Italy during the first century A.D., the time of the New Testament. The map includes the principle cities of Italy like Neapolis and Rome. Follow the path of the Apostle.