Romans 16:9-12 meaning

Verses covered in this passage:

  • Romans 16:9
  • Romans 16:10
  • Romans 16:11
  • Romans 16:12

Paul continues listing believers that he wants the believers in Rome to greet.

Paul mention Urbanus, our fellow worker in Christ. We do not know anything else about Urbanus, but Paul using “our” to describe him seems to mean he has served Paul as well as the believers in Rome. Stachys is named as my beloved. We don’t know anything else about him, but the name Stachys was very rare and means he was probably Greek.

Apelles is called the approved in Christ. This phrase means that in some way Apelles was tested and proved faithful. Paul does not name specific names but says to greet those who are of the household of Aristobulus. It is speculated by scholars that Aristobulus could be grandson of Herod the Great, the ruler who ordered baby boys be murdered in Bethlehem as an attempt to kill Jesus at the time of his birth (Matthew 2:16).

Paul greets Herodion, my kinsman, in the same way he greeted Andronicus and Junias in verse 7. This word likely does not mean familial relation but rather countrymen or of the same national origin, which would mean they are Jewish. Once again, it would be of great benefit for Paul to have Jewish members of the Roman church on his side in contesting the competing Jewish “authorities.” Paul greets those of the household of Narcissus, who are in the Lord. 

Tryphaena and Tryphosa are greeted as workers in the Lord. These two were likely sisters or close relatives. We don’t know anything else about these women, but they worked hard for the Lord. Persis the beloved, is another woman who Paul says has worked hard for the Lord. It is interesting to note that Paul has now named four women that he recognized for hard work. As mentioned, some scholars suggest that the early church was predominantly populated with women; the message of the gospel is that men and women have equal value before God and this was counter cultural at the time.

Biblical Text

9 Greet Urbanus, our fellow worker in Christ, and Stachys my beloved. 10 Greet Apelles, the approved in Christ. Greet those who are of the household of Aristobulus. 11 Greet Herodion, my kinsman. Greet those of the household of Narcissus, who are in the Lord. 12 Greet Tryphaena and Tryphosa, workers in the Lord. Greet Persis the beloved, who has worked hard in the Lord.

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