*Scripture verses covered in this section's commentary are noted in italics

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 whom he wants the believers in Rome to greet.

Paul mentions Urbanus, our fellow worker in Christ (v 9). We do not know anything else about Urbanus, but Paul’s use of our to describe him seems to mean he has served both Paul and the believers in Rome. Stachys is named as my beloved (v 9). We do not know anything else about him, but the name Stachys was rare and means he was probably Greek.

Apelles is called the approved in Christ (v 10). 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 (v 10). It is speculated by some that Aristobulus could be grandson of Herod the Great, the ruler who ordered baby boys to be murdered in Bethlehem as an attempt to kill Jesus at the time of His birth (Matthew 2:16).

Paul greets Herodion, my kinsman (v 11), 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 Herodion is 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 (v 11)

Tryphaena and Tryphosa are greeted as workers in the Lord (v 12). These two were likely sisters or close relatives. We do not 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 in the Lord (v 12). It is interesting to note that Paul has now named four women that he recognized for hard work. As previously mentioned, some 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, which was countercultural at the time (Galatians 3:28).

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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