Romans Chapter 16



I commend to you our sister Phoebe, a servant of the church in Cenchrea. Romans 16:1  

All of us have the secret desire to see our names preserved.  We like to see our names in print even if we have to carve them ourselves on a tree or write them graffiti style on a rock.  Here in the sixteenth chapter a number of names are preserved for eternity. They are literally “written down in glory.”

The first of these names and undoubtedly one of the most important is a woman by the name of Phoebe.  Her name means “bright” or “radiant” and she hailed from Cenchrea, the port city which was about 9 miles (14.4 km.) from Corinth. Phoebe was a “servant” (diakonos) in her church and in the past this special woman had helped even the Apostle Paul.  Some gather from her description of prostatis (protectress) in the next verse that she was a woman of some means and influence. 1 This seems to be borne out when we consider her ability to travel to Rome and live there.

When we realize her great contribution, we will have to join Paul in commending her.  The whole church should be grateful for this woman because she apparently delivered the newly written manuscript of Romans from Corinth where it was composed to its destination in Rome.  What an accomplishment this must have been, to carry and protect the priceless parchment through the hazardous sea journey to Rome. These were the days before parcel post and most letters and documents had to be carried by individuals.

There has been a great deal of discussion about Phoebe’s title of “servant.”  Several commentators see this designation as a church office of “deaconess.”2 Such women were commonly older widows with a good reputation for holiness and service.  From what we can gather, there was such an office in the primitive church and it continued in the west until around the end of the first millennium. 3  These holy women cared for all the church needs that could not be served by the men.

I ask you to receive her in the Lord in a way worthy of the saints and to give her any help she may need from you, for she has been a great help to many people, including me” (16:2).  Paul is asking the Roman church to receive her in a technical sense which was equivalent to church membership today.4  An older woman in a strange and large city like Rome would need much fellowship and support.

Next, Paul greets a dear couple who must have been very close to his heart.  He says: Greet Priscilla and Aquila, my fellow workers in Christ Jesus.  They risked their lives for me.  Not only I but all the churches of the Gentiles are grateful to them” (16:3-4).  Obviously these two people had distinguished themselves to many in the Gentile church.  We first hear of them in Acts 18:2 as they had recently arrived in Corinth from Italy.  We are informed in the text that they had fled from Rome. This was no doubt due to Emperor Claudius banning all Jews from living in the city (c. AD 50).  The famous duo seemed to have lived a rather nomadic lifestyle making tents for a living and starting churches in
their home.

We see Paul apparently living with them and making tents with them at Corinth (Acts 18:3).  Then we see Paul dropping them off at Ephesus where they later had a very influential ministry to an important upcoming Jewish evangelist by the name of Apollos (Acts 18:26).  Now we see that they have returned to Rome.  According to Paul they had risked their lives on his behalf. In the Greek it reads that they had “laid down their necks” for him.  Some think this was in regard to the dangerous riot that broke out at Ephesus and is mentioned in Acts 19:28-31. 5

In the ancient world it was customary for the husband to be mentioned first unless the wife had a higher status. 6  However, of the seven times they are mentioned in scripture Priscilla is mentioned first on five of these occasions. Obviously is some way she was the most outstanding.

Paul says: “Greet also the church that meets at their house” (16:5).  This couple also provides us with much information on the structure of the earliest church.  The early church met in private homes and this couple hosted a church in Corinth, in Ephesus, and in Rome (16:5).  There were no church buildings at this early date so the practice of meeting in homes continued for the first three centuries of the church’s existence.  In Rome, Jewish meetings in groups larger than synagogues were forbidden and, of course, many Christians were Jewish, including Priscilla and Acquila. 7  We have evidences of other possible house churches in 16:10, 11, 15; 1 Corinthians 16:19; Colossians 4:15; and Philemon 1:2.


Greet my dear friend Epenetus, who was the first convert to Christ in the province of Asia. Romans 16:5  

Some scholars are troubled that Paul would seem to know so many people in a place where he had never lived or even visited.  Others have speculated that this list of greetings might have originally been for Ephesus rather than Rome and yet when we consider that Paul lived some three years in Ephesus this list might actually be too short instead of being
too long. 8

When we think of Paul’s vast travels all over the world of his day and when we consider that he had no doubt ministered to thousands and thousands of people, both Jews and Gentiles, it is not unthinkable that he would have known many in Rome.  Even from what we see in scripture it appears that many people from all over the empire ultimately ended up in Rome.

It is also probably a mistake to consider that a long list of personal greetings is out of place in an epistle like Romans.  After all, this is what the church is all aboutfellowship in the Spirit and precious friendships between the saints of God.  We certainly could use more of that in our impersonal age when more and more we seem to be talking only to machines.

In this chapter we have a long list of names but we do not have information on most of them.  Some writers have gone overboard in their speculations about these unknown people.  We will try not to do that but rather focus more on what we know for sure about them.  In passing we may mention some of the speculations that seem to have the
most weight.

Epenetus is mentioned in this verse and we know a little about him. 9  He was apparently the first convert in the area of Achaia or the region around Corinth, from where this letter was written.  That would make him the first convert in the Roman province of Asia.  He was obviously very dear to Paul since the apostle would not use that term loosely.

“Greet Mary, who worked very hard for you” (16:6).  We don’t know much about Mary.  Her works like her name are recorded in the Book of Life.  Since some manuscripts show her name as Miriam (the Hebrew form of Mary), it is possible that she was a Jewish believer. 10

Greet Andronicus and Junias, my relatives who have been in prison with me. They are outstanding among the apostles, and they were in Christ before I was” (16:7). Andronicus and Junias may have been blood relatives of Paul.  It may be more likely though that they were fellow Hebrews or even fellow-members of the tribe of Benjamin.

The name “Junias” as we have it in the NIV is male but if the name happens to be “Junia” as in the KJV, ASV & NRSV, it is female.  There has been much discussion about this and the case seems far from being resolved.  Should the name be “Junia,” then this would be a very unusual situation where a husband and wife would make up a team of apostles, and outstanding ones at that. We might mention that they were not apostles in the sense of being among the twelve but apostles as in the case of Barnabas, Silas and others.  11  Like so many faithful Christians these two had a prison record and they had shared that prison with Paul.

Guzik states concerning the mystery of Andronicus and Junias: “If there ever were women recognized as apostlesin the sense of being special emissaries of God, not in the sense of being of the twelvethis is the strongest Scriptural evidence.”  But he goes on to add that “it isn’t very strong.”12

“Greet Ampliatus, whom I love in the Lord.  Greet Urbanus, our fellow worker in Christ, and my dear friend Stachys” (16:8-9).  We don’t know much about these dear people either except two of them have common slave names in the Roman Empire.  Keener remarks: “…perhaps as much as 80 percent of the inhabitants of imperial Rome were descendants of freed slaves from the East.” 13

Barclay notes the following possibility regarding Ampliatus: “It is a quite common slave name.  Now, in the cemetery of Domatilla, which is the earliest of the Christian catacombs, there is a decorated tomb with the single name Ampliatus carved on it in bold and decorative lettering…the elaborate tomb and the bold lettering would indicate that he was a man of high rank in the church.”14  If this tomb has any connection with our Ampliatus, we can see how the Christian faith truly broke down the barriers that had been constructed in human society.

“Greet Apelles, tested and approved in Christ. Greet those who belong to the household of Aristobulus” (16:10).  Who would not like to have “tested and approved” in his record before Christ?  Obviously Apelles had gone through the fires of persecution and had come out victorious.  Regarding the “household of Aristobulus,” Barclay thinks that these may have been Jewish servants and slaves who once belonged to Aristobulus and who had now become the property of the emperor. 15   Either this person had died or else he was not a Christian since he himself was not saluted.

“Greet Herodion, my relative. Greet those in the household of Narcissus who are in the Lord” (16:11).  Again, while it is possible that Herodion was a blood relative of Paul, it is more likely that he was a tribal relative. 16  The household of Narcissus may have represented a similar situation as that of Aristobulus above, where these believers were slaves of a non-believing owner.

“Greet Tryphena and Tryphosa, those women who work hard in the Lord. Greet my dear friend Persis, another woman who has worked very hard in the Lord” (16:12).  Tryphena and Tryphosa are thought to be sisters and possibly twins.  They both have common slave names and although they were very hard workers, the root of their names comes from the word “delicate.”17  All we know about Persis is that she was a dear friend of Paul and that her name probably indicates that she was of Persian origin.

“Greet Rufus, chosen in the Lord, and his mother, who has been a mother to me, too” (16:13). While it does not seem likely that the mother of Rufus was also the mother of Paul, she was obviously very close to Paul.  This has caused many commentators to identify this Rufus with the person mentioned in Mark 15:21.  This Rufus was a son of Simon of Cyrene, the North African who helped carry the cross of Jesus.  When Mark wrote his gospel, this Rufus was well-known and must have been a Christian. Edwards thinks that there is a “better than even” chance of a match here. 18  Obviously there was some reason that Paul had become so close and endeared to the mother of Rufus.

“Greet Asyncritus, Phlegon, Hermes, Patrobas, Hermas and the brothers with them.   Greet Philologus, Julia, Nereus and his sister, and Olympas and all the saints with them” (16:14-15).  Again we have a group of people mentioned together and they were common names that could have belonged to former slaves.  Some think that they may have belonged to another house church or perhaps a couple of house churches.


Greet one another with a holy kiss. All the churches of Christ send greetings. Romans 16:16  

Here we see something that was apparently very common in the early church.  It was the greeting of a “holy kiss” (philēmati hagiōi).  This sounds a little strange in our western culture.  However, Denney remarks about it, saying: “The custom of combining greeting and kiss was oriental, and especially Jewish, and in this way became Christian.”19  The kiss was common in Jesus’ day and we read of him rebuking his Pharisee host because he failed to give Jesus the expected kiss of greeting (Lk. 7:45).  We also read of the kiss of greeting that Judas gave Jesus at his betrayal.

The custom of giving the holy kiss of greeting continued in sub-apostolic times.  Justin Martyr (c. AD 160) remarks about it: “Having ended the prayers, we salute one another with a kiss.”20  Apparently as time passed the holy kiss was abused by some. Clement of Alexandria (c. 195) complains: “There are those who do nothing but make the churches resound with a kiss, not having love itself within.”21  Keener remarks about it also: “Due to abuses, in subsequent centuries the church limited the practice of the liturgical kiss of fellowship to men kissing men and women kissing women, although this was not the
initial practice.”22

We might wonder if this practice is still in vogue particularly among the Jewish people.  In Israel the kiss as a greeting is probably more popular than a handshake.  It is very common to see Jews of both sexes giving a greeting kiss, but the kiss is quite unlike our Hollywood style of kissing.  When two people meet, the greeting kiss and light embrace is given gently and simultaneously by both parties and both sides of the face are kissed.  Each person is actually kissed three times, to one side and then the other and finally returning to kiss the side that one began on.  There is nothing sensual about this kiss even when it is done between a man and a woman.  We might hasten to add that such a kiss while practiced commonly with Arab men would never be given by a strange man to an Arab woman.  The same is true in regard to Orthodox Jewish women.  In these cases even a handshake is usually out of order.  There should in fact be no handshake unless the woman initiates it.

Regarding the holy kiss and its place in the church practice Pfeiffer and Harrison add:

The command to greet one another with a holy kiss (cf. 1 Cor. 16:20; 2 Cor. 13:12; 1 Thess. 5:26) or with a kiss of love (1 Pet. 5:14) shows that warm Christian fellowship was characteristic of the early church. Whatever in modern cultures is symbolic of the deep affection Christians ought to feel toward each other—a kiss on the cheek, a warm handshake, a grasping of both hands, etc.—is the equivalent of the apostolic command.23


I urge you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you have learned. Keep away from them. Romans 16:17  

Paul is no doubt thinking here of the Judaizers who had dogged his trail in many of his journeys (cf. Phil. 3:17-21).  These false Christians tempted believers to return to the law thus causing great offense (skandalon) and placing obstacles before many.  His advice to the church is that they just keep away from such as these.

“For such people are not serving our Lord Christ, but their own appetites. By smooth talk and flattery they deceive the minds of naive people” (16:18).  Barnes says of such deceivers: “Men who cause divisions commonly make great pretensions to peculiar love of truth and orthodoxy; and put on the appearance of great sincerity, sanctity, and humility. …Flattery is one of the most powerful means of forming parties in the church.”24

Paul says of the Roman Christians: Everyone has heard about your obedience, so I am full of joy over you; but I want you to be wise about what is good, and innocent about what is evil” (16:19).  When Paul began this epistle he commended the Romans with these words: “Your faith is being reported all over the world” (1:8).  So they were obviously setting a sterling example for Christians everywhere.  But the Christian can never be satisfied with his spiritual progress and neither can an apostle.  Paul desires that they gain more wisdom about good things and also at the same time maintain their innocence about evil things.  This reminds us of the words of Jesus in Matthew 10:16: I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves.”  Too many Christians today have taken just one glance at pornography or other evil things and have found themselves “hooked” on evil.  We can take the Lord’s word on evil.  We don’t have to taste of its fruit to know how bad it is.


The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you. Romans 16:20

It appears that Paul is again trying to close the epistle. Barclay remarks that “Romans was a letter which Paul found very difficult to bring to an end.”25   The apostle seems to remember another great truth that he wishes to emphasize.  This truth is likely based on Genesis 3:15.

Christians will not always have to be the underdogs.  They will ultimately gain the victory over Satan and his evil regime with the help of God.  In fact, God will soon crush or trample (suntribō) the devil under the foot of believers.

This passage reminds us of Joshua 10:24 where after his victory the great commander ordered his leaders to come and place their feet on the necks of the defeated Canaanite kings.  There is a victory coming and it will be played out partly here on earth and partly in heaven.  We see in Revelation that the overcoming Christians will be able to assist the angels in casting Satan out of heaven altogether (Rev. 12:9-11).  They will do so by the blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony concerning the Lamb.

Since Paul could not bring himself to end the epistle after his benediction, he goes on.


Timothy, my fellow worker, sends his greetings to you, as do Lucius, Jason and Sosipater, my relatives.” Romans 16:21

Now we have even more names.  Paul decides to send greetings from all those people who were with him in Corinth.  The first is Timothy, who was Paul’s understudy and often his companion. This young man had lived up to his name, for “Timothy” is made up with a combination of two Greek words timaō “which means to honor” and theos which is “God.” Thus his name meant “one who honors God.” 26

Along with Timothy were Lucius, Jason and Sosipater.  Paul lists these as his “relatives” but again scholars generally feel that this is not a blood relationship but a tribal one.  There has been a great deal of speculation about Lucius and Jason as to who they are.  This is generally a fruitless adventure since we have so little information about them.  However, Sosipater may very well be the same as the Sopater we see in Acts 20:4. 27

I, Tertius, who wrote down this letter, greet you in the Lord” (16:22). Now something unusual happens.  Paul’s scribe who must have been a believer adds his own greeting.  This is the only time in Paul’s epistles where we have such a thing and where we know the name of the scribe. This just illustrates one more time that Christianity is all about people and their relationships with each other. Even the scribe gets to have his say.

“Gaius, whose hospitality I and the whole church here enjoy, sends you his greetings. Erastus, who is the city’s director of public works, and our brother Quartus send you their greetings” (16:23-24).  Several people by the name of Gaius are mentioned in the New Testament.  Evidently this Gaius can be identified.  Since Paul was writing from Corinth, this is most likely the Gaius who was an early convert and is mentioned in 1 Corinthians 1:14.  Obviously this Gaius had a spacious house and Paul was presently enjoying his hospitality as he wintered at Corinth.  His facilities must have been large enough to accommodate a house church because believers seemed to have met
there too.  28

The next name Paul mentions is Erastus.  Paul identifies this man as the city treasurer of Corinth.  This identification seems to be corroborated by an inscription discovered some years back.  The inscription was turned up near the plaza of the theatre in Corinth and was dated around AD 50.  The inscription reads: “Erastus in return for his aedileship laid (the pavement) at his expense.”  The term “aedileship” seems to describe the role of “business manager” of the city. 29  This appears to be one of those rare occasions where a public figure or an “important” person joined the ranks of the Christians.  We have noted so far how many common folks and even slaves were listed among them.  In 1 Corinthians 1:26-29 Paul says:

Brothers, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth.  But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.  He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, so that no
one may boast before him.

Paul comes to a close of his long list of people, the longest in any of his epistles.  He closes his list with Quartus of whom we know nothing.  As this long list of people comes to an end we might also note how many women were saluted in this chapter by Paul.  In the ancient world and especially in the Greek world women held a rather lowly status.  Yet in this epistle we see Paul saluting many women whom he considered special and even his helpers in spreading the gospel.  Some have sought to label Paul as a misogynist because of such passages as 1 Corinthians 14:34 and 1 Timothy 2:11-15, but obviously such was not the case. 30   Edwards comments on this: “Paul mentions 29 persons, 27 of them by name, a full third of whom are women…This motley list is evidence of a veritable social revolution!  Where but in the church could there be found such social and ethnic diversity?” 31

We note that there is no commentary on verse 24.  This verse is not included in the NIV but is rather placed in the margin.  It makes up a short benediction which is a repeat of the one in verse 20 and is obviously out of place with the longer benediction Paul is writing. This short benediction is not found in a number of major Greek manuscripts and is therefore not considered genuine. 32

Now at last Paul begins what will finally be his doxology and close of the epistle.  He starts by saying: Now to him who is able to establish you by my gospel and the proclamation of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery hidden for long ages past, but now revealed and made known through the prophetic writings by the command of the eternal God, so that all nations might believe and obey him — (16:25-26).

Paul’s purpose is always to make the church strong and to establish it.  The word for establish is stērizō and means “to make stable, place firmly, set fast, to strengthen, make firm.”  Paul speaks of his gospel here and he probably means that it was not borrowed from someone else and not received from man as he affirms in Galatians 1:11. 33

Here Paul speaks of a mystery that has been revealed.  In his ministry Paul had revealed several great spiritual mysteries that had been hidden from the ages.  In fact, we see that even the Old Testament prophets were puzzled over these same mysteries (cf. 1 Pet. 1:10-12).  These great mysteries include the hardening of Israel and the coming in of the Gentiles (Rom. 11:25-26); the mystery of Christ in us (Col. 1:27); the mystery of godliness and of Christ’s incarnation (1 Tim. 3:16); and particularly the great mystery of Jew and Gentile believers coming together in the last days into a “new man” or “new creation” (Eph. 3:2-6).  Wiersbe feels that it is this last great mystery which Paul is dealing with here. 34  It is likely this final mystery that will ultimately cause the nations to at last believe in Christ and obey him.

Now Paul’s magnificent epistle actually draws to a close with the ending of his benediction (16:27): to the only wise God be glory forever through Jesus Christ!”  To this final benediction we can all surely give a hearty “Amen!”



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Author’s note: Several sources I have cited are from the electronic media, either from websites or from electronic research libraries.  Thus in many of these sources it is not possible to cite page numbers of the works.  Instead I have cited the verse or verses in Romans (e.g. 3:1-2) about which the commentators speak.


1.  John R. W. Stott, The Message of Romans (Downers Grove, IL: Inter-Varsity Press, 1994), p.19.

2.  James R. Edwards, Romans, New International Biblical Commentary (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, Inc., 1992), p. 1.

3.  John Calvin, Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Romans (Grand Rapids, MI: Christian Classics Ethereal Library), Comments from Calvin’s introduction.

4.  Quoted in David Guzik, Romans, David Guzik’s Commentaries on the Bible (Gdansk Poland: Study Light Organization),, Introduction.

5.  St. Augustine, Confessions (Great Britain: Fontana Books, 2nd printing, 1959), p. 217.

6.  Quoted in Edwards, p. 2.


Chapter 1


1.  Edwards, Romans, p. 25.

2.  Guzik, Romans, 1:1.

3.  Calvin, Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Romans, commenting on verses 1:3-4.

4.  Larry D. Hart, Truth Aflame, A Balanced Theology for Evangelicals and Charismatics (Nashville, TN:    Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1999), p. 272.

5.  A. Robertson, Word Pictures in the New Testament, Vs. 5 & 6 (Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, c. 1932 & 33, 1997), comment on verse 1:5.

6.  Quoted in Edwards, p.31.

7.  William Barclay, The Letter to the Romans, The New Daily Study Bible (Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 1975, 2002), p. 5.

8.  F.F. Bruce, The Epistle of Paul to the Romans, Tyndale New Testament Commentaries (Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1963), p. 13.

9.  Stott, The Message of Romans, p. 34.

“Even the most casual reading of Romans betrays the fact that the church in Rome was a mixed community consisting of both Jews and Gentiles, with Gentiles in the majority (1:5f., 23:11:13), and that there was considerable conflict between these groups.  It is further recognized that this conflict was not ethnic…but theological (different convictions about the status of God’s covenant and law, and so about salvation).”

10.  Bruce, p. 31.

11.  Edwards, p. 16.

12.  Ibid., p. 30.

13.  Barclay, p. 17.

14.  Ray Stedman, Simple Christianity,, Comments on 1:14-17.

15.  Quoted in K. S. Wuest, Romans in the Greek New Testament: Wuest’s word studies from the Greek New Testament (Grand Rapids, Eerdmans,1997, 1984). Logos Research Systems, 1:9-12.

16.  David Brown, The Epistle of Paul to the Romans (Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, 1997), 1:10.

17.  Wuest, 1:13.

18.  Barclay, p. 21.

19.  John D. Hannah, Our Legacy, The History of Christian Doctrine (Colorado Springs: Navpress, 2001), p. 20.

20.  D. Stuart Briscoe, Romans, The Communicator’s Commentary (Waco, TX: World Books, 1982), p. 37

21.  Douglas Moo, Romans, New Bible Commentary, 21st Century Edition, revised., D.A. Carson, ed. (Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, 1997), 1:6-17.

22.  Wuest, 1:17.

23.  Robertson, 1:17

He reads it: “from faith unto faith” [ek pisteōs eis pistin ], faith the starting point and faith the goal (citing Lightfoot). Guzik adds a comment on v. 17 saying: “The idea behind this difficult phrase is probably “by faith from beginning to end.”

24.  Stott,  p. 65.

25.  Guzik, 1:18

26.  Hart, p. 28.

27.  Wuest, 1:22

28.  W.W. Wiersbe, The Bible Exposition Commentary (Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, 1996, c. 1989), 1:21-23.

29.  Everett F. Harrison, Romans, The Expositor’s Bible Commentary, Frank E. Gaebelein, gen. ed. (Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1976), p. 24.

30.  Stott, p. 76.

31.  Peter Pett, Readings in Romans,, 1:18-32

32.  Albert Barnes’ Notes on the New Testament, com/bnn/, 1:27.

33.  Guzik, 1:18-23.

34.  Ibid.

35.  Guzik, 1:29-31.

36.  Barclay, p. 37.

37.  Ibid., p. 46.

Barnes also adds while commenting on 1:31: “Minucius Felix thus describes the barbarity of the Romans in this respect: ‘I see you exposing your infants to wild beasts and birds, or strangling them after the most miserable manner,’ (chap. xxx.). Pliny, the elder, defends the right of parents to destroy their children, upon the ground of its being necessary in order to preserve the population within proper bounds.”

38.  Guzik, 1:17.

39.  Barnes, 1:29.

40.  Barclay, p.40.

41.  Barnes, 1:30.

42.  Barclay, p. 43.

43.  Ibid.

44.  Ibid., p. 45.

45.  Briscoe, p. 52.  

46.  Robert Brow, Paul and the Power of the Spirit,, 1:32.

47.  Edwards, p. 58.

48.  Briscoe, p. 40.


Chapter 2


1.  Barnes, Notes on the New Testament, 2:1.

2.  Stott, The Message of Romans, p. 82.

3.  Briscoe, Romans, p. 58.

4.  Calvin, Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Romans, 2:5.

5.  C.F.Pfeiffer and E.F. Harrison, The Wycliffe Bible Commentary: New Testament (Chicago, IL, Moody Press, 1962, Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems), 2:1-4; 5:11.

6.  Martin Luther, Preface To The Letter Of St. Paul To The Romans, (1483-1546), Andrew Thornton (tr.),

7.  David Bercot, Will The Real Heretics Please Stand Up,  A New Look at Today’s Evangelical Church in the Light of Early Christianity (Tyler TX: Scroll Publishing Co., 1989), pp. 56-60.

8.  Barnes, 2:7.

9.  C.S. Keener & InterVarsity Press, Romans, The IVP Bible Background Commentary: New Testament (Downer’s Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, Logos Research Systems, 1993), 2:12.

According to Noahide teaching non-Jews do not need to convert to Judaism but are only obligated to keep the seven laws of Noah.  These laws require Gentiles to establish just laws and governments, prohibit blasphemy, idolatry, sexual immorality, murder, theft and to abstain from eating of an animal that is still living.

10.  Wuest, Romans in the Greek New Testament: Wuest’s word studies from the Greek New Testament, 2:13.

11.  Adam Clarke, The Adam Clarke Commentary, Commentary on Romans,

/com/acc/view.cgi?book=ge&chapter=001>. 1832, 2:16.

12.  Guzik, Romans, 2:14-16.

13.  Barnes, 2:11.

14.  Edwards, Romans, pp. 74-75.

15.  Stott, p. 91.

16.  C.K..Barrett, The Epistle to the Romans, Harper’s New Testament Commentaries (New York: Harper & Row Publishers, 1957),  pp. 56-57.

17.  Clarke, 2:21.

18.  Stott, p. 93.

19.  Brow, Paul and the Power of the Spirit, 2:26-27.

20.  Barrett, p. 60.


Chapter 3


1.  Moo, Romans, 3:1-8.

2.  Ibid.

3.  Keener, Romans, 3:1-8.

4.  Pfeiffer & Harrison, 3 The Wycliffe Bible Commentary: New Testament, 3:1-8.

5.  Wuest, Romans in the Greek New Testament: Wuest’s Word Studies from the Greek New Testament, 2:3-4.

6.  Pett, Readings in Romans, 3:1-8.

7.  Pfeiffer & Harrison, 3:5-8.

8.  Guzik, Romans, 3:10-18.

In addition to Guzik’s remarks, Pett in commenting on 3:1-16 says: “To Paul it was only those who were following Jesus Christ who could hope to meet the criteria he was laying down, and they only because they had first been ‘declared righteous in Christ.’”  Likewise Newell remarks, “There has never been a truly righteous man apart from Jesus Christ… “Even Adam was not righteous: he was innocent – not knowing good and evil” (cited in Guzik 3:10-18).

9.  Briscoe, Romans, p. 80.

10.  Robertson, Word Pictures in the New Testament, Vs. 5 & 6,  3:13.

11.  Moo,  3:21-26.

12.  Pett, Readings in Romans, 3:21-31.

13.  Quoted in Guzik, 3:21.

14.  Briscoe, p. 77.

15.  Hannah, Our Legacy, p. 341.

16.  Edwards, Romans, p. 101

17.  Barnes, Notes on the New Testament, 3:25.

18.  Quoted in Bruce, The Epistle of Paul to the Romans, p. 107.

19.  Barnes, 3:25.

Also, several of our translations besides the NIV bring out this truth clearly: because in the forbearance of God He passed over the sins previously committed (NASB); God let the sins of earlier times go without punishment (BBE); because in his divine forbearance he had passed over the sins previously committed (NRSV); because in His divine forbearance He had passed over and ignored former sins without punishment (AMP).

The sins previously committed would have to wait on the blood of Christ. However, the whole idea of the blood sacrifice of atonement has come to be a repulsive idea to many in this postmodern age. As Briscoe states (p. 93), “Theologians have been quick to denounce what they have called ‘the gospel of gore,’ and congregations have voted to ban hymns which extol the virtues of ‘the blood.’”

20.  Wuest, Romans in the Greek New Testament: Wuest’s word studies from the Greek New Testament, 3:25.

21.  Stott, The Message of Romans, p. 112.

22.  Quoted in Stott, pp. 108-109.

23.  Guzik, 3:25-26.

24.  Brown, The Epistle of Paul to the Romans, 3:25.

25.  Ibid.

26.  Edwards, p. 106.

27.  Quoted in Moo, 3:25.

28. Brown, 3:29.

29.  Guzik, 3:31.

30.  Quoted in Brown, 3:31.


Chapter 4


1.  Harrison, Romans, p. 47.

2.  Edwards, Romans, p. 113.

3.  Keener, Romans, 4:3.

4.  Moo, Romans, 4:1-8.

To Moo’s remarks about this Keener adds: “Still expounding Genesis 15:6 , Paul refers here to Abraham. This ‘reckoning righteousness’ is comparable to the kind of justification one has in a law court—acquittal as one not guilty. But this idea goes beyond a mere declaration of forgiveness, and no ancient Jewish reader would have limited God’s pronouncement of acquittal to merely legal terms: when God speaks, he creates a new reality (Gen. 1:3); see Romans 6:1–11.”

5.  Brown, The Epistle of Paul to the Romans, 4:3.

6.  Harrison, p. 48.

Also concerning verses 4:6-7 Guzik adds: “Everyone who has ever been saved – Old or New Testament – is saved by grace through faith, through their relationship of trusting love with God. Because of the New Covenant we have benefits of salvation that the Old Testament saint did not have, but we do not have a different manner of salvation.

7.  Barrett, The Epistle to the Romans, p. 89.

8.  Edwards, p. 16.

9.  Moo, 4:9-12.

10.  Clarke, The Adam Clarke Commentary, Commentary on Roman,s, 4:10.

11.  Bruce, The Epistle of Paul to the Romans, p. 112.

12.  Edwards, p. 118.

13.  Moo, 4:9-12.

14.  Bruce, p. 116.

15.  Harrison, p. 51.

16.  Barclay, The Letter to the Romans, p. 80.

17.  Moo, 4:13-17.

18.  Barrett, p. 97

Note: Brow also commenting on 4:18-19 says that “Ishmael was born by the predictable regularities of science. Isaac was conceived by faith in the intervention of the Spirit.”

19.  Moo, 4:20.

20.  Clarke, 4:20-21.

21.  Moo, 4:20-25.

22.  Barnes, Notes on the New Testament, 4:25.


Chapter 5


1.  Edwards, Romans, p. 133.

2.  Ibid., p. 138.

3.  Bruce, The Epistle of Paul to the Romans, p. 122.

4.  Stott, The Message of Romans, p. 139.

In joining this important discussion Brown adds regarding 5:1: “If we are to be guided by manuscript authority, the true reading here, beyond doubt, is, ‘Let us have peace;’ a reading, however, which most reject… because the apostle is not here giving exhortations, but stating matters of fact.”  Likewise Wuest adds regarding this scripture: “What sense would there be in exhorting Christians to have peace when they already possess it? The entire context is one of justification. Paul does not reach the subject of sanctification until 5:12–21 where he speaks of positional sanctification and 6:1–8:27 where he deals with progressive sanctification.”

5.  Briscoe, Romans, p. 112.

6.  Guzik, Romans, 5:1.

7.  Ibid., 5:1-2.

8.  Edwards, p. 136.

9.  Barclay, The Letter to the Romans, p. 87.

There are some additional notes from other scholars on this: The great Bible interpreter F.F. Bruce adds here: “Let us remind ourselves that in the New Testament affliction is viewed as the normal experience of a Christian” (Bruce p.120).  Stott agrees with this adding “suffering is the one and only path to glory” (Stott p. 141).

10.  Briscoe, p. 114.

11.  Robertson, 5:5.

12.  Quoted in Wuest, Romans in the Greek New Testament: Wuest’s word studies from the Greek New Testament, 5:5.

13.  Quoted in Guzik, 5:6.

14.  Wuest, 5:6-8.

15.  Guzik, 5:9-11.

To the discussion here Moo adds the following: “God has done ‘the greater thing’ in bringing us into relationship with him through the terrible cost of his Son’s blood and when we were God’s enemies. We were in a state of mutual hostility in which God’s wrath rested on us (1:18) and we were ‘God-haters’ (1:30). Surely, then, God will do what in the terms of this argument is the ‘easier’ thing: deliver us whom he has already accepted from the pouring out of his wrath on the day of judgment.” (Moo 5: 9-10).

16.  Barclay, p. 91.

17.  Edwards, p. 147.

This difficult passage is also clarified somewhat by John Witmer on 5:12-21 (see listing below).  He says, “God’s penalty for sin was both spiritual and physical death (cf. Rom. 6:23; 7:13)…, The Greek past (aorist) tense occurs in all three verbs in this verse. So the entire human race is viewed as having sinned in the one act of Adam’s sin (cf. ‘all have sinned,’ also the Gr. past tense, in 3:23). Two ways of explaining this participation of the human race in the sin of Adam have been presented by theologians—the ‘federal headship’ of Adam over the race and the ‘natural or seminal headship’ of Adam. …The federal headship view considers Adam, the first man, as the representative of the human race that generated from him. As the representative of all humans, Adam’s act of sin was considered by God to be the act of all people and his penalty of death was judicially made the penalty of everybody…The natural headship view, on the other hand, recognizes that the entire human race was seminally and physically in Adam, the first man. As a result God considered all people as participating in the act of sin which Adam committed and as receiving the penalty he received…”

18.  Stott, p. 153.

19.  Calvin, 5:12.

We need to understand that involved in our original sin and its cure is the idea of Adam and Jesus as our two representatives.  Guzik (5:18) remarks here: “Adam and Jesus are sometimes referred to as Federal Heads. This is because under the federal system of government, representatives are chosen and the representative speaks for the people who chose him. Adam speaks for those he represents, and Jesus speaks for His people… Again, someone may object: ‘But I never chose to have Adam represent me.’ Of course you did! You identified yourself with Adam with the first sin you ever committed. It is absolutely true that we were born into our identification with Adam, but we also choose it with our individual acts of sin”

20.  Moo, Romans, 5:12.

21.  Edwards, p. 150.

22.  Barrett, The Epistle to the Romans,  p. 112.

23.  Edwards, p. 150.

24.  Barnes, Notes on the New Testament, 5:17 & 15.

25.  Barrett, 5:15-17.

26.  Wiersbe, The Bible Exposition Commentary, 5:17.

27.  John A.Witmer, Romans, The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of Scriptures, Walvoord, J.F., Zuck , R.B. and Dallas Theological Seminary (Wheaton: Victor Books & Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, c. 1932 & 33, 1997) 5:17.

28.  Moo, 5:18-19.

29.  Quoted in Stott, p. 156-57.

30.  Guzik, 5:20-21.


Chapter 6


1.  Bruce, The Epistle of Paul to the Romans, p. 134.

2.  Harrison, Romans, p. 68.

3.  Wuest, Romans in the Greek New Testament: Wuest’s word studies from the Greek New Testament, 6:1:

“The first thing we must settle is regarding the word ‘sin,’ does it refer here to sin as an abstraction, namely, to acts of sin committed by the believer, or to the totally depraved nature still in him? A rule of Greek syntax settles the question. The definite article appears before the word in the Greek text. Here the article points back to a previously mentioned sin defined in its context. The reference is to sin reigning as king (5:21).”

4. Wiersbe, The Bible Exposition Commentary, (6:2-5).

“The Greek word has two basic meanings: (1) a literal meaning—to dip or immerse; and (2) a figurative meaning—to be identified with. An example of the latter would be 1 Corinthians 10:2…Paul had both the literal and the figurative in mind in this paragraph, see (1 Cor. 12:13).”

5.  Barclay, The Letter to the Romans, p. 98.

6.  Bruce, p. 136.

7.  Ibid., p. 138.

8.  Quoted in Guzik, Romans, 6:5-10.

9.  Wiersbe, 6:11.

10.  Guzik, 6:11-12.

11.  Robertson, Word Pictures in the New Testament, Vs. 5 & 6, 6:12.

12.  Guzik, 6:11-12.

13.  Wuest, 6:11-14.

14.  Guzik, 6:13-14.

15.  Robertson, 6:15

He sees this as the first aorist active deliberative subjunctive. Thus it should refer to “occasional acts of sin as opposed to the life of sin.”

16.  Edwards, Romans, p. 169.

17.  Barclay, p. 104.

18.  Wuest, 6:16.

19.  Guzik, 6:16-17.

20.  Barclay, p. 107.

21.  Stedman, Simple Christianity, p. 16-19.

22.  George Gordon Lord Byron, January 22nd, Missolonghi,. 1824.

23.  Barrett, The Epistle to the Romans, 6:23.


Chapter 7


1.  Stott, The Message of Romans, p. 189.

2.  Cited in Briscoe, Romans, p. 141.

3.  Barrett, The Epistle to the Romans, p. 136.

Bruce also relates it: “As death breaks the bond between a husband and wife, so death-the believer’s death with Christ-breaks the bond which formerly yoked him to the law, and now he is free to enter into union with Christ. (Bruce p. 145).

4.  Edwards, Romans, p. 177.

5.  Keener, Romans, 7:6.

6.  Wuest, Romans in the Greek New Testament: Wuest’s word studies from the Greek New Testament, 7:6.

7.  Witmer, Romans, 7:7-8.

8.  Perhaps at this point it would be good to define legalism. Wiersbe in his Bible Exposition Commentary (7:7) defines it this way: “It is the belief that I can become holy and please God by obeying laws. It is measuring spirituality by a list of do’s and don’ts. The weakness of legalism is that it sees sins (plural) but not sin (the root of the trouble)….either the person becomes a pretender, or he suffers a complete collapse and abandons his desires for godly living.”

9.  Guzik, Romans, 7:8.

10.  Stedman, Simple Christianity, 7:8.

11.  Luther, Preface To The Letter Of St. Paul To The Romans, Introduction.

12.  Wuest, 7:6.

13.  Luther, Intro.

A comment by Wiersbe is also added here (7:6): “Under Law, no enablement was given. God’s commandments were written on stones and read to the people. But under grace, God’s Word is written in our hearts (2 Cor. 3:1–3). We “walk in newness of life” (Rom. 6:4) and serve “in newness of Spirit.”

14.  Stedman, Simple Christianity,  7:14.

15.  Edwards, p. 185.

16.  Ibid., p. 185

17.  Harrison, Romans, p. 84.

18.  Pfeiffer & Harrison, The Wycliffe Bible Commentary: New Testament, 7:7-25.

19.  Grant R. Osborne, Romans, The IVP New Testament Commentary Series, (Downers Grove IL: Inter Varsity Press, 2004, p. 182.

20.  Barclay, The Letter to the Romans, p. 111.

21.  Pett, Readings in Romans, 7: 14-23.

22.  Calvin, Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Romans, 7:15.

23.  Wuest, 7:16-20.

24.  Brown, The Epistle of Paul to the Romans, 7:18.

25.  Calvin, 7:18.

26.  Quoted in Guzik, 7:20-23.

To this Wiersby adds: (7:21-25): “Everything the Bible says about the old nature is negative: ‘no good thing’ (Rom. 7:18); ‘the flesh profiteth nothing’ ( John 6:63 ); ‘no confidence in the flesh’ ( Phil. 3:3 ).”

27.  Brow, Paul and the Power of the Spirit, 7:21-23.

28.  Brown, 7: 24.

In commenting here Witmer adds (24-25): “Significantly Paul’s description of himself is part of John’s picture of the church of Laodicea—“wretched” (Rev. 3:17 ).

29.  Quoted in Guzik, 7:24.


Chapter 8


1.  J.I. Packer, Sola Fide: The Reformed Doctrine of Justification:


2.  Brown, The Epistle of Paul to the Romans, 8:2.

3.  Hart, Truth Aflame, A Balanced Theology for Evangelicals and Charismatics, p. 349.

4.  The idea of “living under the influence of the Holy Spirit” was presented by Dr. Stan Nussbaum in a series of sermons at Faith Covenant Church, Colorado Springs, CO (USA), in early months of 2004.

5.  Luther, Preface To The Letter Of St. Paul To The Romans.

6.  Barclay, The Letter to the Romans, pp. 119-120.

7.  Barrett, The Epistle to the Romans,  p.156.

8.  John Berridge, (1716-1793): The Salt-cellars.

9.  Wiersbe, The Bible Exposition Commentary, 8:5.

10.  Wuest, Romans in the Greek New Testament: Wuest’s word studies from the Greek New Testament, 8:5-8.

11.  Guzik, Romans, 8:7.

12.  Stedman, Simple Christianity, Romans chs. 6-9.

13.  Guzik, 8:9-11.

14.  Wiersbe, 8:9-11.

15.  Pfeiffer & Harrison, The Wycliffe Bible Commentary: New Testament, 8: 9-11.

“Not only is the Spirit said to dwell in the believers… but Christ is in them. For the believer to have the Spirit of Christ within is to have Christ himself within (cf. 8:16, 17).”

16.  Wuest, 8:11.

17.  Witmer, Romans, 8:11.

18.  Brown, 8:13.

19.  Edwards, Romans, p.:207.

20.  Barclay, p. 125.

He says also that the adopted son under Roman law “became heir to the father’s estate.  Even if other sons were born afterward it did not affect his rights.  He was co-heir with them…The old life of the adopted person was completely wiped out; for instance, all debts were cancelled…In the eyes of the law, he was absolutely the son of his new father.”

21.  Stott, The Message of Romans, p.  237.

22.  Wuest, 8:19-21.

Regarding this Larry Hart quotes Sir James Jeans, the British astronomer and physicist who has suggested that “the universe was beginning to look more like a great thought” (Hart, Truth Aflame, p128).

23.  Stott, p. 239.

24.  Bruce, The Epistle of Paul to the Romans, p. 170.

25.  Guzik, 8:19.

26.  Bruce, p. 173.

He compares this with Mark 13:8: “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in various places, and famines. These are the beginning of birth pains.”

27.  Stott, p. 243.

28.  Barclay, pp. 131-32.

29.  Stott, p. 246.

30 . Witmer, 8:28.

31.  Osborne, Romans, p. 221.

32.  Ibid., p. 224.

Note: All the verbs listed here in 8:30  are aorist indicative.  According to H.E. Dana and Julius M. Mantey, A Manual Grammar of the Greek New Testament, this usage would indicate past action. (p. 178).

33.  Edwards, p. 224.

34.  Witmer, 8:31-32.

35.  Osborne,  p. 228.

36.  Ibid., p.  225.

37.  Bruce, p. 181.

38.  Joseph Shulam with Hilary Le Cornu, A Commentary on the Jewish Roots of Romans, (Baltimore: Messianic Jewish Publishers, 1997), p. 313.


Chapter 9


1.  Wiersbe, The Bible Exposition Commentary, 9:1-13.

2.  Ibid., Introduction, chs. 9-11.

3.  Wuest, Romans in the Greek New Testament: Wuest’s word studies from the Greek New Testament, 9:1-3.

“The unexpressed but mentioned wish was, ‘I myself to be anathema… from Christ.’ The word “anathema” is the spelling of the Greek word meaning, ‘a curse, a man accursed, devoted to the direst woes.’ Thayer interprets it as meaning, ‘doomed and separated from Christ,’ Alford says, ‘It never denotes simply exclusion or excommunication, but always devotion to perdition—a curse.’”

4.  Barrett, The Epistle to the Romans, p.179 says: “Nowhere else in any epistle does Paul call Christ God. Even Philippians 2:6 is not a real parallel.” There seem to be a number of scriptures that dispute this statement.  These are:  John 20:28; Acts 20:28; Titus 2:13; 2 Pet. 1:1; and 1 John 5:20.

5.  Keener, Romans, 9:6-13.

6.  Stott, The Message of Romans, p. 266.

7.  Edwards, Romans, p. 231.

8.  Wuest, 9:10-13.

“The word ‘hate’ is miseō … ‘to hate.’ However, when it is used in contrast to ‘love’ here, it does not retain its original meaning of a literal hatred, but of a lesser degree of love. God cannot be said to hate anyone. The idea is, ‘Jacob I loved, but Esau, I loved less.’”

9.  Guzik, Romans, 9:14-16.

10.  Keener, 9:16-18.

11.  Osborne, Romans,  p. 251.

12.  Stott, The Message of Romans, p. 270.

13.  Barnes, Notes on the New Testament, 9:20.

14.  Stott, p. 274.

15.  Calvin, Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Romans, 9:24.

16.  Barrett, pp. 183, 191.

“This means that election does not take place (as might at first appear from Paul’s examples) arbitrarily or fortuitously; it takes place always and only in Christ.” (Barr. p. 183)  “It is unlikely that Paul quoted the word ‘seed’ without remembering the use he had made of it elsewhere…The remnant and the seed alike were reduced to one-Jesus Christ; henceforth the elect people of God were elect in him.” (Barr. p. 191).

17. Lehman Strauss, The Book of the Revelation, Outlined Series, (Neptune, NJ: Loizeaux Brothers, 1964), p. 21.

18.  Barrett, p. 191.

19.  Ibid., p. 193

20.  Stott, p. 277.

21.  Osborne, p. 262.


Chapter 10


1.  Wuest, Romans in the Greek New Testament, 10:1-4.

2.  Briscoe, Romans, p. 195.

3.  Wiersbe, The Bible Exposition Commentary, 10:3.

4.  Osborne, Romans, p. 266.

5.  Ray Stedman, 39 Sermons on Romans (DP #3501-3539) preached at Peninsula Bible Church in Palo Alto by Ray C. Stedman from 1975 through 1977, 10:6-8.

6.  Edwads, Romans, p. 253.

7.  Robertson, Word Pictures in the New Testament, 10:6-7

8.  Calvin, Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Romans, 10:10.

9.  Thomas A. Edgar, Basic Theology Applied, Wesley & Elaine Willis and John & Janet Master, editors, (Wheaton IL: Victor Books, 1995), pp. 159-160, 162.

Edgar remarks: “The structure of this passage and argument reveals that this confession corresponds to the ‘calling on the name of the Lord’ in Romans 10:13-14, and is the natural response of faith when someone responds to the Gospel (v. 14).  It is the confession, ‘Lord, I believe.’”  He goes on to add in p. 162, “But when anything is added to ‘free’ it means that it is not free, and implies that it must be paid for or earned in some manner.’”

10.  Edgar, p. 157.

11.  Barclay, The Letter to the Romans, p. 163.

12.  Clarke, The Adam Clarke Commentary, Commentary on Romans, 10:10.

13.  Stedman, 10:14-15.

14.  Michael L. Brown, Whatever Happened to the Power of God, (Shippenburg, PA: Destiny Image Publishers,1991), pp. 33-  35.

15.  Osborne, p. 275.

16.  Calvin, 10:15.

17.  Stott, The Message of Romans, p. 288.

18.  Bruce, The Epistle of Paul to the Romans, p. 210.

19.  Wuest, 10:21.


Chapter 11


1.  Wiersbe, The Bible Exposition Commentary,  Introduction.

2 . Lance Lambert, The Uniqueness of Israel (Eastbourne: Kingsway Publications Ltd., 1980), p. 57.

3.  Shulam, A Commentary on the Jewish Roots of Romans, pp.365-66.

He quotes from Dead Sea document, 1QH 6.7-10.

4.  Barclay, The Letter to the Romans, p. 172.

“It was specially used for the callus which forms around the fracture when a bone is broken, the hard bone formation which helps to mend the break.  When a callus grows on any part of the body, that part loses feeling.”

5.  Harrison, Romans, p.118.

6.  Witmer, Romans,  11:8.

7.  Stott, The Message of Romans, p. 293.

8.  Harrison,  p. 119.

9.  Pett, Readings in Romans, 11:1-12.

10.  Edwards, Romans, p. 265.

11.  Moo, Romans, 11:11-24.

12.  Edwards, Romans, p. 266.

13.  Bruce, The Epistle of Paul to the Romans, p. 216.

14.  Stott, p. 298.

15. .Barclay, The Letter to the Romans, p. 176.

16.  For instance, olive oil was used in early times for making soap.  This is still evident even today in the brand name “Palmolive.” Actually in Nablus a few years ago there was still an operating soap factory producing soap from olive oil. Today there are many olive oil soaps offered on the web. From this connection we get the ideas of cleanliness, purity and even holiness.

17.  Harrison, p. 121.

18.  Edwards, pp. 269-270.

19.  Keener, Romans, 11:15-24.

20.  Bruce, p. 217.

“Sir William Ramsay does, indeed, quote Theobald Fischer as saying that it was customary in Palestine sixty years ago ‘to reinvigorate an olive-tree which is ceasing to bear fruit, by grafting it with a shoot of the wild-olive, so that the sap of the tree ennobles this wild shoot and the tree now again begins to bear fruit.’”

21.  Edwards, p. 271

He quotes Martin Luther: “As Luther noted, just as the sons of Jacob (Israel) rejected Joseph and sold him into slavery, only years later to reencounter and acknowledge their brother in the most unexpected way, so ‘it will happen that the Jews who expelled Christ to the Gentiles, where he now reigns, will come to him in the end’ (Lectures on Romans, pp. 315-16).

22.  Edwards, p.269.

23.  Wuest, Romans in the Greek New Testament, 11:24-25.

24.  Shulam, p. 378.

Note: Edwards adds here: “It may seem an odd way of redeeming Israel, but it leaves no doubt about God’s mercy and omnipotence…Who would have supposed that God would include Gentiles in salvation and, moreover, that their salvation would precede that of the chosen people” (Edwards p. 274).

25.  Quoted in Stott, p. 303.

26.  Guzik, Romans, 11:25-27.

27.  Keener, 11:26-27.

28.  Edwards, p. 276.

29.  Calvin, Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Romans, 11:26.

30.  Stott, p. 307.

31.  Barrett, The Epistle to the Romans, p. 277.

32.  Stott, pp. 311- 321.


Chapter 12


1.  Wiersbe, The Bible Exposition Commentary, Introduction.

2.  Barclay, The Letter to the Romans, p. 184.

3.  Bruce, The Epistle of Paul to the Romans, p. 226.  

4.  Stott, The Message of Romans, p. 322.)

5.  Robertson, Word Pictures in the New Testament, 12:3.

6.   Dr. Paul Brand & Philip Yancey, Fearfully and Wonderfully Made, (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 1980), p. 44.

7.  Ibid.,  p. 46.

8.  Ibid.,  p. 47.

9.  Ibid.,  p. 47.

10.  John Donne, from Meditation XVII.

11.  Quoted in Briscoe, Romans, p. 221.

12.  Shulam, A Commentary on the Jewish Roots of Romans, p. 402-03.

13.  Keener, Romans, 12:7–8.

14.  Barclay, p. 190.

15.  Stedman, 39 Sermons on Romans, 12:6-8.

16.  Ibid.

17.  Shulam, p. 408.

18.  Barna Research Group Ltd., 647 West Broadway, Glendale, CA.

19.  Stedman, 12:9-12.

20.  Edwards, Romans, p. 291.

21.  Barclay, p. 193.

22.  Barnes, Notes on the New Testament, 12:9.

23.  Osborne, Romans, p. 331.

24.  Wuest, Romans in the Greek New Testament, 12:9-13.

25.  Witmer, Romans, 12:11-12.

26.  Wuest, 12:9-13)

“‘Patient’ is hupomenō … literally, ‘to remain under,’ that is, to remain under the test in a God-honoring manner.”


27.  Osborne, p. 334.

28.  Quoted in Stott, as quoting Cranfield, p. 332.

29.  Briscoe, Romans, p. 226.

30.  Barnes, 12:17.

31.  Edwards, p. 298.

32.  Stedman, 12:14-21.

33.  Pett, Readings in Romans, 12:14-21.


Chapter 13


1.  Stott, The Message of Romans, p. 338.

2.  Moo, Romans, 13:1-7.

“There is evidence that various groups in the capital, including Jews, were agitating against the paying of taxes at about this time. (Tacitus, Ann. 15:50 ff.)…Paul does not make Christian obedience contingent on governmental behavior. … Paul’s demand that Christians submit to government means simply that they recognize government’s rightful place within the hierarchy of relationships established by God, a hierarchy at whose pinnacle is God.”

3.  Keener, Romans, 13:1-7.

4.  Barclay, The Letter to the Romans, p. 203.

5.  Clarke, The Adam Clarke Commentary, Commentary on Romans, 13:3.

6.  Stott, p. 242.

7.  Stedman, 39 Sermons on Romans, 13:5.

8.  Barclay, p. 206.

9.  Wuest, Romans in the Greek New Testament, 13:5-7, (Alford quoting Tertullian)

10.  Quoted in Barclay, p. 208.

11.  Stott, p. 350.

12.  Barnes, Notes on the New Testament, 13:8.

13.  1 Thessalonians 5:5-8 reads much the same as Romans 13:11-12: “You are all sons of the light and sons of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness.  So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be alert and self-controlled.  For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, get drunk at night.  But since we belong to the day, let us be self-controlled, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet.”

14.  Stott, p. 351.

15.  Quoted in Wuest, 13:14.

16.  Ibid.,

17.  Barclay, p. 210.

18.  Clarke, 13:13.


Chapter 14


1.  Wuest, Romans in the Greek New Testament, 14:1.

2.  Witmer, Romans, 14:1-12.

3.  Robertson, Word Pictures in the New Testament, 14:3.

4.  During our 16-year stay in Israel we noted that many Christians living in the land observed the Sabbath.  They didn’t observe it in a legalistic sense but in a spiritual sense.  They simply enjoyed the free time to worship the Lord and be with their families and friends.  Because Sunday is a normal work day in Israel many Christian churches and fellowships met on Saturday rather than Sunday.  Again this was a practical consideration and not a legalistic one.

5.  Barclay, The Letter to the Romans, pp. 219-220.

6 . Keener, Romans, 14:10-12.

7.  Guzik, Romans, 14:10-12.

8.  Wiersbe, The Bible Exposition Commentary, 14:10-12.

9.  Wuest, 14:13.

“‘Occasion to fall’ is skandalon… ‘The movable stick or trigger of a trap, a snare, any impediment placed in the way and causing one to stumble or fall, any person or thing by which one is entrapped, drawn into error or sin’” (quoting Thayer).

10.  Moo. Romans, 14:14.

11.  Stedman, 39 Sermons on Romans, 14:14.

12.  The Mishnah, tractate Sanhedrin, 4:5.

13.  Stedman, 14:15.

14.  Pfeiffer & Harrison, The Wycliffe Bible Commentary: New Testament, 14:17-19.

15.  Shulam, A Commentary on the Jewish Roots of Romans, p. 473.

16.  Quoted in Moo, 14:19-21.

17.  Harrison, Romans, p.149.

18.  Brown, The Epistle of Paul to the Romans, 14:20.

19.  Wiersbe, 14:1-3.

20.  Brown, 14:23.


Chapter 15


1.  Wuest, Romans in the Greek New Testament, 15:1-3.

2.  Stedman, 39 Sermons on Romans, 15:1.

3.  Barclay, The Letter to the Romans, p. 231.

4.  Calvin, Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Romans, 15:5.

5.  Edwards, Romans, p. 339

“The expression with one heart…might also be considered ‘alien unity.’  The Greek word behind it, homothymadon, means a unity that comes from outside ourselves rather than from any denominator common to ourselves.”

6.  Osborne, Romans, p. 380.

7.  Robertson, Word Pictures in the New Testament, 15:14.

8.  Witmer, Romans, 15:14-16.

9.  Moo, Romans, 15:14-33.

“As do other NT authors (see especially 1 Pet. 2:4–10), Paul hints that the OT cult, with its priests, sacrifices and tabernacle or temple, finds its fulfillment in the ministry of the gospel (and note 12:1 ).  It is right, then, for Paul to glory (or ‘boast’) in this ministry, for it originates in God’s grace (15b).”

10.  Shulam, A Commentary on the Jewish Roots of Romans, p. 495.

11.  Stedman, 5:17-20.

12.  Guzik, Romans, 15:22-24.

13.  Stott, The Message of Romans, p. 385.

Regarding the practical side of ministry Briscoe (p. 255) adds: “Those who think of the church as a business whose problems can all be solved by better organization need to remember that the church is an organism whose secret is life.  But those who eschew organization for the reason that the church is a living body should remember that every organism is organized.”

14.  Ibid., p. 384.

15.  Wuest, 15:25-27.

16.  Barclay, p. 241-42.

17.  Ibid., p. 243.

18.  Wuest 15:30-33

Wuest quoting Denny says: “There was a real danger that the contribution he brought from the Gentile churches might not be graciously accepted, even accepted at all; it might be regarded as a bribe, in return for which Paul’s opposition to the law would be condoned, and the equal standing of his upstart churches in the Kingdom of God acknowledged. It was by no means certain that it would be taken as what it was—a pledge of brotherly love; and God alone could dispose ‘the saints’ to take it as simply as it was offered.”

19.  Guzik, 15:30-33.

20.  Quoted in Stott, p. 391.

21.  Quoted in Edwards, p. 350.

22.  Ibid.

23.  Stedman, 15:33.


Chapter 16


1.  Edwards, Romans,  p. 354.

2.  Wuest citing Denney (16:1-2) says: “‘Servant’ is diakonos… a word that could be used in either the masculine or feminine genders. Our words ‘deacon’ and ‘deaconess’ are derived from it.”  Barnes (16:1) also remarks: “They [deaconesses] appear to have been commonly aged and experienced widows, sustaining a fair reputation, and fitted to guide and instruct those who were young and inexperienced. Comp. 1 Timothy 5:3,9-11; Titus 2:4.” 

3.  Clarke, The Adam Clarke Commentary, Commentary on Romans, 16:1.

4. Wuest, Romans in the Greek New Testament, 16:1-2.

5.  Harrison, Romans,  p.163.

6.  Keener, Romans, 16:3.

7.  Ibid., 16:5.

8.  Stott, The Message of Romans, p. 394.

“Some have therefore developed the theory that these greetings were in reality sent to Ephesus, not Rome…the names fit Rome better than Ephesus, and if Paul had sent this list of greetings to Ephesus, it would have been too short rather than too long.”

9.  There is a bit of confusion with Epenetus.  In Romans 16:5 he is named as the first convert in the province of Asia.  However, in 1 Corinthians 16:15 we see that the household of Stephanas has that distinction.  Clarke comments here:

“ Epenetus might have been one of the family of Stephanas; for it is not said that Stephanas was the first fruits, but his house or family” (Clarke 16:5).

10.  Witmer, Romans, 16:6-7.

11.  Edwards, p. 355.

“The name is normally presumed male (so NIV), but a recent study reveals over 250 examples of it in Greek literature, not one of which is masculine.  This seems to be nearly incontrovertible evidence that the name is feminine (Junia), which would make the pair husband and wife (or perhaps brother and sister).

12.  Guzik, Romans, 16:5-16.

13.  Keener, Romans, 16:3-16.

14.  Barclay, The Letter to the Romans, p. 250.

15.  Ibid., p. 251.   

16.  Witmer, 16:8-11.

17.  Keener, 16:12.

18.  Edwards, p. 357.

19.  Quoted in Wuest, 16:10-16.

20.  Alexander Roberts and James Donaldson, editors, The Ante-Nicene Fathers, The Writings of the Fathers down to AD 325, Vol. 1, (Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 1956), p.185.

21.  Ibid., Vol. 2, p. 291.

22.  Keener, 16:16.

23.  Pfeiffer & Harrison, The Wycliffe Bible Commentary: New Testament, 16:16.

24.  Barnes, Notes on the New Testament, 16:18.

25.  Barclay, p. 256.

26.  Wuest, 16:21.

27.  Moo, Romans, 16:21-27.

28.  Harrison, Romans, p. 169.

29.  Schulam, A Commentary on the Jewish Roots of Romans,  p. 525.

30.  Harrison, p. 166.

31.  Edwards, p. 357.

32.  Witmer, 16:24.

33.  Wuest, 16:25-27.

34.  Wiersbe, The Bible Exposition Commentary, 16:21-27.