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A critical and exegetical commentary on the Epistle to the Romans online

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from Ephesus, Euelpistus who was a slave of the Emperor was
a native of Cappadocia, and Hierax was of Iconiura in Phrygia
This was about 100 years later.


'Afflat is supported by preponderating authority (N A B C D F G, Vnlg.
Boh. Arm. Aeth., Orig.-lat. Jo.-Damasc. Ambrst.) against 'Ayaftw (LP &c.,
Syrr., Chrys. Theodrt.)-

For the idea of illustrating this chapter from inscriptions we are of course
indebted to Bishop Lightfoot's able article on Caesar's household (P/ii/t'ppians,
p. 169'!. Since that paper was written, the appearance of a portion of vol. vi.
of the Corpus of Latin Inscriptions, that, namely, containing the inscriptions
of the city of Rome, has both provided ns with more extensive material and
also placed it in a more convenient form for reference. We have therefore
gone over the ground again, and either added new illustrations or given
references to the Latin Corpus for inscriptions quoted by Lightfoot from
older collections. Where we have not been able to identify these we have
not, except in a few cases, thought it necessary to repeat his references.
A large number of these names are found in Columbaria containing the
monuments and ashes of members of the imperial household during the first
century; these special collections are kept together in the Corpus (vi. 3926-
8397). There is also a very large section devoted to other names belong-
ing to the domus Augusti (vi. 8398-9101). A complete use of these
materials will not be possible until the publication of the Indices to vol. vi.
For a discussion of the general bearing of these references, see Introduction,

6. Mapiac (which is the correct reading) may like Mapid/x be
Jewish, but it may also be Roman. In favour of the latter alter-
native in tliis place it may be noticed that apparently in other cases
where St. Paul is referring to Jews he distinguishes them by calling
them his kinsmen (see on ver. 7). The following inscription from
Rome unites two names in this list, C 7. Z. vi. 22223 D-M-)
MARIAE I AMPLIATAE cet. ', the next inscription is from the house-
hold, ib. 43Q4 MARIAE • M • L • XANTHE | NYMPHE • FEC • DE • SVO.

TjTts TToWd eKOTTiaorei' €is ofias. This note is added, not for the
sake of the Roman Church, but as words of praise for Maria

Ma/jiW is read by A B C P, Boh. Arm. ; Ma/)ta/x by N D E F G L, &c., Chrys.
The evidence for «jf w/ias, which is a difficult reading, is preponderating
(NABCP, Syrr. Boh.), and it is practically supported by the Western
group (D E F G, Vulg.), which have iv vfuv. The correction €is ij/xds is read
by L, Chrys. and later authorities.

7. 'AfSpoi'iKoi' : a Greek name found among members of the
imperial household. The following inscription contains the names
of two persons mentioned in this Epistle, both members of the
household, C. I. L. vi. 5326 Dis • manibvs | c . jvlivs • hermes

CONLIBERTVS • FEC | BENE • MERENTI • DE • SE t SCe alsO 6325 and

1 1626 where it is the name of a slave.

Moufiai' : there is some di)ubt as to whether this name is mas-
culine, 'loKw'af or 'lovi/ms-, a contraction of Junianus, or feminine
Junia. Junia is of course a common Roman name, and in that
case the two would probably l)e husband and wife ; Junias on the
other hand is less usual as a man's name, but seems to re-
present a form of contraction common in this list, as Patrobas,


Hermas, Olympas. If, as is probable, Andronicus and Junias are
included among the Apostles (see below) then it is more probable
that the name is masculine, although Chrysostom does not appear
to consider the idea of a female apostle impossible: 'And indeed
to be apostles at all is a great thing. But to be even amongst
these of note, just consider what a great encomium this is ! But
they were of note owing to their works, to their achievements.
Oh 1 how great is the devotion of this woman, that she should be
even counted worthy of the appellation of apostle 1 '
' Tous CTUYyems fAou. St. Paul almost certainly means by ' kinsmen,'
fellow-countrymen, and not relations. The word is used in this
sense in ix. 3, and it would be most improbable that there should
be so many relations of St. Paul amongst the members of a distant
Church (vv. 7, 11) and also in Macedonia (ver. 21); whereas it is
specially significant and in accordance with the whole drift of the
Epistle that he should specially mention as his kinsmen those
members of a Gentile Church who were Jews.

Kal crui'aixfxaXtoToos ftou. Probably to be taken literally. Al-
though St. Paul had not so far suffered any long imprisonment, he
had certainly often been imprisoned for a short lime as at Philippi,
2 Cor. xi. 23 ev (f)v\aKa'is nepicraoTepus ', Clem. Rom. ad Cor. V
fitTaKi; Sfff/Lia (popeaas. Nor is it necessary that the word should
mean that Andronicus and Junias had suffered at the same time as
St. Paul; he might quite well name them fellow-prisoners if they
had like him been imprisoned for Christ's sake. Metaphorical
explanations of the words are too far-fetched to be probable.

oiTii'es (l(T^y iiria-i]\i,oi, iv Tois dTTocxToXois may mean either (i)
well known to the Apostolic body, or (2) distinguished as Aposdes.
In favour of the latter interpretation, which is probably correct, are
the following arguments, (i) The passage was apparently so
taken by all patristic commentators, (ii) It is in accordance with
the meaning of the words, fnlarjfios, lit. ' stamped,' ' marked,' would
be used of those who were selected from the Apostolic body as
'distinguished,' not of those known to the Apostolic body, or
looked upon by the Apostles as illustrious ; it may be translated
' those of mark among the Apostles.' (iii) It is in accordance with
the wider use of the term drroaTo^os. Bp. Lightfoot pointed out
{Galaiians, p. 93) that this word was clearly used both in a narrow
sense of 'the twelve ' and also in a wider sense which would include
many others. His views have been coiroborated and strengthened
by the publication of the Didache. The existence of these 'Apostles,'
itinerant Christian Evangelists, in Rome will suggest perhaps one
of the methods by which the city had been evangelized.

ot Kol irpo eaoG yeyoj'aaii' iv Xpiaru. Androiiicus and Junias had
been converted before St. Paul : they therefore belonged to the
earliest dajs of the Christian community; perhaps even they were


of those who during the dispersion after the death of Stephen
began almost Immediately to spread the word in Cyprus and Syria
Acts xi. 19). As Dr. Weymouth points out {On the Rendering into
English of the Greek Aor is t and Perfect, p. 26) the perfect should
liL'ie be translated 'were.'

*It is utterly amazing,' he writes, 'that in Rom. xvi. 7 ol Koi itph (ftov
ytyovaaiv iv Xp. is rendered in the RV. " who also have been in Christ before
me." The English idiom is here simply outraged. What officer in our
Navy or Ai my would not slare at the iinp^apos who should say of a senior
officer, " He has been in the Service before me"? " He was in tlie Navy
before me " is the only correct English form. . . . The English mind fastens
on the idea of time defined by " bcfoie me," and therefore uses the simple
Past. . . . The Greek Perfect is correctly employed, because it is intended to
convey, and does convey, the idea that they are still in Christ, while the
English "have been" suggests precisely the contrary.'

8. 'AfiirXiaTos is the more correct reading for the abbreviated
form 'AjuTrXiay which occurs in the TR. This is a common
Roman slave name, and as such occurs in inscriptions of the imperial
liousehold. C.I.L. vi. 4899 ampliatvs | restitvto • fratri|


AMPLIATO I PATRONO • SVG, &€., bcsides inscriptions quoted by Lft.
But there is considerable evidence for connecting this name more
closely with the Christian community in Rome. In the cemetery
of Domitilla, now undoubtedly recognized as one of the earliest of
Cliiistian catacombs, is a chamber now known by the name of
'Ampliatus' owing to an inscription which it contains. This
chamber is very early : pre-Christian in character it not in origin.
The cell over which the name of Ampliatus is inscribed is a later
inseiiion, which, from the style of its ornament, is ascribed to tha
end of the first or beginning of the second century. The inscription
is in bold, well-formed letters of the same date. Not far off is another
inscription, not earlier than the cn.i of the second century, to
members of ajiparenlly the same family. The two inscrij)tions are


GORDiANG • FiLiG. The boldness of the lettering in the first
insciiption is striking. The personal name without any odier
distinction suggests a slave. Wliy then should any one in those
circumstances receive the honour of an elaborately painted tomb?
The most plausible exj)lanation is that he was for some reason
very })rominent in the eailiest Roman Church. The later inscription
clearly suggests that there was a Christian family bearing this
name; and the connexion with Domiiilla seems to show that here
we have the name of a slave or frcedman through whom Christianity
had penetrated into a second gicat Roman household. See de
Rossi, jBtill. Arch. Christ. Ser. iii. vol. 6 (1S81), pp. 57-74;


.wnaciim March 4, 1884, p. 289 ; the inscription is just re-
ferred to by Lightfoot, Clement, i. p. 39.

9. OupjBafos : a common Roman slave name found among
members of the household, C. I, L. vi. 4237 (quoted by Lft. from

DAT • HERMAE • FRATRI • ET j CILICAE • PATRI : cf. $604, 5605,

and others, quoted by Lft. (Grut. p, 589. 10, p. 1070. i).

rov aucepYoK ^jxoji'. Where St. Paul is speaking of personal
friends he uses the singular tw aycmriTov fiov: here he uses the
pkiral because Urbanus was a fellow-worker with all those who
worked for Christ.

Itcixoi' : a rare Greek name, but found among members of the
imperial household : C. I. L. vi. 8607 d. m. | m. vlpio • avg • l |


• FORMiANA I FECERVNT : cf. also inscripiions quoted by Lft.

10. 'AireXXfii'. Again a name borne by members of the house-
hold and by Jews : amongst others by the famous tragic actor.
See the instance quoted by Lft. and cf. Hor. Sat. L v. 100 Credat
ludaeus Apella, tion ego.

xov 86Ki(ioi»: cf. I Cor. xi. 19; 2 Cor. x. 18 ; xiii. 7. One who
has shown himself an approved Christian.

Tous i< TWK *AptaTo|3ou\ou. The explanation of this name given
by Lft. bears all the marks of probability. The younger Aristo-
bulus was a grandson of Herod the Great, who apparently lived
and died in Rome in a private station (Jos. Bell. lud. W. xi. 6 ;
Antiq. XX. i. 2) ; he was a friend and adherent of the Emperor
Claudius. His household would naturally be ol 'Api(jTo^ov\ov, and
would presumably contain a considerable number of Jews and
other orientals, and consequently of Christians. If, as is probable,
Aristobulus was himself dead by this time, his household would
probably have become united with the imperial household. It
would, however, have continued to bear his name, just as we find
servants of Livia's household who had come from that of Maecenas
called Maecenatiani (C. I. L. vi. 4016, 4032), those from the house-
hold of Amyntas, Amvntiani (4035, cf 8738): so also Agrippiani,
Germaniciani. We might in the same way have Aristobuliaiii (cf.
Lft. Phil. pp. 172, 3;.

11. 'HpoStwi'a Toi/ CTuyyet'r) (xoo. A menuon of the household of
Aristobulus is followed by a rame which at once suggests the
Herod family, and is specially stited to have been that of a Jew.
This seems to corroborate the argument of the preceding note.

TOUS £K Twj' NapKiaaou, 'the household of Naicissus,' ' Narcis-
siani.' The Narcissus in question was very possibly the well-
known freedman of that name, who had been put to death by
Agrippina shortly after the accession of Nero some three or four


years before (Tac Ann. xiii. i ; Dio Cass. Ix. 34). His slaves
would then in all probabilily become the property of the Emperor,
and would help to swell the imperial household. The name is
common, especially among slaves and freedmen, cf. C. I. L. vi. 4123
(in the household of Livia), 4346, 5206 heliconis narcissi |
AVGVSTiANi I : 22875 NARCissvs • AVG • LIB. Lft. quotes also
the two names Ti. Claudius Narcissus (see below), Ti. lulius Nar-
cissus from Muratori, and also the form Narcissianus, ti • CLAVDio •
SP • F • NARCissiANO (Murat. p. II 50. 4). The following inscrip-
tion belongs to a somewhat later date : C.I. L. vi. 9035 D. M. |


SP • FiLiAE I lERiAE • coNiVGi • SVAE . . . , and lower down T


TiONVM • MONVMENTVM ' REFEciT. See also 9035 a. (Lightfoot,
Phil. p. 173.)

Dr. Plnmptre {Biblical Studies, p. 438) refers to the following interesting
insciiplion. It may be found in C. I. L. v. i(;4* being reputed to have come
from Ferrara. D. M. | clavdiae | dicaeosynae | TI • clavdivs | nar-

Claudius suggests the first century, but the genuineness of the Ins. is not
sufificiently attested. The editor of the fifth volume of the C<»r/MJ writes :
Testimonia aiutorum aut incertorum . . . aut fraudulentorum a'e loco cum
parum defendant tiluhim eum exclusi, quamquam fieri potest ut sit
genuinus nee tnultum corruptus. The name Dicaeosyne is curious but is
found elsewhere C. I. L. iii. 3391 ; vi. 35866 : z. 649. There is nothing dis-
tinctively Christian about it.

12. Tpu^awav Kal Tpu(}>SCTai' are generally supposed to have been
two sisters. Amongst inscriptions of the household we have

I MATRI • B • M • F • ET I VALERIUS • FVTIANVS (quolcd by Lft.

from Ace. di Archeol. xi. p. 375) : 5343 telesphorvs • et • try-
PHAENA, 5774, 6054 and oiher inscriptions quoted by Lft. Atten-
tion is chawn to the contrast between the names which imply
' delicate/ ' dainty,' and their labours in the Lord.

The name Tryphaena has some interest in the early history of the Church
as being that of the queen who plays such a prominent part in the story of
Paul and Thecla, and who is known to have been a real character.

riepaiSo. The name appears as that of a freedwoman, C. I. L. vi.


It does not appear among the inscriptions of the household.

13. 'Pou(})o»' : one of the commonest of slave names. This Rufus
is commonly identified with the one mentioned in ]\Iark xv. 21,
wnere Simon of Cyrene is called the father ofAlexander and Rufus.
St. Mark probably wrote at Rome, and he seems to speak of
Rufus as some one well known.

Tor IkXcktoi' ^i' Kupii^. ' Elect ' is probably not here used in the


technical sense * chosen of God/ — this would not be a feature to
distinguish Rufus from any other Christian, — but it probably means
' eminent/ ' distinguished for his special excellence/ and the addition
of tV Kvpia means ' eminent as a Christian ' (2 Jo. i ; 1 Pet. ii. 6).
So in English phraseology the words ' a chosen vessel ' are used
of all Christians generally, or to distinguish some one of marked
excellence from his fellows.

KQi TT)k' fiTjTepa auTou Ktti cfjioo. St. Paul means that she had
showed him on some occasion all the care of a mother, and
that therefore he felt for her all the affection of a son.

14. 'AffuyKpiToi' : the following inscription is of a freedman of
Augustus who bore this name, C. I. L. vi. 1 2565 D. M. | ASYNCRETO ]

RENTi. The name Flavia suggests that it is somewhat later than
St. Paul's time.

♦Xe'yon-a. The inscriptions seem to throw no light on this name.
The most famous person bearing it was the historian of the second
century who is referred to by Origen, and who gave some informa-
tion concerning the Christians.

'EpfAT]i': one of the commonest of slave names, occurring con-
stantly among members of the imperial household.

narpojSai'. An abbreviated form of Patrobius. This name was
borne by a well-known freedman of Nero, who was put to death by
Galba (Tac. Hist. i. 49 ; ii. 95). Lft. quotes instances of other freed-
men bearing it: ti • CL • avg • L • patrobivs (Grut. p. 6io. 3),
and TI • CLAVDio • patrobio (Murat. p. 1329).

'Epjias is likewise an abbreviation for various names, Hermagoras,
Hermerus, Hermodorus, Hermogenes. It is common among
slaves, but not so much so as Hermes. Some fathers and modern
writers have identified this Hermas with the author of the ' Shepherd,'
an identification which is almost certainly wrong.

Kal Tous o^v auTots d8eX<}>ous. This and the similar expression in
the next verse seem to imply that these persons formed a small
Christian community by themselves.

15. <t>iXo\oYos. A common slave name. Numerous instances
are quoted from inscriptions of the imperial household : C. I. L. vi.

41 16 DAMA • LIVIAE • L • CAS . . . ) PHOEBVS • PHILOLOGI | quoted by

Lft. from Gorius, Mon.Liv. p. 168 ; tie also quotes Murat. p. 1586.
3, p. 2043. 2 ; Grut. p. 630. I. He is generally supposed to be
the brother or the husband of Julia, in the latter case Nereus, his
sister Nerias, and Olympas may be their children.

'louXiaf. Probably the commonest of all Roman female names,
certainly the commonest among slaves in the imperial household.
The following inscription is interesting: C. J. L. vi. 20416 D. M. |
IVLIAE NEREI ' T- | CLAVDIAE. The name Julia Trjphosa octura
30715-7 in one case apparently in a Christian inscription.


NT)p/a. This name is found in inscriptions of the imperial house*
hold, C. I. L. vi. 4344 nerevs • nat • German | pevcennvs •
GERMANici I ANVS • NERONis • CAESARis. It is bcst known in
the Roman Church in connexion with the Acts of Nereus and
Achilleus, the eunuch chamberlains of Domitilla (see Ada Sancto-
rum May. iii. p. 2 ; Texie und Untersuchungen, Band xi. Heft 2).
These names were, however, older than that legend, as seems to
be shown by the inscription of Damasus {Bull. Arch. Christ. 1874,
p. 20 sq. ; C. Ins. Christ, ii. p. 31) which represents them as
soldiers. The origin of the legend was probably that in the cata-
comb of Domililla and near to her tomb, appeared these two
names very prominently; this became the groundwork for the
later romance. An inscription of Achilleus has been found in the
cemetery of Domidlla on a stone column with a corresponding
column which may have borne the name of Nereus: both date from
the fourth ox fiiihctninxy [Bull. Arch. Christ. 1875, p. 8 sq.). These
of course are later commemorations of earlier martyrs, and it may
well be that the name of Nereus was in an early inscription (like
that of Ampliatus above). In any case the name is one connected
with the early history of the Roman Church ; and the fact that
Nereus is combined with Achilleus, a name which does not appear
in ihe Romans, suggests that the origin of the legend was archaeo-
logical, and that it was not derived from this Epistle (Lightfoot,
Clement, i. p. 51 ; Lipsius Apokr. Apgesch. ii. 106 ff.).

'0\oji,iras : an abbreviated form like several in this list, apparently

for 'OAu/:t7rioSa)pos.

16. Iv <})L\^|iaTi dyiw: SO I Thess. v. 26 ; i Cor. xvi. 20; a Cor.

xiii. 12 J I Pet. V. 14 acnTaaatrBt aK\r]kovs fv <f>i\T]fiart dydnrji. The

earliest reference to the ' kiss of peace ' as a regular part of the
Christian service is in Just. Mart. Apol. i. 65 u\\f]\ovs (pi.'XfifiaTi
d(TT!u(6fji.f6a navadnevoi tmv (vx<i>v. It is mentioned in Tert. de Oral.
14 ipsculum pads) ; Const. Apost. ii. 57. 12 ; viii. 5. 5 ; and it became
a regular part of the Liturgy. Cf. Origen ad loc. : Ex hoc sermone,
aliisque nonnullis similtbus, mos ecclesiis traditus est, ut post orationes
osculo se invicem suscipiant fr aires. Hoc autem osculum sanctum
appellat Apostolus.

ai cKKXY](riai iraaai tou XpioroC : this phrase is unique in the
N.T. Phrases used by St. Paul are «* sKKKriaiai rav ayiuiv, x) fKKkrjcria

Tov 6fiw^ al fKKXrjaiai rov 6(ov, rati (KKXtjataii T^s 'lov8aias rais fv Xpiara
(Gal. i. 22), tS)v fKK\T]<ri(i)V TOV 6eov tS>v ovctwv iv rfi lovSa/a iv Xpiara

'lT)<rov, and in Acts xx. 28 we have the uncertain passage r^v «*c-
KKrjalav rov Kvplov ov mv Gfov, where ©fdf must, if the correct
reading, be used of XptaTos, It is a habit of St. Paul to speak on
behalf of the churches as a whole: cf. xvi. 4 ; 1 Cor. vii. 17 ; xiv.
33; 2 Cor. viii. 18; xi. 28; and Hort suggests that this unique
phrase is used to express ' the way in which the Church of Rome


was an object of love and respect to Jewish and Gentile Churches
alike' {Rom. and Eph. i. 52).


XVI. 17-20. Beware of those breeders of division and
mischief-makers who /Jifrt^^r/ the Gospel which you were
taught. Men such as these are devoted not to Christ but to
their own umvorthy aims. By their plausible and flattering
speech they deceive the unwary. I give you this warning,
because your loyalty is well kjiown, and I zvoidd have you
free from every taint of evil. God will speedily crush Satan
bejieath your feet.

May the grace of Christ be with you.

17-20. A warning against evil teachers probably of a Jewish
character. Commentators have felt that there is something unusual
in a vehement outburst like this, coming at the end of an Epistle
so completelv destitute of direct controversy. But after all as Hort
points out [Rom. and Eph. pp. 53-55) it is not unnatural. Against
errors such as these St. Paul has throughout been warning his
readers indirectly, he has been building up his hearers against
ihem by laying down broad principles of life and conduct, and
now just at the end, just before he finishes, he gives one definite
and direct warning against false teachers. It was probably not
against teachers actually in Rome, but against such as he knew
of as existing in other churches which he had founded, whose
advent to Rome he dreads.

It has been suggested again that ' St. Paul finds it difficult to
finish.' There is a certain truth in that statement, but it is hardly
one which ought to detain us long. When a writer has very much
to say, when he is full of zeal and earnestness, there must be much
which will break out from him, and may make his letters some-
what formless. To a thoughtful reader the suppressed emotion
implied and the absence of regular method will really be proofs of
authenticity. It may be noted that we find in the Epistle to the
Philippians just the same characteristics: there also in iii. i, just
apparently as he is going to finish the Epistle, the Apostle makes
a digression against false teachers.

17. aKoireii', ' to mark and avoid.' The same word is used in

Phil. iii. 17 (TV/x/it/iJjTai (jLov yivfadf, aSeX<^ot, Koi <tkoti(It( tovs outo)

irfpinaTovvTos in exactly the opposite sense, ' to mark so as to


8ixo<rTaaioi : cf. Gal. v. 20. Those divisions which are th«
result of the spirit of strife and rivalry {fpn and Cv^os) and which
eventually if persisted in lead to aiptads. The aKcivbaXa are the
hindrances to Christian progress caused by these embittered

■n]v Zi%OiX'f\y, not ' Paulinism,' but that common basis of Christian
doctrine which St. Paul shared with all other teachers (1 Cor.
XV. i), and with which the teaching of the Judaizers was in his
ojnnion inconsistent.

iKKkivaTe: cf. Rom. iii. 11. The ordinary construction is with
ano and the genitive {a) of the cause avoided an-A KaKov (i Pet.
iii. 11), or (3) of the persoa

Online LibraryW. (William) SandayA critical and exegetical commentary on the Epistle to the Romans → online text (page 66 of 71)