Now we come to Romans 16. The chapter of names. I will work through each name that Paul lists here. These people are all important to Paul. They are important to God therefore they are important to us. Some will make for short Gems others present more to deal with behind the scenes. We will take each one in order as Paul does. We will seek to find all we can about them. For some there is a wealth of material in the Bible like Priscilla and Aquila. For others like Erastus there is nothing else in the Bible but there is some interesting material outside of the Bible. For others there is precious little anywhere apart from what Paul has said in the list. But we will seek to learn all we can from the sources we have. My suggestion to you is that you do your study too and see what you can find out.
I have told you before there are some who doubt that Romans Chapter 16 is original Paul. They suspect that Paul did not write this but rather it is written by someone else and somehow found its way into the Epistle of Romans. All the ancient documents of Paul’s epistle to the Romans include it. It is not like it suddenly appeared in a later century. There is no question as to its authenticity from a textual point of view. The issue is how can Paul list so many people from the church in Rome when he has never been there before? Well let’s investigate.
In working our way through this chapter I will show you where to find the information as we seek to do a background check on the people Paul mentions. Imagine yourself to be a detective seeking to find all you can about these characters. Take time to think even before we start what resources are at our disposal to build our dossier on each of these characters. It’s time to put your thinking cap on. I hope you will find it fun. The first thing to do is to take stock of the resources at your disposal. Do it now. Then begin to apply them to Phoebe. I will start with Phoebe, the first mentioned.
When I first wrote this I was in Aussie for the Hillsong Conference in 2010. That gave Gems recipients back then opportunity to work on these names without the pressure of time. You know now that I am bulk posting the Gems to the interim website in preparation for the beginning of the new comprehensive website. I aim this morning to post the rest of the Roman Gems. You can read them at your leisure, do some work before you read them or settle back and let me do all the work and benefit from the result ultimately.
I have now finished posting all the Gems I wrote on the names in Romans Chapter 16. I decided not to highlight any one of them as a Featured Post. All names in the list are unique and amazing in their own right. I must say I was greatly blessed this morning in reading over all of the Gems on the names of Roman 16. There were some amazing things the LORD inspired me to write. It blessed me to have the privilege to read them all again in one sitting. I would heartily recommend you don’t miss any of them. There is much to be learned from paying attention to each person Paul singled out for comment. Take the time to do that and work your way through each name and you will be blessed. There were many of the Gems on Paul’s friends I was tempted to make a feature Gem and send to my e-mail list but I refrained. Work through them for yourself and be encouraged and challenged as I have been these last three hours.
Instead of putting others in their place, try putting yourself in their place.Jack Thomas
If you can stay calm, while all around you is chaos, then you probably haven’t completely understood the seriousness of the situation.Anon