Romans 16:5 MEANING

Romans 16:5
(5) The church that is in their house.--A party of Christians seem to have been in the habit of meeting in the house of Aquila and Priscilla for purposes of worship at Rome, as previously at Ephesus (1 Corinthians 16:19). Similar instances may be found in Acts 12:12; Colossians 4:15; Philemon 1:2.

Salute.--The same word in the Greek is translated indifferently by "salute" and "greet," an unnecessary caprice.

Firstfruits of Achaia.--For "Achaia" we ought certainly to read "Asia"--i.e., the Roman province of Asia, a broad strip of territory including the whole western end of the peninsula of Asia Minor, from the Propontis in the north, to Lycia in the south. Ephesus was the capital, and the seven "churches in Asia" to which St. John wrote in the Apocalypse--Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamos, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, Laodicea--were the most central and important of its cities.

By "firstfruits of Asia" is meant one of the first converts won over to Christianity in Asia. (Comp. "firstfruits of Achaia," in 1 Corinthians 16:15, through the parallelism of which the text of our own passage became corrupted.)

16:1-16 Paul recommends Phebe to the Christians at Rome. It becomes Christians to help one another in their affairs, especially strangers; we know not what help we may need ourselves. Paul asks help for one that had been helpful to many; he that watereth shall be watered also himself. Though the care of all the churches came upon him daily, yet he could remember many persons, and send salutations to each, with particular characters of them, and express concern for them. Lest any should feel themselves hurt, as if Paul had forgotten them, he sends his remembrances to the rest, as brethren and saints, though not named. He adds, in the close, a general salutation to them all, in the name of the churches of Christ.Likewise greet the church that is in their house,.... Which was either their own family, which might be somewhat large, and consisting entirely or chiefly of religious persons; for when they were in other places they had a church in their house as well as Rome; see 1 Corinthians 16:19; or the saints at Rome, who used to meet privately at their house, and pray and sing praises together, speak to one another of the things of God, and build up one another in their most faith; and from their gathering together in the name of Christ, and for the worship of him, and among whom his presence, according to his promise, was, they are called a church, or an assembly of Christians.

Salute my well beloved Epaenetus; for though all the saints were beloved by the apostle, yet there were some, as this good man, for whom he might have, on some account or another, a particular affection; as our Lord, as man, had for his disciple John, though he loved all his disciples. There is one of this name, said to be one of the seventy disciples, and bishop of Carthage; See Gill on Luke 10:1.

Who is the firstfruits of Achaia unto Christ; that is, either he was one of the chief and principal for gifts and grace, or one of the first that was converted to Christ in those parts: the allusion is to the firstfruits under the law, which were offered unto the Lord, and were pledges of, and sanctified the rest. The Vulgate Latin, instead of Achaia, reads "Asia": and so it is read in the Alexandrian copy, and others: the reason of this different reading seems to be, because the house of Stephanas are said to be the firstfruits of Achaia, 1 Corinthians 16:15. But this hinders not but that Epaenetus might be so too, for he might be one of the family of Stephanas, who was now removed to Rome. If he was a Jew, his Jewish name might be Judah, the same with Epaenetus, in Greek.

Courtesy of Open Bible