Sister Phoebe Commended
1 I commend to you Phoebe our sister, who is a servant of the church in Cenchrea, 2 that you may receive her in the Lord in a manner worthy of the saints, and assist her in whatever business she has need of you; for indeed she has been a helper of many and of myself also.
Greeting Roman Saints
3 Greet Priscilla and Aquila, my fellow workers in Christ Jesus, 4 who risked their own necks for my life, to whom not only I give thanks, but also all the churches of the Gentiles. 5 Likewise greet the church that is in their house.
Greet my beloved Epaenetus, who is the firstfruits of Achaia to Christ. 6 Greet Mary, who labored much for us. 7 Greet Andronicus and Junia, my countrymen and my fellow prisoners, who are of note among the apostles, who also were in Christ before me.
8 Greet Amplias, my beloved in the Lord. 9 Greet Urbanus, our fellow worker in Christ, and Stachys, my beloved. 10 Greet Apelles, approved in Christ. Greet those who are of the household of Aristobulus. 11 Greet Herodion, my countryman. Greet those who are of the household of Narcissus who are in the Lord. 12 Greet Tryphena and Tryphosa, who have labored in the Lord. Greet the beloved Persis, who labored much in the Lord. 13 Greet Rufus, chosen in the Lord, and his mother and mine. 14 Greet Asyncritus, Phlegon, Hermas, Patrobas, Hermes, and the brethren who are with them. 15 Greet Philologus and Julia, Nereus and his sister, and Olympas, and all the saints who are with them.
16 Greet one another with a holy kiss. The churches of Christ greet you.
Paul, through his ministry and travels, has made many, many good friends. He knows of some who are in the area where this letter is going and he takes this time to mention those who have meant a lot to him. Not to bring them glory, nor to put emphasis on any one of them over another, but that they may know of their commitment to helping him in his ministry and that they may send them his love and encouragement. This is not a “shout out” to people he knows, but acknowledgment of the work and effort that his dear friends have offered to him when he has needed them, and he’s letting them know that he still thinks of and pray for them often. The “holy kiss” was a common way to greet one another at that time. Now-a-days we just hug people or give a hearty handshake. Serious – if you ever meet me – the “holy kiss” is totally off limits.