(Tap footnote to read it. Old Testament quotations are underlined. "Love" with a caret ("^love") is agapé.1"agapé" The Greek words ἀγάπη (agapé, noun), and ἀγαπάω (agapaó; verb) are typically translated "love". However, unlike our English word "love" – which primarily speaks of affection and feelings – agapé centers on choice and behavior. It’s the "love" based on will, choice, behavior, and action; not feelings. (Feelings-based love is the Greek word φιλέω (phileó), which properly means "brotherly love/affection".) Thus, you could hate someone passionately and still treat him with "agapé". Agapé "love" is best understood as the pursuit of what is most beneficial to someone or something, regardless of the cost to yourself or the type of response received from the person or thing. It can also indicate a preference for someone or something over other things. )
- Now, I commend our sister Phoebe to you, (who’s also a servant of the church in Cenchrea)
- so you might receive her in the Lord in a manner worthy of the saints, and so you might stand by her in that matter1“matter” the Greek word here is singular, apparently indicating that Phoebe was dealing with some matter affecting her personally. Given her status as a patroness, it’s possible she had some business which required attention, and the church of Rome was to “stand by” her in this matter. if she needs you, for she also became a patroness of many, even of me myself.
- Greet Prisca2“Prisca” is the proper form of “Priscilla”, the latter being more informal and familiar. and Aquila, my fellow workers in Jesus the Anointed –
- who risked their neck for my life; whom not only I thank, but also all the churches of the gentiles –
- and also greet the church at their house. Greet Epenetus, my beloved who is the firstfruit of Asia for the Anointed.
- Greet Mary, who often laboriously toiled for you.
- Greet Andronicus and Junia,3“Junia” there is some debate whether this name is feminine or masculine. The only way to tell is with the accents on the Greek letters, but manuscripts lacked accents until the late first millennium. Most of the early church fathers seemed to think she was female, while most of the (later) manuscripts with accents support the masculine reading. Both the feminine and masculine forms are rare in Greek, but the masculine form is almost unheard of. The evidence certainly tilts toward feminine, but masculine cannot be wholly ruled out. my kinsmen and fellow prisoners with me, who are well-known by4“who are well-known by”. There is a great debate as to how this phrase should be translated because one of the people being discussed is likely a woman (see note on “Junia”). Egalitarian Christians argue it should be translated: “who are notable among the apostles”, making Junia/Junias an apostle and – they argue – a woman in authority in the early church. Complementarian and Patriarchal Christians prefer “who are well-known by the apostles”, which excludes Junia/Junias from being an apostle. Dan Wallace, who literally wrote the book on advanced Greek grammar, argues that “well-known by” has the better syntactic evidence. Further, even if “among” is the proper understanding, it doesn’t necessarily make Junia/Junias and apostle, since the wording is still unclear. For example: Shakespeare is “notable among modern literary scholars”, but that doesn’t make him a modern literary scholar. Further, in 2 Cor 1:24, Paul – who always identifies as an apostle – makes it clear that he has no authority, even over churches that he planted. Thus, whether Junia/Junias was an apostle or not, he or she didn’t possess any authority. the apostles, and who *were in the Anointed earlier than me.
- Greet Ampliatus, my beloved in the Lord.
- Greet Urbanus, our fellow worker in the Anointed, and my beloved Stachys.
- Greet Apelles, who’s proved as genuine in the Anointed. Greet the men of Aristobulus’ household.
- Greet Herodion my kinsman. Greet the men of Narcissus’ household who are in the Lord.
- Greet Tryphena and Tryphosa, women who laboriously toil in the Lord. Greet the beloved Persis, who often laboriously toiled in the Lord.
- Greet Rufus, the chosen in the Lord, also his mother and mine.
- Greet Asyncritus, Phlegon, Hermes, Patrobas, Hermas, and the brothers with them.
- Greet Philologus and Julia, Nereus and his sister, and Olympas and all the saints with them.
- Greet one another with a holy kiss. All the churches of the Anointed greet you.
Beware divisive men
- Now brothers, I urge you to watch out for men causing divisions and snares contrary to the teaching that you learned and turn away from them.
- For such men don’t serve our Lord the Anointed, but their own appetite; and they thoroughly deceive the hearts of the naïve through smooth speech, flattery and blessings.5“flattery and blessings” is one word in Greek. It can mean either depending on the context, but since both seem applicable here, both were included.
- For word of your obedience went forth to all. Therefore, I rejoice over you. But I desire you to be wise in good yet innocent in evil.
- And the God of peace will soon crush the Adversary under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus the Anointed be with you. Amen.
Final greetings and closing
- My fellow worker Timothy greets you, also Lucius, and Jason, and Sosipater my kinsmen.
- I, Tertius – the man who wrote down this letter – greet you in the Lord.
- Gaius my host greets you, and the whole church. The steward of the city Erastus greets you, and the brother Quartus.
- The grace of our Lord Jesus the Anointed be with you all. Amen.
- Now, to the One who is able to strengthen you according to my gospel and the proclamation of Jesus the Anointed, according to the revelation of the mystery *kept secret during the time of ages,
- but now both having been revealed through prophetic scriptures according to the command of the God of ages, and having been made known to all the gentiles for the obedience of faith
- to the only wise God through Jesus the Anointed, to whom be the glory through the ages. Amen.
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