Romans 16:14
Salute Asyncritus, Phlegon, Hermas, Patrobas, Hermes, and the brothers which are with them.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(14) Of the names in this and the next verse, Hermas, Patrobas, Hermes, Philologus, Julia, Nereus (with the corresponding female name Nereis) all occur with more or less frequency in inscriptions relating to the household. Hernias and Hermes are very common. The first is a contraction from several longer forms. Patrobas is contracted from Patrobius. We find that a freed-man of Nero’s who bore this name was put to death by Galba; but the person saluted by St. Paul is more likely to have been a dependent of his than the man himself.

Taking the list of names as a whole, and comparing them with the inscriptions, we may—without going so far as to identify individuals, which would be precarious ground—nevertheless, note the general coincidence with the mention of “Cæsar’s household” in Philippians 4:22.

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.Chosen in the Lord - "Elect" in the Lord; that is, a chosen follower of Christ.

And his mother and mine - "His mother in a literal sense, and mine in a figurative one." An instance of the delicacy and tenderness of Paul; of his love for this disciple and his mother, as if he were of the same family. Religion binds the hearts of all who embrace it tenderly together. It makes them feel that they are one great family, united by tender ties, and joined by special attachments. See what the Lord Jesus declared in Matthew 12:47-50, and his tender address to John when he was on the cross; John 19:26-27.

14, 15. Salute Asyncritus, &c.—These have been thought to be the names of ten less notable Christians than those already named. But this will hardly be supposed if it be observed that they are divided into two pairs of five each, and that after the first of these pairs it is added, "and the brethren which are with them," while after the second pair we have the words, "and all the saints which are with them." This perhaps hardly means that each of the five in both pairs had "a church at his house," else probably this would have been more expressly said. But at least it would seem to indicate that they were each a center of some few Christians who met at his house—it may be for further instruction, for prayer, for missionary purposes, or for some other Christian objects. These little peeps into the rudimental forms which Christian fellowship first took in the great cities, though too indistinct for more than conjecture, are singularly interesting. Our apostle would seem to have been kept minutely informed as to the state of the church at Rome, both as to its membership and its varied activities, probably by Priscilla and Aquila. i.e. The Christians that are their domestics, or that dwell with them. Salute Asyncritus, Phlegon, Hermas, Patrobas, Hermes,.... The two first of these names are Greek, and the persons called by them, with Herodion before mentioned, are taken notice of in the Roman martyrology, as disciples of the apostle; Asyncritus is said to be bishop of Hyrcania, and Phlegon of Marathon, and both of the seventy disciples; See Gill on Luke 10:1; Hermas is said to be bishop of Philippi, or Aquileia, and brother of Pope Pius the First, and to be the author of the book called Pastor, or the Shepherd, cited by many of the ancients; but all is doubtful and uncertain. Patrobas is a Roman name, Martial makes mention of it (w); it seems to be composed of the Greek word or the Latin "pater", and the Syriac "Abba", and signifies the same as the other two. This man might be a Jew, whose name was Abba; we often read of R. Abba in the Jewish writings (x), and as the Jews were wont to have two names, the one Gentile, the other Jewish, Pater might be this man's Gentile name, and Abba his Jewish one, and both being put together, by contraction be called "Patrobas"; he is said to be of the seventy disciples, and to be bishop of Puteoli; See Gill on Luke 10:1. The last of them, Hermes, is a Greek name, the same with Mercurius, which the Lystrians called Paul by, in Acts 14:12, who he was is not known; he is also mentioned among the seventy disciples, and said to be bishop of Dalmatia:

and the brethren which are with them; these seem to have lived together, with others who were their brethren, not in a natural but spiritual relation, and whom the apostle owned and loved as such.

(w) Epigr. l. 2. ep. 27. (x) Juchasin, fol. 70. 1, &c.

Salute Asyncritus, Phlegon, Hermas, Patrobas, Hermes, and the brethren which are with them.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Romans 16:14-15. Hermas was not, as already Origen declared him to be, the composer of the book ὁ ποιμήν,[46] which, according to the Canon Muratorianus, is said to have been composed by a brother of the Roman bishop Pius I., and in any case belongs to no earlier period than the second century.

Κ. Τ. ΣῪΝ ΑὐΤῷ ἈΔΕΛΦ.] It is possible, but on account of the more general designation deviating from Romans 16:5, not probable, that those named here as well as in Romans 16:15 were members, well known to the apostle, of two ἘΚΚΛΗΣΊΑΙ in Rome (so Hofmann), according to which view by the brethren with them would be meant the remaining persons taking part in these assemblies, for the most part doubtless unknown to him. It is possible also that some other Christian associations unknown to us (Fritzsche and Philippi think of associations of trade and commerce) are intended. We have no knowledge on this point. Reiche thinks of two mission-societies. But πάντες, Romans 16:15, points to a considerable number, and there is no trace in the Book of Acts of so formal and numerous mission-societies; they were doubtless still foreign to that period. Probably also Paul would have given some thoughtful indication or other of this important characteristic point.

The whole of the names in Romans 16:14-15 are found in Gruter and elsewhere.

Julia appears to have been the wife of Philologus; the analogy of the following ΝΗΡΈΑ Κ. ΤῊΝ ἈΔΕΛΦῊΝ ΑὐΤΟῦ makes it less probable that the name denotes a man (Julias, comp. on Romans 16:7).

[46] The critical discussions as to this work, quite recently conducted by Zahn, and Lipsius in particular, have no bearing here.Romans 16:14. Of Asyncritus, Phlegon and Hermes nothing is known. Patrobas (or Patrobius) may have been a dependant of a famous freedman of the same name in Nero’s time, who was put to death by Galba (Tac., Hist., i., 49, ii., 95). Hermas has often been identified with the author of The Shepherd, but though the identification goes back to Origen, it is a mistake. “Pastorem vero nuperrime temporibus nostris in urbe Roma Herma conscripsit sedente cathedra urbis Romœ ecclesiœ Pio eps. fratre ejus”: these words of the Canon of Muratori forbid the identification. τοὺς σὺν αὐτοῖς ἀδελφούς indicates that the persons named, and some others designated in this phrase, formed a little community by themselves—perhaps an ἐκκλησία κατʼ οἶκόν τινος.14. Asyncritus, Phlegon, Hermas, Patrobas, Hermes] All otherwise unknown. The names are Greek.—Hermas was the name of the author of “The Shepherd,” a celebrated religious romance, sometimes compared as such to the Pilgrim’s Progress. But it is at least probable that “The Shepherd” belongs to a later generation than that of the Hermas here named.—On Hermes, see second note on Romans 16:1.

the brethren which are with them] Perhaps forming with them a “church” such as that of Romans 16:5; where see note. If so, the next verse may similarly be a greeting to a similar district “church,” meeting under another roof.Romans 16:14. Ἀσύγκριτον, κ.τ.λ., Asyncritus, etc.) Paul joins those together, among whom there was a peculiar tie of relationship, neighbourhood, etc. The salutation offered by name to the more humble, who were perhaps not aware that they were so much as known to the apostle, could not but greatly cheer their hearts.Verses 14, 15. - Salute Asyncritus, Phlegon, Hermes (not, surely, as Origen supposed, the author of 'The Shepherd of Hermes,' which is said in 'Canon Mumtori' to have been written by a brother of Pius I., and cannot well have been of earlier date than the second century), Patrobas, Hermes, and the brethren that are with them. Salute Philologus, and Julia (these, being coupled together, may have been man and wife, or brother and sister), Nereus, and his sister, and Olympas, and all the saints which are with them. The "brethren" in ver. 14, and the "saints" in ver. 15, saluted in connection with the groups of persons named, may possibly mean the congregations that assembled under the leadership, or perhaps at the houses, of those persons. If so, there would appear to have been three congregations in Rome known of by St. Paul; for see ver. 5, which, indeed, seems in itself to imply that the Church that was in the house of Priscilla and Aquila was not the only one. Hermes

Or Hermas. A common slave-name, a contraction of several different names, as Hermagoras, Hermogenes, etc.

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