Salute Urbane, our helper in Christ, and Stachys my beloved.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Urbane.—Urbanus, or Urban; the final “e” should not be sounded. Like Ampliatus, a common name found among members of the household.
Our helper in Christ.—The “helper,” that is, both of St. Paul and of the Roman Church by her efforts in spreading the gospel.
Stachys.—A rarer name than the last two; it appears as that of a court physician in the inscriptions of about the date of this Epistle.Romans 16:9-11. Salute Urbane, or Urbanus rather, our helper — Συνεργον, our fellow-labourer — Mine and Timothy’s, Romans 16:21. Salute Apelles, τον δοκιμον, the approved in Christ — One who hath showed himself a sincere Christian and faithful servant of Christ, when tried by affliction and persecution for the gospel; a noble character this, and greatly to be respected. Salute those of the family of Aristobulus — Aristobulus himself is not saluted, either because he was not in Rome at that time, or because he was not yet converted, or perhaps because he was dead. He and Narcissus, mentioned in the next verse, seem each of them to have had a numerous family; some of whom only were converted, and are here saluted by the apostle, whom the fame of their virtues had reached: for probably some of them, at least, were not known to him by face, but only by character.Romans 9:3, the apostle calls "all" the Jews "his kinsmen," and it has been doubted whether he means anything more here than that they were "fellow Jews." But as many others who were Jews are mentioned here without this appellation, and as he especially designates these persons, and Herodian Romans 16:11, it seems probable that they were remote relatives of the apostle.
My fellow-prisoners - Paul was often in prison; and it is probable that on some of those occasions they had been confined with him; compare 2 Corinthians 11:23, "In prisons more frequent."
Who are of note - The word translated "of note" ἐπίσημοι episēmoi, denotes properly those who are "marked," designated, or distinguished in any way, used either in a good or bad sense; compare Matthew 27:16. Here it is used in a good sense.
Among the apostles - This does not mean that they "were" apostles, as has been sometimes supposed. For,
(1) There is no account of their having been appointed as such.
(2) the expression is not one which would have been used if they "had" been. It would have been "who were distinguished apostles;" compare Romans 1:1; 1 Corinthians 1:1; 2 Corinthians 1:1; Philippians 1:1.
(3) it by no means implies that they were apostles All that the expression fairly implies is, that they were known to the other apostles; that they were regarded by them as worthy of their affection and confidence; that they had been known by them, as Paul immediately adds, before "he" was himself converted. They had been converted "before" he was, and were distinguished in Jerusalem among the early Christians, and honored with the friendship of the other apostles.
(4) the design of the office of "apostles" was to bear "witness" to the life, death, resurrection, doctrines, and miracles of Christ; compare Matthew 10; Acts 1:21, Acts 1:26; Acts 22:15. As there is no evidence that they had been "witnesses" of these things; or appointed to it, it is improbable that they were set apart to the apostolic office.
(5) the word "apostles" is used sometimes to designate "messengers" of churches; or those who were "sent" from one church to another on some important business, and "if" this expression meant that they "were" apostles, it could only be in some such sense as having obtained deserved credit and eminence in that business; see Philippians 2:25; 2 Corinthians 8:23.
our helper—"fellow labourer"
in Christ.Urbane; this also is a Roman name; it was coveted afterwards by many bishops of Rome.
Our helper in Christ; the same that was said of Aquila and Priscilla, Romans 16:3. Possibly he might be one of their teachers.
Stachys my beloved; this is a Greek name, which signifieth an ear of corn. Some have reported, he was the first bishop of Constantinople: he was doubtless a person eminent in grace and gifts, or else the apostle would never have dignified him with this additional commendation, that he was beloved of him, or dear to him. Luke 10:1; which is not very probable: others have conjectured him to be one of the pastors of the church of Rome, which is more likely; and if he was, but few of his successors have deserved the character given of him, an "helper in Christ"; in spreading the Gospel, and enlarging the kingdom and interest of Christ:
and Stachys my beloved; this is a Greek name, he is said to be one of the seventy disciples, and bishop of Byzantium; See Gill on Luke 10:1. According to the Roman martyrology, he was ordained bishop of the Byzantine church, by Andrew the apostle, but this is not to be depended on; he was, however, because of his faith in Christ, and love to him, or on such like spiritual accounts, very dear to the apostle.Salute Urbane, our helper in Christ, and Stachys my beloved.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)Romans 16:9. Οὐρβανὸν: also a common slave name, “found, as here, in juxtaposition with Ampliatus, in a list of imperial freedmen, on an inscription A.D. 115” (Gifford). τὸν συνεργὸν ἡμῶν: the ἡμῶν (as opposed to μου, Romans 16:3) seems to suggest that all Christian workers had a common helper in Urbanus. Of Stachys nothing is known but that he was dear to Paul. The name is Greek; but, like the others, has been found in inscriptions connected with the Imperial household.9. Urban] Strictly, Urbânus. The letter -e in the E. V. form is not to be pronounced: it is like the final -e of Constantine, and has nothing to do with feminine terminations. It would have been better to write Urban in E. V.) The name is Latin.
Stachys] A Greek name, and masculine.Romans 16:9. Ἡμῶν, of us. Comp. Romans 16:21.
 Where we find “my work-fellow:” but here “our helper,” or work-fellow.—ED.
The correct reading is Urbanus, city-bred.
Meaning an ear of corn.
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