Timotheus my workfellow, and Lucius, and Jason, and Sosipater, my kinsmen, salute you.
Note 1 at Ro 16:21: The name Lucius means "illuminative" (Strong's Concordance). This name is used twice in Scripture (here and Ac 13:1). He was referred to as a kinsman of the Apostle Paul (see note 9 at Ro 16:7), or possibly Tertius (see note 4 at this verse).
It is unclear whether this is the same Lucius that was mentioned in Ac 13:1. If so, Lucius would have been a long-time associate of Paul, and he would either have been a prophet or a teacher.
Some people suspect that this Lucius is the Luke who traveled with the Apostle Paul (see note 2 at Ac 16:10) and wrote the books of Luke and Acts (see Life for Today Study Bible Notes, Introduction to Acts, Authorship).
Note 2 at Ro 16:21: The name Jason means "about to cure" (Strong's Concordance). Jason was a kinsman (see note 9 at Ro 16:7) of the Apostle Paul or possibly Tertius (see note 4 at this verse).
The name Jason is used five times in Scripture. Four of these times are from an account in Ac 17 (Ac 17:5-7 and 9). It is not certain that the Jason mentioned here was the same as the Jason mentioned in Ac 17, but he probably was.
If this was the same Jason as the Jason of Ac 17, then this Jason had been an acquaintance of Paul since Paul first went to Thessalonica (Ac 17:1). This would make it hard to understand Jason as being a kinsman of Paul in the sense of a blood relative. This must be referring to these men as being brothers in the Lord, or possibly, as Tertius' relatives (see note 4 at this verse).
Jason apparently took Paul and his companions into his household. Because of this, the unbelieving Jews assaulted the house of Jason, and when they didn't find Paul, they took Jason into custody.
Note 3 at Ro 16:21: The name Sosipater means "of a safe father" (Strong's Concordance). He was called a kinsman of Paul, or possibly it was Tertius who referred to him as a kinsman (see note 4 at this verse).
Most scholars believe that Sosipater is the same man as Sopater of Ac 20:4. If so, this would mean that he was from Berea and more than likely a convert of Paul's missionary work there (see note 3 at Ac 20:4).
Note 4 at Ro 16:21: In note 9 at Ro 16:7, the word "kinsman" was defined and its normal usage discussed. However, this verse seems to present a problem with the word "kinsman" denoting either a blood relative or a fellow countryman.
There are quite a few scriptures where Paul wrote of Timotheus, and nowhere else is it implied that Timothy was related to Paul (see note 1 at Ac 16:1). Therefore, most scholars exclude Timothy and believe that Lucius, Jason, and Sosipater are the ones being referred to as kinsmen.
However, if these men were the same men as mentioned in Acts (see notes 1-3 at this verse), then it would appear that they were converts of the Apostle Paul during his second missionary journey. This would make it doubtful that they were blood relatives as the primary usage of the word "kinsman" would imply.
This could mean that these men were kinsmen in the sense that they were fellow countrymen. So that would mean they were of Jewish descent, living in these Gentile cities. There is also the possibility that Paul was referring to them as kinsmen in the sense that they were brothers in Christ.
There is also the possibility that Paul had ceased his comments in the previous verse and that Tertius, the writer of Romans (Ro 16:22), was speaking of these men as his kinsmen.
Note 5 at Ro 16:21: Whether these men were Paul's kinsmen or Tertius' kinsmen, they were definitely Paul's converts and companions in the ministry. This gives us some insight into Paul's methods.
If these men were the same men as listed in the book of Acts, then they were born again during Paul's second missionary journey (see note 1 at Ac 18:22). This means that these men were converted around A.D. 52, and Paul was writing this letter to the Romans around A.D. 57 to 58 (see Life for Today Study Bible Notes, Introduction to Romans, Date and Place of Writing).
That means Paul had discipled these men for approximately five years. Therefore, we have an example of how long it took for Timothy to progress into a position of leadership. Paul was the one who wrote that a novice should not be given a position of authority (1Ti 3:6). Timothy was to be left in charge of the church at Ephesus (1Ti 1:3) a very short time after Paul's writing of this letter as he traveled toward Jerusalem. Some scholars speculate that the church at Ephesus could have had as many as 100,000 members.
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