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HAYDOCK CATHOLIC BIBLE COMMENTARY ON THE NEW TESTAMENT
Ver. 1. I commend, &c. He concludes with a number of salutations, to show his affection for them. — Phœbe, who is in the ministry, or employed in the ministry, as women, called diaconissæ, used to be, privately instructing catechumens, assisting particularly at the baptizing of women, distributing charities, &c. Wi.
Ver. 4. It is not exactly known to what the apostle here refers. Orig. thinks that they delivered the apostle from the snares of the Jews. Others, that they exposed themselves for him in the sedition raised at Corinth, or in that at Ephesus, when he was in such danger, on account of the outcry of the silversmiths. The obligations of the Churches of the Gentiles towards them must be understood of the hospitality, which these faithful servants of Christ exercised to all. Calmet. — Ton eautwn trachlon upeqhkan, a proverbial expression, as in Latin, præbere cervices, caput objicere periculis, to support any thing, or person, that is in a sinking way, or in great danger.
Ver. 5. This means the assembly of Christians, who probably resorted to the house of Prisca and Aquila, as to a place of retreat, and there held their religious assemblies. Or it may mean their family only, which was as regular and holy as an assembly of saints. The apostle, in another place, salutes the Church in the house of Nympha, and writing to Philemon, salutes the Church in his house. 1 Cor. xvi. 19.
Ver. 16. Thus the primitive Christians express their concord and benevolence, as also their perfect equality. For it was customary with the Persians, and all oriental nations, to salute only their equals thus; though, to their inferiors, the presented their hand to be kissed. S. Clem. Pædog. and Polus.
Ver. 17. The apostle does not here say that these men caused scandals, contrary to the Scripture; but contrary to the doctrine delivered to them: this place, therefore, is an argument in favour of tradition. Estius.
Ver. 22. This Tertius was the amanuensis, or secretary of S. Paul, and wrote this epistle as S. Paul dictated. It is not on that account less divinely inspired than the rest. Estius.
Ver. 25-27. Now to him that is able, &c. These three last verses, in divers Greek copies, were found at the end of the 14th chapter, where we find them expounded by S. Chrysostom. — According to the . . . mystery kept secret from eternity, now made manifest; he means the mystery of Christ's incarnation, and man's redemption, formerly revealed indeed to the prophets, but now made known to all nations, in order to bring all men to the obedience of the gospel, by embracing the faith and doctrine of Christ. Wi.