Bible Journal

Characteristics of Brethren

What do real brethren look like? 

In Romans chapter 16 the Apostle Paul is greeting a group of people. They are regular Christians in Rome, but they have become known throughout the world wherever the Bible is read. 

Imagine, this is their mark in history! What does Paul say about them? Does he say “Greet Phoebe who was always stylish and always wore the latest fashion? Or Greet Mary who was always witty and smart? Greet Priscilla who had this huge awesome house and latest car? Or Greet Gaius the one who was super popular and had thousands of followers?” Nope. 

Characteristics of Christians

Here are the characteristics these people displayed. Let’s put the pieces together and see how the Christian should leave a mark in this world. 

  1. “…our sister, who is a servant of the church” (v. 1)
  2. “…a helper of many.” (v.2) 
  3. “…fellow workers in Christ Jesus” (v.3)
  4. “…risked their own necks for my life” (v.4)
  5. “…the church in their house” (v.5) 
  6. “beloved” (v.5)
  7. “firstfruits” (v.5) 
  8. “…who labored much for us” (v.6)
  9. “…who are of note among the apostles” (v.7)
  10. “…beloved in the Lord” (v.8)
  11. “…our fellow worker in Christ” (v.9)
  12. “…approved in Christ” (v.10)
  13. “…who are in the Lord” (v.11)
  14. “…who have labored in the Lord” (v.12)
  15. “…beloved…who labored much in the Lord” (v.12)
  16. “…chosen in the Lord” (v.13)
  17. “…the brethren” (v.14)
  18. “…all the saints with them” (v.15)
  19. “…your obedience has become known to all” (v.19)
  20. “…my fellow worker” (v. 21) 
  21. “…the host of the whole church” (v.23) 
  22. “…a brother” (v.23) 

Isn’t that a beautiful description of the life of Christians? Beloved in Christ, saints, servant hearts, ministers, hosts, approved in Christ, brothers, obedient etc.  

What do the names mean? 

Finally, let’s see what all their names meant! I always love looking up the meaning of their names. Comment below and tell me which name you liked the most- or which did you not know about! 

  1. Phoebe – bright
  2.  Priscilla- ancient
  3. Aquilla- an eagle
  4. Epaenetus- praiseworthy 
  5. Mary- obstinancy, rebelliousness (p.s. never knew the meaning of that until now!)
  6. Andronicus- man of victory
  7. Junia- youthful
  8.  Amplias- large
  9. Urbanus- of the city: polite
  10. Stachys- a head of grain
  11. Apelles- called
  12. Aristobulus- the best counselor 
  13. Herodion- heroic
  14. Narcissus- stupidity, a daffodil and narcotic plant
  15. Tryphena- luxurious
  16. Tryphosa- luxuriating
  17. Persis- of Persia 
  18. Rufus- red
  19. Asyncritus- incomparable
  20. Phlegon- burning
  21. Hermas- mercury
  22. Patrobas- paternal
  23. Hermes- herald of the gods
  24. Philologus- lover of the Word
  25. Julia- soft haired
  26. Nereus- lump
  27. Olympas- heavenly 
  28. Timothy- honoring God
  29. Lucius- light bright white
  30. Jason- healer 
  31. Sosipater- savior of his father 
  32. Tertius- third
  33. Gaius- lord
  34. Erastus- beloved
  35. Quartus- fourth

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