Closing Greetings (4:21-23)

As in most of his letters, and in keeping with the conventions of letter-writing in the Greco-Roman world, Paul concludes with the standard greetings (vv. 21-22)—plus a grace-benediction (v. 23). Despite their diversity, the Pauline greetings have three basic components, all of which occur here in their tersest expression:

1. The imperative to greet all the saints (which is the way he greets each of them).

2. Greetings from his immediate companions.

3. Greetings from other saints in his present location.

Here the only elaboration, and only surprise, is the inclusion of those who belong to Caesar's household in the final greeting. Such greetings are one of the ways Paul kept the various churches aware of and in touch with one another. In their own small way, therefore, they function as part of his concern for the unity of the body of Christ.

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