GREET ONE ANOTHER WITH A HOLY KISS – Romans 16


Greet one another with a holy kiss. All the churches of Christ greet you.

Romans 16:16 RSV

The salutation here is not that of Paul, as if he had said, “Kiss everyone for me,” but the salutation of the members themselves for one another with a sacred kiss of Christian love.

Such a kiss, upon the brow, or cheek, sometimes on both cheeks, or upon the hands, as in the Greek orthodox church until this day, was a common form of salutation in ancient times.

It was brought over into Christianity by apostolic commandment and continued for many centuries, prevailing as custom in many places yet.

The sacred kiss as an affectionate greeting conveyed an evidence of mutual love, respect, honor, and equality, and was evidently used by Christ and the apostles themselves, hence the odium that attached to Judas’ use of such a greeting to betray the Son of God.

All the churches of Christ … refers to Christians wherever in that period of time, and especially to the congregations founded by the apostle Paul.

Each community of believers was separately designated as a church of Christ, and all of them together were called collectively the churches of Christ.

A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; even as I have loved you, that you also love one another.
John 13:34 RSV

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