Likewise greet the church that is in their house
Which was either their own family, which might be somewhat large, and consisting entirely or chiefly of religious persons; for when they were in other places they had a church in their house as well as Rome; see ( 1 Corinthians 16:19 ) ; or the saints at Rome, who used to meet privately at their house, and pray and sing praises together, speak to one another of the things of God, and build up one another in their most faith; and from their gathering together in the name of Christ, and for the worship of him, and among whom his presence, according to his promise, was, they are called a church, or an assembly of Christians.
Salute my well beloved Epaenetus;
for though all the saints were beloved by the apostle, yet there were some, as this good man, for whom he might have, on some account or another, a particular affection; as our Lord, as man, had for his disciple John, though he loved all his disciples. There is one of this name, said to be one of the seventy disciples, and bishop of Carthage; (See Gill on Luke 10:1).
Who is the firstfruits of Achaia unto Christ;
that is, either he was one of the chief and principal for gifts and grace, or one of the first that was converted to Christ in those parts: the allusion is to the firstfruits under the law, which were offered unto the Lord, and were pledges of, and sanctified the rest. The Vulgate Latin, instead of Achaia, reads "Asia": and so it is read in the Alexandrian copy, and others: the reason of this different reading seems to be, because the house of Stephanas are said to be the firstfruits of Achaia, ( 1 Corinthians 16:15 ) . But this hinders not but that Epaenetus might be so too, for he might be one of the family of Stephanas, who was now removed to Rome. If he was a Jew, his Jewish name might be Judah, the same with Epaenetus, in Greek.