Wednesday, December 06, 2006

"Neither male nor female" (5)

THE WOMEN IN PAUL'S LETTERS
Romans 16:1-2

I commend to you our sister Phoebe, a servant [a] of the church in Cenchrea. I ask you to receive her in the Lord in a way worthy of the saints and to give her any help she may need from you, for she has been a great help to many people, including me.

[a] Or deaconess.

"Servant" - diakonos - servant, deacon. If a male name appeared in this context virtually all commentators would agree on the translation "deacon" as an officer of the church, and few would note that he was only a servant.

In view of this reference to Phoebe as a deacon it is likely that 1 Timothy 3:11 refers to women deacons, not deacons' wives (see notes to follow).
Romans 16:3

Greet Priscilla and Aquila, my fellow workers in Christ Jesus.

"fellow-workers" - i.e. they were both Paul's collea­gues in missionary service in the fullest sense. The mention of Priscilla first confirms that she was an active missionary, not merely a compa­nion for a missionary-husband.
Romans 16:6

Greet Mary, who worked very hard for you.

Romans 16:12

Greet Tryphena and Tryphosa, those women who work hard in the Lord. Greet my dear friend Persis, another woman who has worked very hard in the Lord.

Paul uses this word 'work' elsewhere to refer to his own missionary work, as well as the work of the elders and those whose work was teaching and preaching.
Romans 16:7

Greet Andronicus and Junias, my relatives who have been in prison with me. They are outstanding among the apostles, and they were in Christ before I was.

"Junias" - the KJV has the feminine "Junia" fol­lowing several Greek manuscripts. There is no occurrence of the masculine "Junias" in any Greek literature. Andronicus and Junia were outstanding among the apostles, i.e. they were regarded as outstanding apostles, not 'highly regarded by the apostles'. Scripture applies the term 'apostle' to others beside The Twelve, including Paul, Barnabas, James and Silas. Andronicus and Junia may have been a husband-and-wife team, but they were regarded equally as apostles.
Philippians 4:2-3

I plead with Euodia and I plead with Syntyche to agree with each other in the Lord. Yes, and I ask you, loyal yokefellow, help these women who have contended at my side in the cause of the gospel, along with Clement and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the book of life.

This passage indicates some sort of team-effort and does not hint at separate work done by the women. The women are regarded as co-labourers, colleagues of Paul’s in the fullest sense.

Colossians 4:15

Give my greetings to the brothers at Laodicea, and to Nympha and the church in her house.

House-churches met in Nympha’s home, and the home of Priscilla and Aquila (Romans 16:5). This expression suggests a role in the house-church beyond providing the venue for their meetings, as no other mention is made of leaders or elders. This role probably involved leadership of some kind.

1 comment:

cybergirl said...

I kind of think that the obvious reason "women" were supposed to remain silent, is because "women" have husbands. Virgins, are the unwed females. But women = married female. It works in context too, so I'm sure I'm right about this. But the point is, IF you are married, then you are bound by the law of marriage where the man is the authority. But the obviously representation is that you are together ONE in Christ, so...therefore, if you are married with a more or less spiritually immature relationship, where the man and the woman are both spiritually immature, women would have to obviously keep silent. PLUS, if you research a little harder, you'll find out it's not about sing quiet, nor is it about a religious service/memorial...the CHURCH means, the body of believers, and being SILENT means, having a quiet life. That's opposite to living a wild life, drinking at bars going out and being riotous, and being loud and disruptive. A quiet life, is like, a peaceful life, a humbled life. I life where you aren't seeking fame or seeking attention, or trying to cause troubles. They wanted women to live quiet lives. not be mute. However I kind of think that, it's only under the curse or the flesh that you'd need that law. You still need to come out of that into Christ. If you have a spiritual relationship in Christ, you both would be spiritually equal enough to speak in the church. I think that the law is removed under Christ. And I believe somewhere, Christ had clarified "the law" to the people asking him, saying "what does your law tell you?" however he didn't say that was what he wanted as well. He couldn't have, because he obviously used men or women for all his purposes, and spoke with them equally. In one instance he actually honored one woman above the men that were in that room. The one that wept on his feet.