Thursday – Letters
Reading – Romans 16
“I commend to you our sister Phoebe, who is a deacon in the church in Cenchrea. Welcome her in the Lord as one who is worthy of honor among God’s people. Help her in whatever she needs, for she has been helpful to many, and especially to me.”
Romans 16:1-2 NLT
These lines help put into context what many see as overly sexist teachings elsewhere in Paul’s letters.
While the word “deacon” is translated servant in some translations, the Greek word implies a leadership role such as deacon or deaconess. Paul backs this up with the phrase “worthy of honor.”
Most scholars believe that she was the one who was entrusted to deliver this letter to the Christians of Rome.
The following verses imply that she lead a sizable party to Rome (short-term mission trip, anyone?).
What I get out of these verses is that, in this context, Paul is very egalitarian in his assignment of leadership.
This would suggest that where he limits women’s roles elsewhere should be limited to those contexts
What’s your take on that?
Am I reading too much into these verses or do you agree with me that Paul looked more at the individual than the gender?