Twenty-nine people are mentioned in Romans 16:1-16, but this passage is not a dry list of names. Rather, it gives insight into the church at Rome and it reveals Paul’s esteem and regard for some of the believers there, including ten women, seven of whom are described in terms of their ministries. Did Paul make a point of affirming these women in an effort to ease tensions caused by some Roman Christians who had a problem with ministering women?
Paul included women, as well as men, as ministry partners. And he used the same ministry terms for his male and female co-workers. None of Paul’s statements, when understood in context, restricts the ministry of godly and gifted women.
At a time when women were regarded as odd and inferior by men, and were excluded from many aspects of society, Jesus was interested in the lives of women. He included them, taught them, and accepted their ministry.
This post is an excerpt from a talk I gave in Melbourne at a camp for high-school girls about understanding and accepting our mission as agents of Jesus.
The creation order of man first, woman second, as recorded in Genesis 2, is often brought up in discussions about the place of men and women in ministry and in marriage. For some, this order even forms the basis of their views on gender. What significance did Paul place on man being created first, woman second?
The New Testament household codes in Ephesians 5-6 and Colossians 3-4 are not primarily about gender. They are about power and about mitigating the abuse that often comes with power.
Numbers 5:11-31 outlines the ordeal of bitter water designed to test the fidelity of a wife who was suspected by her jealous husband of being unfaithful. Just how fair was this trial?
Marcella of Rome (325–410), a friend of Jerome, dedicated herself and her considerable talents and resources to serving the church and helping the poor. Here’s some information about this remarkable woman.
For the few who may be interested, here’s a short post with some of my website stats for 2018. It includes a brief list of my top posts in 2018.
Why does Leviticus 12 say a new mother is unclean for 7 days after the birth of a son but she is unclean for 14 days after the birth of a daughter? Why the difference?
How did God respond when women took the lead? In his book For Such a Time, Ed Dickerson answers this question by looking at the stories of enterprising women in the Bible. Here is a short review of his book.
In 1 Corinthians 16:16, Paul tells the Corinthians to submit themselves to coworkers and labourers. Paul refers to several women by these ministry terms.
In this post I critique the notes on 1 Timothy 2:12 in the ESV Study Bible. What is the context of this verse? What does it prohibit?
In this post, I look at Nympha, a Christian mentioned in Colossians 4:15. What was her association with Paul? What was her ministry? Where was her house church? Was she really a woman?
Timothy saw firsthand how Paul handled ministry and he must have heard the apostle speak and teach on ministry countless times. So, it doesn’t make sense that 1 Timothy 2:12ff represents Paul’s general teaching on women in ministry that Timothy needed to be told. It makes more sense that 1 Timothy 2:11-15 is Paul’s advice about a specific, local situation and even a specific couple.
Someone recently asked me about Paul’s teaching on divorce in 1 Corinthians 7:10-16 and whether it allows for an abused spouse to leave their abuser. Here’s my response with some context to Paul’s words in 1 Corinthians 7.
In centuries past, commentators understood 1 Corinthians 11:7 as expressing the superiority of men over women. Is this what is meant by “man … is the image and glory of God but woman is the glory of man”? Here is a different interpretation that takes culture into account.
1 Corinthians 11:7 (“man . . . is the image and glory of God, but woman is the glory of man”) is a baffling Bible verse and there are different ways of understanding it. In this post, I quote interpretations from 5 past scholars and 10 recent scholars.
Inspired by a recent reading in Acts, I’ve taken a close look at a common Greek expression that Paul uses when addressing Euodia and Syntyche. What was Paul saying to these women in the Philippian Church?
I was recently asked if 1 Timothy 3:4a (“managing his own household well”) is a command that shows men, and not women, are to rule or lead their households. Here’s my response.
This article looks at Junia, a Christian missionary mentioned in Romans 16:7 who was persecuted for her faith and may have known Jesus personally. Was she also known as Joanna?