What was paul actually Calling Phoebe in Romans 16:1?

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by JesusFan, Nov 17, 2011.

  1. JesusFan

    JesusFan
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    based upon his use for Greek term called her by in local Church?
     
  2. Greektim

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    A διακονος. Duh ;)

    I know what you mean. I used to be a hardcore fundie against female deacons. But this verse along w/ 2 Tim 3 makes it easy to allow such a practice. Especially considering that Phoebe was a "minister" of a specific local church. If she was not a deaconess, then that opens up a whole 'nother world of problems. Was she an elder if she was a "minister"? Clearly, "servant" misses the point since she was a "minister of the church". It is put in the language of an office or ministry. I think we need to be open to the possibility that a deaconess is not only Biblical (at least can be argued legitimately from the Bible) but practical as well.
     
  3. preachinjesus

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    Nothing but good things!
     
  4. go2church

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    Deacon in the church
     
  5. Tom Butler

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    Servant, minister.
     
  6. Jerome

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    Reasoned remarks from Dr. Bob::thumbs:

     
  7. freeatlast

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    It raises a serious question. How is the following passage fulfilled if there are women deacons at least in the official capacity as in a Baptist church?
    Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well.
     
    #7 freeatlast, Nov 17, 2011
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  8. Greektim

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    You addressed 2 different issues:

    1) The "official capacity as in a Baptist church" is typically incorrect. If a deacon is simply one who serves in order to free up the elders to lead, study, and pray, then women are better suited in many cases to do this (especially the ones who don't work).

    2) You are neglecting that Paul previously mentioned "likewise women" as if he is referring to the women that would have the office of deacon. I know it is easy to see this as a deacon's wife, and I'm sure you've heard the argument that it makes little sense to mention a deacon's wife but not an overseers; but the fact of the matter is, one can just as easily (if not easier) argue that the women mentioned in 1 Tim 3 are those holding to an office since it is not qualified w/ a marital relationship.

    I'm kind of disappointed in the way some modern translations have handled 3:11. Many like the ESV and ISV add "their wives" when the text just reads "wives/women". I think they are taking great interpretive liberties in doing so.
     
  9. freeatlast

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    Two things. One I think you tried to interpret my motive for the question and you are incorrect. I am not against women deacons as long as they meet the qualifications.
    Second I applaud you to say the Baptist church has it wrong with the men deacons. Praise the Lord. I have shouted that for years and even here on this board although it goes over like a led weight. Although I might not agree with you where they are wrong.

    Next I agree the translation is incorrect and causes improper understandings. In fact the call for the man to be the husband of one wife is wrong. That is not how it should read. It should read a "one woman man." There is a big difference if translated correctly as a man can be married to one woman and still not be a one woman man. It is about character not marriage. He may have eyes for many women and he is disqualified.

    Next I do agree that some women can be a deacon. Phoebe was a deacon, however there is still a problem because of the headship of the household thing, but I think it can be solved. I am including something from Wuest that I think clears this up and I can certainly support.

    (16:1, 2) The word "commend" is sunistēmi, made up of histēmi, "to place," and sun, "with," thus, "to place with," thus, "to recommend, commend, vouch for." Denney says, "the technical word for this kind of recommendation, which was equivalent to a certificate of church membership." "Servant" is diakonos, a word that could be used in either the masculine or feminine genders. Our words "deacon" and "deaconess" are derived from it. The word means "a servant as seen in his activity." Vincent has an illuminating note; "The word may be either masculine or feminine. Commonly explained as deaconess. The term diakonissa is found only in ecclesiastical Greek. The Apostolic Constitutions distinguish deaconesses from widows and virgins, prescribe their duties, and a form for their ordination. Pliny the Younger, about A. D. 104, appears to refer to them in a letter to Trajan, in which he speaks of the torture of two maids who were called ministrae (female ministers). The office seems to have been confined mainly to widows, though virgins were not absolutely excluded. Their duties were to take care of the sick and poor, to minister to martyrs and confessors in prison, to instruct catechumens, to assist at the baptism of women, and to exercise a general supervision over female church-members. Tryphaena, Tryphosa, and Persis (v. 12) may have belonged to this class. Conybeare (Life and Epistles of St. Paul) assumes that Phoebe was a widow, on the ground that she could not, according to Greek manners, have been mentioned as acting in the independent manner described, either if her husband had been living or if she had been unmarried. Renan says: 'Phoebe carried under the folds of her robe the whole future of Christian theology.' " The Roman letter was written at and sent from Corinth. Cenchrea was nine miles away, and one of its seaports. Vincent says it was a thriving town. It contained temples of Venus, Aesculapius, and Isis. The church there was perhaps a branch of the church at Corinth. Paul sent the letter (no carbon copy) with this woman over the long and dangerous journey to Rome. God's watchful care was over both the bearer and the letter. Paul calls Phoebe "our sister," that is "Christian sister." "Receive" is prosdechomai, "to receive to one's self, to give access to one's self, to receive into intercourse and companionship." Paul exhorts the Roman saints to receive Phoebe "in the Lord." Denney remarks, "no mere reception of Phoebe into their houses satisfies this — their Christian life was to be open for her to share in it; she was no alien to be debarred from spiritual intimacy."
    "Becometh" is axios, "weighing, having weight," with the genitive case, "having the weight of another thing, of like value, worth as much." Paul uses it in Philippians 1:27 when he urges the saints in that church to see to it that their manner of life as citizens of heaven weighs as much as the gospel they preach, that is, be worthy of the gospel. Here Paul exhorts the Roman saints to welcome Phoebe into their spiritual company in a manner worthy of a saint. Their welcome should weigh as much as the position they hold in the family of God. It should be fitting to their position as saints. They should act worthy of a saint.
    "Assist" is paristēmi, "to stand by, to help or succour." It is the word used by Paul when he says that the Lord Jesus stood by him at his trial before Caesar (2 Tim. 4:17). It was used as a legal term of presenting culprits or witnesses in a court of law. Denney says that Paul's language suggests that Phoebe was going to Rome on business in which the Roman saints could assist her. "Succourer" is prostatis, "a woman set over others, a protectress, a patroness," caring for the affairs of others and aiding them with her resources. "Church" is ekklēsia, "an assembly of called out ones."
    Translation: Now, I recommend to you Phoebe, our sister, who is a deaconess of the assembly at Cenchrea, to the end that you take her to yourselves in the Lord, in a manner which is fitting to the saints, and that you stand by her in whatever business she may have need of you, for verily, she herself became a benefactress of many, and of me myself.
    —Wuest's Word Studies
     
    #9 freeatlast, Nov 17, 2011
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  10. Jerome

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    That term is from verse 2; she was a "leader of many" (Young's Literal Translation).

    Word is related to the verb used in I Tim. 5:17
    elders that rule well
     
  11. freeatlast

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    OK, SO that means what to you?
     
  12. Greektim

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    I'm not sure what I communicated, but I really did not consider your motivation for the thread. I actually thought it was a good one. I was just responding to the 2 sentences in your response and addressed them as 2 things. Sorry for making the confusion.

    Thank you. I would enjoy discussing w/ you where you think we might disagree.

    I don't have as big a problem for the "husband of one wife" translation as I do w/ "Likewise their wives" since the pronoun "theirs" is not in the text. But "husbands of one wife" is a possible functional meaning. The difference is if we think Paul intended that meaning in interpretation. I am moving more and more to the faithful spouse position (a one woman man).

    I have considered the headship, and this might be a case where we disagree over the role of a deacon. But if their ministry is one of service and not leadership, then I don't see the headship issue coming into play. Not only that, but I believe that the best deacon team would be a husband and wife duo. So that might alleviate some of the tension as well.
     
  13. JesusFan

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    just curious in this area of "female leadership"...

    Do you hold that a woman can be a spiritual leader in a church IF covered under/by "headship" of male authorities over her function in church?

    As the early church seemed to have "prophetess" as an official office/position back then!

    that she can teach even other couples, as long as 'covered" by umbrella of a male spiritual authoring, or is it JUST leading other females/children period?
     
    #13 JesusFan, Nov 17, 2011
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  14. Greektim

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    No to the first

    I do not believe prophet or prophetess was an official position of the church... not in the way an elder/overseer and deacon was anyhow. So that would be a moot point for me.

    No to the last statement. I think Paul's advice for older women to teach younger women in Titus is pretty telling. And his restrictions in 1 Tim is indisputable. I actually take headship very seriously as does my wife. I think the concept you are referring is just a back-door way around the Scriptural truth. People who use this argument are stretching to allow women to rule. I have no doubt that Paul never intended headship to be done in that way. It makes it a useless idea.
     
  15. freeatlast

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    Now with that I am in total agreement with. I would make one point. If you look at the Greek word in Titus where it say the older are to teach the younger the Greek word for teach my understanding is that it is different in power then one used for a teacher. It is more like someone who disciples, but because of her age does so with the authority of that age, not the authority of a position like a preacher/teacher.
     
  16. jaigner

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    It means that the candidates, which would have been an overwhelmingly male lot in the 1st century, must not be married to more than one wife. We can interpret this to indicate that church leaders should, if married, be faithful to their one spouse.

    It's not, by default, saying "a deacon must be a man." That's simply not good interpretation.
     
  17. freeatlast

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    Thank you for sharing that information.
     
  18. jaigner

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    My pleasure. Thought it would help you out.
     
  19. JesusFan

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    Just curious...

    How is it that we do NOT allow for Women to pastor/teach in local Churches, yet have NO problem with her establishing/leading/teaching converts overseas as a missionary?

    I DO hold to male leadership, and that the head pastor must be a male, but is it that NO woman can ever be a JR pastor/assistant pastor, a teacher etc?
     

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