(16:1) "Phebe our sister, which is a servant of the church."|
The Revised Standard Version calls Phoebe a
"deaconess", which would make would make her a church leader. If the
RSV translation is correct, this verse contradicts
the requirement that women not be permitted to teach and that they must be
silent in church. (1 Cor.14:34-35, 1 Tim.2:11-12).
Can women be church leaders?
I commend unto you Phebe
our sister, which is a servant of the church which is at Cenchrea:
That ye receive her in the Lord, as becometh saints, and that ye assist
her in whatsoever business she hath need of you: for she hath been a
succourer of many, and of myself also.
Greet Priscilla and Aquila my helpers in Christ Jesus:||
Who have for my life laid down their own necks: unto whom not only I give
thanks, but also all the churches of the Gentiles.||
Likewise greet the church that is in their house. Salute my well-beloved
Epaenetus, who is the firstfruits of Achaia unto Christ.||
Greet Mary, who bestowed much labour on us.||
Salute Andronicus and Junia, my kinsmen, and my fellow-prisoners, who are
of note among the apostles, who also were in
Christ before me.||
(16:7) "Junia ... of note among the apostles"|
Was there a woman apostle? That is how some interpret this verse and use it to justify a more active
role for women in the church.
Can women be church leaders?
Some translators were so upset at the idea of a woman apostle that they replaced "Junia" with "Junias." The problem with
this is that although "Junia" was a common woman's name at that time, there is no evidence for "Junias" as a man's name.
Bart D. Ehrman, Misquoting Jesus (2005),
(But see here for an opposing view.)
Greet Amplias my beloved in the Lord.
Salute Urbane, our helper in Christ, and Stachys my beloved.
Salute Apelles approved in Christ. Salute them which are of Aristobulus'
Salute Herodion my kinsman. Greet them that be of the household of
Narcissus, which are in the Lord.
Salute Tryphena and Tryphosa, who labour in the Lord. Salute the beloved
Persis, which laboured much in the Lord.
Salute Rufus chosen in the Lord, and his mother and mine.||
Salute Asyncritus, Phlegon, Hermas, Patrobas, Hermes, and the brethren
which are with them.||
Salute Philologus, and Julia, Nereus, and his sister, and Olympas, and all
the saints which are with them.||
(16:17-18) Shun those who disagree with your religious
views. Jehovah's Witnesses use this verse to justify disfellowshipping those who disagree
with the Governing Body.
(16:17) "Mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the
doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them."
(16:18) "For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair
speeches deceive the hearts of the simple."
Salute one another with an holy kiss. The churches of Christ salute you.
Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the
doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.
For they that are such serve
not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches
deceive the hearts of the simple.
For your obedience is come abroad unto all men. I am glad therefore on
your behalf: but yet I would have you wise unto that which is good, and
simple concerning evil.||
And the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly. The grace
of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.||
(16:20) "The God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly."
Paul believed that Jesus would return and defeat Satan "shortly" -- within his own lifetime.
Timotheus my workfellow, and Lucius, and Jason, and Sosipater, my kinsmen,
I Tertius, who wrote this epistle, salute you in the Lord.||
Gaius mine host, and of the whole church, saluteth you. Erastus the
chamberlain of the city saluteth you, and Quartus a brother.||
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.||
Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and
the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery,
which was kept secret since the world began,||
But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according
to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the
obedience of faith:||
To God only wise, be glory through Jesus Christ for ever. Amen.