House Church Talk - There can not be male and female4

SameSpecies samespecies at
Tue May 4 17:51:11 EDT 2004

Another two cents on the woman issue.

Romans 16:1-2  "I commend to you Phoebe our sister, who is a Deaconess of
the church which is in Cenchrea, that you receive her in the Lord in a
manner worthy of the saints and assist her in whatever matter she may have
need of you;  for she herself has also been the patroness of many, of myself
as well."

Note:  The word "deaconess" in this verse (servant in the King James), is
Strong's #1249, diákonos, it is clearly the word for deacon.  Translating it
servant as in the King James is very misleading, even though a deacon is a
servant.  Here it is clearly stated that Phoebe is a Deaconess.  Note what
else Paul says about Phoebe in addition to the fact that she was a
Deaconess.  We see that she was also a "patroness of many, of Paul himself".
The word "patroness" is Strong's #4368 and it's primary and foremost meaning
is a leader, ruler or director.  Lets compare both Strong's and Zodhiates
word definitions for this word;

4368 παραστάτις, προστάτις [prostatis /pros·tat·is/] n f. From a derivative
of 4291; GK 4188 and 4706; AV translates as “succourer” once. 1 a woman set
over others. 2 a female guardian, protectress, patroness, caring for the
affairs of others and aiding them with her resources.
Strong, J. (1996). The exhaustive concordance of the Bible  (electronic ed.)
(G4368). Ontario: Woodside Bible Fellowship.

4368. προστάτις prostátis; gen. prostátidos, fem. noun from proı̈́stēmi
(4291), to set before. It meant not only a leader, ruler, or director
(Sept.: 1 Chr. 27:31; 29:6; 2 Chr. 8:10), but was also used by Plutarch for
the Lat. patronus, a patron, a defender of a lower person. The word denoted
those in Athens who were the patrons, i.e., took care of strangers. In Rom.
16:2 it means a patroness, helper.
Zodhiates, S. (2000, c1992, c1993). The complete word study dictionary : New
Testament (electronic ed.) (G4368). Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers.

Now our first reaction wants us to see that this woman was only a servant or
helper.  Which to be honest that's what we all are to be.  But, to those of
us that see deacon as an office in the church that carry's a rank, and not
just function, then we need to see that Phoebe was a deacon.  Paul's own
words were a "patroness of many, of myself as well".  This word "patroness"
again carry's the primary meaning of leader, ruler, director.  Now, we might
think that Paul let no one, but the Lord direct him, and we would agree to
that.  However, first we must also see that Paul, like the Lord Jesus, was
not a respecter of persons.  That they and us must also be a respecter of
God's will.  This means that those whom God has placed or appointed, and
that which is from God, through them, must be respected.  We see this
throughout the scriptures, in prophets speaking by the Spirit, counselors,
apostles, table waiters, etc.  If it is from God, through a person of God's
choosing, it needs to be respected irregardless of gender.  If you recall
the Old Testament story God's words can even come through a donkey.  In the
New Testament they came through many different sent ones, both male and
female.  Paul who was an apostle more then anyone else talked extensively
that it was to be Christ who lived in the member, it was God who was to have
His glory in the church, it was not derived from human wisdom or anything
else, but from God through human vessels, that included all the fruit,
works, prophecy, words of knowledge, etc., etc.  Our job is to be in Spirit,
discern in Spirit, and then submit to God's will.  It's all about submitting
to the Living God, you can see this in the fact that we may bring charges
against even elders, remove false prophets, and apostles.  Lets look at
another word in this verse, and see if it could be, or should be translated
differently given the verse’s context.  Paul instructs the saints to “assist
her in whatever matters she may have”.  In this section of the verse, the
word “matters” is Strong’s #4429 and given the context or Phoebe’s status as
a deacon, is more correctly translated “business”, as it is translated
“business” in the King James.  While we are in the King James Bible some of
us may have noted that the word Deacon, Strong’s # 1249 (diákonos ) is
translated “servant” in the King James for verse 16:1.  You should also note
that this Greek word (diákonos) is translated Deacon in the following verses
of the King James translation, 1 Tim. 3:8, 12; Phil. 1:1.  Please also look
at the words “which is”.  These words are Strong’s #5607, in the first
occurrence of the usage in Rom 16:1.  The Greek the word means “being” or
"to be".  Phoebe is not a “which is”, but a “who is”, this word “which is”
is also translated “who is” in other places. Hopefully, now we can see that
this verse is correctly translated as; "I commend to you Phoebe our sister,
who is (or being) a Deaconess of the church which is in Cenchrea, that you
receive her in the Lord in a manner worthy of the saints and assist her in
whatever business she may have need of you;  for she herself has also been
the patroness (leader, ruler, or director) of many, of myself as well."
Well, we can probably make the argument too for a different translation that
just dismisses Phoebe as a helper.  Maybe it will help to see that she was a
deacon, if we will recall that we have already seen women were prophets,
evangelists (Priscilla, Act 18:26), judge of Israel, and apostles.  In
another couple of posts we will see that a woman is also not prohibited from
being an overseer in the church.

Lord let us submit not to men and woman, but to You, even if Your words come
through a donkey,


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