Thursday, April 02, 2015

What about Phoebe?

Good article in the latest issue of JSPL by Matt Harmon, "Letter Carriers and Paul’s Use of Scripture." After surveying the various uses of private letter carriers in the ancient world, he concludes
Given the role of letters carriers as apostolic envoys who communicated the παρουσία [(virtual) presence] of the sender/author, it is reasonable to conclude that the carrier was expected to be an extension of Paul’s own ministry in that location, of which teaching was a central component. The glimpses of the responsibilities that Tychicus, Timothy, Titus, and perhaps even Phoebe had as letter carriers correspond with the kind of ministry Paul instructed his envoys Timothy and Titus to carry out in the letters he wrote to them. p. 147(emphasis original)
which has interesting ramifications for those who don't believe women should teach...

With thanks to Matt for sending me a copy!

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