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Presbyterion 36/1 (Spring 2010): 9-^36

PHOEBE OF CENCHREAE AND "WOMEN" OF EPHESUS: "DEACONS" IN THE EARLIEST CHURCHES


Gregory R. Perry*

This article argues that qualified men and women served together as deacons in the earliest churches. I realize that not everyone within the Reformed-Presbyterian exegetical tradition will agree with my findings, and that this is a sensitive issue for many. While I greatly respect those brothers and sisters in Christ who disagree, my conclusion is not novel within, nor extreme in relation to, our tradition. Indeed, the recognition of qualified women for diaconal service to Christ and his church has enjoyed strong, distinguished support within the Reformed-Presbyterian exegetical tradition from John Calvin, B. B. Warfield, Edmund Clowney, James Hurley, the 1976 majority report of the Reformed Presbyterian Church, Evangelical Synod (RPCES), and the 1988 minority report of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church (OPC). 1 Moreover, since 1888 the Covenanters of the Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America have ordained qualified women and men as deacons, while maintaining

Greg Perry is associate professor of New Testament and director of the City Ministry Initiative at Covenant Theological Seminary. He holds a PhD from Union Theological Seminary (Richmond, VA). 1 See The Minutes of the 55th General Assembly of the OPC (Philadelphia: OPC, 1988). Summaries of both the majority and minority views are offered by Gregory Reynolds and Robert Strimple respectively in New Horizons 9, no. 6 (1988): 16-18. The Minutes of the 154th RPECS General Synod and the full reports are available at www.pcahistory.org. I thank Wayne Sparkman, director of the PCA Historical Center, for gathering and posting these documents for easy access. See also John Calvin, The Epistles of Paul the Apostle to the Romans and to the Thessalonians, trans. Ross Mackenzie (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1960), 270, 32021; B. B. Warfield, "Presbyterian Deaconesses," The Presbyterian Review 10, no. 38 (1889): 283-93; Edmund P. Clowney, The Church (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 1995), 215-35; and James B. Hurley, Man and Woman in Biblical Perspective, (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1981), 122-24, 223-33. For a detailed study of Calvin's exegetical justification for his double diaconate view, see Elsie Anne McKee, "Calvin's Exegesis of Romans 12:8Social, Accidental or Theological?" CT/23 (1988): 6-18.

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that the office of elder is open only to qualified men.2 While it is important to recall our family history of diverse views and practices regarding women and diaconal service, it is all the more important to evaluate new findings that relate to this matter from a variety of disciplines with exegetical rigor. In keeping with our hermeneutical commitments to sola Scriptum and ecclesia reformata semper reformrtela secundum verbum Dei, this study evaluates developments in the lexical study of the - word group,3 socio-historical assessments of affluent
women in first-century Roman society,4 and socio-theological descriptions of Pauline communities5 into a fresh assessment of Paul's depiction of who served Christ in the earliest churches. First, in agreement with Calvin, Warfield, and the majority of commentators,6 I find that Paul portrays Phoebe as "a deacon of the See "Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America/' available online at http://en. wikipedia.org/wiki/Reformed JPre^^ (accessed Nov. 11, 2008) and The Constitution of the Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America (Pittsburgh: Crown and Covenant, 2004), D-23-39 (www.reformedpresbyterian.org; accessed Nov. 11, 2008). This was pointed out to me by Tim Keller, "The Case for Commissioning (Not Ordaining) Deaconesses," ByFaith 21 (August 2008): 18-20. 3 See John N. Collins, Diakonia: Reinterpreting the Ancient Sources (New York: Oxford University Press, 1990) and the review of his work by Paula Gooder, "Diakonia in the New Testament: A Dialogue with John N. Collins," Ecclesiology 3, no. 1 (2006): 33-56. As Gooder points out, Collins' work has been overlooked by New Testament commentators. Notable exceptions include the work of Clarence D. Agan III, "'Like the One Who Serves': Jesus, Servant-Likeness, and Self-Humiliation in the Gospel of Luke" (Unpublished PhD dissertation, University of Aberdeen, Scotland, 1999); Andrew D. Clarke, Serve the Community of the Church: Christians as Leaders and Ministers (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2000), 233-252; and Anthony Thiselton, The First Epistle to the Corinthians: A Commentary on the Greek Text (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2000), 300,932,1020. 4 See "The 'New Woman': Representation and Reality," in Elaine Fantham, Helene Peet Foley, Natalie Boymel Kampen, Sarah B. Pomeroy, and H. Alan Shapiro, Women in the Classical World (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1994), 280-93; and Bruce Winter, Roman Wives, Roman Widows: The Appearance of New Women and the Pauline Communities (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2003). 5 1 am simply pointing to descriptions of Pauline communities that not only describe their core beliefs, but which also take seriously their social practices and urban contexts. See Clarke, Serve the Community of the Church; Wayne Meeks, The First Urban Christians: The Social World of Paul (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1983); and David M. Scholer, ed., Social DisHncHves of the Christians in the First Century: Pivotal Essays by E. A. Judge (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 2008). 6 The list is long and theologically diverse. Representatives include Brendan Byrne, Romans, Sacra Pagina 6, ed. Daniel J. Harrington (Collegeville, MN: The Liturgical Press, 1996), 447-48; John Calvin, The Epistles of Paul the Apostle to the Romans and to the Thessalonians CNTC 8, trans. T. H. L. Parker (Grand Rapids:
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church in Cenchreae" ( kv ; Rom 16:1), one of several women who merit specific mention as Paul's fellowworkers (16:3; Phil. 4:3) because of vital contributions to the advance of the gospel generally and to the success of Paul's urban mission specifically. Most notably, Phoebe's relationship with Paul embodies the social ethic he articulates in Romans 12-15. Second, I argue that though Paul recognizes rank as a basis for governing the family and the local church, he strongly repudiates self-promotion and every other assertion of the rights of rank or the trappings of status that suggest any sort of autocratic rule or social dominance by those who form God's 7 household. Instead, Paul highlights the interdependency of members of Christ's body, especially that of men and women (1 Cor. 11:11-12). Indeed, by the words he chooses, and the way he arranges them, Paul distinguishes local and itinerant church leaders as representatives of this new social economy of familial love and interdependent service emerging within the Roman world of power and privilege.8 According to Paul, God's family is instructed and governed locally by its "elders" (; 1 Tim. 5:17-19; Titus 1:5-9) or "supervisors" (; Phil. 1:1; 1 Tim. 3:1-7; Titus 1:5-9; cf. Acts 20:28). These qualified men are recognized and evaluated by the church in accord with the gospel and the Spirif s gifts. "Deacons" or "servants" (; Phil. 1:1; 1 Tim. 3:813; Rom. 16:1-2) are evaluated and recognized in like manner to lead the Eerdmans, 1994), 270, 320-21; C. E. B. Cranfield, A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Epistle to the Romans, ICC, 2 vols. (Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1975), 2:781; James Dunn, Romans 9-16, WBC 38B (Dallas: Word, 1988), 886-87; Andreas J. Kstenberger, "Women in the Pauline Mission," in The Gospel to the Nations: Perspectives on Paul's Mission, ed. Peter Bolt and Mark Thompson (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2000), 228-29; Douglas Moo, The Epistle to the Romans, NICNT (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1996), 916; Thomas Schriener, Romans, BECNT 6 (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1998), 786-788; B. B. Warfield, "Presbyterian Deaconesses," 283-93; and . T. Wright, "The Letter to the Romans: Introduction, Commentary and Reflections," NIB 10 (Nashville: Abingdon, 2002), 761-62. 7 To my knowledge, this distinction between "rank" (defined positions in the social order) and "status" (social conventions of influence and obligation, like the use of wealth) was applied first in the study of early Christianity by Edwin Judge, "Rank and Status in the World of the Caesars and St. Paul" (essay first published in 1982), in Social Distinctives of the Christians in the First Century, 13756. 8 Clarke underscores Paul's avoidance of and - prefixed words to identify "leaders" in the churches and his refusal to adopt such labels for himself. He writes, "[Paul] is no master and has no servants, just fellow-workers, fellowpartners, and fellow-soldiers." See Clarke, Serve the Community of the Church, 250, and his discussion of "Missing Titles" for leaders in Andrew Clarke, A Pauline Theology of Church Leadership, LNTS 362 (London and New York: T. & T. Clark, 2008), 75-76.

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local congregation in its various ministries or services under the supervision of the elders (cf. Acts 6:1-6; Rom. 12:7-8; 1 Tim. 3:1-13; 1 Peter 4:10-11).9 According to Paul, deacons are exemplary men and women who exercise their varied gifts, carry out works of relief and restoration (1 Tim. 3:8-13; 5:9-10; cf. Acts 6:3; 9:36, 39), and execute commissioned tasks (Rom. 16:1-2) to display God's multifaceted wisdom through the church to those rulers and authorities whose lordship in this age is being nullified (1 Cor. 1:28; 2:6, 8; 15:24; Eph. 3:10). 1. PAUL COMMENDS PHOEBE TO THE CHURCH IN ROME In Romans 16:1-2, Paul provides several reasons why the Roman Christians should "welcome" and "assist" Phoebe. As I will show, his clear aim in this brief passage is to "draw their attention to her exemplary service that, in accord with his exhortations in chapters 12-15, they might do likewise: [] 'v , kv 4 cj * 4 4 . I commend to you Phoebe, our sister, who is also a of the church in Cenchreae, that you might welcome her in the Lord in a manner worthy of the holy ones and assist her in whatever matter she may have need of from you; for she herself has been a patroness for many, indeed for me as well.10 I have left the predicate accusative untranslated at this point because contextual markers must guide our understanding of its meaning. 11 Words do not communicate in isolation; they carry intended

1 appreciate Johnson's functional translations of as "supervisor" and as "helper." On the one hand, he avoids the anachronism of reading Ignatius's descriptions of church office back into the Pastoral Epistles. On the other hand, Johnson acknowledges that character requirements and the element of "testing" in 1 Timothy 3 make it clear that official roles in the congregation(s) at Ephesus are in view. See Luke Timothy Johnson, The First and Second Letters to Timothy: A New Translation with Introduction and Commentary, AB 35A (New York: Doubleday, 2001), 212-37. The clear differences between the Pastoral Epistles and Ignatius on these roles are described more fully by William D. Mounce, Pastoral Epistles, WBC 46 (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2000), lxiv-lxix, 186-92. 10 In most cases, I will simply quote from the English Standard Version (ESV) Bible (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2001), though I have offered my own translation in this case. 11 My colleague Jimmy Agan rightly calls exegetes to "argue for, rather than assume, [an] interpretation of the word at Romans 16:1." See Clarence DeWitt "Jimmy" Agan III, "Deacons, Deaconesses, and Denominational

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meaning in paradigmatic, syntagmatic, and pragmatic contexts. To explore these contexts, exegetes must ask at least three questions: a) What word(s) did the author select amidst a range of possibilities? b) How did the author arrange the word(s) within the phrases, clauses, and sentences of his or her composition? and c) What did the author hope to accomplish with his or her communication? In other words, why did (s)he write? 1 2 A. What Word(s) Did Paul Choose? Paul chose four substantives to describe Phoebe, , , and . Despite the fact that she is named for one of the Titan goddesses of Greek mythology, Phoebe () is identified first and foremost as a believer, "our sister" ( ; Rom 16:1), by the apostle to the Gentiles. I will return to the significance of Paul's clear preference for the language of family over the language of friendship to identify Christians in parts IB and 1C below. At this point, however, I focus attention on the word . What is a ? Louw and Nida situate expressions of the word group in four different semantic domains: interpersonal care or help ( in Mark 10:45, Matt. 20:28 and 25:44; in Acts 20:24; Rev. 2:19, and, perhaps, Acts 6:1; and in Matt. 20:26); household service, especially food service ( in Mark 1:31; Luke 22:26-27; and in Luke 10:40); religious roles ( in 1 Tim. 3:10 and in Rom. 16:1 and 1 Tim. 3:8); and the transfer of property or possessions in financial support of others ( in Acts 6:2 and in Acts 6:1 and Rom. 15:31). Across these domains, according to Louw and Nida, whether located in the household, church, or on a journey, the general idea of - words in the New Testament is that of humble service to others while under someone's or some group's authority. 1 3 But, this consensus view has been challenged by the work of John N. Collins. On the one hand, Collins' well-researched study (see note 3 above) of the uses of this word group outside the New Testament reveals an expanded semantic domain for that cuts across lines of social rank and status from a who acts as a "slave" () or personal Discussions: Romans 16:1 as a Test Case," Presbyterion: Covenant Seminary Review 34, no. 2 (2008): 96. 12 These contexts and questions are explained by Richard Pratt, He Gave Us Stories: The Bible Student's Guide to Understanding Old Testament Narratives (Brentwood: Wolgemuth & Hyatt, 1990), 118-25. Also, see Moiss Silva, Biblical Words and Their Meaning: An Introduction to Lexical Semantics, 2nd ed. (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1994), 138-48. 13 Johannes P. Louw and Eugene A. Nida, Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament Based on Semantic Domains, 2nd ed. (New York: United Bible Societies, 1989), 458,460-62,521,541,571, 583.

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"attendant" () to one who acts as a king's or as a god's messenger, emissary ( or ), or ambassador (). Whether "serving tables," "attending other tasks for a master," "carrying out the orders of an official" or "acting as an envoy to deliver a message or to transact other business," a acts as an agent under the 14 authority of his or her social superior for designated tasks. By expanding our understanding of the semantic range of - words, Collins has made a valuable contribution, but by emphasizing occurrences where a acts as a messenger or intermediary he has obscured the fact that "service at table" and other forms of "menial attendance on a person or around a household" is far and away the most common social context for - words, accounting for approximately 15 "half of all instances." Collins concludes, however, that "the root idea expressed by the words [is] that of the go-between . . . never expressing] the idea of being 'at the service of one's fellow man with what that phrase implies of benevolence."16 Collins carries this conclusion into his examination of - words in New Testament texts to challenge consensus understandings of "ministry" () in general and of the role of "deacon" () in particular. For Collins, "deacons" are agents or assistants of the ruling bishop, and "ministry" is what only authorized or commissioned members do on behalf of the church, acting in some sort of "official" capacity.17 I will continue a constructive but critical engagement with Collins in the course of this study of particular Pauline texts, noting where I believe Collins has failed to account adequately for Paul's aim as Christ's to transform Roman social values of leadership or influence.18 For now, I give attention to the last of the four substantives with which Paul describes Phoebe, . While the masculine form, , appears several times in the Septuagint to denote the "officers" or "leaders" of the king's court Collins describes three primary functions of - words in the following order: 1) message: wherein a is a spokesperson, herald, courier, or envoy; 2) agency: wherein a is an intermediary, official, or agent; and 3) attendance upon a person or in a household: wherein a is an assistant, staff, or errand-boy. See Appendix I in Collins, Diafonia, 335-337, and Gooder, "Diakonia in the New Testament," 48. 15 Collins, Diakonia, 75. 16 Collins maintains that the welfare of the master or his guests is not in view, rather that the "attendants" are merely doing what they have been told to do (Diakonia, 194, emphasis mine). 17 Collins, Diakonia, 235-44,253-63. 18 Paula Gooder is right to call exegetes to demonstrate how and why the use of - words by New Testament writers differs from common Hellenistic uses described by Collins ("Diakonia in the New Testament," 47). As I will show, the key diffrence lies in the pragmatic or social context of meaning.
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(1 Chron. 27:31; 29:6; 2 Chron. 8:10; 24:11; 1 Esd. 2:8 [of the temple]; 2 Mace. 3:4 ), the feminine form, , is only used by Paul with reference to Phoebe in the Greek New Testament. Nevertheless, a review of inscriptions, papyri, and other ancient literature of the period reveals clear evidence that referred in a specific sense to a woman (or goddess) who acted as a "patron(ess)" providing material support to her beneficiaries.19 In fact, an inscription at Corinth, from the time that Paul lived and wrote from there, honors a woman named Junia Theodora. She acquired great praise and fame for her "patronage" () of the Lycian league of cities "having gained the friendship of the authorities for the nation" ( 60vei) and by "welcoming Lycian travelers . . . into her own home" ( . . . [] iiq. :) as they journeyed to and from Rome. 20 Again, "What words did Paul choose to identify Phoebe?" In addition to her Greek name, Paul identified Phoebe as a "sister" () and "patroness" (), an odd coupling, given that the typical pattern of acclamation decrees, like those for Junia, describe "patrons" or "benefactors" as "friends" () of a certain people or nation.21 Adding to this odd mix of terms, Paul also described Phoebe as a , a word that cut across the social strata, referring most often to a "slave" () or "attendant" () in menial tasks, but often enough to an "envoy" () or "ambassador" (), who acted on behalf of the person or group who sent him or her. Despite this range of more specific lexical possibilities, Paul chose the masculine term,

See G. R. Horsley, ed., New Documents Illustrating Early Christianity, vol. 4 (Sydney, Australia: Macquarie University, 1987), 242-44; Edwin Judge, "Cultural Conformity and Innovation in Paul: Some Clues from Contemporary Documents," in Social Distinctives of the Christians in the First Century, 171; and Byrne, Romans, 447-48. Though Meeks also points to sources that show the masculine form, , used in reference to Hellenistic city "officials" or to "leaders" in various types of voluntary associations, he rightly translates the feminine form "as an equivalent of and the Latin patrona" (The First Urban Christians, 60). 20 See the appendix, "Women in Civic Affairs," that features Junia Theodora and Claudia Metrodora in Winter, Roman Wives, Roman Widows, 205-11. I have quoted from line 5 of "A Decree of the Federal Assembly of the Lycian Cities" (205-06) and from line 76 of "A Decree of the Lycian City of Telmessos" (209). For more on the inscription that honors Junia Theodora in Corinth, see pages 192-93. 21 Winter records that Junia Theodora of Corinth was described as "a friend ( ) of the Lyans" who had assured "the friendship () of the authorities" (Roman Wives, Roman Widows, 205-10). Also, see Judge, "Cultural Conformity and Innovation in Paul," 164-72, esp. 166-67.

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, to identify a prominent woman, Phoebe. 2 2 To address this oddity and ambiguity, I turn now to the syntactical context of meaning. B. How Did Paul Arrange These Words? is the predicate accusative in simple apposition to "Phoebe" (), made emphatic by the feminine participle in Romans 16:1. 2 3 This type of appositional construction is used often in the New Testament to describe those w h o hold an official position (i.e., Caiaphas in John 11:49; Gallio in Acts 18:12; and Felix in Acts 24:10), but it is also used to describe other identifying characteristics or roles (i.e., "if you, being evil" in Matt. 7:11 and "though I was a blasphemer" in 1 Tim. 1:13). While this construction alone does not offer conclusive evidence that Phoebe was acting as a church officer, at the very least it communicates that she was known as and characteristically functioned as a . But, for whom? In Romans 16:1, also functions as the head noun of verbal quality in construct with the genitive phrase, , and its modifying prepositional phrase, v Keyxpea. Should Paul's readers interpret the genitive construct as the source or the object of ? Is Phoebe a "from the church" or "for the church"? Perhaps, Paul intended a genitive of place to describe Phoebe as a " in the church, the one that is in Cenchreae." 2 4 While it may be difficult to discern the exact nuance of the genitive case, one thing is clearPhoebe is not Paul's personal attendant, but a of the church in Cenchreae. Though she may well have carried his letter to the Romans, Paul's emphatic appositional construction with on the one side of , and his further description with the genitive construct

The RSV translation "deaconess" is paraphrased, as there is no evidence of the feminine form, , until the third century (Apost Const 8.19, 20, 28). Funerary inscriptions even well into the Byzantine period indicate the use of to refer to women who functioned in official capacities as "deacons." One of those women, Sophia, is of particular interest as she is not only called "the deacon" ( , a masculine noun, used in this instance with a feminine article), she is also called "the second Phoebe" ( ). See Horsley, ed. New Documents 2:193-95 and 4:239-42; Warfield, "Presbyterian Deaconesses," 284; Moo, The Epistle to the Romans, 914nll and Winter, Roman Wives, Roman Widows, 197-99. 23 See Daniel B. Wallace, Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1996), 190-91. Dunn writes, " together with points more to a recognized ministry or position of responsibility with the congregation" (Romans 9-16, 886-87). 24 See Wallace's discussion of the genitive of origin/source, the objective genitive, and the genitive of place (Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics, 109-10,11619, and 124).

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kv on the other side of , characterize 25 Phoebe as an agent of "the church in Cenchreae." Paul's emphatic description of Phoebe as "a patroness for many, indeed for me as well" ( . . . 4 ) stresses her role as an advocate or forerunner for Paul and others into the lite circles of Corinth and Cenchreae, Corinth's southeastern port. In other words, as his , Phoebe had a greater social status than Paul in relation to the Corinthian community. Paul's ironic mix of words, identifying Phoebe as , , and , prevents a mere mirror-reading of their use in the culture and underscores Phoebe's character and role in a larger enterprise, the economy of God. To answer the question of why Paul commends Phoebe to the Roman Christians, I turn now to the pragmatic context. C. Why Does Paul Commend Phoebe to the Roman Christians? The action that Paul requires of the Roman Christians in relation to Phoebe is clear: "welcome her in the Lord in a manner worthy of the holy ones and assist her in whatever matter she may have need of from you" ( kv 4 ).26 Paul includes Phoebe's commendation in his letter in part because his relationship with her embodies the ethos or social ethic he outlines in Romans 12-15, an ethos rooted in familial love (12:9-21; 13:8-10) not reciprocity. As one who "associates] with the lowly" (12:16b), "contributes] to the needs of the holy ones" (12:13a), and undoubtedly "display[s] hospitality" (12:13b) to travelers in Cenchreae, Phoebe demonstrates a stated aim of Paul's ministry: "the obedience of the Gentiles" ( ; 15:18; cf. 1:5). Because of "the grace that has been given to each one" of them, Paul urges status-conscious church members to "think of [themselves] with sober judgment," that is, "not more highly than [they] ought" (12:3). 27 Describing them as "one body in Christ," Paul says that they must "welcome [Phoebe] in the Lord" (v , 12:5 -> kv , 16:2). 28 Though a Gentile woman, Phoebe had accepted (, 14:1; 15:7 Collins, Diafonia, 224-225. As Wallace suggests, the iva clause provides the content of Paul's commendation, and could carry imperatival force (Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics, 475-477). Cf. Moo, Romans, 915nl2. 27 Harrison has shown that Paul's language of "grace" borrows from the Graeco-Roman reciprocity system but upends the way in which gift exchange reinforced the honor of the benefactor to focus honor and thanksgiving instead on God. See James R. Harrison, Pauls Language of Grace in Its Graeco-Roman Context, WUNT 2.172 (Tbingen: Mohr [Siebeck], 2003). 28 Wright argues that "the apparently incidental reference to being 'in Christ' in 12:5 is probably to be taken as thematic" ("The Letter to the Romans," 702).
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-> , 16:2) and helped Paul, a Jewish man, who describes her not as "common" or "unclean" (, 14:14), but as "our sister" ( , 16:1). Though a woman of means who could have used her wealth to obligate the "many" (, 16:2) as her "friends" (), Phoebe acts instead as a "sister" by giving freely. Paul's use of kinship language to describe Phoebe illustrates a dramatic shift in the basis of social identity for Jewish and Gentile Christians from pedigree and privilege to participation "in Christ." Even if, in some unusual case, a first-century Jewish man had benefited financially or socially from a 29 Gentile "patroness," he never would have called her his "sister." By choosing this distinctive mix of nouns (paradigmatic context) and arranging them together (syntagmatic context) to describe Phoebe, Paul continues his challenge to Roman measures of social status and Jewish measures of religious purity, which threaten the formation of Christian identity in the house churches of Rome (pragmatic context). Commentators have overlooked the way in which Phoebe's patronage of Paul and representation of her church in Cenchreae in Rome embodies the social relations and shared mission that Paul urges upon the Roman Christians in Romans 12-15.30 Phoebe's good reception would not only ensure that the Roman Christians start well in their direct relations with Paul, it would also cultivate their awareness that, as "Christ's body" (12:5), their multi-ethnic, interdependent family has business throughout the so-called "Roman" world (15:24). 2. PAUL DIAGRAMS INTERDEPENDENCE AND REJECTS DOMINANCE The Pauline corpus opens windows in different locales on an extraordinary social experiment: the formation of unique, alternative public assemblies under the rule of Israel's crucified yet risen Messiah. Paul's sketch of the integrated diversity of the human body is a primary metaphor through which he shapes the identity and mission of the
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Paul's use of kinship language instead of the euphemism of friendship, used to describe patron-client relations, is significant. As deSilva points out "the relationship between siblings is the closest, strongest and most intimate of relationships in the ancient world." In his essay "On Fraternal Affection/' Plutarch deploys the body metaphor to speak of the way siblings were to share their family resources like "one soul makes use of the hands and feet and eyes" (Plutarch, Moralia 478C-D). See David A. deSilva, Honor, Patronage, Kinship & Punty: Unlocking New Testament Culture (Downers Grove: Intervarsity, 2000), 166, 170-71. 30 Though Wright notes that "the unusually lengthy closing greetings (16:116,21-23)... are not simply tossed off to complete the letter, but make their own point in practical outworking of what has been said already" ("The Letter to the Romans," 701).

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church (Rom. 12:4-5; 1 Cor. 10:16-17; 11:27-29; 12:12-31; Eph. 1:22-23; 2:14-18; 4:4-16; 5:22-33; Col. 1:18-29; 2:18-19; 3:15). Metaphors of a community are not merely illustrative; they construct social identity, forming beliefs, attitudes, and practices. By using the metaphor of "the 7 body/ Paul echoes many other community leaders who had confronted factions or sedition in order to preserve social cohesion in the "body 31 politic." But, Paul reverses the direction of their rhetorical strategy. Instead of urging those among the plebeian class (humiliores) to set aside their grievances and submit anew to the authority of their patrician benefactors (honestiores), Paul exhorts the "strong" (Rom. 14:1-3) to "welcome the one who is weak in faith" (Rom. 14:1), and to "give more 32 honor to unpresentable body parts" (1 Cor. 12:23). The responsibility of "the strong" to look after the needs of "the weak" for the sake of the common good was accepted widely. According to Paul, however, the "members" () of Christ's body should go beyond this cultural norm to imitate Christ (Phil. 2:5-11). Those of rank and/or status in the church must use their privileges and rights "to please [their] neighbor for his good," and not "to please [them]selves . . . for Christ did not please himself" (Rom. 15:1-3). They must "never be conceited, but associate with the lowly" (12:16).33 Moreover, they must "love one another with brotherly affection and outdo one another in showing honor" (12:10), "considering others more significant than [them]selves" (Phil. 2:3). Among the noble, educated men and women of Roman society, this sort of self-lowering was viewed as socially For a thorough discussion of the use of the body metaphor, see Margaret M. Mitchell, Paul and the Rhetoric of Reconciliation: An Exegetical Investigation of the Language and Composition of 1 Corinthians (Tbingen: Mohr, 1991), 157-64; D. . Martin, The Corinthian Body (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1995); Ben Witherington III, Conflict and Community at Corinth: A Socio-Rhetorical Commentary on 1 and 2 Corinthians (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1995), 253-63; and Michelle V. Lee, Paul the Stoics and the Body of Christ, Society for New Testament Studies Monograph Series 137 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006). 32 Robert Karris warns exegetes against simply identifying "the strong" as Gentile Christians and "the weak" as Jewish Christians. See R. J. Harris, "Romans 14:1-15:13 and the Occasion of Romans," in The Romans Debate, ed. . P. Donfried, rev. ed. (Peabody, MA: Hendriksen 1991), 65-84, and the nuanced discussion in . T. Wright, "The Letter to the Romans," 730-33. If Paul is influenced by his experiences in Corinth (cf. 1 Cor 8-10) as he writes to Rome, as Harris and Wright suggest, then socio-economic hues also color the meaning of "the strong" and "the weak" (cf. 1 Cor 1:26-27) in Rom. 14-15. Note the emphasis on hospitality in Rom. 14:1,3 and 15:7, as well as the illustration using household slaves in 14:4. 33 See the discussion on the abandonment of status in Judge, "St Paul as a Radical Critic of Society," in Social Distinctives of the Christians in the First Century, 105-09.
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destabilizinga sort of pandering to the moband vigorously 34 resisted. Though Paul adopted a familiar way of discussing leadership, social relationships, and community formation, he adapts his use of the "body" metaphor and the - word group to fit the coherence of the gospel story, not the Roman script. Like Menenius Agrippa's famed fable, Paul describes a dialogue between body-parts from "the head to the feet" (1 Cor. 12:21).35 Both dialogues focus on the center of the anatomy, the stomach, or, possibly in Paul's case, the reproductive organs. But, God "unified" () the body at its core to ensure its integrity, "that the parts of the body might have the same concern for one another" (12:25). "To give more honor" to other members of the assembly (12:24) is to love them (13:1-13). Love is not a spiritual gift; rather, it is "the way" the gifts are to be exercised (12:31b) and the reason they are to be pursued (14:1). The Holy Spirit distributes a variety of "gifts" (; 12:4), "ministries" (; 12:5), or "activities" (; 12:6) such that their combination through the members constructs and nurtures the church (14:3-5). Love marks "the Spirif s people" (12:1; cf. 3:1) in their motivation and manner. As each part of Christ's body contributes to its common good (12:7), "the body edifies itself with love" (Eph. 4:1).36 The use of in 1 Corinthians 12:5 clearly illustrates the general meaning of the - word group to indicate "a commissioned agency." 37 Something is done or transferred on behalf of a social superior by "a go-between" () to or for someone else. 38 Members of Christ's assembly are empowered and distinguished "by/through/ according to the . . . Spirit" (12:8 [2x]; 12:9 [2x]; 2:11). On the one hand, Collins has understood rightly that the - word group indicates "action done in the name of another."39 Each member of the body serves Dale Martin's review of the Greco-Roman literature on leadership shows a dominant preference for the benevolent patriarch model and widespread suspicion of the populist model of leadership. On the whole, Martin concludes, "self-lowering in order to identify oneself with the lower class meant disloyalty to the upper class." See Dale B. Martin, Salvation as Slavery: The Metaphor of Slavery in Pauline Christianity (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1990), 86-116, quote on p. 98. 35 Menenius Agrippa's fable is recounted both by Livy, History 2.32.8-12, and Dionysius of Halicarnassus, Roman Antiquities, 6.86.1-5, and explained well by Lee (Paul the Stoics and the Body of Christ, 31-34). 36 Harrison concludes, "the beneficence of believers is not motivated by the obligation to return favor or, conversely, the expectation of the return of favor. The only legitimate dynamic for Paul is love (Rom. 13:8-10; 1 Cor. 13:3)" (Pauls Language of Grace in Its Graeco-Roman Context, 324). 37 See Gooder, "Diakonia in the New Testament," 56. 38 See note 14 above. 39 Collins, Diakonia, 194.
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the Lord's purpose (lliS). The Spirit assigns their place in the body and distributes gifts "as he wishes" (12:11). On the other hand, Collins has negated the other side of the go-between relationship, stating that "the words . . . never express the idea of being 'at the service of one's fellow man with what that phrase implies of benevolence " On the contrary, benevolence or gift is exactly what these "services" embody. As the tightly parallel syntax (syntagmatic context) of 1 Corinthians 12:4-6 makes clear, "ministries" or "services" (; 12:5), "gifts" (; 12:4), and "activities" (4; 12:6) are supplied by God for the mutual advantage ( ; 12:7) of the body-parts.42 The gracious, edifying, and beneficent character of these "services" (12:5) could hardly be plainer. Collins' later assertion that "ministries" (; 12:5) here refers only to the official work of preachers, apostles, or their commissioned representatives and not to "activities" and "gifts" entrusted to every member of Christ's body, collides with Paul's clear purpose (pragmatic context) to counter elitist notions of spirituality at Corinth. A graded evaluation of various gifts is the very problem Paul confronts when he writes, "All these things" ( ; 1 Cor. 12:6) are "the manifestation of the Spirit" (12:7) "among everyone" (4v ; 12:6), and given "to each one" (; 12:7) in Christ's body. 43 By using the metaphor of "the body7' Paul not only invites his readers to see the church in a particular way through their mind's eye, he also urges Jewish and Gentile Christians, weak and strong, freedmen and slaves, women and men "to abandon the Cynic-Stoic ideal of self-sufficiency ()" to live and work interdependently with the Spirit's energy towards "mature humanity, the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ" (Eph. 4:1s). 44 The servile connotation of in syntactical relation to is not to be missed. Thiselton writes, "To understand the currency of lordship . . . we begin by exploring what it is to obey, to trust, and serve as a slave." See Thiselton, The First Epistle to the Corinthians, 931, his emphasis. 41 Collins, Diakonia, 194. 42 As Fee notes, these are not three distinct categories, rather they are "three ways of looking at what in v. 7 Paul calls 'manifestations' of the Spirit" (The First Epistle to the Corinthians, 587). 43 As Martin observes, "In 12:4-11 Paul continually stresses unity in diversity in order to overcome divisiveness owing to different valuations being assigned to different gifts, with tongues as the implied higher-status gift" (The Corinthian Body, 87). Contra John N. Collins, "Ministry as a Distinct Category among Charismata (1 Corinthians 12:4-7)," Neotestamentica 27, no. 1 (1993): 7991. Also, see the comments by Gooder, "Diakonia in the New Testament," 52-56. 44 See Harrison, Pauls Language of Grace in Its Graeco-Roman Context, 279-83, quote on p. 281. O'Brien has answered Collins' challenge to the 1971 RSV revised translation of Eph. 4:12 (shared by the NIV and ESV). As in 1 Cor. 12, Paul
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3. ARE LEADERS IN GOD'S HOUSEHOLD


Paul's innovative diagrams of the Lord's alternative recognize rank and yet repudiate the social dominance of one particular sub-group or gift-type to affirm the necessary contribution of each member of the church. Paul asserts a peculiar social order for "all the churches" (1 Cor. 11:16; 14:33), even if that order would adopt another framing metaphor 45 at Ephesus-"the household of God" (1 Tim. 3:15; cf. Eph. 2:19). Remarkably, Paul's adaptation of cultural scripts on social leadership is embodied by his own example as he "imitate[s] Christ" (1 Cor. 11:1; cf. Mark 10:35-45; Luke 22:24-27; 1 Cor. 4:16-17; 2 Cor. 8:9; Phil. 2:5-11). Furthermore, it is embedded in the character qualities he lists for 46 "overseers" and "deacons" (1 Tim. 3:1-13) at Ephesus. A. Paul Writes to Timothy to Reform the Leadership of God's Household Paul roots his influence in his announcement of the gospel, its effects in his own life (1 Tim. 1:12-17), and in the lives of his fellows. When Paul writes that he was "appointed to service" ( ; 1:12), and "appointed as a preacher and apostle . . . and teacher of the nations" (2:11; cf. 2 Tim. 1:11), he references his call on the Damascus road and "the command of . . . Christ Jesus" (1 Tim. 1:1; cf. Acts 9:1-19). With the co-text of these substantives in 1 Timothy 2:11, Collins rightly categorizes the use of in 1 Timothy 2:12 within the semantic domain of stresses'the unity of Christ's body. In Eph. 4:7 "each" believer is given grace and gifts (4:8), because the whole body only grows as "each part" does its work (4:16). See Peter O'Brien, The Letter to the Ephesians, PNTC (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1999), 301-05 and Gooder, "Diakonia in the New Testament," 52-56. Contra Collins, Diakonia, 233-34 and T. D. Gordon, "'Equipping' Ministry in Ephesians 4?" JETS 37 (1994): 69-78. 45 One of many important differences between the individual letters in the so-called Pastoral Epistles is the importance of the household metaphor to Paul's depiction of the church and church leadership in 1 Tim. and its absence in 2 Tim. and Titus. For a discussion of how such differences present a significant challenge to the scholarly consensus that understands the Pastorals as a single, pseudonymous literary production, see Johnson, The First and Second Letters to Timothy, 78-90, esp. 82,89-90. 46 The emphasis that Campbell places on the use of the singular in 1 Tim. 3:1 and Titus 1:7 cannot bear the weight of his case for seeing the purpose of the Pastorals as legitimating the authority of one city-wide overseer for all its house churches. Later instructions regarding widows provide qualifications to evaluate each individual candidate for the church's support (; 1 Tim. 5:4, 5, and 9 in singular form). Likewise, each potential overseer is evaluated individually because each house church had only one overseer, often the head of the household. Pace R. Alistar Campbell, The Elders: Seniority within Earliest Christianity (Edinburgh: & Clark, 1994), 194-98.

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messenger. Indeed, Paul is the Lord's "emissary/' not an apostle from Jerusalem nor any other vested authority, but a servant of Christ and his gospel (2 Cor. 3:4-9; Eph. 3:7-10; Col. 1:23). Already, I have shown how Paul's relationship with Phoebe embodies the gospel ethos that he advocates among the Jewish and Gentile Christians at Rome. Moreover, Paul sends Timothy (1 Thess. 3:2, 6; 1 Cor. 4:17; 16:10; Phil. 2:19) to address the growing pains of Christ's alternative assemblies, because Timothy personifies "[Paul's] ways in Christ" (1 Cor. 4:17; cf. 2 Tim. 3:10-17). At Ephesus, Timothy is charged with the unenviable task of confronting false teachers (1 Tim. 1:3-11) and establishing a healthy process for local churches to select (3:1-13), evaluate, and even remove (5:1-2, 17-22) their leaders. To encourage Timothy and to legitimate the directives that Timothy had to deliver,48 Paul recalls "the prophesies" (1:18; 4:14; cf. 2 Tim. 1:6) that identified Timothy as a "servant of Jesus Christ" ( '; 1 Tim. 4:6).49 To be sure, Timothy's close association with Paul (1:2,18; 2 Tim. 1:2; 2:1) adds weight to his teaching authority, but the ultimate imprimatur for both Paul and Timothy is "the glorious gospel" (1 Tim. 1:11; cf. 1:15-16; 2:3-7; 3:16; 4:9-10) and its transforming, edifying results in the relations of God's household (1:14, 16; 6:11-12). Paul roots his own identity as the "Lord's slave" (; 2 Tim. 2:24; cf. Rom. 1:1; 2 Cor. 4:5; Phil. 1:1; Titus 1:1) or "Christ's servant" (; 1 Tim. 4:6; cf. 1 Cor. 3:5; 2 Cor. 3:6; 6:4; 11:23; Eph. 3:7), and his use of the terms and about Timothy, in the life and ministry of Christ himself (; Phil. 2:7; ; Rom. 15:8; cf. Mark 10:45; Luke 22:27), "who, though he was in the form of God, . . . made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant" (; Phil. 2:67). 50 So, Paul reminds Timothy: "the Lord's servant ( ) must not be quarrelsome, but he must be kind to everyone, able to teach,

Collins, Diakonia, 211-12, 215-16. Whether or not 1 Tim. and Titus exhibit all the formal qualities of mandata princxpis (lit., commandments of a ruler) letters, it is clear that they were to be read publicly in the house churches and not just privately by Paul's delegates. Though addressed to individuals, such letters summarized the wishes and commands of a superior for his representative to carry out in distant communities. The letters served as a way of legitimating the representative and offered criteria to the public for evaluating his leadership. See the discussion in Johnson, The First and Second Letters to Timothy, 137-142. 49 See the discussion on "Prophecies about Timothy" in Mounce, Pastoral Epistles, 70-72, and in Gordon Fee, God's Empowering Presence: The Holy Spirit in the Utters of Paul (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 1994), 758-761. 50 See the discussions in Agan, "'Like the One Who Serves'," 177-220; Clarke, Pauline Theology of Church Leadership, 60-71, 124-28; and Gooder, "Diakonia in the New Testament," 40-42,49-51.
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patiently enduring evil, correcting his opponents with gentleness" (2 Tim. 2:24). Paul recognizes the authenticating work of God's Spirit through the interdependent parts of Christ's body to confirm God's "gift" to Timothy. As Paul and Barnabas had been commissioned for their missionary task by "the prophets and teachers" at Antioch (Acts 13:1-3), so Paul urges Timothy "to fight the good fight" on the basis of "the prophecies previously made about you" ( 4 ok ; 1:18), and "the gift" he had been given for the task (; 1 Tim. 4:14; 2 Tim. 1:6), a "gift" recognized by the church "with the laying on of hands by the council of elders" ( 6; 1 Tim. 4:14), and by Paul (2 Tim. 1:6).51 The predicates "to place hands upon" ( ; Acts 6:6; 8:17-18; 9:17; 13:3; 19:6; 1 Tim. 4:14; 5:22) and "to choose or appoint" (; Acts 10:41; 14:23; 2 Cor. 8:19) are used consistently by Luke and Paul to refer to some form of official recognition by church representatives of God's gifting and/or calling of a person or persons for some "service" to God and others. Whether recognizing an ongoing local role like that of an elder (Acts 14:23; 1 Tim. 5:22), an itinerant role like that of missionaries (Acts 13:3; 1 Tim. 4:14), a local reception of the Spirit along with gifts of tongues and prophesies (Acts 8:17-18; 19:6), or someone entrusted with the transfer of goods or funds in the course of the church's work (Acts 6:6; 2 Cor. 8:19), the "laying on of hands" was often accompanied "with prayer [and fasting]" (Acts 6:6; 13:13; 14:23; cf. 2 Tim. 1:3-7) to seek God's blessing. 52 At Ephesus, Timothy needs this tangible reminder of the Spirit's work and gift to confront the "teachings This "gift" is "from God" ( 6; 2 Tim. 1:6). The Spirit has made Timothy's "gift" clear to the church "with prophecies" ( ; 1 Tim. 4:14), confirmed and blessed it "with the laying on of the hands" ( ; 4:14; ; 2 Tim. 1:6). As my translation reflects, I read the two parallel prepositions, ia and , synonymously as indicating important attending circumstances that recognize Timothy's gift, not its efficient cause. See Mounce, Pastoral Epistles, 261-63; Fee, God's Empowering Presence, 773-74; and Philip H. Towner, The Letters to Timothy and Titus, NICNT (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2006), 321-25. 52 As Everett Ferguson showed and others, like Campbell, have confirmed, the association of "prayer" with "the laying on of hands" distinguishes early Christian ordination from the later rabbinic rite. Though both practices have roots in the Old Testament (Num. 8:5-13; 27:15-23), the development of Christian ordination was affected by Jesus' practice of "laying on hands" and speaking words of blessing or healing (cf. Mark 5:23; 6:5; 7:23; 10:16; Luke 13:13). See Everett Ferguson, "Jewish and Christian Ordination," HTR 56 (1963): 13-20; and Campbell, The Elders, 163-72. Also, note the discussion in James Burtchaell, From Synagogue to Church: Public Services and Offices in the Earliest Christian Communities (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1992), 292-306.
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of demons" (1 Tim. 4:1), which are producing all manner of "ungodly" behavior (1:9-11) that opposes the gospel (1:10). Therefore, Timothy's teaching in general and Paul's criteria for local leadership in particular focus not on an authority vested in office, but on an authority arising from characterthe godliness (^; 2:2; 3:16; 4:7-8; 6:3, 5-6, 11), faithfulness (; 1:12; 3:11; 2 Tim. 2:2) and good, public works ( 53 / ; 1 Tim. 2:10; 5:10,25; 6:18) produced by the gospel. 54 Remarkably, Timothy is never called an "elder" or "overseer." He is a temporary teacher with a remedial task. To be sure, Timothy's dayto-day responsibilities are much the same as those entrusted to local leaders because he is to re-establish healthy patterns of teaching and relating (4:6-16): He is among those authorized to "command and teach" (4:11) "sound," life-giving "words" (1:10; 6:3; 2 Tim. 1:13; 4:3), to "preach the Word" (4:2), and "to pray for all people" in the context of public worship (1 Tim. 2:1-2). He is to ensure honor and support for qualified widows (5:3-16) and for those "elders who rule well" (5:17-18). But he also is among those who are to establish a fair process for receiving and evaluating testimony that could result in the removal of "elders who persist in sin" (5:19-21). He is to "do the work of an evangelist" (2 Tim. 4:5), and, finally, to entrust these tasks with patience, not haste (1 Tim. 5:22), "to faithful men who will be able to teach others also" (2 Tim. 2:2). Again, Timothy's authority for these tasks is rooted in the gospel's transforming work, the Spirit's gifts, and confirmation by inter dependent relations within God's household (especially that of Paul and the churches of Lycaonia; cf. Acts 16:1-5; 1 Tim. 1:18; 4:14; 2 Tim. 1:6; 3:10-13), not some grace supposedly transferred in accession to or succession of church office.55

Dibelius's anachronistic view that the Pastoral Epistles call for a bourgeois ethic that seeks a "quiet life" to avoid persecution has been convincingly critiqued by P. H. Towner, The Goal of Our Instruction: The Structure of Theology and Ethics in the Pastoral Epistles, JSNTSup 34 (Sheffield: Sheffield Academic, 1989), and Reggie Kidd, Wealth and Beneficence in the Pastoral Epistles: A 'Bourgeois' Form of Early Christianity? SBLDS 122 (Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1990). Contra Martin Dibelius and Hans Conzelmann, The Pastoral Epistles, Hermeneia, 2nd ed. (Augsburg/Fortress Press, 1972), 39-40. See the helpful summary of the scholarly discussion about "bourgeois Christianity" (brgerliches Christentum) by Mark Harding, What Are They Saying about the Pastoral Epistles? (Mahwah, NJ: Paulist Press, 2001), 54-60. 54 This is due to Timothy's youth (1 Tim. 4:12). As Campbell summarizes, "From the earliest times the elders' position was closely linked with their family, or household, and the ancient household continued to run according to strict notions of seniority" (The Elders, 241, also see, 65-66,95-96). 55 Contra Dibelius-Conzelmann, The Pastoral Epistles, 70.

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Leaving aside a more thorough description of the fraudulent leadership and errant teachings that troubled the church at Ephesus, it is enough for my purposes here to point to their fruitheated arguments and greedy discontent (1 Tim. 1:3-11; 4:1-5; ^ ) . 5 6 Men bring their doctrinal quarrels and women wear provocative, ostentatious apparel into public worship (2:8-10). To set things right, Paul draws on the gospel script set within the wider story of Israel's creation account. 5 7 His reading constructs the image of the household to illustrate the interdependency of the Lord's alternative assembly. As Wall suggests, "Two different often competinghuman 'households' are in view." 5 8 But they are not sacred and secular, as Wall supposes. Rather, each has its own leaders who represent the character and will of its god(s). Alternate cosmologies and social orders are displayed in the public assemblies of these "households," especially by their corporate worship. Misreadings and ignorance of Genesis need correction at Ephesus. "Devotion to myths and endless genealogies" (1:4) must be displaced by the "truth" (2:4) of human solidarity in common parents (2:13-14). Disputes over whether or not to abstain from sexual expression in marriage and from eating certain foods (4:3) must be ordered by Scripture's account of God's "good" provision of marital companionship and an abundant array of foods to be received with thanksgiving ( ; 4:4 -> ; LXX Gen. 1:4, 10,12,18, 21, 25, 31; 2:9 [cf. 9:3], and the striking of 2:18).59

As Mounce assesses, "The re-creation of what was being taught in Ephesus is no simple task. [I]t does not appear to have been a well-thought-out, cohesive system of belief." See Mounce, Pastoral Epistles, lxix-lxxxi, quote on p. lxix. In addition to an "amalgam" of legal, christological, eschatological, and ascetic elements, Towner also points to "the movement of the 'new Roman woman'" which was making inroads among women of means in major Roman cities like Corinth and Ephesus. Also, see Towner, The Letters to Timothy and Titus, 44-50, and Winter, Roman Wives, Roman Widows, 97-169. 57 cf. Gen. 2:4-4:1; 1 Tim. 2:11-15; cf. Gen. 1:29-31; 9:3; 1 Tim. 4:3-4. Wall's and Towner's discussions of the use of the Genesis account in 1 Tim. 2 rightly extend from creation through the rebellion to the identification of Eve as "the mother of all living." See Philip H. Towner, "1-2 Timothy and Titus," in Commentary on the New Testament Use of the Old Testament, d. G. Beale and D. A. Carson (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2007), 891-99, and Robert W. Wall, "1 Timothy 2:9-15 Reconsidered (Again)," BBR14, no. 1 (2004): 81-103. 58 Wall, "1 Timothy 2:9-15 Reconsidered (Again)," 84. 59 I was helped by Jack Collins' exposition on the goodness of creation and the formation and placement of man and woman in the Garden of Eden. See C. John Collins, Genesis 1-4: A Linguistic, Literary and Theological Commentary

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By sequencing the syntactical context of 1 Timothy 2 along the plotline of Genesis 1-4, Paul contrasts the destructive effects of autonomous action and inaction in the first human family with the redemptive fruit of their interdependent relationship. Starting with the entire congregation in view, Paul urges prayers for "all people'7 (2:1 -> 2:4), especially for the "kings and high officials" (2:2) who represent the nations (3:16). Turning first to the male communicants ( ; 2:8), Paul exhorts them to open their hands and mouths in prayer, instead of clinching their fists in anger (2:8). Their doctrinal disputes merely defend and promote their idiosyncratic teachings and personal influence (1:6-7), instead of touting the good news about "the one mediator between God and humanity," which Paul models repeatedly, first by way of personal testimony (1:12-17), then by creedal summary (2:3-6), then again in the form of a hymn (3:16). Turning then to the women congregants (nb: ; 2:9 -> ; 3:11), Paul points out the incompatibility of their confession about Christ with their immodest choices to wear provocative clothing, ostentatious hairstyles and jewelry (2:9-10), and to challenge the teachings and leadership role of the authorized male teachers (cf. 3:2; 5:17) in public worship (2:11-12). They must exchange their extravagant clothing and disrespectful speech for quiet learning and good public works that adorn the teaching of the gospel (2:9-12).60 Paul's sequential exegesis of Genesis 1-4 focuses on the economy of God's house as a whole and its purpose in the city. Through properly ordered, interdependent relations, the men and women of the church acquire and actualize "the knowledge of the truth" (2:4), such that the Lord's assembly is "a pillar and buttress of the truth" (3:15) not only in Ephesus but "in every place" (2:8). Paul's reading of Genesis points first to the Lord's formation of Adam (; 2:13 -> ; LXX Gen. 2:7, 8,15) from the dust of the earth. The intertextual echo of the verb skips over the surface of the story about Adam's animation, placement, and instruction in the garden to retrieve the episode in Timothy's memory (2 Tim. 3:15). The sequence of the Lord's action is crucial for Paul: "Adam was formed first, then Eve" ( . . . ; 2:13). Adam was commanded first (Gen. 2:15-17); and, as the couple's covenant representative, it was Adam who was summoned after their sin (3:9-

(Phillipsburg, NJ: & R Publishing, 2006), 69-79, 132-40. Also, see Towner, "1-2 Timothy and Titus," 892-99. 60 Wall has argued for an apologetic motivation behind the author's exegesis of Eve's story in 1 Tim. 2:9-15 that displays both God's redemptive purpose for all women as women, and an example of social virtue that embodies a persuasive defense of the gospel among influential Roman women ("1 Timothy 2:9-15 Reconsidered (Again)/' 81-103).

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11). The first scriptural warrant (; 1 Tim. 2:13) for Paul's instructionthat Christian women should learn rather than teach, and place themselves in submission rather than in authority in public worship (2:11-12)is rooted in the sequence of the Lord's creative and relational action in Genesis 2-3. Paul's second scriptural warrant relates to the first because it results from disorder in the relationships between the first parents and God, and between Adam and Eve. With two more intertextual threads, the verb or (2:14 -> LXX Gen. 3:13) and the substantive (1 Tim. 2:14 - LXX Gen. 3:12-13), Paul ties his instructions to the Genesis account. Instead of approaching Adam, the crafty serpent (3:1) speaks to "the woman" ( ; 3:1), altering the Lord's order, what the Lord said to Adam and impugning the Lord's character. Though Adam is "with her" (3:6), he is silent; he does not intervene. By ignoring the sequence of the Lord's creative and relational action, and by inserting its own words between them, the serpent tests the fabric of the first couple's covenant with the Lord and with each other. The original sequenced distinction and interdependency of the first couple is encoded in the relationship between the Hebrew words and , and still visible in the English translation "man and woman" (e.g., Gen. 2:24).62 Though this lexical relation is not apparent in Greek, Paul uses in 1 Timothy 2:14 to mark a particular place in his intertextual dialogue, a place before "the woman" (Gen. 3:1, 2, 4, 6, 8,12,13,15,16,17, 20) receives her name, the moment when the fabric of the first couple's interdependence is ripped apart by deception. Though aware of Adam's culpability in their transgression (Rom. 5:12-21; 1 Cor. 15:20-23), Paul emphasizes the deception of "the woman" ( 4; 1 Tim. 2:14) to dramatize the destructive effects of relational breakdown in the first human family. Though it has drawn a disproportionate amount of commentary, 1 Timothy 2:12 is not the climax, conclusion, or focus of Paul's instructions to Timothy about public worship. 63 With two final intertextual stitches, the word (2:15) and the name , Paul ties his exegesis of Genesis 1-4 tightly together with his overall focus on

Collins, Genesis 1-4,173-74. Ibid., 136. 63 Mounce concludes that in 1 Tim. 2:12, "Paul says women may not authoritatively teach the gospel to men (possibly overseers) in the public assembly of the church" (Pastoral Epistles, 126). For a thorough analysis of the lexical, syntactical, and contextual issues, see Andreas Kstenberger and Thomas Schreiner, eds., Women in the Church: An Analysis and Application of 1 Timothy 2:915,2nd ed. (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2005).
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"God, our Savior" (2:3), and the economy of God's household. By marking the moment of Eve's deception with , Paul's subsequent reference to "childbirth" (; 2:15) signals the significance of Eve's name and describes her faithful action. Noting that Adam did not name his wife until after their rebellion in his reading of Genesis ( MT Gen. 3:20 -> Eik; LXX Gen. 4:1), Paul discerns faithful, interdependent action by the first parents in the birth of their first child (LXX Gen. 4:1). Using the verb in 1 Timothy 2:15, Paul closes his exegetical application of Genesis 1-4 and returns to the theme of his previous instructions on worship, "God, our Savior () . . . desires all people to be saved" (; 2:3-4). Under the umbrella of this theme, it is unlikely that "she will be saved through childbirth" ( ; 2:15) refers merely to the woman's physical safety in childbirth despite its real dangers and extreme pain. 65 Instead, even as Paul had focused on "the woman's" action in the first couple's defection, he concludes his exegesis of Genesis 1-4 by focusing on Eve's action in the first couple's continuation of their mandate to "be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth" (Gen. 1:28). As she was not alone in rebellion, she is not alone in redemption. Though spoiled, the covenant relationship is not lost. Despite rebellion and eviction from the garden, Eve praises God at the birth of her first child: "I have acquired a son by God's [help]" ( ; LXX Gen. 4:1)! By his use of in 1 Timothy 2:15, Paul is echoing Eve's act of worship. Throughout his instruction in 1 Timothy 2, Paul confronts men and women about their behavior in the public assembly, behavior that undermines their interdependency and, thus, their witness to the gospel. At the culmination of that instruction in 2:15, he shifts from the singular "she will be saved () through childbirth" to the plural "if they remain (v ) in faith" to mark their way back to a faithful, hopeful, and quintessentially interdependent performance of the gospelraising a

Wall is right to emphasize the "compositional context" of 1 Tim. 2:9-15, and to hear Paul's echo of Genesis extend beyond the fall scene to the hope embodied by childbearing ("1 Timothy 2:9-15 Reconsidered (Again)," 81-103). Also, see Towner, "1-2 Timothy and Titus," 895-98. 65 As Marshall notes, " is used [in the Pastoral Epistles] for spiritual salvation and a different verb, , is used for physical deliverance in 2 Tim. 3:11; 4:18. . . . More decisive is the fact that a reference to safety in childbirth is entirely unmotivated in the context" (Pastoral Epistles, 469). However, Winter points to a growing avoidance of pregnancy and use of abortifacients among wealthy "new wives" (see Juvenal, Satires, 6.593ff, and Ovid, Amores, 2.14.5-9, 27-28, 35-38) to suggest that 1 Tim. 2:15 promises Christian wives that they would be preserved if they carry their pregnancies to term (Roman Wives, Roman Widows, 109-12).

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family in the Lord. Indeed, the faithfulness of men and women to God's work through Christ (2:3-6) in their own households is the foundation for fitting worship and the fundamental qualification for leadership in "the household of God" (3:4-5,12,15; 5:14). C. Dominant, Unaccountable Leadership is Not Fitting for the Household of God Drawing from his paradigmatic context, Paul characterizes those who "gain a good standing for themselves" (3:13) as "servants" (), "elders" (), "supervisors" (), "laborers" (), and "fellow workers" (), not as "rulers" (, ), "ruling priests" (), "authorities" (), or "masters" 67 (). Unlike Ignatius's description of the deacon Sotio, "who is subject to the bishop as he is to the grace of God, and to the presbytery as to the Law of Christ" (Magn. 2), Paul describes "overseers and deacons" (Phil. 1:1) in familial and collgial terms.68 In "God's household" (3:4-5, 12, 15), "elders" form a local decision-making body to serve as "supervisors" (cf. 3:1-7; 5:17; Titus 1:5-9; Acts 14:23; 20:17, 28-35). Either "supervisors" (Phil. 1:1)many of whom opened their homes for church Admittedly, this verse presents many challenges to exegetes, which are carefully sorted by Stanley E. Porter, "What Does It Mean to be 'Saved By Childbirth' (1 Timothy 2.15)," JSNT 49 (1993): 87-102. Three primary interpretations of the shift from the singular verb () to plural verb () have been offered: 1) the shift from "she" to "they" moves typologically from Eve (she) to the women (they) of the church at Ephesus; 2) "they" refers to the children implied by ; and 3) "they" refers to Adam and Eve, that is to men and women in covenant with God. I am arguing that the third view, a minority position, should be reconsidered because the rhetorical structure of 1 Tim. 2 begins by addressing "all" the members of the congregation, then alternately addresses "men" (2:8) and "women" (2:9-12), and their representatives "Adam" and "Eve" (2:13-15) to culminate in redemptive "childbirth" (2:15). Indeed, 1 Tim. 2 tracks intertextually with the plotline of Gen. 1-4 through the first couple's disordered defection to their redemptive fruitfulness in offspring (Gen. 3:15 -> Gen. 4:1). 67 Most notably, the word " . . . is reserved [in Pauline correspondence] for the imperial rulers (Rom. 13:3), the rulers of this age (1 Cor. 2:6, 8), and the ruler of the power of the air (Eph. 2:2)." See Clarke, Serve the Community of the Church, 233,249-52. 68 While acknowledging that Paul's discussion of leadership in 1 Tim. 3 "indicates little more than that the two offices are in some way coordinated," Collins goes on to emphasize a church hierarchy that solidified later among some church fathers by depicting deacons as "godly officers of the bishop" (Diakonia, 235-44, quote on p. 240). But deacons are never depicted as "servants of the overseer" in the New Testament. As I have emphasized, Phoebe is called a "deacon of the church of Cenchreae" (Rom. 16:1), not Paul's servant, nor a servant of the bishop. Contra Campbell, The Elders, 199-200.
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gatheringscame together to form this "council of elders" (; 1 Tim. 4:14) in a locality or, in some cases, a "supervisor" was selected from among the local "elders" to oversee a particular house church. Indeed, it probably happened both ways at various times.69 As Titus 1:5 and 7 (cf. Acts 20:17, 28) demonstrate, Paul uses and 6 somewhat interchangeably. Moreover, when churches in a locality grew in size and/or cultural complexity (3:8-13; cf. Acts 6:1-7), they needed "deacons" to ensure that the ministry of service continued without interruption in conjunction with and part and parcel of the ministry of the word and prayer.70 If God's family is to proclaim and perform the script of Scripture with fidelity to its fulfillment in the gospel, then Christ's men and women must be taught and mentored well by authorized, faithful "overseers." One of the qualifications by which Paul distinguishes the role of "the supervisor" or "elder" is his ability to teach (; 3:2). Furthermore, "overseers" must be "hospitable" (^; 3:2); that is, they must be willing and financially able to open their homes to public meetings of the church, to provide much of the food for their gathering, and to host traveling Christians.71 Though many other men and women of these early Christian assemblies also were gifted to teach, to prophesy and to show hospitality (Rom. 12:4-13; 1 Cor. 11:4-5; 12:27-31a; 14:1-5, 23-40), they were to exercise their gifts under the supervision of their authorized male leaders, "the overseers" or "elders," who shared the primary responsibility for discipling the church (1 Tim. 2:12; 3:2; 5:17). Nevertheless, the public nature of the character requirements for leaders in God's household, including the specific requirement that they "be tested" (3:10) over time (5:22), underscores their accountability to the assembly as a whole. Indeed, 1 Tim. 5:17-21 establishes a process of redress by community members, if "elders" abuse their trust. 1 Timothy 3:1-13 starts (3:2-5) and ends (3:12) with portraits of local church leaders whose fidelity and wisdom are displayed by marital devotion and good household management. Both overseers and deacons must be examples of "the faith" in healthy, loving relationships.72 See the discussions in Campbell, The Elders, 182-205; Clarke, A Pauline Theology of Church Leadership, 47-60; and Marshall, The Pastoral Epistles, 170-81. 70 See Mounce, Pastoral Epistles, 161, and Knight, The Pastoral Epistles, 175. 71 See William Lane, "Social Perspectives on Roman Christianity During the Formative Years from Nero to Nerva: Romans, Hebrews, 1 Clement," in K. Donfried and P. Richardson, eds., Judaism and Christianity in First-Century Rome (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1998), 211-12, and Clarke, Serve the Community of the Church, 160-66. 72 As Knight rightly summarizes, Paul did not mandate that "only a married man with at least two children could be an officer in the church." Rather, he described what should be true of a candidate in "this most common situation." If married, he should be a faithful husband, not an adulterer; if unmarried, he
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PRESBYTERION: COVENANT SEMINARY REVIEW 36/1 D. The "Women" of 1 Timothy 3:11 are Being Evaluated for Diaconal Service

The parallel syntactical structure of character requirements for church leaders in 1 Timothy 3:2-13 reinforces the interdependent nature of the two leading roles of overseer and deacon. The repeated syntax of 1 Timothy 2:9 and 3:11 is noteworthy ( ; 2:9 -> ; 3:11). As he had in his instructions about worship (1 Tim. 2:8-9), Paul addresses the men, then the women, of the congregation in his instructions about qualified leadership. The absence of pronouns and articles alongside in both of its uses in 1 Timothy 2:9 and 3:11 gives no indication to Paul's readers that he intends only to address "their wives." Who, then, are the "women" that Paul writes about in 3:11? Already, I have shown how the syntactical context provides a vital perspective on meaning. The chart below will prove helpful for tracking the exegetical points that follow. 2:8 / "I want men to pray . . . " 2:9 . . . / "Likewise, women ..." 3:2 . . . . . . / "An overseer must be . . . " 3:8 . . . / "Likewise, deacons [must b e ] . . . " 3:11 . . . / "Likewise, women [must b e ] . . . " 3:12 . . . / "Deacons must be . . . " 3:13 . . . / "Because, those who serve well..." As many commentators note, 1 Timothy 3:11 has no verb because its verbal idea is provided at the beginning of the section in 3:2: . . . e.73 What "the overseer must be" is related, "likewise," to the qualities "deacons" and these particular "women" ( ; 3:8 -> ; 3:11) must exhibit as well. Negatively, these character qualities contrast with the opponents at Ephesus (cf. 1:3-11; 4:1-5; 5:11-13; 6:3-10).74 Positively, these character qualities are essential to the representative and personal roles these leaders will take in the lives of God's family members. Like the overseers, the "deacons" and "women" must be "dignified" (; 3:4 -> ; 3:8 -* ; 3:11) and "self-controlled" (; 3:2 -> ; 3:11). The use of in 3:11 stands out because it has no parallel in Paul's instructions should remain celibate (cf. 1 Tim. 5:2). See George Knight, The Pastoral Epistles: A Commentary on the Greek Text, NICGT, ed. I. H. Marshall, (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1992), 157-59. 73 See Hurley, Man and Woman in Biblical Perspective, 230; Knight, The Pastoral Epistles, 168-69,171; Marshall, Pastoral Epistles, 477,485; Mounce, Pastoral Epistles, 197,203; and Towner, The Utters to Timothy and Titus, 266n28. 74 Mounce has provided a helpful chart that shows both the parallel of character requirements between "overseers" and "deacons" as well as the contrast with characteristics of the opponents at Ephesus (Pastoral Epistles, 15658).

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about overseers. Who are these "women" and why are they described here? If Paul was listing character requirements for the "wives" of deacons in 3:11, then why did he not list any such requirements for the "wives" of overseers in 3:2-7, especially in light of the fact that overseers must be hospitable? Though Calvin suggested that 3:11 may be speaking of the "wives" of both overseers and deacons, this possibility must be ruled out by the fact that 3:11 is matted within the character requirements for deacons, framed between 3:8-10 and 3:12-13, which repeatedly reference "deacons" (; 3:8, 12) and "serving as a deacon" (; 3:10,13).75 The absence of character qualifications for "women" amidst the requirements for overseers in 3:2-7 accords well with Paul's insistence in 2:12 that women must learn quietly from authorized male overseers in the corporate worship of the church. While Paul's use of in 3:12 has led some commentators to translate as "wives" in 3:11,76 the transition from 3:11 to 3:12 is explained better by the remarkable omission of " " in 3:8-10. Paul omits the "one-womanman" policy in 3:8-10 because he is referring there to character requirements for both male and female diaconal candidates. He makes this point explicit in 3:11 by repeating the character qualities of 3:8-10 for those candidates who are "women." In 3:12, for those candidates who are men, he underscores their fidelity to "one woman" ( avpe; 3:12) even as he calls women to be "faithful in all things" ( ), including their marriages, in 3:11 (cf. in 5:9). In 3:13, Paul again addresses the general group of candidates for diaconal leadership, both men and women, to encourage them about the benefits of their ministry both for their personal faith and for their public standing. Based on Paul's alternating pattern of addressing "men" then "women" in 1 Timothy 2, the clear syntactical parallel between 2:9 and 3:11 ( -> ), the coherence of the whole section about qualifications for leaders provided by the verbs in 3:2, and the tight framing of 3:11 within the discussion about "deacons" (3:8-13), I conclude that the "women" Paul describes in 3:11 are women candidates for diaconal service or "women deacons." This conclusion is corroborated further by Paul's clear description of Phoebe as a "deacon of the church in Cenchreae" in Romans 16:1. Not only did Paul not prohibit diaconal service by Christian women, he dignifies it by As Marshall puts it, "the positioning makes it impossible that the wives of both overseers and deacons are in mind" (The Pastoral Epistles, 493n84). Pace John Calvin, The Second Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Corinthians and the Epistles Timothy, Titus and Philemon, trans. T. A. Smail, CNTC (Carlisle, PA: Paternoster, 1996), 229. 76 For example, Knight, The Pastoral Epistles, 170-72, and Mounce, Pastoral Epistles, 202-04.
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commending Phoebe and by recognizing women among the candidates who were being evaluated for diaconal office at Ephesus. CONCLUSION: PAUL'S DEPICTION OF AND This article has shown that qualified men and women served together as deacons in the earliest churches. By attending to the - words that Paul chose (paradigmatic context), the way he arranged them (syntactical context), and the reasons he wrote (pragmatic context), this study affirms Collins' general description of as "go-betweens" or "commissioned agents" of a person of higher social rank or of a group they represent. However, this study rejects Collins' assertion that the "services" () of these "agents" have no beneficent character or purpose. Indeed, I find that Paul chose /- words (instead of prefixed words, for example) precisely because they articulate the "gift" character and "edifying" purpose of the gospel for the Lord's alternative assembly. While Paul adopted well-known images that describe social "bodies" and their leaders within cities of the Roman "household," this study concludes that Paul adapted these images to fit the creational cosmology of Israel's Scripture and its fulfillment in the gospel story. In particular, Paul described his own "ministry" (; 1:12; 2 Cor. 3:7-9) primarily as that of an envoy or messenger (; 2 Cor. 3:6; Eph. 3:7; Col. 1:23) from the God of heaven and earth to the nations (1 Tim. 2:7). His proclamation about the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ not only claims to fulfill Israel's story, it also makes a claim about the cosmological order of Roman cities and their "assemblies" or "bodies" Jesus is supreme, not Caesar. The "ministry of the Spirit" (2 Cor. 3:8) through Paul's announcement brings "righteousness" and "life" (3:6, 9) to everyone who believes that "Jesus is Lord," and equips each, whether male or female, with "gifts" and "ministries" (1 Cor. 12:4-6) for the increase and maturation of God's household throughout the so-called "Roman" world. In a general sense for Paul, all believers are "agents" () of God's Spirit, gifted for the "common good" of Christ's body and doing good for the wider body politic of their cities (Rom. 12:3-21). The Spirit's "work of ministry" ( ) through each "body part" (; Rom. 12:4-5; 1 Cor. 12:12-27; Eph. 4:25; 5:30) is spiritual and social, marked by a cruciform and life-giving character and deployed as a sign of "new creation" (2 Cor. 5:17; Gal. 6:15) under the Lord's reign in the world. Distinct from their surrounding, agonistic culture, where persons and parties seek dominance, the members of the Lord's alternate assembly are called together and gifted as an interdependent, loving family. The healthy interdependency of Christian husbands and wives is of particular importance to Paul as he chides both men and women in

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the church who mimic the competitive, provocative posturing of social elites in the public assemblies of Rome, Corinth, and Ephesus. Moreover, Paul makes marital fidelity and the sound management of children and household resources the touchstone of qualified church leaders. In a particular sense for Paul, the "gifts" and "ministries" of certain believers are recognized by leaders of their local assembly with "prayer" and the gesture of "laying on hands" ( ), authorizing them to act as agents of that assembly in specific tasks and/or roles. For example, Paul and Barnabas are identified and called by the Holy Spirit and authorized for their task as missionaries by the "prophets and teachers" at Antioch with prayer and the laying on of hands ( ; Acts 13:1-3). This practice must have impressed the missionaries because they "appointed" (6) elders in each new Christian assembly "with prayer and fasting" (14:23) before returning to Antioch. Apparently for Paul, the appointment of "deacons" is related to the growth of a local church in size and/or cultural complexity as, according to the accounts in the book of Acts, he and Barnabas do not appoint deacons alongside these elders. While Paul instructs Timothy in the process of testing deacons in the well-established church at Ephesus, he does not instruct Titus to appoint deacons alongside elders in the new churches of Crete. Though it falls outside the scope of a Pauline description of and , no discussion of ministry would be complete without reference to "the daily ministry" ( ; Acts 6:1) for widows in Acts 6:1-6. After the replacement of Judas because of his betrayal and greed, Luke characterizes the apostles as the legitimate leaders of Israel both in their teaching and in their reception and distribution of goods for those with material needs in the community (2:42-47; 4:32-37). A complaint is received that the Greek-speaking Jewish widows of the community are being overlooked in the "daily ministry" of teaching and service (6:l)P Wisely, the apostles enlist the help of the injured minority to address the problem with specific instructions to choose "seven men of a good reputation, full of the Spirit and wisdom," whom "the twelve" would then authorize for the task (6:2). A group of "seven" men was not uncommon in Jewish and Hellenistic cities or towns as the first avenue of recourse for civil disputes before matters would be brought to the attention of the council of elders.78 Luke does not describe these seven men as "deacons" For a discussion of the textual and translation questions precipitated by ', see Ben Witherington , The Acts of the Apostles: A Socio-Rhetorical Commentar}/ (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1998), 242. 78 Book cites references in Josephus and Hellenistic inscriptions to city councils of "seven" that address lesser disputes. See Darrell Bock, Acts, BECNT (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2007), 259.
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(). Though they are appointed "to serve tables" ( ; 6:2), both Stephen and Philip are also depicted preaching. Luke is not describing the establishment of the Diaconate, but he is describing practical truths about the ministry of the gospel: the ministry of word and service are inextricable, and those who are charged primarily with preaching and prayer cannot do all that needs to be done. Though "the twelve" retained administrative responsibility over "the daily ministry" to the Hebrew-speaking widows both in word and deed, by commissioning the "seven" to minister among the Greek-speaking Jews, they created capacity for "the Word of God to increase" (6:7) in Jerusalem and beyond. For Paul, the "overseers and deacons" (Phil. 1:1) are examples and representatives of the "godliness" and "respectability" (1 Tim. 3:1-13) that should characterize every member of God's family (cf. Rom. 12:9-21; Eph. 4:17-5:21; Col. 3:5-17). "Elders" are mature men who are recognized to lead God's household (1 Tim. 3:1-7; Titus 1:5-9) by supervising the teaching of the gospel and its apprehension and appropriation in each local assembly (1 Tim. 2:8-15; 5:17). They must be willing and able to host meetings of the church in their house as well as to billet itinerant Christian workers. Though Paul does not define the role of "the deacons" specifically, he shows that they are proven men and women (1 Tim. 3:8-13), who serve as "agents" or "representatives" of their local assembly through their own "ministries," "gifts," and "activities" (1 Cor. 12:4-6), and in specific tasks that the congregation authorizes (Rom. 16:1-2; cf. Acts 6:1-6). As "commissioned agents" of a congregation (- words), not its "rulers" (- words), "deacons" () are not supervisors-in-training. Rather, they represent and steward an interdependent household of resources that is shared in, with, and through their "ministry" (), an economy, household, and assembly whose leadership and dealings are articulated by the gospel script, not Rome's. As men and women who are "faithful in all things" (1 Tim. 3:11), especially within their interdependent family relations and management of common resources, the deacons of Christ's body can be trusted with deeply personal information and the distribution of church funds. In Paul's mind, the "dignity" and "selfcontrol" of Christian leaders not only has currency for service in God's household, it also adds value in relationships with "outsiders" (3:7) as local churches support "the truth" (3:15) in their wider communities. 79

For example, see the discussion of godliness {.) and dignity/respectability () in Towner, The Letters to Timothy and Titus, 171-75.

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