My answers to BSF study questions
All scriptures for this lesson
Questions for this lesson
3. Paul sends personal greetings.
Paul greets those who support his work of spreading the good news. He expresses gratitude and acknowledges the ways they have helped him.
Phoebe probably delivered the letter to the church in Rome. The person entrusted with the task was often expected to answer questions about the letter. So it was common to explain the person’s identity and why they could be trusted.
The Greek word for helper is found nowhere else in the NT. Outside the NT, it is sometimes used of a “patroness,” a woman who supplied support and funding for worthy causes. New Spirit Filled Life Bible (affiliate link)
Greetings to Christians whom Paul knows in Rome. The purposes are: 1) to give Phoebe a list of people on whom to call when she arrives; 2) to ensure she knows who is to receive the letter; 3) to show God’s awareness of each individual’s import in the work of the gospel; 4) to show the need for and importance of godly, Christian relationships; and 5) to affirm the high place of leadership roles among women in the early church. The list interestingly contains numerous names common to slaves and freedmen. New Spirit Filled Life Bible
4. Paul wasn’t a loner, and he loved and appreciated his fellow believers.
Paul recognized the importance of the body of Christ and our various spiritual gifts.
Paul appreciated the fellowship, encouragement, benevolence, and hospitality of the church.
Christian leadership should encourage, equip, and send out others.
- Encourage fellowship.
- Support and encourage others.
- Acknowledge and encourage the spiritual gifts of individuals.
- Partner and work together.
- Stay in touch.
- Love one another.
5. Supporting roles
- Phoebe not only delivered this epistle to the church in Rome, Paul mentions three titles: diakonos meaning a deacon (lit. “servant”), sister, and prostatis meaning “a woman in a supportive role, patron, benefactor”. Diakonos is the same title he called Timothy and the one he uses for himself. (Wikipedia Epistle to the Romans)
- Priscilla and Aquila partnered with Paul in tentmaking and in missionary work. Paul said they risked their necks for him. A group of believers met at their house.
- Mary and “the beloved Persis” are commended for their hard work.
- Epaenetus, who was the first convert in Asia, beloved by Paul.
- Andronicus and Junia (Junia was likely a woman) were Paul’s relatives, spent time in prison with him, and “according to Ian Elmer, the fact that Andronicus and Junia are named as apostles suggests a priori that they were evangelists and church-planters like Paul.”
- Fellow Jews
- Several times he mentions people he loves.
- He mentions others who seems to host a place for other believers to gather.
- Partners in ministry.
- Rufus’ mother who has been like a mother to him.
- My husband
- Bible study resources
6. The women among the people Paul mentions
Because I’m a woman and much of the institutional church keys in on a few verses and ignores the many examples of women in leadership roles in the Old and New Testaments.
The debate (among scholars) over whether Paul meant to call certain women deacons, prophets, etc. is interesting. It’s really about whether women should hold official leadership roles in institutional church settings.
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MY answers — not THE answers — to BSF Bible study questions on Romans Lesson 29 Day 2 ~ Romans 16:1-16