Sunday, October 7, 2012

Romans, Chapters 15 & 16: Women apostles

Chapter 15

Weakness is failure and the strong just have to bear it. Be nice to your neighbours, because Jesus didn`t live for himself and people who insulted him were insulting god. Things were written in the past to give us hope now, while we wait for the end.

Jesus was a servant to the Jews (or, as the KJV puts it minister of the circumcision (v. 8) to serve as proof that god was real. But the Gentiles also wanted to get in on the action, so they went back and pored over the scriptures until they found something from Isaiah, which says that Jesus would rule over them as well.

Paul explains that he`s writing this letter because he`s been too busy to visit, but does promise to swing by on his way to Spain, whenever that happens. First, though, he`s got to go back to Jerusalem. He asks them to pray for him in the meantime.

Chapter 16

Paul introduces us to Phebe, whom he appoints as a servant of the church which is at Cenchrea: (v. 1) and someone who has been very important to him spiritually. He also mentions a number of other important evangelists many of them women, including Junia, my kinsmen, and my fellow-prisoners, who are of note among the apostles (v. 7), which would seem to indicate that there were women apostles, though most conservative commentators try to dismiss them both as either only ministering to women or as simply good friends of the apostles, so they can continue to be horrible to women.

He also calls on christians to weed out suppressive persons and shun them, which they won`t have to do for long because the end is nigh, as usual.  

And so ends what was perhaps the most difficult and dense book of the bible so far. Here`s hoping the rest of the New Testament turns out to be an easier read. 

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