The Phoebe phenomenon – what kind of Deacon was she?

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I wish professing Christians would stop using the mention of Phoebe to wrongfully justify their unbiblical installations of female Deacons. When the Apostle Paul called Phoebe a “deacon” in Romans 16:1, he was not referring to, nor calling her by a title or office. The word “deacon” in Romans 16:1 is the Greek word diakonos, which means servant. In proper context, Paul was commending Phoebe for her service, not by a title or a position in the Church. 

So what Paul was saying in that letter is, ‘I commend or recommend to you our sister Phoebe, who is a servant of the church which is at Cenchrea,…’

In that proper context, every Christian (male or female) is a servant (or diakonos). And some of the greatest servants in the church are women. But only men are to bear the title or ecclesiastical position of a Deacon as seen in 1 Timothy 3:8-13. That is why the Scriptures state, “He must be a husband of one wife (1 Tim. 3:13), and the Bible forbids “a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man but to remain quiet” (1 Timothy 2:12).

Though I too have fallen short, and am still learning. Nonetheless, context and proper hermeneutics are essential. Egalitarianism, feminism, gender identity and/or gender role confusion belong out in the world, not in the Lord’s Church.

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