Sharon Wilharm Bible Storyteller

Women of Rome

The sixteenth chapter of Romans mentions by name ten women. The first is Phoebe who delivered the letter from Paul to the Roman church. Then he goes on to mention Priscilla and Aquila. He met them in Corinth after they immigrated from Rome. Now, we learn they’d returned, starting a church in their home.

Next Paul greets Mary who worked hard for the church.

In verse seven Paul mentions Junia and Andronicus, his countrymen and fellow prisoners, who were of note among the apostles and who were in Christ before Paul. She was someone who had suffered for her faith and stood firm.

The next women mentioned are Tryphena and Tryphosa, thought to be twin sisters. They were likely from an upperclass family used to living an easy life, and yet Paul tells us that they worked hard for the Lord.

In the same verse with the sisters is a greeting to Persis who had worked hard for the Lord. While Tryphena and Tryphosa were currently working hard, Persis had worked hard in the past. Perhaps she was an older woman who had worked hard and was now a senior saint encouraging the younger generation.

In verse 13 Paul greets Rufus and his mother. He says that this woman had been like a mother to him.

In verse 15 Paul calls out Julia. She is thought to be a slave member of the royal household.

Finally, Paul greets Nerus and his sister and “all the saints who are with them.”

Each of these women, whether named or not, made a contribution to the church and helped spread the gospel to the people of Rome. 

Read about the women of Rome: Roman 16

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