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Phoebe: Patron and Emissary Paperback – Dec 1 2009


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 122 pages
  • Publisher: Liturgical Press (Dec 1 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0814652816
  • ISBN-13: 978-0814652817
  • Product Dimensions: 23 x 14 x 1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 91 g
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #820,777 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback
This woman's name, Phoebe, is mentioned once in the New Testament. Her description is sparse at best, only two lines in Romans 16:1-2: 'I commend to you our sister Phoebe, a deacon of the church at Cenchreae, so that you may welcome her in the Lord as is fitting for the saints, and help her in whatever she may require from you, for she has been a benefactor of many and of myself as well.' Yet the author, Sister Joan Campbell, sets out to draw on the social-science method of biblical research in order to produce for and to provide to the reader a clear, concise and three-dimensional picture of Phoebe.

Through the introduction and the four chapters that follow, the reader is introduced to Phoebe, her world and her place in it. One of the critical pieces of information provided is the background of the society and times in which Phoebe and Paul lived that have bearing upon Paul's commendation of her as noted above. This explanation is also accompanied by the defining of the terms sister, diakonos (deacon), patron and emissary.

'While it is tempting for us to fill in the gaps by recourse to our own social system, we must resist the temptation, realizing that we are foreigners in the land of the Bible.' (93) This is a very real and persistent temptation to reach what the reader could consider to be a quick and reasonable explanation when, in fact, it would only serve as a 'red herring'. The author in a clear and straightforward way lays out the information of the collectivistic society of the day, the important of family and relationship and the roles that honour and shame also played in the life of that society.
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Format: Paperback
From just two verses of Paul's Letters in Romans 16, which on the surface reads like a typical welcome, Joan Campbell, New Testament professor and author, of Phoebe: Patron and Emissary, with the aid of the social-scientific method and archaeological evidence reconstructs an important female figure in the early Jesus movement in Kenchreai. With such evidence the author, digs below the surface to allow us the more intimate privilege of walking the streets and roads of Phoebe's Kenchreai and meeting her associates who lived over two thousand years ago. Through this investigation, we gain insight into the social roles that Paul ascribes to Phoebe as our sister, diakonos, and prostatis and what these roles entailed in first-century Mediterranean Jesus groups.

Campbell's work, written in a clear and concise style, introduces the reader to Phoebe, through the first century Mediterranean life in which she lived. For the reader, there is no denying that Phoebe was a "real" woman whom Paul viewed as a central player in his plans to spread the gospel .In calling her a benefactor, "prostatis, of many community members and of Paul himself, Paul implies that he has been dependent upon her sphere of influence to expand his mission in Kenchreai. Perhaps she offered her house for meetings or acted as a host to travelling nascent Christians, or she may have introduced Paul to others who became community benefactors. The titles that Paul used to describe Phoebe offer evidence that Phoebe, is important as Paul's missionary partner -"our sister" (adelphe')- a term that Campbell's research indicates could just as accurately be used to refer to the female membership of a missionary partnership similar to that of Timothy.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 2 reviews
Phoebe lives! June 12 2014
By valerie j volk - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Detailed, comprehensive and very readable. Informative, but a bit too academic in places. It would have been good to see her come to life a bit more e.g. possible daily living at the time, housing, food etc. A bit more social context.
Bought this Book for my daughters University class – Great Price! March 13 2014
By Randy - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was really happy to be able to purchase this book for my daughter's University class. It was a much lower price than the University bookstore plus it arrived at her University mail box in just a couple of days. Excellent - I recommend it highly!

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