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Ministering women/Deaconesses in the body of Messiah: Deaconess Phoebe

The King James Version (KJV) is mostly used in these lessons. Click here to access the KJV online.
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To discover what kinds of things a deaconess would be doing, we will examine verses which use the word “diakoneo/deacon”:

There are great works of women in the body of Messiah, recorded in scripture. Women may ask, “What can I really do for others?” This is a good question! So let’s examine some scriptures which may shed light into a woman’s role in the assembly. Let’s first examine the role of a woman in the assembly who is a “deaconess”:

Matthew 27:55 (NKJV) And many women who followed Yahushua from Galilee, ministering to Him, were there looking on from afar,

You might be surprised at the use of “deaconess”. The word translated “ministering” in this verse is the same Greek word translated “Deacon” in other verses. We can be sure that these women were not operating in the role of leadership over Yahushua the Messiah or the twelve disciples. Therefore, just because a woman might be a “deaconess” in the body of Messiah, it does not mean she leads or teaches the men. Paul also mentions women who did the same in the Ekklesia:

Romans 16:1- I commend to you Phoebe our sister, who is a servant of the church in Cenchrea, 2 – that you may receive her in the Master in a manner worthy of the saints, and assist her in whatever business she has need of you; for indeed she has been a helper of many and of myself also.

Sister Phoebe was a great ‘help’ to Paul and many others. We can be sure that she wasn’t Paul’s leader or teacher. Phoebe would have been ministering in various ways which would support and help the brethren in their work for Yahuwah.