St. Paul on Individualism and Community: Guidance for Americans from I Corinthians 12

Several years ago, we examined the very American characteristic of hyperindividualism. We noted many examples of how extreme forms of a characteristic that generally has positive goals and outcomes often leads in our culture to putting the onus, stressfully, on individuals to improve our lives (in contrast to the fact that citizens of our peer […]

Persis: Another Female Colleague of St. Paul’s

Previously we have examined the women around St. Paul, noting that, contrary to comments about women incorrectly attributed to him that have been used to oppress women in both church and society, Paul actually worked closely with many women in leadership positions and had great respect for them. Most of the women in these positions […]

The Letters of St. Paul, Authentic and Inauthentic: Lessons from the Household Codes

We have examined the legacy of St. Paul and his letters to the early Christian communities several times in the past.  We have noted that one of the ways that Paul communicated with original Jesus followers in the first century was through his letters (epistles) and that a number of letters in the New (Christian) […]

Current Research on Pompeii, Part II: Paul’s Letter to the Romans

In Part I, we examined some recent research on Pompeii, focusing on archaeological studies. Here we will look at British scholar Peter Oakes’ 2009 book, Reading Romans in Pompeii: Paul’s Letter at Ground Level, which combines archaeological insights from Pompeii with an exegesis (analysis) of important aspects of St. Paul’s letter to the Romans. St. […]

Ancient Corinth II: Women in St. Paul’s Time

Last week, we examined the deities worshiped in ancient Corinth and saw how influential goddesses, as well as gods, were before, during and after the time of St. Paul. Here we will look at the status and role of women at Corinth, especially how their involvement in society and local cults may have influenced Paul […]

Thecla, Paul and the Prehistoric Goddess

What do Chicago, Clinton Township, Michigan, and Pembroke, Massachusetts have in common? They are all home to churches named for St. Thecla. Who was Thecla? The story of Thecla is found in the apocryphal book, The Acts of Paul and Thecla, written in the late second century. Church leader Tertullian, writing about 200 in de […]

Paul’s Female Colleagues: Not Keeping Silence in the Churches

Sixteen years into the 21st century – despite the reality of women in the workplace, women in leadership positions in business and government, and the ordination of women in many Protestant denominations and in Judaism – we can still find preachers railing against the leadership of women in Christian organizations. (We will concentrate here on […]

St. Paul and Women

Philippi, in the north of Greece, was a significant city in the history of Christianity. St. Paul visited the city and wrote a letter to the community there, which is in the New Testament of the Bible. While Paul may be seen as someone who suppressed women, based upon other letters in the New Testament […]