Women in the Bible, Phoebe

Hello, welcome to our Women in the Bible series this week we will meet Phoebe.

This journey so far we have met Eve, Rachel & Leah, Rahab, Ruth, Deborah, Esther, Bathsheba, The Good Woman, Elizabeth, Mary and Lydia

Our Women in the Bible series is a journey through the Bible meeting some of the Women of the Bible we will be joining our own women from the Young @ Heart Ladies Groip for this journey

Phoebe              Romans 16

I am Phoebe. My name means ‘bright’

I am a deacon of the church at Cenchraea, a city near Corinth in Greece. It was my task to take Paul’s letter to Rome, that’s why I get a mention in it. I met Paul when he came to Cenchraea. I opened my home to be used for Paul’s preaching and for the church to meet together. It also meant I took legal responsibility for what happened in my home. I know that many people find my ‘title’ confusing mainly because different bible translations call me deacon, deaconess, minister or helper. It surprises people that women held ordained office in the earliest days of the church. 

Paul’s list of qualifications for deacons in 1 Timothy chapter 3 mentions both men and women – “Women, likewise, must be serious, not slanderers, but temperate, faithful in all things. Let deacons be married only once, and let them manage their children and their households well; for those who serve well as deacons gain a good standing for themselves and great boldness in the faith that is in Christ Jesus.” 

I sometimes think that being a deacon in the Church in Cenchraea is important because it shows that women are important to spreading the faith, and not only by working in the kitchen. Women owned house-churches, women administered and supervised the work with the poor and the widows, women handled financial affairs for the churches, and women helped spread the gospel. Jesus came to turn everything upside down: the last would be first and the first would be last – even in Cenchraea.


You can print off the colouring in activity below or if you want you can get creative and draw your own picture.

Now, we know you will want to share your pictures, drawings, crafts and even puzzles with us. If you do please take a photo of them and post them on the Raploch Connected Facebook Group.