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The Focus of Conflict (4:2, 3)

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Chapter Summary

This chapter endeavors to go beyond the vague characterization of the two women as the "leaders" of the Philippian church and suggests specific aspects of their "leadership" roles. This in turn enhances the understanding of the nature and mechanics of the conflict in the Philippian church. The chapter demonstrates the plausibility of the proposition that the two women were deacons who are to be assumed under διάκονοι in 1: 1, which puts them among the leading members of the church. It examines two relevant New Testament texts which both deal with the locally-bound diaconate and where the function is being exercised by women. Then the chapter discusses Pauline use of the term συνεργός with special emphasis on the instances when it was applied to individuals who were (permanent) inhabitants of their cities and not itinerant missionaries of the Pauline circle.

Keywords: διάκονοι; συνεργός; leadership roles; New Testament texts; Pauline mission; Philippian church



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