The Epistles of Paul - Romans Part 21, 09-12-2014: Tradition is not Misogyny

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The Epistles of Paul - Romans Part 21, 09-12-2014, Romans Chapter 16

I want to begin tonight with a discussion concerning Paul of Tarsus and accusations against him by anti-Christs and so-called “liberal theologians” that he was somehow a misogynist, or a woman-hater. Nothing is further from the truth, except that jews and all those who have accepted their conditioning do not understand the structure of a proper Christian society, which is a patriarchal society, and the reasons which necessitate such a society are indeed Christian. On the other hand, Christians must understand that the so-called liberation of women from the patriarchal society was a goal outlined in the perverse arguments of the Communist Manifesto. It was a jewish goal towards the destruction of God's creation from the very beginning, and it can be traced back to Genesis chapter 3.

Paul of Tarsus was not a misogynist!

Many people today accuse Paul of Tarsus of misogyny (hatred of women), and no doubt because of some of Paul’s remarks concerning the place of women in Christian society. The most-criticized of these remarks is found in 1 Corinthians chapter 14: “34 the women in the assemblies must keep silent, indeed they are not to be entrusted to speak in them; rather they are to be obedient, just as the law says. 35 But if they wish to learn anything, in the home they must enquire of their own husbands; indeed it is a disgrace for women to speak in the assembly.” Because of this passage as well as a few other statements, Paul of Tarsus is indeed labeled a misogynist, and even some of the Paul-bashers have taken up the argument to fuel their hatred for Paul. It does not surprise me that in today’s liberal feminist society, where even ideas generally perceived as being moderate or centrist are actually skewed far to the left, that this is a prevailing view amongst the jewish-controlled, jewish-media dominated masses of the populace. That feminism is a jewish cause and primarily a jewish-led movement is easily demonstrated in the identities of its leaders, such as Emma Goldman, Betty Friedan, Gloria Steinem, Bella Abzug, et al., and also by their own testimony, which is published regularly by their media outlets. For instance in the Wall Street Journal, in an article entitled How Do You Mark 350 Years in America? by Naomi Schaefer Riley, which ran on p. W13 on Sept. 9, 2005, while discussing a particular exhibit at the Center for Jewish History in New York the writer, who is a jewess, boasted that “... there is much to be gained from studying Jewish life in America after the mass migrations from Eastern Europe. Jews were among the most prominent voices pushing for liberalized immigration policies, a strong labor movement and rights for women ... Nor were Jewish efforts always on behalf of other Jews. The end of the exhibit explores Jewish participation in the civil-rights movement.” Paul of Tarsus was certainly at odds with jewish thinking! What we see as a problem (“we” being socially-conscious Saxons), the jews see as an accomplishment, and they take full credit for it! In their own words they tell on themselves all the time, and sadly most people do not take notice of the process of the judaizing of society, or of the consequences, until it is too late. Liberalism and Progressivism are jewish, and both feminism and civil rights movements are components of those.

The New Testament accounts show beyond doubt that Paul could not have been a misogynist, a hater of women, and here I shall endeavor to elucidate as much in a plain and simple manner; for it is nothing which needs to be examined too deeply.

  1. In Acts 16, Paul along with Timothy, Silas, and surely Luke who wrote the account, are at Philippi in Macedonia where they congregated by a river for prayer, and spoke at length to women there who did likewise. There a certain woman Lydia, and her household, were apparently the first Greeks of Europe to become Christians (lost Israelites returning to Yahweh, as Paul teaches in all his epistles). [In reality they are only the first recorded in Acts, because there were already Christians at Rome.] This woman later assisted Paul and his companions, after the brief imprisonment at Philippi (Acts 16:40). [It is also likely that she continued to lodge Luke, who stayed behind with her when Paul departed.]

  2. At Berea, as well as in many other places, Paul preached to “honorable women” as well as to men (Acts 17:12: “Therefore many of them believed; also of honourable women which were Greeks, and of men, not a few.”).

  3. Of the converts at Athens, a women named Damaris merited particular mention although the precise reasons are unknown (Acts 17:34).

  4. Paul met Aquila and Priscilla at Corinth, and every time the couple is mentioned it is obvious that the woman is respected by Paul every bit as much as her husband, and is even placed before her husband in most of the passages where the two are mentioned (Acts 18:1, et al.).

  5. Paul entrusted a woman, Phoebe, to bear his epistle to Rome, and recommended her highly to the Christian assemblies there, also praising her for her assistance to him (Rom. 16:1-2).

  6. Of the people Paul greeted by name in his epistle to the Romans, many were women, including Priscilla, Mary, Persis, Tryphaena, Tryphosa, the mother of Rufus (and of Paul) and the sister of Nerea. Some of these were further commended for their labor in the faith or for their having assisted Paul in some way.

  7. Other women mentioned by Paul are Chloe at 1 Corinthians 1:11, where the text infers that she is head of a household, and therefore it is probable that she was a widow and a woman of means. It is very probable that Paul wrote 1 Corinthians in response to a letter from those of her household. Two other women, Euodia and Syntyche, are mentioned at Philppians 4:2 where Paul said “I beseech Euodias, and beseech Syntyche, that they be of the same mind in the Lord” and therefore his epistle may have addressed a disagreement between those women. Other women given special recognition are Nympha, at Colossians 4:15 (although the King James Version and some early manuscripts have “Nymphas” as a man) and the “beloved” Apphia in Philemon verse 2. Nympha had also evidently hosted an assembly at her house.

  8. Furthermore, in Paul’s letters to Timothy, he spoke especially well of Lois and Eunice, Timothy’s mother and grandmother, and must have known them personally (2 Tim. 1:5.) Paul also sent Timothy greetings from Priscilla, and from Claudia whom history shows is the wife of Rufus, and whom Paul is staying with at Rome when he wrote his second epistle to Timothy (2 Tim. 4:19, 21).

All of this shows that Paul certainly had all due respect for women in general, and had warm and Christian relationships with many of them.

The opinions which are formulated in and acted on by society today are not correct simply because a majority of modern people are persuaded by them. Christianity is not a democratic institution, but rather a Theocratic one. A woman’s place was to be subject to her husband, as with Paul (1 Corinthians 11:3; Ephesians 5:23; Colossians 3:18), also with Peter (1 Peter 3:1-5) and so with Yahweh (Genesis 3:16).

1 Corinthians 11:3: “But I wish for you to acknowledge that of every man the head is the Anointed, but the head of the woman is the man, and the head of the Anointed, Yahweh.” The husband-wife relationship of Israel to Yahweh is a model for society, where the wife should be subject to the husband, so long as the husband is subject to God. Therefore Paul wrote again in Ephesians chapter 5: “21 Subject yourselves to one another in fear of Christ: 22 wives, to their own husbands, as if to the Prince, 23 because the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the assembly: He is deliverer of the body. 24 But as the assembly is subject to Christ, in that manner also wives in everything to the husbands.” And again, from Colossians chapter 3: “18 Wives, subject yourselves to the husbands, as is proper with the Prince. 19 Husbands, love the wives and have no bitter feelings towards them.”

The apostle Peter wrote these same things, in 1 Peter chapter 3: “1 Likewise the wives being subject to their own husbands, in order that if some then disobey the Word, through the conduct of the wives they shall have advantage without the Word, 2 observing in fear your pure conduct, [so a good woman can indeed persuade her husband] 3 of which the dress must not be outward with braids of hair and applications of gold or putting on of garments, 4 but the hidden man [women are also man, as in mankind] of the heart with the incorruptibility of the gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious before Yahweh. 5 For thusly at one time also the holy women who have hope in Yahweh had dressed themselves being subject to their own husbands, 6 as Sarah had obeyed Abraham calling him master, whose children you have been born to do good and not fearing any terror. 7 The men likewise, living together in accordance with the knowledge that with the feminine is the weaker vessel, imparting honor as they are also fellow-heirs of the favor of life, for your prayers not to be hindered.”

So if Paul was a misogynist, then Peter would also have to be labeled a misogynist. And if that is the case, then Christ, being Yahweh God, would also have to be a misogynist! The only admonition to the woman of Genesis chapter 3 for her sin is that “Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.” It is not that man was not to rule over women from the beginning, but that ostensibly, man lapsed in his duty in Genesis chapter 3 which allowed the woman to be subverted. The original reason for the creation of women is so that man would have a suitable partner as an assistant in his endeavors. From Genesis chapter 2: “18 And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.”

Throughout all of ancient society, a woman’s original duty was to keep the household, as it was also in Greek society (i.e. Euripides’ Alcestis 304 ff., Electra 54 ff.) so it was with Paul (Titus 2:5), and so it was in the Old Testament, described at length in Proverbs chapter 31. Those who doubt the validity of Paul’s instruction here contend not with Paul, but with the entire Bible and ancient history!

In his play Alcestis, Euripides puts these words into the mouth of his title character in a dialog with her husband Admetus as she was about to die: “Well, then. Remember to show your gratitude for this. I shall not ask you again for the return my act deserves (for nothing is more precious than a life), but for what is right, as you will agree. For you love these children as much as I do, if you are in your senses. Keep them as lords of my house and do not marry again, putting over them a stepmother, who will be less noble than I and out of envy will lay a hostile hand to your children and mine.” (Alcestis, lines 299-307) With this it is seen that in ancient Greece, a wife was in command of the household even if she was a replacement for a dead wife.

Paul instructs that a woman is never to have authority over a man (i.e. 1 Timothy 2:12), and in the Old Testament at Isaiah 3:12 we see that it was a reproach for women to rule over men at that time also, where it says “As for my people, children are their oppressors, and women rule over them. O my people, they which lead thee cause thee to err, and destroy the way of thy paths.”. Whether it was the noble Deborah, or the wicked Athaliah does not matter: neither situation says much of the men of those times. When women hold office over men it is a reproach to the men of the time, and an indication of their own sin. Hillary Clinton, Margaret Thatcher, Janet Reno, Diane Feinstein, et al. are certainly a reproach to all Saxon men today, along with the millions of women who have forsaken childbearing and normal household life for a love of lucre and status. Those who feel otherwise contend not against Paul, but against Yahweh!

From the Wisdom of Sirach, chapter 28: “11 Keep a sure watch over a shameless daughter, lest she make thee a laughingstock to thine enemies, and a byword in the city, and a reproach among the people, and make thee ashamed before the multitude. 12 Behold not every body's beauty, and sit not in the midst of women. 13 For from garments cometh a moth, and from women wickedness. 14 Better is the churlishness of a man than a courteous woman, a woman, I say, which bringeth shame and reproach.” Even courteous women, such as Deborah, can bring shame and reproach to men when they are thrust into a public life with precedence over men. But the sin is not necessarily on the part of the woman.

From Sirach chapter 19: “1 A labouring man that is given to drunkenness shall not be rich: and he that contemneth small things shall fall by little and little. 2 Wine and women will make men of understanding to fall away: and he that cleaveth to harlots will become impudent. 3 Moths and worms shall have him to heritage, and a bold man shall be taken away.” The writer of Sirach was not a misogynist, and indeed in chapters 26, 28 and elsewhere he speaks in defense of virtuous women. He wrote in chapter 7: “19 Forego not a wise and good woman: for her grace is above gold.”

From Sirach chapter 26: “14 A silent and loving woman is a gift of the Lord; and there is nothing so much worth as a mind well instructed. 15 A shamefaced [meaning modest] and faithful woman is a double grace, and her continent mind cannot be valued.... 26 A woman that honoureth her husband shall be judged wise of all; but she that dishonoureth him in her pride shall be counted ungodly of all.”

The introduction of women into politics and public life is an introduction of lust and sex into those same arenas. The introduction of women into corporate offices and factory floors is an introduction of lust and sex into those same arenas. There is no avoidance, as much because of the incontinence of men as because of the vanity of women. When men are persuaded by beauty, they are easily corrupted by women, women who may themselves be manipulated by nefarious forces. From Sirach chapter 9: “8 Turn away thine eye from a beautiful woman, and look not upon another's beauty; for many have been deceived by the beauty of a woman; for herewith love is kindled as a fire.” The Wisdom of Sirach reflects the values of Hellenistic-era Judaea, a century before the Edomites usurped the kingdom.

Only men participated in the “democracy” of Athens. Women were excluded from politics, women did not speak publicly, and as Euripides’ character Aethra in his play Suppliant Women says at lines 40-41: “It is proper for women, if they are wise, to do everything through their men.” So Paul’s admonition to women, not to speak in the assembly but to learn and inquire by their husbands (as he instructs at 1 Corinthians 14:34-35), was not a novel contrivance, but it was already a part of Hellenistic and Judaean culture! In fact, Athenian life was stricter than life for women in Rome, where some liberal values had already begun to take root: For in Euripides’ Hecuba at lines 974-75 the title character states that “custom ... ordains that women shall not look directly at men.” The word translated “custom” in the Loeb Library edition of Euripides is νόμος, “law” everywhere in the New Testament. Paul’s admonition against women “wandering from house to house ... idle ... tattlers ... busybodies, speaking things they ought not” was a normal concern long before Paul wrote such words, and in Euripides’ Andromache lines 943-953, the poet through his character Hermione, who was also a woman, expressed very similar concerns, where she is depicted as saying: “But never, never (for I say it again and again) should husbands who have sense allow women to come to visit their wives in the house! They are the ones who teach evil. One woman corrupts a friend's marriage with an eye to gain, while another who has slipped from virtue wants company in her vice, while many act from sheer lewdness. That is the source of the disease in the houses of men. In view of this, guard well with bolts and bar the gates of your houses! For visits of women from outside cause nothing good but only trouble aplenty.” The situations in the plays of poets such as Euripides very often addressed the pressing social issues of the day, and there were also attempts at that time to overthrow the patriarchal society.

I had cited Euripides here, having had his writings at hand and having recently read them at the time when I originally wrote this essay in late 2005, yet I may have referred to a plethora of Greek writers, even those closer to Paul’s own time, to show that Paul was not teaching anything new to the Greeks or the Hebrews concerning the treatment of women. Strabo, speaking of the Cantabrians of Iberia and some of their customs, where women have influence over their kinsmen, says: “The custom involves, in fact, a sort of woman-rule – but this is not at all a mark of civilisation” (Strabo's Geography, 3.4.18, Loeb Library edition). Diodorus Siculus, speaking of the mythical Amazons, wrote that “The men, however, like our married women, spent their days about the house, carrying out the orders which were given them by their wives; and they took no part in military campaigns or in office or in the exercise of free citizenship in the affairs of the community by virtue of which they might become presumptuous and rise up against the women”, and so of course in reality, in the Greek world women kept the home, having no voice in the community, nor any role in government. That is also the very role described in Scripture in Proverbs chapter 31!

From Sirach chapter 36: “22 The beauty of a woman cheereth the countenance, and a man loveth nothing better. 23 If there be kindness, meekness, and comfort, in her tongue, then is not her husband like other men. 24 He that getteth a wife beginneth a possession, a help like unto himself [Genesis chapter 2], and a pillar of rest. 25 Where no hedge is, there the possession is spoiled: and he that hath no wife will wander up and down mourning.”

In the book of Numbers where the children of Israel were counted in the desert, only men were counted. So it was in Matthew chapter 14 and again in Matthew 15, on the two occasions where Christ fed a great multitude with a little food (14:21, 15:38), and women were not counted. It is not that women do not count, Yahweh forbid! Yet the woman’s role in a Christian society is clearly defined, and Paul explains that role properly. Pity those who doubt the truth of such matters. Nothing Paul says is contrary to Old Testament instruction or practice. The patriarchal society is the design of that same Creator who made both men and women. The strength of the man serves best in the public arena, and the empathy and nurturing tendencies of the woman in the raising of children.

1 I introduce to you Phoibe, our [P46 and A have “your”; the text followsא , B, C, D and the MT] sister, who is a servant of the assembly in Kenchrea; 2 that you shall receive her hospitably, worthily of the saints in the Prince, and that you provide for her in whatever matter needed of you; indeed she also has been a patroness of many, even of me myself.

Phoibe is called a servant here. The Greek word διάκονος (Strong's # 1249, diakonos) is more frequently servant in the Christogenea New Testament, and less frequently translated as minister. The word is the same word which Paul uses of himself and of all the men who serve in the cause of the Gospel or who served Christian assemblies in some other capacity. While it is clear from scripture and history that women should not speak publicly, serve as community elders or be leaders of men, there are still many vital ways in which women can serve the Christian community.

When we presented the Book of Acts here last year, discussing all of Paul's travels in conjunction with the records provided, from the circumstances of this epistle to the Romans and the details of Paul's ministry which he explained in Romans chapter 15, and from the list of men who in this chapter of Romans are mentioned in his company, we deduced that this epistle to the Romans was written while Paul was in the Troad at the time which corresponds with Acts chapter 20, verses 4 through 6.

In the records of Acts chapter 20, Paul is in Greece, and from the records of his epistles it can be determined that he was in Corinth, where he spent three months before returning to Macedonia en route to Asia, and stopping in the Troad he stayed there for seven days during which this epistle was written. In Acts 20:4 there is a list of men who accompanied him to the Troad, and in Acts 20:6 we see that Luke had rejoined Paul by sailing to the Troad from Philippi to meet him.

Kenchrea is a small village on coast of the sea on the eastern side of the isthmus of Corinth, and today the village is a part of modern Corinth. It is very likely that Phoibe had been among those who had accompanied Paul on his last journey through Macedonia and to the Troad, and she brought this epistle to Rome as we see in Romans 16:27.

Phoibe is also called a patroness here. The Greek word is προστάτις (Strong's # 4368) and while it does not describe an official capacity, in its masculine form, προστάτης, it is literally “one who stands before, a front-rank man”, and also “a chief, leader … generally a president, ruler protector, guard, champion … patron”, according to Liddell & Scott. While we do not have records of whatever Phoibe had done for Paul or for the assemblies, Paul having used this word certainly held her in high esteem.

3 Greet Priska and Akulas, my colleagues in Christ Yahshua [D has “and the assembly at their house” here, wanting the phrase in verse 5] 4 (who on behalf of my life did hazard their own necks: to whom not only I am thankful, but also all of the assemblies of the Nations), 5 and the assembly at their house.

Priscilla and Aquila are mentioned six times in Scripture: thrice in Acts chapter 18, here in Romans, in 1 Corinthians chapter 16 and in 2 Timothy chapter 4. The name Priska is a shortened, affectionate form of Priskilla. Priska is often Priskilla in some of the oldest manuscripts although that is not the case here. The King James Version has Priskilla everywhere except 2 Timothy, where it is Priska.

Priscilla and Aquila were evidently among the first Christians in Rome, and being expelled under the edict of Claudius circa 49 AD they resorted to Corinth, where they met Paul. The first epistle to the Corinthians was written from Ephesus during Paul's three-year stay there, as can be told from 1 Corinthians 16:8 and 19, and when Paul wrote that epistle he indicated that Priscilla and Aquila were in Ephesus, and had a Christian assembly in their own house there, in 1 Corinthians 16:19. Priscilla and Aquila had traveled with Paul from the time he left Corinth after his long stay there in Acts 18, and journeyed to Syria with him after stopping in Kenchrea where Paul had his head shaved (and we must wonder whether Paul first met Phoibe here). From Syria they passed through Anatolia and came to Ephesus, where they stayed with Paul while he was there. While Priscilla and Aquila were not mentioned in Acts 19 in the account of the trouble caused by the silversmiths in Ephesus, they must have been there with Paul when that happened. There are no details in Scripture as to how they risked their lives for Paul, but they were with him for a considerable time, and traveled with him as far as Antioch and back through Galatia and the rest of Anatolia. Here we see that Priscilla and Aquila are in Rome again in 57 AD.

Greet Epainetos my beloved, who is a first fruit of Asia for Christ.

The name Epainetos is also a word, which means praiseworthy. He is mentioned nowhere else, but from the language here he may have been one of Paul's first converts in Ephesus. The Majority Text has “Achaia” (at this time a name for the lower portion of Greece) here rather than “Asia”. The text follows the 3rd century papyrus P46 and the Codices Sinaiticus (א), Alexandrinus (A), Vaticanus (B), Ephraemi Syri (C) and Claromontanus (D).

6 Greet Mariam [A, B and C have “Marian”; the text follows P46, א, D and the MT], who has toiled much for you. 7 Greet Andronikos and Iounias, my kinsmen and my fellow captives, who are notable among the ambassadors; who also were before me in Christ.

Mariam is a name taken from a Hebrew word, seen on several women in the Gospels. It evidently means bitterly or rebelliously. Andronikos means man of victory and Iounias is a Latin given or first name which seems to youthful. The 3rd century papyrus P46 has Ioulian rather than Iounias, where the text follows the Codices Sinaiticus (א), Alexandrinus (A), Vaticanus (B), Ephraemi Syri (C) and Claromontanus (D) and the Majority Text.

The King James Version and most later interpreters would make Iounias out to be a woman, Junia. However all of the descriptions are masculine, and there is no indication that Iounias is a woman aside from the accent markings in some later manuscripts. The liberal progressive interpreters prefer Iounias to be a woman because he is considered to be an apostle. The phrase ἐπίσημοι ἐν τοῖς ἀποστόλοις is interpreted here as “notable among the ambassadors”, which is similar to the reading in the King James Version. Some commentators interpret it to mean “esteemed by the ambassadors”, which is unlikely since the word ἐπίσημος is an adjective, and that interpretation would seem to require a verb. Our reading is much more natural to the original language.

Andronikos and Iounias are only mentioned here, they were Christians before Paul's own conversion, and therefore since it seems that they may have been Judaeans it is apparent that here Paul may have used the word for kinsman in a narrower sense to refer to Judaeans. The appearance of the word συναιχμάλωτος (Strong's # 4869), fellow captives here, seems to present a problem since Paul has clearly not yet been imprisoned when this epistle was written. Paul was briefly in prison once in Philippi, but not with these particular men so far as we can know. The word αἰχμάλωτος properly describes one who has been taken captive by force, or more literally, by the spear, which is an αἰχμή (Liddell & Scott). Therefore the only way that this statement may be taken literally is to perceive that many Christians were already imprisoned in Rome, that Andronikos and Iounias may have been in prison in Rome, and therefore Paul is considering himself their fellow-prisoner because they were imprisoned, as he admonishes at Hebrews 13:3 to “Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them; and them which suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in the body.”

8 Greet Ampliatos, my beloved in the Prince. 9 Greet Ourbanos our colleague in Christ [C and D have “in the Prince”], and Stachus my beloved. 10 Greet Apelles, approved in Christ. Greet those from the household of Aristoboulus.

None of these men are mentioned elsewhere in Scripture, however it is evident that men whom Paul knew from elsewhere in his travels were thought to be in Rome when Paul was creating this epistle. Ampliatos is from a Latin word meaning large, and therefore he was probably a Roman. Ourbanos is also Latin, and means of the city but also for that reason sophisticated. A stachus is a head of grain, apelles is called and Aristoboulus is from a word which means noble counselor.

11 Greet Harodiona my kinsman. Greet those from the household of Narkissos, who are in the Prince. 12 Greet Truphainas and Truphosa, who toil in the Prince. Greet the beloved Persida, who has toiled much in the Prince.

The word household is only inferred in these verses, from an idiomatic use of the preposition ἐκ and the Genitive plural Definite Article. None of these people are mentioned elsewhere in Scripture.

The name Narkissos comes from a Greek word meaning numbness or deadness, and apparently also sometimes stupidity. The words behind the names Truphainas and Truphosa both relate to luxury, and Persida describes a woman of Persia. Many critics point to the appearance of the name Herodion here and claim that somehow it proves that Paul of Tarsus was an Edomite of the family of Herod, a claim which is contrary to testimony elsewhere in Scripture and which is actually quite absurd. Greeks often took their given names from common words, as we have seen elsewhere examining this chapter. The name Herod comes from the Greek word for hero, and more fully Herodas most likely means “song of the hero”. It is a given name, and was not originally a family name except that the family of Herod the Edomite began to use it for their own. It is highly likely that many other Greeks bore similar names, and there is a famous Greek historian of the 3rd century named Herodianus. The name of another and more famous Greek historian, Herodotus, is similar and means “given to a hero”.

13 Greet Rouphos, the chosen in the Prince, and his mother and mine.

In the closing salutation of 2 Timothy, which is one of Paul's last epistles (but there are three that can be shown to have been written later) we see that Paul included a greeting from “Pudens, and Linus, and Claudia”, who were with him in Rome when he wrote the epistle. Pudens was the name of a Roman political family, and Rufus (which means red or red-haired) was a given name found among members of that family. Therefore this Rufus has been connected with the Pudens of 2 Timothy, and not unjustly.

There have been a lot of studied commentaries, and also lot of hyperbole, associating Rufus with the Pudens family and also associating Linus and Claudia with the family of a British king. There has also been a lot of criticism, some of it good and most of it bad, in reference to those commentaries. The hyperbole does not help the cause of manifesting the truth, but the dishonesty of some of the critics is far worse.

We are not gong to give a full commentary on this topic here, but only a summary of what we believe can be established. However let us state that the identification of Claudia and Linus with Britons, and with Rufus with Pudens and therefore a noted Roman political family, first appears in known modern literature in the 16th century in Britain.

Rufus is indeed a reference to one Rufus Pudens. Paul also connects himself to Rufus Pudens here, by greeting “his mother and mine”. Was Paul a relation through his own mother by marriage, or even by blood, to Rufus Pudens? There is a possibility, but any extrapolation on what is seen here is only conjecture, and more information is needed to reach any conclusion. Paul of Tarsus was of a notable family of Pharisees who were also Roman citizens, being in Cilicia. There is evidence in Acts chapter 13, which is somewhat circumstantial but cannot be ignored, that he may have been related to Sergius Paulus, the Roman proconsul of Cyprus. They certainly had the same surname and were acquainted. If this is a possibility, then there is a possibility that Paul's family had connections with the Roman political class. That would also help to explain his advancement in Judaea at such a young age, prior to his conversion to Christ.

The possibility exists to connect one Rufus Pudens to Aulus Pudens, a Roman centurion who served in Britain, and is known to have served in the armies which defeated the famed British general and king known to Romans as Caractacus. But his legion also had another British king as an ally, the British turncoat of Chichester known to Romans as Tiberius Claudius Cogidubnus, since he took the name of the emperor as his benefactor. Pudens is connected to Cogidubnus in a Roman inscription which was found in Chichester. If Rufus is not Aulus, the two may have been closely related.

This leads us to Claudia. This woman was with all certainty a Briton, and the woman who later married Rufus Pudens. We must say later, because if they were married when Paul wrote 2 Timothy, he could not have inserted the name of Linus between the names of Claudia and Pudens. It is often asserted that Claudia was the daughter of Caractacus, and while the evidence is circumstantial this cannot be ruled out entirely. However there is even better circumstantial evidence which suggests that Claudia may have been the daughter of Cogidubnus. Without doubt, Claudia was a woman of note who was also a Briton, but the daughter of which British king cannot be said with absolute certainty. Other British kings, hostages and captives had moved to Rome as well, and Claudia may have her roots elsewhere. However for some reason her name was changed to the family name of Claudius Caesar, and in Rome that could not be done casually. So for that reason the identification of Claudia with Cogidubnus is not a mere fantasy.

By some of the lighter British Israel commentators Claudia has been identified as Pomponia Graecina, however the two individuals cannot be the same. Sometimes Pomponia Graecina is identified as a British princess, however the Roman historian Tacitus indicates with all certainty that she was born of a noble Roman family. All of this adds to the confusion over the possibilities surrounding these people.

Pomponia Graecina was a Roman woman who was married to Aulus Plautius, a Roman senator and the general who was victorious over Caractacus in Britain. Aulus Plautius later became the first governor of Roman Britain. According to Tacitus, circa 57 AD Pomponia Graecina was tried by her husband, as was the custom, for practicing a "foreign superstition", which has been interpreted as a reference to Christianity. Both Christianity and Druidism were outlawed by the Romans. While it is possible that Pomponia was a Christian, this circumstance leads many to conjecture that she became a Christian and that Claudia, a young British princess, was committed to her care and likewise became a Christian. However this is all pure conjecture and cannot be established with any certainty. I would rather not admit the conjecture.

What is certain, is that there was an esteemed British woman named Claudia who married an esteemed Roman named Rufus Pudens, and this is known from the epigrams of Martial, the Roman poet. Martial came to Rome from Iberia about 64 AD and had many notable Romans as friends and patrons. Evidently Rufus Pudens was one of his friends. Martial, most famous for his hundreds of epigrams, wrote two which mention Claudia, and calls her in one a foreigner and in another a Briton.

While these books of Martial's Epigrams were not published until about 88 AD, that does not mean that so many hundreds of epigrams were not written until 88 AD, and that is a mistake that many critics like to make when disputing the possible connection of the characters in Martial's epigram in Books 4 and 11 to the Rufus, Pudens and Claudia of Paul's epistles to the Romans and Timothy. We would assert that Paul mentions Claudia and Pudens in an epistle to Timothy written about 61 AD, and the pair are not yet married.

From Martial's Epigrams, 4:13, from the Loeb Classical Library translation by Walter C. A. Ker, M.A.

Claudia Peregrina weds, Rufus, with my own Pudens; a blessing, O Hymenaeus, be upon thy torches! So well does rare cinnamon blend with its own nard; so well Massic wine with Attic combs. Not closer are elms linked to tender vines, nor greater love hath the lotos for the waters, the myrtle for the shore. Fair Concord, rest thou unbroken on that bed, and may Venus be ever kindly to a bond so equal knit! May the wife love her husband when anon he is grey, and she herself, even when she is old, seem not so to her spouse!

Martial, being a pagan, fills his poetry with many pagan references. But for my own part, I would have translated the first line quite differently, recognizing a play on words, as: “Claudia, O Rufus? A Foreigner weds my own Pudens?” This rendering observes that the name Rufus appears in the masculine of the Vocative case and is therefore a address to Pudens himself, and also that the word Peregrina has a double meaning as a name for Claudia, since she was a Briton, and also employed in a literal sense here the line embodies surprise that Pudens would marry a foreigner.

From Martial's Epigrams, 11:53, from the same edition,

Though Claudia Rufina has sprung from the woad-stained Britons, how she possesses the feelings of the Latin race! What grace of form has she! Mothers of Italy may deem her Roman, those of Attica their own. May the Gods bless her in that she, a fertile wife, has borne children to her constant spouse, in that she hopes, though youthful still, for sons- and daughters-in-law. So may it please the Gods above she should joy in one mate alone, and, joy ever in three sons!

In spite of the criticism, it is very plausible that these epigrams were written as early as the mid-to-late 60's AD, and published later. It is common for a poet who has collected and published volumes to publish poems written over a long period of time in any particular volume. Martial had over 1,500 epigrams and had very likely written and collected some of them for years before their publication.

We may, therefore, identify Claudia with the British, and Rufus with Pudens and the future husband of Claudia. We hope to discuss this topic at even greater length where we encounter these names once again, presenting Paul's second epistle to Timothy.

14 Greet Asunkritos, Phlegonta, Hermes, Patrobas, Herman, and the brethren who are with them. 15 Greet Philologos and Ioulian, Narea and his sister, and Olumpas, and all of the saints who are with them.

Rather than Ioulian and Narea the 3rd century papyrus P46 has Barea and Aoulian, and the Codex Ephraemi Syri (C) has Iounian and Narea. The text follows the Codices Sinaiticus (א), Alexandrinus (A), Vaticanus (B), Claromontanus (D) and the Majority Text.

In the King James Version these men are Asyncritus, which is incomparable, Phlegon, which is burning, Hermas, after the Greek idol who was thought to be Zeus' messenger to Hades, this Hermas was supposed by Eusebius to have authored the work under that name known as The Shepherd, something we may never be able to verify. Patrobas apparently means father's life, Herman, which apparently means a support, Philologos, a lover of word or thought, Julia, which here we have interpreted to be Julian, a Roman given name, Nereus, a Greek idol of the sea, and Olympas, a variation of Olympia. None of these people are known elsewhere in Scripture.

16 Greet one another with a holy kiss. All the assemblies of the Anointed greet you. [D is wanting this last sentence.]

The “holy kiss” was a sign of fraternal affection and a normal phenomenon of Greco-Roman culture. Paul also exhorted such an act of respect among Christians in both epistles to the Corinthians and in his first epistle to the Thessalonians.

17 Now I exhort [D has “ask”] you, brethren, to [D adds “steadfastly”] watch out for those who cause [P46 and D have “speak or cause”; the text follows א, A, B, C, and the MT.] dissension and scandal contrary to the teaching which you have been instructed in, and turn away from them.

Paul is addressing a Christian assembly, and therefore dissension is rebellion against the Gospel and the laws of Christ. Scandal is causing a brother to stumble. Paul had explained in Romans chapter 14 that we must avoid doing things which our Christian brethren take offense at, or are trapped by, or which sicken them. In that context he was talking about foods sacrificed to idols. In the language of the Old Testament, putting a trap before a brother meant doing something which caused him to disregard the laws of Yahweh, or to keep them hypocritically.

18 Indeed such as they do not serve Yahshua Christ our Prince, but rather their own belly, and through smooth speaking and fine language [D wants “and fine language”] they seduce the hearts of the innocent.

The mediator of Christian disagreement is the Word of God, and if anyone refuses to acknowledge and comply with the law then they have an agenda, they are serving themselves, and therefore they are being purposely divisive. Yahweh God does not change. While the children of Israel have grace from the judgments of the law, and while they have propitiation in Christ if they sin, the law of God without the Levitical rituals remains as His outline for a just and moral society. Men who rationalize disregarding the moral laws of God seduce the hearts of the innocent. If the children of Israel would keep His law, then the body of Christ moves towards the Kingdom of Heaven.

19 Surely that of your compliance has reached to all, therefore I rejoice concerning you; but I do wish that you are to be wise as to good, and uncontaminated as to evil.

Paul is making a summary here of the things which he had explained in the previous chapters. Compliance is agreement with Christ and the law, as Christ told his followers, “if you love Me, keep My commandments”. The children of Israel were put off from the community of Yahweh because they would not keep his law. That period of putting-off, or divorce from God is one of chastisement. The prophets describe it as a period of punishment for Israel. The reconciliation which they are offered in Christ is offered that they may choose to keep His commandments.

20 Now Yahweh of peace will crush the Adversary [or Satan] under your feet quickly. The favor of our Prince Yahshua Christ is with you. [D wants the final sentence. P46, א and B want “Christ”. The text follows A, C, and the MT.]

Yahweh is the God of peace, and the children of Israel shall have peace when they are obedient to their God, and when Yahweh destroys His enemies. The Gospel says at Luke 2:14 "Honor to Yahweh in the heights, and peace upon the earth among approved men." Those whom Yahweh has chosen, they shall have peace, while the others await destruction.

Here Paul makes a prophecy, that, as the King James Version has it, “the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly”, and the language is reminiscent of Genesis 3:15 for good reason. In 1 Thessalonians chapter 2 Paul expresses the desire to have visited the Thessalonians, but summarizes some of the obstacles which prevented him from doing so. There he says to them that “14 You have become imitators, brethren, of the assemblies of Yahweh in Judaea which are among the number of Christ Yahshua, because these same things even you have suffered by your own tribesmen, likewise they also by the Judaeans: 15 those who killed both Prince Yahshua and the prophets, and banished us, and are not pleasing to Yahweh, and contrary to all men. 16 Preventing us from speaking to the Nations that they would be preserved, for which to fill their errors at all times, but the wrath has come upon them at last. 17 But we, brethren, having been bereaved of you for a measure of time in person, not in heart, more abundantly with much longing have been eager to see your presence. 18 Because we have wished to come to you, indeed I Paul, both once and again has the Adversary [or Satan] hindered us.” When we examine the events of the Book of Acts, it was not some spirit boogeyman who is described as preventing Paul from preaching the gospel to the Nations, or persecuting the apostles wherever they went by doing things such as having them imprisoned. Rather, it was those Judaeans who were rejecting the Gospel of Christ and attempting to suppress it who did such things.

In 2 Thessalonians chapter 2 Paul discussed the “mystery of lawlessness” and connected it to the “operation of the Adversary”, or as the King James Version has it, the “working of Satan”. In that chapter he said, in part, “1 Now we ask you, brethren, concerning the presence of our Prince Yahshua Christ and our gathering to Him, 2 that you are not to be quickly shaken from this purpose; and you should not be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as if by us; as though the day of the Prince is present. 3 You should not be deceived by anyone, in any way, because if apostasy had not come first, and the man of lawlessness been revealed; the son of destruction, 4 he who is opposing and exalting himself above everything said to be a god or an object of worship, and so he is seated in the temple of Yahweh, representing himself that he is a god. 5 Do you not remember that, yet being with you I had told these things to you? 6 And you know that which now prevails, for him to be revealed in his own time. 7 For the mystery of lawlessness is already operating, he prevailing only presently, until he should be out of the way, 8 and then will the lawless be revealed, whom Prince Yahshua will destroy with the breath of His mouth, and abolish at the manifestation of His presence. 9 Whose presence is in accordance with the operation of the Adversary in all power and signs and wonders of falsehood, 10 and in every trick of unrighteousness in those who are perishing, because they accepted not the love of the truth, for them to be preserved.” When we examine the events of the Gospels and the Book of Acts, it was not some spirit boogeyman who Christ had already revealed. It was not some spirit boogeyman who is sitting in the temple pretending to be a god. Rather it was the Edomite Sadducees who were the high priests pretending to have all the authority of gods. In Romans chapter 9, Paul expressed a deep concern for his brethren and kinsmen “according to the flesh”, those were were Israelites, who had not yet turned to the Gospel of Christ. Doing so he compared Jacob and Esau, and explained that the one were vessels of mercy while the other were vessels of destruction. Esau is the son of destruction, and Paul was describing the Edomites who rejected Christ in this passage of 2 Thessalonians.

Therefore we see in these epistles to the Thessalonians that Paul thought the Edomite Judaeans to be Satan, the Adversary. These are those who rejected Christ, and the ancestors of today's Jews. The apostle John thought that same thing and he said “18 Little children, it is the last hour, and just as you have heard that the Antichrist comes, even now many Antichrists have been born, from which we know that it is the last hour. 19 They came out from us but they were not from of us. For if they were from of us, they would have abided with us, but so that they would be made manifest that they are all not from of us.” (1 John chapter 2.) Therefore in 2 Thessalonians chapter 3 Paul made an appeal for prayer and he said “1 For what remains, pray brethren, for us - in order that the Word of the Prince may move quickly and be extolled, just as even with you, 2 and that we should be protected from those disgusting and wicked men, since the faith is not for all. 3, But trustworthy is the Prince, who will establish you and keep you from the wicked.” The wicked, for whom the faith is not, is a reference back to what Paul was describing in the lawless of 2 Thessalonians chapter 2, and they are those same Edomite Jews who were persecuting the apostles of the faith.

Paul considered the Edomite Jews of Judaea to be the Satan of his time, and he told the Romans that they would be destroyed shortly. The only way he could have known this is from Daniel chapter 9. There we see the following prophecy, an answer to Daniel's own prayer concerning Jerusalem: “24 Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy. 25 Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times. [This 69-week, or 483-year time period is roughly from the return of Ezra to Jerusalem after 457 BC to the beginning of the ministry of Christ in 28 AD.] 26 And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined. [The “people of the prince” are the people of Messiah the Prince of verse 25, although this is denied and perverted in mainstream theology.] 27 And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week [the 70th week represents the ministry of Christ]: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.”

Of course Paul had the warnings of Christ recorded in Luke chapter 21, where He said “20 And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh.... 22 For these be the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled.” However Paul must have known that this warning was also connected to the promised destruction of Jerusalem prophesied in Daniel as retribution for the cutting-off of the Messiah, and Paul knew that the Romans were the people of the Messiah as he had explained throughout this epistle, and they were the only portion of the people of true Israel in any position to destroy Jerusalem. Romans 16:20 is therefore a profession that the prophecy of Yahweh would be fulfilled and Jerusalem would be destroyed as it was written. The city was destroyed about 13 years after Paul authored this epistle, in 70 AD.

21 Timotheos my colleague and Loukios and Iason and Sosipatros my kinsmen greet you.

Comparing the names of the men who were here with Paul to those men who were with him when he traveled to the Troad as it is recorded in Acts chapter 20, and seeing Timothy, Luke, Sosipatros [who is called only Sopatros in Acts] and Gaios in the list, as well as the circumstances of his ministry which he himself outlined in Romans chapter 15, it is certain that the epistle to the Romans was written while Paul was in the Troad and before his final voyage to Jerusalem.

Timothy became Paul's companion after meeting him in Lystra, which is recorded in Acts chapter 16. The last time he is mentioned in Acts is in the Troad with Paul. He is only mentioned elsewhere in epistles. Luke does not write about himself, but seems to have become associated with Paul in Antioch, during the events recorded in Acts chapter 15. Left behind by Paul in Philippi (Acts 16:40), Luke joins him again in the Troad (Acts 20:6), and apparently stays with him through the end of his time in Rome (Acts 28:31). Jason met Paul in Thessalonica and sheltered the apostles there when they were persecuted by certain Judaeans (Acts 17). Sosipatros must be the Sopater, as the King James Version calls him, of Acts 20:4, whom Paul must have met while he was in Berea (Acts 17:10). Here Paul refers to these men collectively as his kinsmen.

22 I Tertios who wrote out the letter [here D adds “all the assemblies of the anointed”] greet you in the Prince. 23 Gaios greets you, my host and that of the whole assembly. Erastos the manager of the city greets you, also the brother Kouartos.

That Paul wrote this epistle in the sense of being its author is without doubt. However it can be told elsewhere that because of his poor eyesight he had a difficult time actually doing the handwriting. One place this is evident is in the final salutation of his epistle to the Galatians, where he wrote “Do you see, in how large letters I have written to you in my own hand?” So here we see that Tertius, a man unknown elsewhere in Scripture, actually penned Romans for Paul.

Gaius seems to be the “Gaius of Derbe” of Acts 20:4, but here Gaius is said to be hosting Paul in the Troad. It may be that Gaius is able to provide for the apostles in this place. Erastos is called the “manager of the city”, a title equivalent to what we call a mayor, but it is not clear which city Paul refers to. While in Ephesus Paul had friends in high places, which is explicitly stated in Acts 19:31, and from then an Erastus is mentioned as being among Paul's companions. Erastus is mentioned again in 2 Timothy, where he is said to have gone to Corinth. This Erastus may have been one of the Asiarchs, the chief men of Asia, who were friends of Paul's in Ephesus.

Following verse 23, the Majority Text has the words “The favor of our Prince Yahshua Christ is with you all. Amen.” which the King James Version has as verse 24 While some later manuscripts follow the Majority Text here, others vary in arrangement with the verses that follow. The line is wanting in the Christogenea New Testament, following the 3rd century papyrus P46 and the Codices Sinaiticus (א), Alexandrinus (A), Vaticanus (B), Ephraemi Syri (C) and other later papyri and mss.

25 Now with ability you are to stand fast in accordance with my good message and the proclamation of Yahshua Christ; in accordance with a revelation of mystery having been kept secret in times eternal, 26 but being made manifest now, through the prophetic writings; in accordance with the command of the eternal Yahweh, for the submission of faith to all the Nations, in discovering that 27 Yahweh alone is wise, through Yahshua Christ, to whom is honor for the ages. Truly.

Concerning verses 25 through 27, the Majority Text and some late manuscripts have these verses at the end of chapter 14. The 3rd century papyrus P46 has them at the end of chapter 15. The Codex Alexandrinus (A) has the verses both here and at the end of chapter 14. A 7th century papyri, P61, along with the Codices Sinaiticus (א), Vaticanus (B), Ephraemi Syri (C) and Claromontanus (D) have them here, as does also the King James Version. While the copy of Romans in the Codex Vaticanus Graecus (048) ends at 15:9, these verses are not at the end of chapter 14 there.

The children of Israel were told in prophecy such as that found in Genesis chapters 48 and 49 that they were going to become many nations. Paul explained in Romans chapter 4 that the faith of Abraham was the belief that his offspring would become many nations after the promises of Yahweh found in places such as Genesis 17:4-6 and Genesis 35:11. Yet the children of Israel were put off in blindness, since they abandoned Yahweh their God for the gods of the heathens. Now Paul is calling the Romans out of that paganism, and telling them that they are one of the very nations of the children of Israel who have a part in these promises. They must return to Yahweh their God through an obedience to His Christ. A submission of faith is a consent to His commandments even though one is not going to be condemned under His law. That is the story in the prophetic writings which Paul refers to here, and Paul is teaching the fulfillment of those writings. Therefore if any Christian creed is in opposition to the words of the prophets, it is not Christian at all. The only true Christian faith is in the fulfillment of the prophecies concerning the children of Israel, and that is what Paul had taught. Today it is only found in what we call Christian Israel Identity.

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