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He greets Prisca, Junia, Julia, and Nereus' sister, who worked and traveled as missionaries in pairs with their husbands or brothers (Romans 16:3, 7, 15).He tells us that Prisca and her husband risked their lives to save his.As prophets, women's roles would have included not only ecstatic public speech, but preaching, teaching, leading prayer, and perhaps even performing the eucharist meal.(A later first century work, called the Didache, assumes that this duty fell regularly to Christian prophets.) MARY MAGDALENE: A TRUER PORTRAIT Later texts support these early portraits of women, both in exemplifying their prominence and confirming their leadership roles (Acts 17:4, 12).Such homes were a domain in which women played key roles.

Mary and Persis are commended for their hard work (Romans 16:6, 12).

Now we are learning more of the many women who contributed to the formation of Christianity in its earliest years.

Perhaps most surprising, however, is that the stories of women we thought we knew well are changing in dramatic ways.

Women held offices and played significant roles in group worship.

Paul, for example, greets a deacon named Phoebe (Romans 16:1) and assumes that women are praying and prophesying during worship (I Corinthians 11).