Regarding The Concept Of The “Fellow Worker/Fellow Laborer” As It Informs Women In Ministry Roles -- By: Robb C. Palmer
PP 11:1 (Winter 1997) p. 22
Regarding The Concept Of The “Fellow Worker/Fellow Laborer” As It Informs Women In Ministry Roles
Dr. Robb C. Palmer is Pastor of the Evangelical Free Fellowship, Muncy, PA.
How should women be involved in Kingdom ministries? Which specific ministries are to be opened to them? Should any remain closed? How shall we decide?
In studying this issue in the New Testament, I contend that Paul’s use of such terms as
offer clarification for the matter of women in ministry. I contend that if studied carefully we will see such terms were applied fairly and without qualification across the board, whether it be to angels, males or females, thus inviting great implications regarding the specific issue as to whether or not women are allowed “in on” specific ministries in the church. Note the use of such terms, and then the conclusions they yield:
1. “Fellow Heir” (sugkleronoma, συγκληρονομα) occurs in Ephesians 3:6 and equates the Gentiles with the Jews in inheritance of the Kingdom. This notion demands a full equality between the two, a concept which will inform how the “fellow-” notion applies to men and women in ministry.
2. “Fellow Helper” (sunergos, συνεργος) occurs in
A. 2 Corinthians 8:23 of Titus, who is also called “my partner” (koinoonos) and “fellow helper.”
B. 3 John 8, referring to Christian workers in general. This term calls for the church to support them (it can be assumed that women are part of this group).
C. 1 Thessalonians 3:2 of Timothy.
D. Colossians 4:11, of Jesus who is Justus.
E. Philippians 1:3 of the women Euodia and Syntyche, who are classified on par with the man Clement, all being referred to indiscriminately as “fellow laborers.”
3. “FellowServants” (sundoulos, συνδουλὸς) occurs in
A. Revelation 19:10 of an angel in referring to himself as John’s equal and not his superior.
B. Revelation 22:9, as above.
C. Colossians 1:17, of Epaphras.
You must have a subscription and be logged in to read the entire article.
Click here to subscribe