Papyrus 46 - Romans 16:4-13
I bet people most people skim right through (or right over) Romans 16, thinking it's just a list of names.
DON'T DO IT!!!
Look at the list:
"I commend to you Phoebe" - a woman - probably the person Paul trusted to carry his letter to Rome - "a deacon(ess)" [the masculine term diakonos is used, hence it likely refers to an office she held, and not just a statement that she was a "servant"] - "she has been a prostatis to many and to myself, too" - i.e., a benefactor, perhaps a wealthy or powerful citizen who introduced Paul to the persons in her city, or even protected Paul and supplied his needs, etc.
"Greet Prisca and Aquila" - note that Prisca's (Priscilla's), a woman's name, comes first (as it does in most of the other New Testament mentions of this couple) - and she is a "fellow-worker" too, one who risked her own neck for Paul's life. And ... she has a church in her house.
"Greet Mary" - another woman.
"Greet Andronicus and Junia" - a woman - one who is "well known to the apostles" or "outstanding among the apostles" - i.e., possibly a woman apostle. John Chrysostum and the Early Church Fathers took the Greek to mean that she was an apostle.
Dan Wallace reports that a massive computer search of Greek literature shows that the construction of the phrase overwhelmingly favors the translation "well known to the apostles." See Innovations in the Text and Translation of the NET Bible, New Testament - II.B.2. Also see Junia Among the Apostles: The Double Identification Problem in Romans 16:7 and Was Junia Really an Apostle? A Re-examination of Rom 16.7.
A discussion (June 3, 2002ff.) on B-Greek cites Eldon Jay Epp, "Text-Critical, Exegetical, and Socio-cultural Factors affecting the Junia/Junias Variation in Romans 16,7," pp. 227-291 in New Testament Textual Criticism and Exegesis: Festschrift J. Delobel, Edited by A. Denaux, BETL 161, Leuven: Leuven University Press/Peeters, 2002, in opposition to Wallace's conclusions, however. (I can't find this discussion in the B-Greek archives now.) And Suzanne McCarthy has a seven-part rebuttal to the Wallace-Burer position: McCarthy vs Wallace (and Grudem)
Whether or not an apostle, the name is "Junia," i.e., a woman, and not a shortened version of the male "Junianus" - an apparent fiction invented by those who found the idea of a woman apostle hard to accept. "Junias" (the Greek form - accusative case) was considered to be a woman at least until the 13th century, as Douglas Moo writes in his acclaimed commentary on Romans. (Epp - see above - apparently argues for the name being masculine.)
"Greet Tryphaena and Tryphosa" - also women.
"Persis" is a woman, as the description of her as "the beloved" is in the feminine gender.
"Greet Rufus the chosen one in the Lord and his mother - and mine also." Now, if this is the same Rufus who was the son of Simon the Cyrene, who carried Jesus's cross, since Cyrene is in Africa, Simon and hence Rufus were likely Black - and Paul is claiming Rufus' mother as being like his own mother. So now we have another praiseworthy woman, and an African one at that.
"Greet Julia" - another woman ... "and Nerea's sister" (a woman).
Not to mention that, as Moo points out, Paul identifies three, and possibly five separate house churches (vv. 5,14,15; cf. also vv. 10,11).
(I originally wrote and/or last edited this June 23, 2002 when I used to have a Web page, though I have updated/added the links.)