William Hendriksen writes:
- He mentions with favor the following, to many of whom he sends greetings: Phoebe, Prisca, “Mary,” Tryphena and Tryphosa, Persis, Julia, the sister of Nereus, Apphia, Lois and Eunice (see Romans 16; Phil. 4; 2 Tim. 1; Philemon).
- He employs women in the service of the gospel (Rom. 16:1–3; Phil. 4:3); specifically, the older widows (1 Tim. 5:9, 10), deacons’ assistants (1 Tim. 3:11), women who are able to support others (1 Tim. 5:16). Cf. what the book of Acts says with reference to Lydia (16:14, 40), Dorcas (9:36), Mary, the mother of John (12:2), and the daughters of Philip (21:8, 9)…
- He emphasizes that “in Christ” there is neither male nor female (Gal. 3:28). In relation to him there is perfect equality.
- He recommends marriage, even for widows, and he praises the joys of Christian wifehood and motherhood (1 Cor. 7:39; 1 Tim. 5:14; then 1 Tim. 2:15; 4:3). There are circumstances, however, under which Paul considers it better “not to marry” (1 Cor. 7:26, 27).
Anyone who maintains that Paul holds women in low esteem should read the following passages…
“For the unbelieving husband is sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified through her husband” (1 Cor. 7:14).
“The wife does not have power over her own body, but the husband has; and similarly, the husband has no power over his own body, but the wife has” (1 Cor. 7:4).
“The woman is man’s glory” (1 Cor. 11:7).
“In the Lord neither is woman without (the) man, nor is man without (the) woman” (1 Cor. 11:11).
“Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself up for it; that he might sanctify it … Even so ought husbands also to love their own wives as their own bodies.… Let each one of you love his wife as he loves himself; and let the wife see to it that she respects her husband” (Eph. 5:25–33).
Paul’s practical attitude to women kingdom-workers is expressed in this beautiful, concise order:
“Help these women” (Phil. 4:3).
(New Testament Commentary on The Pastoral Epistles, numbering added)