Paul sent greetings to Nympha at the end of his letter to the Colossians, followers of Jesus making up the community of Christians at Colossae. Paul did not include specific dates or locations, so there's no way to know which prison he was in at the time he wrote the letter. The King James version of the Bible states the verse as follows: “Salute the brethren which are in Laodicea, and Nymphas, and the church which is in his house.” However, The New American Bible (St. Joseph edition) refers to Nympha (no final “s”), and asks the Laodiceans to give greetings to Nympha and those of the church who meet in her house (Colossians 4:15).

Paul requested that the Laodiceans, meeting in the house church of Nympha (there is no mention of a husband, father, or brother), read the letter openly in church. He also advised the Colossian Christians to read the letter from Laodicea. That letter may have been written by Paul, but is now lost.

Paul had the habit of writing a postscript in his epistles that declared the letter was written in his own hand. In the letter to the Colossians, Paul states, “The salutation by the hand of me Paul” (Colossians 4:18).

The everything Women of the bible book Gender changes in biblical texts increase the ambiguity about women in the earliest churches and the kind of leadership roles they had. Many biblical scholars believe that women had active roles in the Apostolic Church, and agree that as Christianity evolved and larger, public buildings replaced the private homes used for worship, the roles of women leaders increasingly diminished.


Phoebe was the name of a deaconess in the Christian church in Cenchreae, which was located along Corinth's eastern harbor. She may have had some wealth, for Paul calls her “…a succourer of many…,” including himself. Some sources call her Paul's “patroness.” Phoebe's name first appears in the New Testament in a letter to the Romans.

Paul's letters predate all of the written gospels in the New Testament, and it is known that he stayed in touch with the churches he founded in his missionary travels. A Christian community, however, had already been established before Paul wrote the letter to the Romans in which he mentions Phoebe, sometime around A.D. 56 or A.D. 58.

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