Women of the Bible from A to Z series
“Greetings to Tryphena and Tryphosa,
women who work very hard for the Lord…”
Romans 16:12a ncv
I confess; I’ve never noticed the list of people Paul recognizes for their work. In this chapter of Romans, he praises—to the best of my counting—almost 30 people by name for their faithful service, and eight of his fellow workers who send their greetings to the church as well as.
Based upon the similarities of their names and the fact they are tied together in the chapter, leads most researchers to believe that Tryphena and Tryphosa were probably sisters or close relatives. I wonder if not twins.
Their names, which mean delicate, dainty, and luxurious, indicate a high society family, yet according to Christian Bookshelf, “…they occur immediately after the household of Narcissus and in close connection with that of Aristobulus, both of which are groups of slaves. Aristobulus was a grandson of Herod the Great, and Narcissus was a well-known freedman, whose slaves at his death would probably become the property of the Emperor.”
Yet these two dainty, delicate women labored for the Lord along side slaves of two societal well-knowns. Paul commends them and their fellow workers much like Jesus taught, “… ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let’s celebrate together!’” Matthew 25:21 nlt
To be commended by the Apostle Paul was a great honor. To have it recorded in the history of the early church, admirable. But to have my name written in the Lamb’s book of life (Rev. 21:27b) and to hear the Lord Himself say, “Well done, my good and faithful servant,” is a joy too unattainable for my words!
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