John Granger Cook, «1 Cor 9,5: The Women of the Apostles», Vol. 89 (2008) 352-368
The women of the apostles in 1 Cor 9,5 have posed a riddle in the history of interpretation. With few exceptions commentators over the last one hundred years have identified them as wives and dismissed the text in a few lines. Recent research on the role of women in early Christian mission has brought a fresh assessment, concluding that the women were missionary assistants to the apostles. This essay develops an extended argument to solidify the thesis using the history of interpretation, the nature of missionary partnerships in the Pauline epistles, semantics, some important parallels from the Greco-Roman world, and the nature of ancient households.