Rhoda (biblical figure)

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Peter Returns by Johann Christoph Weigel, 1695. Rhoda is in the upper left of the woodcut. Peter Returns by Weigel.png
Peter Returns by Johann Christoph Weigel, 1695. Rhoda is in the upper left of the woodcut.

Rhoda (Gk ˁΡόδη) is a woman mentioned once in the New Testament. She appears only in Acts 12:12-15. Rhoda (whose name means "Rose" [1] ) was a girl (Greek : παιδισκη) living in the house of Mary, the mother of John Mark. Many biblical translations state that she was a 'maid' or 'servant girl'. After Peter was miraculously released from prison, he went to the house and knocked on the door. Rhoda came to answer it, and when she heard Peter's voice she was so overjoyed that she rushed to tell the others, and forgot to open the door for him. She told the group of Christians who were praying that Peter was there. They did not believe her at first, and told her she was "out of her mind". When she kept insisting that it was Peter, they said, "He is his angel." Yet Peter kept on knocking, and eventually, they opened the door for him.

New Testament Second division of the Christian biblical canon

The New Testament is the second part of the Christian biblical canon, the first being the Old Testament. The New Testament discusses the teachings and person of Jesus, as well as events in first-century Christianity. Christians regard both the Old and New Testaments together as sacred scripture.

Acts of the Apostles Book of the New Testament

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Rhoda is a female given name, originating in both Greek and Latin. Its primary meaning is "rose" but it can also mean "from Rhodes", the Greek island originally named for its roses. The name was mostly used in the 18th and 19th centuries but goes back at least to the first century as it is recorded in the New Testament of the Bible.

Peter had walked out of a prison chained to, and guarded by, Roman soldiers and confined behind secure walls; yet, he was unable to get past a gate because a servant girl was too excited to open it for him. Christian historian Jaroslav Pelikan suggests that it is "difficult not to smile when reading this little anecdote," [2] while biblical scholar F. F. Bruce says that the scene is "full of vivid humor." [3] Pastor and theologian John Gill surmised that Rhoda recognized Peter's voice because she had "often heard him preach and converse [with Mary's] family". [4] However, theologians Donald Fay Robinson and Warren M. Smaltz have suggested that the incident involving Rhoda really represents an idealized account of the death of St. Peter, which may have occurred in a Jerusalem prison in 44 AD. [5]

Jaroslav Pelikan US historian of Christianity, Christian theology and medieval intellectual history at Yale

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F. F. Bruce Scottish biblical scholar

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John Gill (theologian) British theologian and pastor

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Writing from a feminist perspective, Kathy Chambers[ who? ] argues that the narrative demonstrates "how Christian adaptations of comedic tropes challenged the dominant cultural construction of status and gender, of ecclesial authority, slaves, and women." [6] :89 Chambers connects this story to the fulfillment in Acts 2 of the prophecy of Joel 2 that women and slaves would prophesy. Although "Rhoda lacked the necessary authority to have her message taken seriously because of her status of both woman and slave," she had enough courage and faith to keep insisting that it was Peter. [6] :94

Feminist theology is a movement found in several religions, including Buddhism, Christianity, Judaism, and New Thought, to reconsider the traditions, practices, scriptures, and theologies of those religions from a feminist perspective. Some of the goals of feminist theology include increasing the role of women among the clergy and religious authorities, reinterpreting male-dominated imagery and language about God, determining women's place in relation to career and motherhood, and studying images of women in the religion's sacred texts and matriarchal religion.

Acts 2 Acts of the Apostles, chapter 2

Acts 2 is the second chapter of the Acts of the Apostles in the New Testament of the Christian Bible. The book containing this chapter is anonymous but early Christian tradition affirmed that Luke composed this book as well as the Gospel of Luke. This chapter records the events on the day of Pentecost, about 10 days after the ascension of Jesus Christ.

Joel 2

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  1. Joseph Henry Thayer, Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament , RHODA.
  2. Jaroslav Pelikan, Acts (Grand Rapids: Brazos, 2005), 148.
  3. F. F. Bruce, Commentary on the Book of the Acts (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1964), 251.
  4. Gill, J. Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible, (http://biblehub.com/commentaries/gill/acts/12.htm) accessed 31 August 2015
  5. Robinson, D. F., 'Where and When did Peter die?', Journal of Biblical Literature Vol 64 (1945), supported by Smaltz, W. M., Did Peter die in Jerusalem?, Journal of Biblical Literature Vol. 71, No. 4 (Dec. 1952), pp. 211-216 accessed 31 August 2015
  6. 1 2 Chambers, Kathy (2004). "'Knock, knock--Who's there?' Acts 12.6-17 as a comedy of errors". In Levine, Amy-Jill (ed.). A Feminist Companion to the Acts of the Apostles. T&T Clark.