Near the end of Paul’s letter to the Christians of Rome, we gain a rare glimpse of a behind-the-scenes participant in Paul’s letter-writing ministry. Romans 16:22 says, “I, Tertius, the writer of this letter, greet you in the Lord” (NRSV). Tertius was Paul’s amanuensis, the person who penned the letter which Paul spoke aloud. His job was to prepare Paul’s words to be read and heard.
Tertius uncharacteristically and momentarily stepped from behind the curtain because he knew some of the letter’s recipients and wanted to add his voice to Paul’s greetings. Similarly, I will momentarily step from behind the editor’s desk and introduce myself. My name is Jeff Miller. Since 1999 I have taught Bible and ministry at Milligan College, a Christian liberal arts college in eastern Tennessee. I also serve as a part-time worship minister. My wife Dana is a businesswoman and was before that a children’s minister. We have two daughters and one infant granddaughter. Like many readers of Priscilla Papers, I grew up complementarian by default. My mind and heart changed through a series of influences that I cannot fully trace. I became familiar with CBE through Priscilla Papers, and one of its advertisements prompted me to attend CBE’s 2007 conference in Bangalore, India—a life-changing experience. I have presented papers at CBE conferences, published articles in Priscilla Papers (under the name J. David Miller—sorry for the confusion) and in Mutuality. I am a member of CBE’s blog team. In my new role as editor of Priscilla Papers, I feel an affinity with Tertius. I appreciate his willingness to work behind the scenes, proclaiming the words of others rather than his own. I appreciate his dedication and skill. I appreciate his desire to connect with Christian brothers and sisters who would encounter his work. And I appreciate that he saw his work as Christian service, for his greeting was specifically “in the Lord.”
I also deeply appreciate the skilled service of those who have gone before me in the ministry of Priscilla Papers, including Betty Elliot, Gretchen Gaebelein Hull, Carol Thiessen, and Victoria Petersen Hillique. Likewise, Priscilla Papers is indebted to William Spencer, who—together with faithful coworkers such as Aída Besançon Spencer and Deb Beatty Mel—has given Priscilla Papers strong shoulders for subsequent leaders to stand on. Please notice in the masthead below that Bill has agreed to continue to serve as consulting editor.
I also appreciate the authors—four women and four men—whose work fills the following pages with insights about Old Testament women, including Eve, Ruth, Jephthah’s daughter, Tamar, and others. And what more should I say? For space would fail me to include articles about Sarah, Hagar, Rebekah, Leah, Rachel, Bilhah, Zilpah, Dinah, Tamar, Asenath, Jochebed, Miriam, Zipporah, Rahab, Deborah, Naomi, Hannah, Michal, Abigail, Bathsheba, Basemath, Taphath, Huldah, Esther . . . of whom the world was not worthy.
And finally, I must certainly express appreciation to my partner in this behind-the-scenes work, Theresa Garbe, the new associate editor and graphic designer for Priscilla Papers.