Biblical People

Biblical People: The Sister of Paul

We know little about Paul’s family. All we can learn about him from Scripture is that he is a bachelor and has a sister and nephew. His nephew stumbles upon a conspiracy to kill Paul, alerts him, and then tells the authorities.

They protect Paul, saving him from certain death at the hands of forty men committed to killing him.

Had they been successful, Paul’s ministry would have been cut in half and most of his letters to the churches would never have been written.

Our Bible would be much shorter, and Christianity would have been much different, if not for a young boy who did the right thing despite personal risk. It’s a good thing Paul’s sister raised her son well and taught him to do the right thing.

Though we thank Paul for his contributions to the Bible and our faith, we should also thank Paul’s nephew and sister who made his ongoing work possible. (In contrast, for a sister who didn’t support her sibling’s ministry, consider Miriam when she opposed her brother, Moses.)

Whether it’s a family member or close friend, being in the shadow of someone who is well-known or accomplished is never easy. Common reactions are envy, bitterness, or diminished self-worth.

Yet the small things we do, even though they go largely unnoticed, can help our relative or friend accomplish even more. We can contribute, behind the scenes, to their success.

What family members can we help to achieve better results?

[Discover more about Paul’s sister in Acts 23:12–24. Also, see Numbers 12.]

Learn about other biblical women in Women of the Bible, available in audiobook, e-book, paperback, and hardcover.

A lifelong student of the Bible, Peter DeHaan, PhD, wrote the 1,000-page website to encourage people to explore the Bible. His main blog and many books urge Christians to push past the status quo and reconsider how they practice their faith in every area of their lives.

By Peter DeHaan

Peter writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and make a faith that matters. Learn more at