Tabitha in Joppa (Acts 9:36)

“In Joppa,

There was a disciple

Named Tabitha,

Which in Greek

Is Dorcas.

She was devoted

To good works

And acts of charity.”

Ἐν Ἰόππῃ δέ τις ἦν μαθήτρια ὀνόματι Ταβειθά, ἣ διερμηνευομένη λέγεται Δορκάς· αὕτη ἦν πλήρης ἔργων ἀγαθῶν καὶ ἐλεημοσυνῶν ὧν ἐποίει.

The author of Acts indicated that in Joppa (Ἐν Ἰόππῃ δέ), there was a disciple (τις ἦν μαθήτρια) named Tabitha (ὀνόματι Ταβειθά), which translated in Greek (ἣ διερμηνευομένη) is Dorcas (λέγεται Δορκάς).  She was devoted to good works (αὕτη ἦν πλήρης ἔργων ἀγαθῶν) and acts of charity or almsgiving (καὶ ἐλεημοσυνῶν ὧν ἐποίει).  Joppa was the Israelite seaport coastal town today called Jaffa that dates back to 1800 BCE, almost four thousand years old.  Tabitha was explicitly named as a disciple, one of the few women who were called this.  She, like Peter, had a Greek and Aramaic name, Tabitha and Dorcas, that means gazelle.  Apparently, she was doing great works of charity in Joppa.  She may have been wealthy, since she was involved in almsgiving.  Thus, there was a Christian community in Joppa, just like the one in Damascus.  Do you do works of charity?

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