OTHER PREACHING, PRAYING, PROPHESYING, CHURCH PLANTING, ITINERANT WOMEN IN THE EARLY CHURCH.
APOSTLES. PROPHETS. EVANGELISTS. PASTORS. TEACHERS. SEE ALSO OTHER WOMEN IN THIS NT SERIES.
1 Cor 11: 5 woman praying and prophesying in church at Corinth
1 Cor 12: 4-7 for the work of the ministry
WOMEN SCATTERED AND PREACHING THE GOSPEL
Acts 8; 1-4 scattered and went preaching
PETER’S WIFE: INVOLVED IN APOSTOLIC MINISTRY.
Mt 8: 14; Mk 1: 30; Lk 4: 38; 1 Cor 9: 5.
The Apostle Peter’s wife is the only individual ‘wife’ mentioned in the New Testament that is not named. Her mother was healed of a fever and she immediately rose and served? Reading through patriarchal lenses it is generally assumed that it was Peter’s home and his mother in law and her daughter, his wife, lived with him. However, this may not have been the case.
The home may have been a matrilineal one where Peter lived within his mother-in-law’s home. We do not know but we cannot rule out this possibility, particularly amongst Jewish women who as we can see by the Gospel readings enjoyed great freedom.
Peter’s wife travelled with Peter as did other wives of the Apostles (1 Cor 9: 5). It is highly unlikely that she would have stayed away from meetings conducted by Peter. Therefore, we can sy, with a measure of confidence, that Peter’s wife was involved in apostolic ministry.
WIVES OF THE APOSTLES (James, Peter and others.)
Paul answers an accusation voiced to him in the letter from the Corinthians.
1 Cor Ch.9:1-2 “Am I not free? Am I not an apostle? Have I not seen Jesus my Lord? Are you not my work as a follower of the Lord? If I’m not an apostle to others, surely I am an apostle to you! For you are the signed and sealed certificate of my mission as a follower the Lord!”
3-7 “My defence to those who are interrogating me is as follows: have we no right to eat and drink! Have we no right to take around a fellow believer wife – as do the other apostles, the Lord’s brothers, and Cephas (Peter)! Utter rubbish! Is it only myself and Barnabas who have no right not to work! Whoever serves as a soldier and pays their own salary! Whoever plants a vineyard and doesn’t eat the plants? Whoever is a shepherd and doesn’t drink the herd’s milk!”
8-11 “Utter rubbish! Am I just saying this as a mere human? Utter rubbish! The Law says it too! For the Scriptures say in the Law of Moses, “You must not put a muzzle on an ox which threshes the grain.” Is God really talking about oxen!”
WOMEN IN PUBLIC TEACHING MINISTRY IN CORINTH
1 Tim 1: 8-10 So then I would like the men everywhere to pray, leading clean lives, without anger or argument. And the same goes for women too. I would like women to dress themselves with good taste and in decent clothes with modesty and good sense, not with ornamentally arranged hair or gold or pearls or very expensive clothes, which is fitting for women while they are giving a ‘Convert to Judaism’ instructions, and which is fitting for women while they are doing good works.
11-14 A woman must learn and she is to learn without causing a fuss and be supportive in everything. I most certainly do not grant authority to a woman to teach that she is the originator of a man- rather, she is not to cause a fuss – for Adam was formed first, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman made a mistake as she was beguiled, and she will be saved by means of the Birth of the Child if they continue to be trustworthy, loving and holy and have good sense.
WOMEN WHO HELPED BUILD THE CHURCH IN CORINTH
WIVES OF TITIUS JUSTICE AND CRISPUS IN CORINTH
ACTS 18: 7-8 And he left there and went to the house of a certain person by the name of Titius Justus, a ‘Convert to Judaism’. His house was adjoining the synagogue. Crispus, the synagogue ruler, and his whole household believed in the Lord. Many of the Corinthians who heard him believed and were baptized.
ANY WOMEN WHO DESIRE TO BE CHURCH LEADERS MAY, SO LONG AS THEY MEET THE SAME REQUIREMENTS AS THE MEN
1 Tim 3:1-7 This is a faithful saying. If any person (aspires to be a Guardian, they are desiring a fine work. …
Any person, man or woman may, so long as they are willing to meet the requirements. Paul encourages any and every one who desires to be in church leadership.
FEMALE ‘DEACONAI’: WOMEN MINISTERS.
The term and role of ‘deaconess’ appeared first round 100 AD.
In the same way also, female deacons must be dignified, not slanderers or drunks, but trustworthy in everything.
WOMEN MINISTERS OBTAIN FOR THEMSELVES AN ADVANCED STANDING: WITH THE RIGHT TO SPEAK FREELY AND BOLDLY AND OPENLY BY FAITH AND THE ANOINTING.
Deacons must be faithful to their partner, and provide for their children and their household well. For those who have served as deacons obtain for themselves an advanced standing. They also have much right to speak freely, boldly and openly, by means of the faith that comes from the Anointing of Jesus.
FEMALE ELDERS AT EPHESUS
1 Tim 2:1-6 But as for you, what you say must be appropriate for completely sound instruction and training. Male elders are to be clear headed, well respected, sensible. Their faith, love, and endurance must be completely sound.
The same goes for female elders too. They are to be suitably holy as is fitting for their appointment, not slanderers, not enslaved by wine, teachers who provide instruction in what is right.
NEW WOMEN BELIEVERS IN EPHESUS
Then they can bring the new women to their senses to love their husbands, to love their children, to be clear headed, holy, the mistress of the house, supportive of their own husbands, so that the Word of God won’t be blasphemed.
My comment: The same goes for the new men too. Encourage them to be clear headed.
While speaking on en-courage-ment; the word courage (‘virtue’) which we are to add to our faith, is interesting in its original form. Traditionally it has been translated as manly courage when used in relation to men, and moral character in relation to women. Not that this is watering it down – both are correct in their meaning of this word; good moral character is borne out of a disciplined life in which virtue finds a dwelling place in both women and men.
A better meaning of the word ‘virtue’ (Latin ‘virtus’) comes from the Latin route ‘vir’ which means ‘man’. It was very much in vogue at a time when Jerusalem was heading for destruction. The use of the word virtue was reserved for Roman men of high birth and was the kernel quality of the gladiators that fought in the ring to entertain their first century audience. In this context ‘virtus’ was also used for those female combatants, gladiatrix, who also fought in the Roman amphitheatres; such women (and men) were imitating their Britannia counterparts of the first century AD who fought alongside the men in chariots made of iron against the invading Roman army. These also had as their inspiration Queen Boadicea, the Celtic queen of the Iceni, (East Anglia who in A.D. 60/61 , she led her tribe and others in a revolt that nearly coast Rome the province.
It is this quality of ‘virtue’, manly courage, that 2 Peter admonishes Christian women and men to display in their walk. Through faith we ‘partake of the divine nature’. and we are told to add to our faith ‘virtue’ and other admirable characteristics (2 Peter 1: 3-9).
Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue;
Ruth was admired for such a quality ‘we (all) know you are a virtuous woman’.
The woman author of Proverbs 31: 10 admonishes her son to look for such a woman to marry.
10Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.
However, the NIV waters it down somewhat when it translates ‘virtue’: For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith ‘goodness’;
WOMEN BELIEVERS IN ATHENS: POSSIBLY HETAIRAI (COURTESANS)
Acts 17: 34a When they heard about the resurrection from the dead some of them mocked
At that, Paul left. Certain of the ladies and gentlemen to whom he was speaking believed, Here are Athenian women out in the public, on Mars Hill, no less, listening to a roving Jewish Rabbi preacher spouting a new religion. However, given the Greek culture, where wives names were not mentioned in public and wives of Greek citizens (the elite of that society) lived in seclusion.
Therefore these ‘certain’ women listening to Paul on Mars Hill were more than likely ‘Hetairai, courtesans. These were the only women to receive a full education in Athenian Greece. They were highly intellectual and associated with philosophers and statesmen and many were well known intellectuals in Athens. Some men brought their wives also to listen. A woman named Aspasia, the companion of Aristotle was a famous speaker. Certain of these women believed.
‘For in God we live and move and have our being’ (Acts 17: 28).[2
DAMARIS AND OTHERS: ALSO PROBABLY HETAIRAI .
Acts 17: 34b. among whom especially was Dionysus a member of the Areopagos and the woman by the name of Damaris; and others, together with them.
Dionysus was one of the judges of the Supreme Court in Athens who became a convert following Paul’s address on Mars Hill. In Acts 17: 18 Paul had been speaking before certain Epicurean and Stoic Philosophers, who ‘took him and brought him unto Aeropagus’.
PRISCILLA: A JEWISH WOMAN:
AN EXPOSITOR OF THE SCRIPTURES AND AN EARLY CHURCH LEADER
Ch. 18:1-6 After this, Paul left Athens and went away to Corinth. And he found a certain Jew by the name of Aquila, who had been born in Pontus. He had recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla, …
They perfected the Christian instruction of Apollos, an Alexandrian Jew, showing Priscilla was an expositor of the Scriptures along with her husband Aquila. Their home was a meeting place for the believers in Corinth.
A WOMAN TEACHER BY THE NAME OF JEZEBEL
V. 19-22 But I certainly have this against you – that you tolerate the woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophet. By her teaching
Two women only in the early church are corrected in the Epistles, not for teaching, but for what they are teaching.
There is surely no distinction between male and female – all one in Christ- whosoever will may preach and teach the good news
EVERYONE, MEN AND WOMEN TOLD TO GO AND PROCLAIM IT
11-13 Now the Scripture says, Everyone “who trusts in him will certainly not be disappointed.”
There is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same One is Lord over enough treasure to benefit all who call on his Name for assistance. Everyone who calls on the Lord’s Name for assistance will be saved.
14-16 Yet how are they going to call for assistance from him in whom they haven’t believed? And how are they going to believe him whom they haven’t heard? And how are they going to hear without someone to proclaim it? And how are they going to proclaim if they’re not sent out?
ITINERANT WOMEN WITH BEAUTIFUL FEET that carry the Good News
As the Scriptures say, “How beautiful are the feet of those who announce Good News about good things.”
How many millions of women have trod their own and foreign soil to bring the good news to the oppressed and the forgotten peoples of this earth as well as the rich and famous. We will never know by reading the male writer’s history books of church or state. But God knows.
 ‘The whole island rose in revolt under the leadership of Boudicca, a lady of royal descent; for Britons make no distinction of sex in their appointments of commander (not unlike the Israelites in Deborah’s day – Jdg 4: 6-16 and Jdg 5). An estimated 70,000-80,000 people were killed in the three cities. Suetonius, meanwhile, regrouped his forces and despite being heavily outnumbered, defeated Boadicea. The crisis had led the emperor Nero to consider withdrawing all Roman forces from the island, but Suetonius’s eventual victory over Boudicca secured Roman control of the province. during the Renaissance a resurgence of Boudicca’s legendary fame emerged and during the Victorian era Queen Victoria was portrayed as her namesake. A relief found in southwest Turkey shows Britannia portrayed by the Romans as the mighty Boadicea writing on the ground in agony , her hair grasped in one hand, he poises to strike the final blow, her hand held out in a plea of mercy: a British virtuous queen who stood against the might of Rome.
 In ancient Greek society, hetaerae were independent and sometimes influential women who were required to wear distinctive dresses and had to pay taxes. Composed mostly of ex-slaves and foreigners, these courtesans were renowned for their achievements in dance and music, as well as for their physical talents. There is evidence that, unlike most other women in Greek society at the time, hetaerae were educated. It is remarkable that hetaerae not only were the only women who would actively take part in the symposia but also that their opinions and beliefs were respected by men.
“Up I hear the sound of the abundance of rain”
“The night comes when no one can work”
“Go into all the world and preach the Good News”