Australian people form a society undergoing profound religious change.

Topic: Critical Analysis of Marion Maddox, “’With Hope in God’ – Religion, the Preamble Debate and Public Values in Australia”, Australian Religious Studies Review 13/2 (2000) 5-22.

This essay will show that in her article, (2002) ’With Hope in God’ – Religion, the Preamble Debate and Public Values in Australia, Ms. Marilyn Maddox began with the presupposition that Australia is a secular society.  This assumption resulted in a skewed representation of the Australian people.  There were also a number of omissions and misleading statements made by Maddox.  In reality, the Australian people form a society undergoing profound religious change.

The 1998 Constitutional Convention had two main agenda items: firstly, to put to a referendum a republican model, and, secondly, to review the constitutional Preamble.  The convention recommended that there should be a new Preamble, containing, inter alia, ‘reference to “Almighty God”’.  In the introduction to her discussion, Maddox uses such terms as ‘negligible interest’, ‘lack of public debate’ and ‘near-silence’ by which the proposed ‘Almighty God’ reference was greeted.  The result was that Maddox considered that the debate at the Constitutional Convention provided ‘perplexing evidence’ about the esteem religion is held in turn-of-the-century Australia (RELS 304: Study Guide and Unit Notes, 2002: 5).

However, rather than showing ‘perplexing evidence’ or ‘negligible interest’, the transcripts Maddox’ presented in her article show healthy debate and a conscious responsibility from all delegates.  For example, ‘Reverend Tim Costello detected ‘quite a lot of debate’.  Ms. Karin Sowada pointed out ‘The Constitutional Centenary Foundation had debated “it” and decided to delete “it”.  This was not carried out ‘behind the scenes’ as claimed by Maddox.  Indeed, previously, Maddox contradicts herself by confirming that ‘delegates lined up to declare their enthusiasm for God’ (RELS 304: Study Guide and Unit Notes, 2002: 6).

Maddox, in her opening statement, said that ‘an observer of secular Australia might expect that the mention of God in the Preamble would be a significant contributing factor to its rejection’ (RELS 304: Study Guide and Unit Notes, 2002: 6).  This assertion of Australia as being secular set the tone for Maddox’ reader audience. Another misleading feature was the evident discrimination exhibited by Maddox. This bias becomes more obvious when the viewpoints of representatives of religions other than Christian were not included in Maddox’ article.

A recent census quoted by Maddox showed that 70%-75% of the Australian population confessed belief in God (RELS: 304: Study Guide and Unit Notes, 2002: 7).  However, this statistic cannot be entirely relied upon.  ‘There are individuals in modern societies who do not exhibit conventional religious activity’ (Livingstone, 1989: 40).  Furthermore, Maddox failed to perceive the widespread interest shown by other delegates who were not a part of the ‘Christian delegates’.  These people might be likened to Livingstone’s observation cited above.  However, rather than discuss ‘Almighty God’, they were quick to ensure Australia, as a nation, fulfil its moral obligations.

These discussions took the form of eradicating injustice on the part of Australia’s Aboriginal people. The other concern was to ensure that justice was carried out on behalf of returned service personnel (RELS 304: Study Guide and Unit Notes, 2002: 5).  Other delegates, identified as non-Christian, wanted to ensure that the nations ‘spiritual wealth and citizen’s rights’ be not overlooked (RELS 304: Study Guide and Unit Notes, 2002: 7).

Such qualities reflect outward moral and ethical participation. These characteristics spring from inward moral laws, albeit by people who may or may not confess to ‘Almighty God’.  Indeed it could be argued that these delegates showed attributes generally considered to be Christian. As a moral concern their purpose was to empower those who may suffer marginalisation. Thereby the community’s conscience was addressed. These non-Christian delegates had the nations best interests at heart, a point missed by Maddox.

Secondly, Maddox’s choice of transcripts of various delegates tends to lead the reader astray. This is seen given the interaction concerning ‘multiculturalism’ and ‘pluralistic society’ from the various delegates.  However, people from religious backgrounds other than Christian were not represented in Maddox’ review of the debate. The reader is left to wonder if people of other faiths were left out of the debate. This omission is also reflected back in the various delegate’s speeches. They are shown as second-guessing people of other faiths.

The following transcripts in Maddox’ article reveal this biased omission by the Christian delegates. Ms. Janet Holmes a Court, ‘as a Christian … I do not have difficulty with the words … but I wonder how Buddhists, Muslims. Aboriginal people and so on feel about having that?’  Ms. Moira Rayner, Real Republican delegate, said her group ‘did not adopt the language … because we thought there should be more discussion … of wider language to include those of other faiths entitled to equal respect in a nation which respects freedom of conscience religious beliefs and expression’. This was clarified further by her, in that ‘we have a spiritual commitment we reflect in many different ways’, and acknowledge it rather as ‘the nation’s spiritual wealth’ (RELS 304: Study Guide and Unit Notes, 2002: 7).  However, there is no mention by Maddox of those of ‘other faiths’ being invited to enter the discussion.  Reverend Hollingsworth agreed that Australia is a ‘multicultural and multi-religious society’ whose residents have brought with them their faith traditions, and they have ‘immeasurably strengthened the basic faith of this country’ (RELS 304: Study Guide and Unit Notes, 2002: 7, 8).

Maddox’ omission leaves the reader wondering if people of other faiths attended the conference.  Nevertheless, Maddox does see Prime Minister Mr. John Howard ‘at pains to point out the greater multicultural inclusiveness of their convention’.  In his opening address, Mr. Howard mentions Indigenous Australians, women, those who are non-Anglo Celtic by name and under the age of 25 as ‘a wonderfully diverse group of Australians’ and as representative of all Australians (RELS 304: Study Guide and Unit Notes, 2002: 17, 18).  However great the ‘concern for multicultural inclusiveness’ pervading Preamble debates, actual representation of religious people other than Christian, non-Christian and ‘committed atheist’, is non-existent in Maddox article.  Therefore, although Maddox made clear there was ‘only one self described member of non-Christian religious tradition’ ((RELS 304: Study Guide and Unit Notes, 2002: 18), Maddox failed to make it an issue.  Nevertheless, Maddox claimed that the ‘Preamble became an opportunity for Australians to demonstrate their openness to one another’s values’ (RELS 304: Study Guide and Unit Notes, 2002: 20).

Only one speaker, Mr. Alasdair Webster, offered any evidence of face-to-face evaluation of non-Christian religious reactions.  Mr. Webster quoted inter-faith reactions he had gained as representative of people of different faiths.  He spoke of ‘the Dalai Lama’ as representative of all Buddhists; of a ‘very strict Muslim’ – a drycleaner named ‘Bill’, – and offered the following to the delegates from this exchange – ‘so I am here to say that the members of the Islamic faith, I am sure, do not have any problems with the whole concept of Almighty God’.  Of the Aboriginal population, Mr. Webster again assured the conference that he had conversed on the subject with some (unnamed) Aboriginal leaders, ‘they too equate with … in some varying degrees of measure, I suppose, with the Christian concept of Almighty God’.  Finally, Mr Webster assures the conference ‘the Jewish people expressed their view’, albeit in the 1890’s debate (RELS 304: Study Guide and Unit Notes, 2002: 19).

Dr. Pat O’Shane, a self-confessed “committed atheist”, joined the deliberation.  In so doing she faced “procedural heckling to the effect that she should not be allowed to make a ‘statement of belief’.  Although Maddox does not say, one can presume heckling of this nature was from the Christian vanguard.  In the face of this O’Shane said she ‘respected the spiritual and religious beliefs of my fellow Australians’.  ‘I personally do not have any objection to the words (Almighty God) being retained’ (RELS 304: Study Guide and Unit Notes, 2002: 11).  By O’Shane not wanting to omit the reference to ‘Almighty Go resulted in showing up the attitude of her hecklers.  Maddox overlooked this discriminatory attitude on the part of the hecklers.

Maddox in her summation claimed that the debate showed ‘generic theology devoid of content beyond a vague nationalism’.  However, rather than devoid of content, each delegate’s contribution revealed their attitude as empathetic to the Australian people.  It also showed the delegates willingness to undertake serious theological debate.  This theological debate shows up specifically on the subject of the term ‘generic God’.  The first time the expression is mentioned in the review is by Ms. Christine Milne.  ‘Some people might not see [God] as a generic term, but, rather, something specifically Christian’ (RELS 304: Study Guide and Unit Notes, 2002: 10).  Milne interpreted this as ‘the divine, the spiritual dimension’.

Next, Dr. Pat O’Shane saw the term ‘generic God’ as reflecting ‘spiritual and religious beliefs’.  In this O’Shane was agreeing with Reverend Hollingsworth’s explanation, ‘however they define their understanding of God – if they can’ (RELS 304: Study Guide and Unit Notes, 2002: 11).  Reverend Hollingsworth concluded on the use of the ‘generic God’.  He said, ‘there is a broad inclusive sense in which we can embrace and be embraced’ (RELS 304: Study Guide and Unit Notes, 2002: 11).  He added, ‘the word “God” is to be understood in the generic sense as every man, women and child understands him/her to be according to their own particular experience’ (RELS 304: Study Guide and Unit Notes, 2002: 12).

In conclusion, first of all, Maddox’ statement about Australia being a secular state clouded the reader’s view at the outset of her article.  Secondly, this bias showed up when Maddox presumably omitted including the actual transcripts of delegates of a diversity of faiths other than Christian.  Thirdly, the depth of theological debate surrounding the ‘generic God’ was missed entirely by Maddox.  Had Maddox not brought to the article her presupposition of Australia as being a secular society, her conclusion would have been very different.  That is, that rather, than secular, Australia is undergoing profound change in its religious identity.

NT. Women in the Book of Acts


Acts 1: 14 women in the upper room preached

Daughters and maid servants

“That I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh,

And your sons and your daughters will prophesy,

… female slave servants


Acts 12: 12 When this had dawned on him, he went to the house of Mary, the mother of John (who was also called Mark), where enough people had gathered and were praying.

Mary’s son John wrote the second gospel and was a co-worker with Paul (1 Peter 5: 13). Her home was on the south end of Mount Zion and it may have been where they celebrated the day of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit fell (Edith Deen p. 212). A woman of distinction in the early church, not only was she the mother of the Apostle John but the sister (or aunt) of Barnabas. It was a well known safe house- a meeting place for the believers: Peter ran here when he escaped from prison In that day these men may have been referred to as son and nephew of Mary, and where the Holy Spirit found the 120 believers, men and women, all together in unison, and fell on them the day of Pentecost.


As Peter was knocking at the entrance door of Mary’s house, a servant (lit. ‘minister’) named Rhoda came to answer. When she recognised Peter’s voice, she was so overjoyed that she didn’t open the main door, but ran back and announced that Peter was standing at the entrance!

They said to her, “You’re mad!”

But she kept insisting that it was the case. They said, “It must be his Messenger!”

16-19 But Peter kept on knocking. When they opened up and saw him, they were shocked! He signalled to them to be quiet, then he described how the Lord had brought him out of prison. He said, “Tell James and the fellow believers about it!” And he left and went off somewhere else.


Acts 23: 16      The son of Paul’s sister heard of this ambush, and went into the barracks and told Paul. Then Paul summoned one of the Roman officers in charge of 100 men and said, “Take this young man to the commander – he has something to tell him.”

Paul’s sister is not mentioned anywhere else but here, working behind the scenes on Paul’s behalf- taking risks herself and allowing her son to be exposed to danger. It shows however, that this household were involved with Paul and their deep concern for his well being.


ACTS 16: 11-12 We set sail from Troas and made a straight run to Samothrace. On the next day we came to Neapolis, and from there to Philippi, a Roman colony, and the most important city in Macedon. We stayed in that city for some time.

16: 13-15 And on the Sabbath day we went outside the city gate to the riverside where we thought there would be a synagogue. After we sat down we spoke to the women who met there. A certain woman by the name of Lydia heard us. She was a dealer in purple cloth from the city of Thyatira, and she was a ‘Convert to Judaism’. The Lord opened her mind to devote herself to the things that Paul said.

When she and her household were baptized, she urged us to stay with her. She said, “If you have judged that I’m a believer in the Lord, please come and stay at my house!” And she pressured us.

Here is a group of women having a prayer meeting by the river The river was the Gangites (the modern Angista). Running water was important for certain Jewish rituals, hence Paul expecting to find a synagogue there: he met there a group of devout women. Don’t be surprised by this; Paul would not have been.

Rulers of Synagogues, Elders of Synagogues, Mothers of Synagogues

Women in Jewry are recorded as being Rulers of Synagogues, Elders of Synagogues, Mothers of Synagogues and held many other important offices and carried out duties (Bernadette J. Brooten) .Women are also mentioned in the OT as being involved in the sanctuary in the wilderness and finally, Solomon’s temple in Jerusalem, which included Nazarite men and women. Anna of Phanuel is an example in the temple in Jerusalem.


ACTS 16: 35-40 At dawn, the chief magistrates sent the officers with the order to release them. The jailer reported the words to Paul, and said, “The magistrates have ordered that you be released. You can leave. Go in peace.” …

So they came and pleaded with them and escorted them out, and requested that they leave the city. After they got out of prison they went to Lydia’s house, where they met with the fellow believers and encouraged them. Then they left.


By now, the church is firmly established in Lydia’s home in Philippi, (50-60 AD) a gentile convert’s house. Philippi was a city of eastern Macedonia on the great East-West Egnation Highway between Rome and Asia. There is no mention of a husband Lydia had to obey, to ask questions about the law, to defer to as some will argue from 1 Cor 14. Paul, being a stranger there, and in keeping with the culture of those times, needed a Patron. Knowing he had a safe haven in Lydia’s house, he headed straight there when he got out of prison.

Lydia was the first convert in Europe and established the first church in the region of Asia Minor, which had 5 large cities, Ephesus, Smyrna , Sardis, Philadelphia and Thyatira.


Paul wrote later to Lydia and the church in her house, ‘I thank my God upon every remembrance of you … for your fellowship in the Gospel from the first day until now’ (Phil 1: 3-5). ’


ACTS 21: 7-9 When we finished our voyage from Tyre, we came down to Ptolemais, where we greeted the fellow believers and stayed with them for one day. On the next day we left and came to Caesarea. There we entered the house of Philip the Good News announcer, who was one of the Seven, and stayed with him. He had four unmarried daughters who prophesied.


(Acts 25: 13; 23; 26: 30) Bernice with her sister Drusilla (Acts 24: 24), both heard Paul speak in his own defence and testify of Jesus. They were daughters of Herod Agrippa 1, the great grand daughters of Herod the Great. These women were nieces of Herod Antipas who had Baptist beheaded.

Used and abused as political footballs, Drusilla, married at 14 years of age, growing up and marrying into courts of such political intrigue depended upon these sisters developing their own mechanisms of survival. There is no proof that Bernice became a Christian. However, history records that she went before Cestius AD 66, with others used by the various men in their lives, leading Jews to complain of the terrors of the brutal Florus during the Jewish War (p 235 Edith Deen.)

We, like these women mentioned above, also, ought to obey God



NT: Women in Early Church Ministry

Run With the Vision School of Ministries Adelaide (1997)

I recognise the need for women to gain an understanding of the New Testament Scriptures that are directed at them. Where wrongly interpreted these hinder rather than enable women to inherit all that belongs to them in Christ. For this reason, the courses here are centred on the women in the Bible, whilst drawing from their socio-cultural context to make more understandable the reading.

I am indebted to several sources that have enabled me in my own study of the New Testament in their original languages. These include Sandra Payne (now out of print) and Hilda Fairley, Theologian, Katherine C. Bushnell, and her book, ‘God’s Word to Women’,, the scholarly literature of Christians for Biblical Equality, particularly Dr Catherine Clark Kroeger,, Prof. Elaine Wainwright, whose course I attended at CU Banyo, on women in the 1st century. More recently, Dr Ann Nyland and her translation work in ‘The Source New Testament with extensive notes on Greek word meaning.

Their work of translating and interpreting the NT Scriptures into language I could understand and their interest in me as a woman, their encouragement of me and my own journey with the Lord, have deeply affected my life. As a result, the ‘woman’ materials pertaining to the New Testament, written and offered here by me are largely as a result of their input into my life.

The materials presented on the women of Judaism in the Old Testament are the result of my lifelong journey in the Scriptures and of general reading over the years. Further understanding was gained from learning to read the Scriptures as a woman, employing textual criticism during my search for answers to the many questions I had regarding women in ancient Judaism. Finally, the Evangelism series of teachings were fragments initially gathered in my years of searching out how to make plain the teachings of the New Testament when working with people eager to know how to find new life in Christ as I had.

My hope in offering my materials to you is to enable you and I, together with the ecclesia of freed women and men, to all participate together as one in a renewed society. For those women who may be crying out to God as I was back in those early days, ‘why have you made me thus’? I hope you will find some answers and begin to absorb them into your own journey with the Lord.

I leave you with a reading from Ezra. It was directed at those Jews who were still alive after the exile and those born in Babylon had finally returned home. They gathered to hear from Ezra the reading of the Law of God, a momentous event. Here, also, the groundwork was being laid for the establishment of a renewed society. Having understood,

‘Then all the people went away to eat and drink, to send portions of food and to celebrate with great joy, because they now understood the words that had been made known to them (Neh 8: 2-12).

It is my hope also that you also will have cause for throwing a party when you read the materials I present to you here as part of the RWVM School of Ministries. I do not hesitate in saying that for some who will study them, their lives will take a new direction because of the freedom the Word of God offers to those women and men who choose to be ‘choice ones’ for God.

Feel free to contact me if you so desire, and above all, as the servant of the Lord, simply enjoy the life Christ has brought to you and be continually renewed in the spirit of your mind with this thought.



List of papers:




Women in the Upper Room: Anointed To Preach

Mary, The Mother of John Mark: Hosted A Regular Prayer Meeting

Rhoda, A House Servant And Disciple

Paul’s Sister


Phoebe: ‘Diaconos.’

Priscilla: Church Leader


Tryphena and Tryphosa

Rufus’ Mother

Julia and Nero’s Sister: Church Leaders in Rome

Claudia of Rome: A Famous Woman of History

Wife of Gaius


The Church at Corinth

Chloe: Leader of a Congregation.

Corinthian Women Keen Students Of ‘The Way’

First Church In Europe

Lydia and Other Women who met On the Sabbath

Lydia’s House Church: The First in Europe

Philip’s Four Daughters Who Were Teachers

Bernice: A Woman’s Voice Crying in the Wilderness

Praying and Prophesying Women

Corinth 1 Cor 11: 5 Woman Praying And Prophesying

1 Cor 12: 4-7 For the Work of the Ministry



Nymphia: Church In Her House: Leader.

Apphia: Church Leader: ‘Suffered For Christ’s Sake’


Euodias and Syntache: Women Leaders in the Church in Philippi.

The Elect Lady: Church Leader

Another Women, Church Leader, ‘Elect Lady’ Sends Greetings.


Women Ministers ‘Deaconai’ Praying Publicly

Women Bishops

Eunice And Lois: A Mother And A Grandmother: Jewish Women Of Good Faith

Women Elders: Women Leaders as Gifts to the Church.

Women Gifted With the Holy Spirit 1 Cor 12 Rom 9 Eph 3

Women Scattered and Preaching the Gospel

Acts 8: 1-4 Scattered and Went Preaching/ Deacapolis

Peter’s Wife: Involved In Apostolic Ministry.

Wives Of The Apostles 1 Cor 9: 5 


Women in Public Teaching Ministry in Corinth

Women Who Helped Build the Church in Corinth

Wives Of Titius Justice and Crispus in Corinth

Any Women Who Desire To Be Church Leaders May…

Female ‘Deaconai’: Women Ministers.

Women Ministers Obtain For Themselves an Advanced Standing: With the Right to Speak

Freely And Boldly And Openly By Faith And The Anointing.

Female Elders at Ephesus


Women Believers in Athens Acts 17: 34a


Priscilla: A Believer

A Woman Teacher by the Name of Jezebel

Women with lovely feet, that preach Good News


WOMEN IN THE UPPER ROOM: ANOINTED TO PREACH Acts 1: 14 women in the upper room preached Daughters and maid
Run With the Vision School of Ministries Adelaide (1997) I recognise the need for women to gain an understanding of the
  BACKGROUND TO JEWISH AND GENTILE WOMEN IN GRECO ROMAN TIMES  Once the women in the New Testament are identified
The Book of Romans: Background to the letter of Paul to the believers in Rome. Written around 57 AD Paul
THE CHURCH AT CORINTH  CHLOE: LEADER OF A CONGREGATION. 1Cor 1: 10-11Fellow believers, I encourage all of you through the
Women Leaders As Gifts To The Church   EPH Ch. 4:10 God measured out his favor to us and the

NT. Jewish & Gentile Women not passive bystanders in Greco-Roman Times



 Once the women in the New Testament are identified it is plain that many Jewish women were involved from the outset in the Jesus movement; further, both Jewish and Gentile women were just as involved in the growth of the early church. According to the biblical record and church history there was minimum opposition against women ministering publicly in the early church.

This means that, overall, there is only one instance where some were advocating for women’s silence (1 Cor 14: 34). And there were two women that had to be publicly corrected who were teaching error in the church at Ephesus (1 Tim 2: 12 & Rev 2: 20). The woman called Jezabel is dealt with severely, not for being in the office of prophet (Teacher), but rather, for teaching error (Rev 2: 20). As well as these women, complaints are registered about men who should also be silenced and there were also men who were teaching error and were also publicly named by Paul

In the culture at large, most certainly the prescriptive reveals great hostility against women. Paul’s arguments reveal that there were many injunctions, directions, laws and rules being introduced into the early church teachings, particularly in Corinth and Ephesus, to keep women in their place. This place was sanctioned by long standing custom and usage, particularly in Athens and then Rome and authorised by those who had the power to make such legislation. In Greco Roman and Jewish culture and by civil laws there was aggressive male opposition against women functioning in any public office.

However, the descriptive is something entirely different to the prescriptive and, overall, women, although bound by the laws of the land were not passive bystanders. Roman women in particular were actively engaged in their lives and were not silent. Further, the then world-wide social phenomena of the feminine principle reigned supreme: goddess worship and fertility rites and the like pervaded every corner of the Roman Empire.

The Greeks worshipped Minerva, one of the Archaic Triad, invariably portrayed with helmet and spear, one of three supreme representatives of the Roman state and was identified with Athena, goddess of war and wisdom who was the divine protector of the city of Athens.

Atemis was one of the most widely venerated of the Ancient Greek deities and one of the oldest. She was the Hellenic goddess of forests and hills, childbirth, virginity, fertility, the hunt, and often was depicted as a huntress, carrying a bow and arrows. In Ephesus, she was accorded centre stage and in Asia Minor especially. The goddess

Diana of Ephesus was worshipped by the Romans. (Atemis of Greece (above).

Isis was carried by seafaring men everywhere and introduced to ports they visited. Alexander had arranged her new identity with the Egyptian priests there where she originated. It was their job was to make Isis palatable to cross the seas and be accepted, at that particular time, by the Greeks. The Greeks, unlike Egypt, did not believe in the divine worship of mortals, a role Alexander accepted for himself in Egypt and an image he wished to propagate beyond its shores.

Despite the prescriptive, it was not until the second century CE under the Roman Universal Church that opposition against women (and Jews) functioning publicly in their gifts in the church come to a head. This opposition became very public and very political. Dramatic reversals were instituted as the church evolved which still carry their deadly and pervasive poisonous sting today. The Church Fathers began to resort to social and political ideas concerning women’s position.

Men like Turtullian and Origen (184-254) were more influenced by the pagan culture than by the teachings and life of Christ. The theology of women in the post apostolic church (as it is today in some quarters) was largely based on NT passages such as 1 Cor 11: 8,9; 1 Cor 14: 34-35; 1 Tim 2: 11-15.

Clement of Alexander (150-215) taught that ‘every women should blush because she is a woman and that a veiled woman would not cause a man to fall into sin’ (Instructor 3: 11),

Irenaeus (in the second half of the second century) argued, ‘having become disobedient, she (Eve) was made the cause of death, both to herself and the entire human race’ (Against Heresies 3: 22).

Tutullian (150-220 AD) said, ‘You (Eve) are the devil’s gateway … you are the first deserter of the divine law. You are she who persuaded him, who the devil was not valiant enough to attack. You destroyed so easily God’s image, man. On account of your desert, death, even the Son of God had to die’ (On the Apparel of Women 1: 1).

Origen, ‘What is seen with the eyes of the Creator is masculine and not feminine, for God does not stoop to look upon what is feminine and of the flesh’ (Select a in Exodus 17.17.). The opposition against women continued unabated. In 407 AD St Chrysosem? wrote, The women (Eve) taught once and ruined all (Homolies on Timothy 9).

There are many more that could be quoted here but suffice it to say that, from that time forward, to obey the call of God on their lives women have had to pay a high price. Surely, the saying, ‘the last shall be first ‘will find its rest in the bestowing of honour on those women who, down through the centuries and against all the odds, have ‘done what they could’.

Patricia’s Comment: ”

“Don’t let the b’s get you down, oh no…   :)”




NT. Women In The Book Of Romans

The Book of Romans:

Background to the letter of Paul to the believers in Rome. Written around 57 AD Paul first arrived at Corinth on his way to Ephesus (Acts 18.) Having taking the collection up for the believers of the church in Jerusalem (after visiting the churches of Macedonia and Achaia and delivering the collection to Jerusalem, he was now on his third missionary journey (Acts 20: 1-3; 2 Cor. 8: 10-11; Rom. 15: 26-28).




Romans Chapter 16:1-2 I recommend[1] to you Phoebe our fellow believer, who is a deacon of the assembly in Kenchreai, so that you will admit her into your company, the Lord’s company, in a manner worthy of the people devoted to God, and stand by her in whatever matters she needs you to help in. For indeed she became a presiding officer over many, and over me also!

We have no idea of Phoebe’s age, her family relationships or whether she had children. Paul gave the letter to Phoebe for her to take to Rome on his behalf for a specific project. His introduction of her to the church in Rome confirms the high esteem in which he holds Phoebe. He asks the believers in Rome to assist her.

The letter therefore, may have been written when Paul was at Corinth because Phoebe was a ‘deaconai’ of the church in Kenchreai, a very busy seaport that served the eastern port of Corinth. Paul’s host, Gaius (Rom 16: 23), was a prominent Christian leader at Corinth (1 Cor 1: 14’)[2].

The Greek word, ‘diaconos’, is where we get the title today for someone who has been ordained a church ‘minister’ (it means ‘servant.’). We may, or may not have that in mind when we address a church leader as ‘Reverend’ or ‘Pastor’ or introduce or speak of someone as the Minister of such and such a church.

Rather than think of the word ‘servant’ when we say someone is a leader of a church she or he is a ‘minister’, generally, ‘ordained’. More often than not, a man, he is in charge or certainly is in some kind of leadership role in the church. Depending upon the denomination they may either be highly educated or consider they are ‘called’ to the position of church leader.

Further, ‘minister’ can be applied to one generally as a person having applied for credentials from a particular denomination set up for that purpose: to preside over its affairs and, where those credentialled with them are made accountable to them. The credentials bestowed come with varying degrees of autonomy, depending on the denominational by laws and set of doctrines they have agreed to adhere to.

Diaconos’ as well as carrying the original meaning of ‘servant’,  also means ‘helper’ of any sort that is not a slave. Amongst Greek speaking people ‘servant’ or helper’ did not have the elevated position we come to recognise with ‘minister’ in our English speaking background. If you were to practice it a little bit when you greet your minister Sunday morning, out loud you could say, ‘good morning Reverend, or Good morning Pastor, while under your breath you could say ‘good morning servant’. Only then would you be able to get a feel of how it was commonly used back then in a culture that’s very survival depended on having many slaves and servants.

It will also help you to understand how the congregation heard it in the church in Rome and others living in the Greco Roman culture in the first century. ‘Diaconos’ is translated in various word in English 30 times in the New Testament.

Looking at others like Phoebe who was also called ‘diakonos’ we shall choose just a few here.[3] However, when we only rely on the translators of the bible we hold in our hand we start to run into trouble. This is due to the gender bias that has been rampant in the church from its very inception.

Paul fought against it, and today, if you are in any kind of church leadership you will know it still exists as does discrimination of every sort, to the shame of the church, the household of faith and the blood bought freedom of all believers. Women, people of other races, deaf people, and other physically challenged people, are seldom invited to be in any other kind of leadership for various reasons due to blatant discrimination.

However, women have a double bind. In most church organisations, woman are barred from ever being in a position of ‘servant of all’, that is a church leader in her own right. Rather, they must be under what is generally termed (though nowhere is the term found in the bible) a man’s ‘covering’, be it their husband or male church leader. We touched on this erroneous notion, ‘under a man’s covering’ in our previous study, showing that some say ‘because of the angels’ that a woman needs protection, which is an erroneous translation of 1 Cor 14 . As we go on in this study, we will continue to take up the axe and chop away at the root of that tree of gender discrimination.

Diaconos’ is translated ‘servant’ only 7 times and ‘deacon’ 3 times. The other 20 times it is translated ‘minister’. In the instances it is referring to an ecclesiastical office, ’

‘Jesus Christ was a minister of the circumcision’ (Rom 15: 8.)

Paul and Apollos, ‘misters by whom you [Corinthians] believed (1Cor.3: 5; 2Cor. 3: 6.)

[‘God], who also has made us [Paul and Timothy] “able ministers”’ (2 Cor: 6: 4)

Paul and Timothy –“ministers of God”. 11: 23 .

“Are they ministers”? [ie Jewish preachers, false apostles v. 13, vv 1 Cor 14: 34 who visited Corinth and was leading them astray];

Eph 3: 7 (‘where of I Paul “was made a minister”); 6: 21 (Tychicus, “a faithful minister”); Col 1: 7 Epaphras “A faithful minister”; 23, I Paul am made a minister’); 25’ I Paul am made a minister); Ch 4: 7 (Tychicus “ a faithful minister”); 1 Thess 3: 2 (Timothy, brother and minister of God”);

1 Tim. 4: 6 (put the brethren in remembrance of these things as “thou shall be a good minister”) Phil 1: 1 Paul and Timothy with all the bishops and deacons – men and women ‘deaconos’, servants”, and 1 Tim 3: 8, 12  (Let the “deacons be the husbands of one wife”).

Were we just to take a casual reading of the text without consulting the original Greek, we might be led to believe that ‘minister’ and ‘deacon’ relate only to male ministers. Returning to Phoebe, even though the same Greek word ‘diaconos’ is translated ‘minister’ in regard to Paul, Apollos, Timothy, Tychicus, and even including the ‘false Jewish apostles’ that Paul is here warning the Corinthian church. When it comes to Phoebe, rather than ‘minister’ the translators have chosen to us instead, ‘servant’.

‘I commend unto you our sister Phoebe, which is servant (minister, deacon) of our church” (KJV).

Other women who are ‘ministers’ are found in 1 Tim 3: 11, but we will come to that later in our study, allowing for the full equality of women with men in the church of Jesus Christ and the ministry of the Gospel.[4] However, given that the same word is translated ‘minister’ for all of those men mentioned above, surely Phoebe, a minister of the church at Cenchrea  deserves the same status. Now, so that the church at Rome clearly understands who Phoebe is and to honour her, not for some title bestowed upon her, not even for any spiritual gifts she may display, but simply,  “for her work’s sake”, although out of respect for her Paul adds more credit to her name when introducing her.


Not only was Phoebe ‘minister’ of the busy port city of Cenchrea, which is different for example to Stephanus and his household’, ‘who have devoted themselves to the service of the saints (1 Cor 16: 15) in as much as ‘diakanos’ is a specific service in Phoebe’s case. Paul says, ‘indeed she became a presiding officer over many, and over me also!’ The Greek word used here for ‘presiding officer’ or in KJV, ‘succourer’ or in other versions, ‘helper’ is ‘prostatis.’

Well you might ask, what is a ‘prostatis?’ The Greek word, prostatis’ has the meaning ‘one standing before’, a ‘ruler’, a title used in ‘technical legal matters’.[5]which they say, indicates that ‘Phoebe was abroad on such matters’. (the same verb form is used in ‘1 Tim. 3: 4, 5, 12; 5: 17) These terms, Patron and Presiding Officer are words that are terms that have little use for people living in the 21st century.

Nevertheless, Paul is commending Phoebe to the church in Rome by praising her, saying, ‘I commend unto you Phoebe, a minister and a ruler of many including myself.’ Other words that the translator could have used for ‘prostatis’ are ‘champion, leader, chief, protector, patron’. In keeping with the culture, it would seem then that Phoebe was Paul’s ‘patron’ at some time making him Phoebe’s ‘client’ (for more on this see the course notes Ephesians 5).

Honourable persons would seek out patron-client contracts with those of higher status, especially to provide goods and services, material assistance and moral support, of those of higher status, persons more fortunate and influential persons, not normally available in their village or city neighbourhood. Phoebe was one such higher status persons that Paul had occasion to call upon at some time. Clients would repay their patrons by such intangibles as public praise, concern for their reputation amongst those of the client’s status, for the sake of their patron’s honour (Malina p. 100)[6]. Phoebe, therefore, was a local prestigious person living in the Port City of Cenchreae. In this city, there were many travellers and strangers.


Romans Chapter 16: 3-5 Greet Prisca and Aquila my coworkers of the Anointed One Jesus, who risked their own necks for my life – I thank them for this! – not just them but also the assemblies of the non-Jews, and greet the assembly that is in their house.

Here we have a couple, a wife and her husband, Jews originally from Rome, who Paul says risked their own lives to save his. A Jewish couple, they lived in Rome before all the Jews were kicked out.


Some people like to say that Jewish women at this time were not allowed to study the Torah; not allowed to speak in the street; not allowed to take part in the synagogue services. In the study notes (1 Cor. 11 and 14) we saw how certain evidence of original sources, such as the writings on grave stones and other original sources had been overlooked, until a Jewish feminist scholar Bernadette Brooten brought them to light. However, one only has to read the Gospels with an open mind.

The large majority of women featured in the Gospels are Jewish. They were out in the streets, travelling with Jesus, supporting him financially; hurrying about involved in the ministry of the Gospel, listening to his teachings: in other words, women disciples. Women invited Jesus into their home for teaching, and churches were held in the homes of women. Later on in this study when we are looking at the lives of women in Judaism, we will discover they were far from silent and they certainly did not veil their faces or stay in doors. To appreciate the Hebrew and the Christian Scriptures we need a new image of women. The women in this Hellenistic culture were no exception.

The only women who were locked away behind closed doors were women of Athens and even then as my essay on Greek women shows it was not necessarily at all times. Surely, men have tried to control women’s movements by many means.  In China they bound their feet. In Islam, some are covered in black with only their eyes showing; some even then have to wear thick netting over their eyes which eventually sends the women blind. In the East they locked them up in purdah. In India, widows (women who had been sexually active and a problem for the community and a problem if they returned home) were burnt on the funeral pyre of their husbands, None of these ‘traditions’ have been the choices of women; rather male anxiety surfacing concerning women’s movements and freedom has brought all these atrocious burdens upon them, down through the ages, in unenlightened times and in backward cultures.


However, it appears that Priscilla was unaware of the supposed confines of Jewish women. Priscilla’s name is mentioned before her husband’s name 5 out of the 6 times they are mentioned in the New Testament (The more senior person was always greeted first and this was a strict protocol of the times’ The Source, Nyland p. 408). Priscilla taught Apollos in Ephesus  a Jew, who it is said was ‘mighty in the Scriptures’ (?). Now she is at Ephesus with her husband teaching the church there. Paul is honouring her and her husband. Both Priscilla and Aquila were leaders in the early church and worthy of the praise.


Priscilla (fellow worker in Christ Jesus). 1 Cor 16: 19-20 The assemblies of Asia greet you. Aquila and Priska greet you warmly, along with the assembly at their house. All the fellow believers greet you. Give greetings all around with a sacred kiss.


Romans Chapter 16: 6 Greet Mary, who worked hard for you.

I have no doubt we have all met women like Mary. There are many Mary’s amongst the Jews. The Jewish name is Miriam. I wonder what it was that she worked ‘hard’ in? There may be a Miriam that deserves some praise from you or perhaps the whole church needs to hear about it. People with the gift of ‘helps’ are like Miriam mentioned here. They work tirelessly without recognition or thanks. Next time you run into them, setting up chairs or cleaning or doing the dogsbody work no one else wants to do ‘greet them and without being patronising, thank them from the heart!.


7 Greet Andronicus and Junia, my fellow people of my race and fellow prisoners. They are famous among the apostles. They were followers of the Anointed One before I was.

Well, by now, as you might have guessed, an argument has continued for centuries about whether Junia is a woman’s or a man’s name. It’s easy to guess the reason. Paul is calling a woman here an apostle. Another argument is that ‘apostolos’ here means something different! Ho hum, gets monotonous doesn’t it?

Junia was, along with Andronicus, her brother, or cousin or husband, famous among the apostles. Wow. I wonder what feats they performed to become famous. Certainly, Junia was well spoken of and well known at that time in the church as were other women.


12-13a Greet Tryphena and Tryphosa, who worked hard for the Lord.

More hard-working women in the good work of the gospel.  So, you want to be a minister of the Gospel? Count the cost.: You have to become the ‘servant of all’- that’s all! Servants work hard and few thank them for their labour. People can be so very demanding, especially in the church.


13b Greet Rufus’s mother, who has been a mother to me, too.

There are women in the church like this. I was one myself to many youths who my son, Mark, and I brought home off the streets and whom we fed, clothed and housed. These mothers in the gospel are also ministers in their own right. Without them the church would lack. Greet them also. In Paul’s long list of greetings this is the only woman singled out as a mother.


Rom 16: 15: Julia, and Neros’ sister, and all the people devoted to God with them.

People devoted to God, all one in Christ, ‘with’ these two woman, presumably leaders in the church at Rome.

Greet one another with a sacred kiss. All the assemblies of the Anointed One send greetings.

Finally, verse 17, some good advice to the Church at Rome which all of us would do well to heed.

17 I urge you, brothers and sisters, to watch out for those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you have learned. Keep away from them.


2 Tim 4: 21.     Be keen to get here before winter. Euboulos greets you, and so do Pudens, Linus, Claudia and all the fellow believers.

Only one mention of Claudius’ name. Here is another famous family in the faith by all accounts. Some believe her to be the mother of Linus, mentioned here. This Linus was the Bishop of Rome, mentioned by Iranaeius, Greek Church Father, and Eusebius, ‘Father of Church History’. Martial, Latin Poet born in Spain, but a citizen of Rome from about AD 64-98, writes in an epigram of Claudia and Pudens, her husband.

Young’s Concordance says this is Princess Claudia, the daughter of a British king, Cogidubnus. (Found in a passage in the Agricola by Tacitus, Roman historian says this came from an inscription found in Chichester in England.) The name Claudius is Roman in origin. It is said, the king took the name Claudius from his imperial patron, Tiberius Claudius, and bestowed it on his daughter.


Gaius (Rom 16: 23), was a prominent Christian leader at Corinth (1 Cor 1: 14’). Though not specifically named or mentioned we can assume he had a wife and she was by his side in the ministry as most women married to men involved in the ministry are.



[1] Recommend: ‘”sunistemi”, carries connotations of praise’.  The Source, New Testament with Extensive Notes on Greek Word meaning, translated with notes by Dr Ann Nyland, p. 406.

[2] All Scriptures quoted are taken from ‘The Source’, unless otherwise indicated.

[3] If you are interested to carry out your own study. However, I do recommend if you are serious about studying the Bible, that you purchase a complete and unabridged Concordance. Eg, ‘Strong’s as it has the numbering system which can take you into the original languages. Young’s also does the work. Back of the bible concordances are not the same thing and are practically useless for study if you are serious about it.

[4] In the middle of the 3rd century an order of ‘deaconesses’ (diakonis-sae) became common in the churches of the East but not the Western branch. Likely a placebo for women who wanted to be ‘ministers’ given that the term ‘deaconess’ is nowhere in the bible, but is of later origin

[5]  Conybeare and Howson, ‘Life of St. Paul, p 240, in Bushnell, Para 365.

[6] Bruce, J. Malina, The New Testament World, Insights from cultural anthropology, John Knox, 2001, Kentucky.


The fear of man brings a snare. Obey God!


NT. Women In The Epistles



1Cor 1: 10-11Fellow believers, I encourage all of you through the Name of our Lord Jesus the Anointed One to speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, and that you will be completely equipped with the same mind and the same intention. My fellow believers, it has been made clear to me about you, by Chloe’s followers, that there is rivalry among you. 12-16 What I mean is this: each of you is saying, “I follow Paul”, “I follow Apollos”, “I follow Cephas (Peter)”, “I follow the Anointed One.”


Chloe’s followers: ‘Chloe’s congregation. Certainly not ‘household’. The expression is identical to that in the following verse, ‘I follow Paul’ etc. (Nyland, Source New Testament f/n 7, p. 413.) ‘The normal pattern for Christian worship until AD 311 when Christianity became a legally recognised religion was for the believers to meet in houses. At one time it was accused of being a religion of ‘women and slaves’ f/n vv 5-9 p. 324, Study Bible for Women).


1 COR 14: 34 The women should keep silent… not allowed to speak … if there is anything they desire to know…

These women in Corinth were keen students of the scriptures; to know more about the Gospel; they were doing what all believers do when in the company of someone more knowledgeable than themselves; they submit themselves to the teacher in asking questions. What a healthy church!

The Judaisers obviously didn’t feel like that was being very supportive and appeals to Paul to back him up and tell the women to shut up. It has the opposite effect however, and Paul tells them tin no uncertain terms that it is ‘utter rubbish’! To be calling on redeemed women to be silent, they complain that the ‘law’ demands this. However, there is no Law of Moses (or anywhere else in the Hebrew scriptures) that demand silence. This ‘law’ came back with them, apparently from Babylon, or alternatively it was more of a Jewish prescriptive in force at that time. Expecting women to ‘ask their husbands at home’ is not anywhere in the Gospel. Paul says its ‘utter rubbish’ and so do we. Amen!

Paul in his argument with them now quotes from the letter, which the Corinthian assembly sent to him.

34-38  “The women must be silent in the assemblies: for they are not allowed to speak, but to be supportive, just as indeed the law states. And if they want to learn something, they are to ask their own husbands at home; for it is a disgrace for women to speak in assembly.” Utter rubbish!



The Holy Spirit gifts for all believers

1 Cor 12: 11…



Col 4: 14  14-15 Luke the much loved doctor, and Demas greet you. Greet the fellow believers who are in Laodicea, and Nympha and the assembly that is in her house.


The King James Version changed the female names Junia and Nympha to masculine names, reversed the order of “mother and brothers”, reversed the order of Priscilla (woman) and Aquila (man) when the couple was presented in a teaching context, and added the words “a man” to a sentence about a woman being in a position of responsibility.’ It is then not surprising that their social context, that is, the way in which women were viewed in their culture, impacted upon the way they chose to translate. Of course, this applies to bias in all areas, not just to women passages’ (Nyland, introduction ‘The Source New Testament.).


(Philemon 2: 2) 1-3 From: Paul, a prisoner because of the Anointed One Jesus, and Timothy our fellow believer. To: Philemon our dear friend and coworker, and to Apphia our fellow believer, and to Archippos our fellow soldier, and to the assembly which meets in your house. Hello! May you have peace from God our Father and Lord Jesus the Anointed One!

A Christian of Collossae, ancient Phrygian city, now a part of Turkey. ‘She is thought to have been stoned to death in the reign of Nero. Some say the three people mentioned here was a family and the church met in their home. (Harpers Bible Dictionary: Philemon). Edith Deen comments that the family lost their lives along with their slave Onesimus who Paul met in Rome and sent the letter back with him to them.



(Philippians 4: 2-3) I encourage Euodia and I encourage Syntyche to think the along the same lines along with the Lord. Yes, and I ask you too, Synzugos, to assist these women, seeing that they fought in the contest with me for the Good News,

Eminent women in the church at Philippi in Macedonia. Philippi was a Roman colony, the most important city in Macedonia. This is where Paul Lydia, a businesswoman of Thyatira.  Like Timothy, these two women ‘laboured with Paul in the Gospel’.


2 Jn 1-3 From: The Elder.

To: The chosen Lady Authority and her members, whom I certainly love, and that’s the truth! – and I myself am not the only one who does, but also all those who have come to know the truth – because of the truth, which stays with us, and will be with us forever.


12 Although I have much to write to you, I don’t want to use paper and ink. Instead I hope to visit you and talk with you face to face, so that we will be totally happy.


13 The members of your chosen lady fellow believer send their greetings.



1 Tim 2: 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.


1 Tim 3:1-7 This is a faithful saying. If any person aspires to be a Guardian, they are desiring a fine work.

8-13 In the same way also deacons must be dignified


17-18 Let the elders who give practical help be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who go to trouble instructing and training about the Word. For the Scripture says, “You must not muzzle an ox which threshes grain,” and “The worker is worthy of their wages.”


11 Tim 1: 3-7 I recollect the non-overly critical faith that you have, which first inhabited your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice, and I am convinced it’s in you too.

Timothy’s maternal line Jewish. His mother was a Jew therefore, Timothy was a Jew. His father was a Greek. These Jewish women, his grandmother and mother, were educated, had a good knowledge of the law and the prophets; they had instructed Timothy in them since his childhood. ‘And that from a child theou hast known the Holy Scriptures’ (2 Tim 3: 14).


Jas 3:1-2 My fellow believers, (both men and women) not many of you should become teachers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more so. For we all make mistakes in lots of things.

James is writing to people living in troubled times. He wrote the letter before 50 AD and was martyred 62 AD. No difference is made here by James, the Lord Jesus’ brother; neither in his introduction and throughout his letter, no difference is made between men and women. He simply addresses them all as ‘fellow believers’ and gives some wise advice and is intimating that no one person can be right about everything but, rather, and he includes himself, we all make mistakes and when we do, as teachers, people will judge the teacher more harshly because they are setting the bench mark. By saying ‘we all make mistakes’ he is including himself in his instruction. Such an attitude shows wisdom and humility.




Ch.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,

: 7 It’s necessary that a Guardian be without reproach as God’s manager … and stand their ground while teaching.


Women Elders in Crete – church guardians (God’s ‘managers’, ‘ oikonomos’ , Nyland). An Elder’s role was to teach the Word, ‘completely sound instruction and training’. Nothing is more important than this. Christians are desperate for sound instruction and training. For men today to deny this role to women who have spent their lives studying the Word of God is outrageous! As if a woman can’t serve God in teaching people how to live properly according to the clear, simple Word of God. This heresy will be identified.


9-10 Encourage slave servants to be supportive of their masters in everything, to please them well, and not to contradict them or steal things from them. Instead, they are to be completely trustworthy, so that in every way they make attractive the instruction about God our Saviour to all.



Societal changes are gradual. Paul did not agree with slavery. just as Moses (OT) did not agree with the  way Jewish divorce was conducted. Jesus when asked about divorce said Moses allowed it because of the hardness of men’s hearts. Society generally, does not change overnight Paul wrote to the Galatian church:

“There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.”

You will find plenty of arguments to the contrary, for example…

but its a matter of you personally deciding whether you belive God is sexist or grace and freedom came through Jesus Christ and you are called to serve.

I have decided to follow and serve Jesus. Whatever God says to me I will do it.

We are all free in Christ. God is no respecter of persons.

Hey, don’t let them get you down

Patricia 🙂




NT. Women Leaders As Gifts To The Church

Women Leaders As Gifts To The Church


EPH Ch. 4:10 God measured out his favor to us and the Anointed One has given each one of us a gift.

This is why the Scriptures say, “When he ascended on high, he led along prisoners and gave gifts to people.” This “he ascended”, what does it mean! It means that he also descended into the lower parts of the earth! The one who descended is also the very one who ascended above all the heavenly places, in order to equip the universe.

11-13 He himself gave, as gifts, some people as apostles, others as prophets, others as evangelists, and others as shepherds and teachers, in order to equip God’s people for the ministry work. This was to build up the body of the Anointed One, until we as a whole arrive at the unity of faith and knowledge of God’s Son, growing into a complete man, measuring up to the full maturity of the Anointed One.

14-16 This is so we would no longer be people who are under age. When winds of instruction and training blow this way and that, we would not be carried to and fro on the waves. We would not be tossed about at sea by the sleight of hand and schemes of people, and we would not be driven off course by people’s plots and schemes.

Instead, we should speak the truth in a loving way and grow up to maturity in every way, so that we will realize our closeness with our source of growth, the Anointed One, and be more like him. The whole body grows when individual parts of the body combine and are supplied by ligaments. The Anointed One is the source of the whole body, and love makes the body grow.

When it comes to teaching the Bible those who maintain that women cannot teach its contents surely cannot mean that the biblical content is beyond a woman’s intelligence or ability to share it with others. Millions of women believers in every generation live exemplary lives, many of those have undergone dramatic changes and continue to discipline themselves in order to maintain themselves and their testimony that God’s grace is sufficient for them.

However, what they are suggesting is that God differentiates between whom the gifts are given. The sole reason for this differentiation, according to those who maintain this stance, is one of authority. Take authority out of the equation, and of course we all know women and men are well able to do the work of the ministry. The question then begs to be asked, what kind of authority are these people talking about that does not allow women to have access to a position of leadership?

The kind of authority being discussed here is to do with women making decisions that affect men. It must be the kind of authority that allows women to rule over men. But women today are in all kinds of positions where they rule over men – in political positions, in corporate positions and so very many others. Women are in Bible colleges teaching men who are there to be trained in the ministry. Women are serving in churches everywhere doing the work of the ministry. However, only a very small percent would be in positions of the kind of authority we are talking about here.

Even those women who are pastoring churches are generally accepted because they have a husband or another man alongside them to ‘cover’ them. In this position they are viewed as not holding the ‘power’, not having the final decision, not responsible to have the final say. This is the kind of authority that such people who oppose women in leadership are against women having.

Two kinds of authority: earth and heaven.

In Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, the Jewish religious leaders seemed to have the same problem with Jesus exercising a certain kind of ‘authority’ as those people today in the church who oppose women in leadership exercising what they believe is their God given right along with every other believer.

But are we all talking about the same thing? Is the exercise and understanding the same?

What kind of ‘authority’ did the Lord exercise that so incensed the Jewish religious leaders?

Is it the same kind of authority that our Lord Jesus has delegated to the members of the Christ’s body and wants to see exercised in it by all believers?

Does it match up to the kind of authority believer’s experience in our relationship with the Lord?

When the word ‘authority’ is used in the New Testament what does the word mean in the original Greek language of the day when the New Testament was penned?

Here we will take a look at the Greek words translated ‘authority’ in the NT. There is another word used with authority and that is ‘power’, ‘dunamis’ which means ‘ability’ and has nothing to do with the Greek words shown here and translated ‘authority’.

Exousia: privilege, authority.

Jesus’s teaching with authority (skilled instruction and training) incensed the Jews

Mt 7: 29 (also in the same context: Mk 1: 22; Lk 20: 22); ‘because he taught (‘didache’), with authority, not like the bible teachers’: skilled instruction and training.

Here, ‘authority’ is used in connection with a person who also worked under authority who simply obeys

Mt 8: 9 (Lk 7: 8), a person under authority- I give orders and others obey. to do with healing.

The Jews wanted to know who gave Jesus authority to clear out the greedy moneychangers in the temple

Mt 21: 23 (Mk 11: 28; Lk 20: 2; after Jesus had chased out all the buyers and money dealers and overturned the tables etc. The chief priests and bible scholars asked him ‘by what authority are you doing these things? His answer?

Mt 21: 24 Mk 11: 29, The Baptism of john – from heaven or from people? (From heaven the same place Jesus is saying He gets his authority to do these things)

Mt 21: 27 (Mk 11: 23; Lk 20: 8 they answered him ‘we don’t know’ so he said then I’m not going to tell you where I get my authority from.

Once again giving an example of  people working under authority

Mk 13: 34; Like a person going away from home- they leave their servants in charge each person has their assigned task- they tell the person at the door to keep watch- so keep watch.

The realm of authority for the believer is in healings they go out to proclaim Gods kingdom.

Lk 9: 1 Jesus called the 12 together and gave them power and authority to heal all demons and diseases and he sent them out to proclaim God’s kingdom. And to instantly, divinely, heal the sick. Lk 19: 17 Good on you, you excellent servant, his boss replied, since you’ve been so trustworthy in a very small matter, I’m going to put you in charge of 10 cities.

Government authority and jurisdiction

Lk 20: 20 they were trying to catch Jesus out on something he said so they could hand him over to the governors jurisdiction and authority

Only mentioned once in John

Authority given to the Son by the Father. Jesus himself said he was a man under authority

Jn 5: 27 ‘And the Father has given the Son authority to decide issues, because he is a member of the human race’’ 30’’By myself I am not able to do anything! I judge just as I hear, and my judgment is just, because I don’t try to please myself because I try to please the One who sent me.

The Jews wanted to kill Jesus for breaking the law of the Sabbath: religion is anti- anointing- anti Christ.

15-18 The person left and told the Jews that it was Jesus who restored him to his original undamaged state. This is why certain Jews started to persecute Jesus, because he did these things on the Sabbath. Jesus’ response was, “My Father is still at work and I myself am at work.”

   So because of this certain Jews tried even harder to kill him, not only because he broke the Sabbath, but also because he said that God was his Father, making himself equal with God.

Jesus understands their idea of authority: like the gentiles they lord it over people.

19-23 Jesus said to them, “Let me emphasize this, the Son is not able to do anything independently. He can only do what he observes his Father doing. Whatever the Father does, the Son does in the same way. The Father loves the Son and shows him everything he himself does. And to your amazement, he will show him even greater things than these! Just as the Father brings the dead back to life, in the same way too the Son gives life to whomever he wishes. The Father does not judge anyone, but has handed over all issues to be decided to the Son, so that everyone will honor the Son just as they honor the Father. The person who doesn’t honor the Son doesn’t honor the Father who sent him.

Jesus continually reiterates he only has what God has given him.

24-26 “Let me emphasize this, the person who hears my account and believes him who sent me has eternal life and does not come to judgment, but is transferred from death to life. The time is coming and is now here when the dead will listen to the voice of the Son of God, and those who listen will live. Just as the Father has life-giving power, in the same way too he has granted to the Son to have life-giving power. And the Father has given the Son authority to decide issues, because he is a member of the human race.

Jesus has been given authority by God to judge

28-30 “Don’t be surprised at this, because the time is coming when all the people who are in their graves will hear his voice and come out – those who have done good things will rise to live, and those who have done careless things will rise to be judged.

Jesus again says he is not able to anything and the reason he is just is because he tries always to please God

“By myself I am not able to do anything! I judge just as I hear, and my judgment is just, because I don’t try to please myself but I try to please the One who sent me.

Aim for the good reputation that comes from God.

How then can you believe, if you receive your good reputation from each other, and make no effort to aim for the good reputation that comes from the one and only God?

The son’s of Zebedee’s mother asked for a position of authority for her sons

20-23 The mother of Zebedee’s sons came to him with her sons. She knelt down and asked something from him.

“What do you want?” Jesus asked.

She answered, “Give permission for these two sons of mine to have the highest places of honor in your Kingdom, one sitting on your right side and the other on the left!”

“You don’t know what you’re asking!” Jesus responded. “Are you able to experience the suffering I am about to experience?”

“Yes we can!” they insisted.

“You will certainly experience the suffering I am about to experience!” Jesus told them. “But it’s not up to me to say who will sit in places of honor, at my right side and at my left! My Father has prepared those places for the ones he has chosen.”

Kingdom authority and leadership: The comparison two kinds of authority

24-28 When the ten heard, they were annoyed with the two brothers.

Jesus called them over. He said, “You know that the rulers of the non-Jews act like big shots over them, and their high officials make sure they use their authority over them. You are not to do this!The person who wants to become important needs to be your servant, and the person who wants to be the most prominent, needs to be your slave. In the same way the Human Being did not come to be served, but to serve, and to exchange his life for those who are held hostage!”

Mark says the two brothers asked Jesus for position and authority

Mk 10: 35-40 James and John, Zebedee’s sons, went to him and said, “Teacher, we want you to do something for us – whatever we want!”

“Well, what do you want me to do for you?” Jesus asked.

They answered, “Let one of us sit on your right side, and the other on your left, in your splendor!”

41-45 When the ten heard about this, they got annoyed with James and John. Jesus called them over and said, “You know that the so-called rulers of the non-Jews act like big shots over them and their high officials wield authority over them. Not so with you – those of you who want to be important must be your servants, and whoever wants to be important must be everyone’s servant. The Human Being did not come to be served – he came to serve, and to give his life as the ransom price in the place of many people.”

Example of Gentile authority

Acts 9: 14; he is here with authority from the chief priests to imprison everyone who calls on your name (Anananias about Paul)

Acts 26: 10;-12. I shut up many people devoted to God and put them in prison I had authority from the high Priest. When they were sentenced to death it was I who cast my vote against them.

Jesus mission: to render inoperative every rule, -subdue every enemy- until finally – death also will be rendered inoperative.

24-26 Next is the fulfilment, when he hands over the Realm to God the Father, after he renders inoperative every rule and every authority and power. It is necessary that he reigns until he has subdued every enemy. The last enemy that will be rendered inoperative is death.

Kingdom authority is for the building up, not for destroying

8-11 In fact even if I should boast abundantly more about our authority, which the Lord gave for your building up and not for your destruction, I will not be put to shame! Otherwise it seems, as it were, that I frighten you away by my letters!

1 Pet 3: 22

But it is the pledge of a good conscience toward God. It saves you through the resurrection of Jesus the Anointed One. He has gone to heaven and is at the right side of God. Messengers and authorities and powers support him.

Gentile authority is idolatrous

Ch.13:1-3 And I saw a creature coming out of the sea. He had ten horns and seven heads. There were ten diadems on his horns, and a blasphemous name was on each head.

The creature was given a mouth to speak and he talked arrogantly and he spoke blasphemies. He was given authority to act for 42 months. He opened his mouth to blaspheme God, and to blaspheme his Name and the place where he lives, and everyone who lives in heaven.

7-8 He was given permission to make war against the people devoted to God and to conquer them. He was also given authority over every tribe, people, language and nation. All the inhabitants of the earth will worship the creature – all those whose names have not been written in the Lamb’s Book of Life – the Lamb that was slain from the foundation of the world.

‘hyperoche’ a holding over authorised authority

1 Tim 2: 2 Ch.2:1-4 Therefore I encourage above all else that earnest requests, prayers, intercessions, and gratitude are to be made on behalf of all people, on behalf of kings and all prominent people, so that we would lead an undisturbed life in a dignified and godly manner. This is favorable and welcome in the sight of our Savior God, who wants all people to be saved and to come to the full knowledge of truth.

‘exousiazo’ to use or take privilege’

Lk 22: 2524-30 Now it turned out that the disciples got into an argument over which of them was considered to be the most important. Jesus said to them, “The kings of the non-Jews act like big shots over them, and the ones who wield authority over them call themselves ‘Benefactors’. But you are not to be like that!

Kingdom authority: servant of all

Instead, the most important one of you should be like the least important, and the one who has authority should be like someone who serves. Which one is the more important – the person who sits down to eat, or the person who serves? Isn’t it the person who sits down at the table? But I myself have come among you as a person who serves!

‘katexousiazo’ to use privilege over. Earthly rule

Mt 20: 2524-28 When the ten heard, they were annoyed with the two brothers.

Jesus called them over. He said, “You know that the rulers of the non-Jews act like big shots over them, and their high officials make sure they use their authority over them.

Kingdom leadership: Not an abuse of privilege kingdom rule

You are not to do this! The person who wants to become important needs to be your servant, and the person who wants to be the most prominent, needs to be your slave. In the same way the Human Being did not come to be served, but to serve, and to exchange his life for those who are held hostage!”

Mk 10: 42         “We sure can!” they said.

But Jesus said, “You will indeed suffer the suffering that I’m undergoing, and you will indeed be baptized with the baptism that I’m being baptized with, but to sit at my right or left side – it’s not up to me to grant that. These places belong to the ones they’ve been prepared for.”

41-45 When the ten heard about this, they got annoyed with James and John.

Kingdom privilege of leadership: serve

Jesus called them over and said, “You know that the so-called rulers of the non-Jews act like big shots over them and their high officials wield authority over them. Not so with you – those of you who want to be important must be your servants, and whoever wants to be important must be everyone’s servant. The Human Being did not come to be served – he came to serve, and to give his life as the ransom price in the place of many people.”

‘dunastes’ powerful one: gentile rule

Acts 8: 2726-28 A Messenger of the Lord said to Philip, “Get up and go out towards the south on the road which goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.”

(It is a desert road.)

He got up and went on his way. And there was an Ethiopian, a High Court Official who had great power under the Kandake (Queen) of Ethiopia. In fact, he was in charge of her whole treasury. He had come to Jerusalem to worship, and he was on his way back. He was sitting in the chariot, reading Isaiah the prophet aloud.

‘Autheteo’ to use one’s own armour

1 Tim 2: 12 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.

Scripture taken from The Source New Testament. Copyright  2004 by Ann Nyland. 

My comment

Authoritarians are always banging on about “who is the greatest” and “who is in charge”.

Why aren’t they concerned about who is willing to serve in whatever capacity they have and gifts and let’s get the job done.

As for me,  (I don’t have a house or a household), I will serve the Lord… : )





NT. “I Demand Those Nasty ‘Usurping’ Women in Ephesus Church Be Silent!”

“I Demand Those Nasty ‘Usurping’ Women in Ephesus Church Be Silent!”

Let’s look at that again

Verse 12. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.’ KJV

Verse 12. I most certainly do not grant authority to a woman to teach that she is the originator of a man’.  1 Timothy 2: 11-15  Richard Clark Kroeger and Catherine Clark Kroeger,

‘Woman the originator of man’.

‘In this verse, for example, a verb is used which is nowhere else used in the New Testament; ‘Authentein’ is defined in NT dictionaries as meaning to ‘usurp authority’ or ‘dominate.’ However, its meaning goes broader than this.

      1. To rule, to dominate.

        To begin something, to be primarily responsible for a condition or  action (especially murder).

      2. To usurp power or rights from another.

      3. To claim ownership, sovereignty, or authorship.

Although Greek writers used the term ‘authentein’, to imply other values such as ‘to kill someone’ the problem arises in translation where a word occurs only once and the lexicographer often simply follows the translator. In such an instance, such as this,  the lexicographer declares it has such and such a value in New Testament Greek, in this instance, ‘I do not allow a woman to usurp authority over a man’. Instead, many scholars, such as Catherine and Richard Clark Kroeger are saying, that rather than this having authority over all women for all time, that female domination or women as originator of man was the error being taught in Ephesus.

Once the background to the worship of Artemis is given due consideration, it is easy to see that it is in connection with the worship of Artemis and Paul is saying he does not allow this teaching, a woman to teach that … which is entirely understandable.

On the other hand, to teach that Paul is saying here to Timothy that he Paul, does not allow a woman to teach, period, is nonsense. Taken in the overall context of the Gospel teachings and Paul’s teachings on the Great Mystery, the oneness in Christ, ‘that there is neither male nor female’ or any other division, be it class, race or gender, not to mention the women who were teaching in the church and at the helm of 1stcentury churches is ludicrous.  Paul salutes such women in the churches and gives them due honour in his letters and asks others to do the same. Therefore, to have allowed this one Scripture, wherein is the only place the word ‘authentein’ is used is to override all other Scriptures. The New Testament Scriptures clearly show that women are effectively ministering and laying down their lives for the sake of the Gospel.

The myths surrounding Artemis abounded. It was said that the Amazons first brought Artemis to Ephesus. The tradition of a religiously based rule of women with sex reversal and female dominance were the order of the day in the rites of worship associated with Artemis as it was with Isis. An early Amazon Queen, Lysippe, decreed that women should go forth to battle and govern while the men were to stay at home and do the housework. ‘To the men she assigned the spinning of wool and the household tasks of women. She introduced laws where by she led forth the women to battle, but she hung humiliation and servitude upon the men’.

Her daughter succeeded her as queen and both established the worship of Artemis Tauropolus and built temples to her. A later queen, Hippo, brought the image of the Tauroploian Artemis to Ephesus, set it in an oak tree and instituted the cult. Attendants at this Amazon Queen danced at the shrine of Artemis of Ephesus first with shields and later with rattling quivers. Some lines from a hymn to Artemis recollect: “They themselves, O Lady Upis, executed an armed dance around the image … and then again positioned in a broad circle as a broad choir …and their feet stamped briskly while their quivers rattled’”.

Authentein is applied on several occasions to those who perform ritual murder. Human sacrifice and ritual murder were by no means unknown in the ancient world, and in some instances connected with Ephesus. There are a number of ancient literary references to ritual murder in honour of Artemis. , A practice that seemed to persist through to the 2nd century CE: Taurean Artemis demanded human sacrifice and a priestess of Artemis must be the one to consign the male victim to his death. A deposit of human bones at the base of the shrine has been found which seems to substantiate this claim.

Other places Artemis travelled and found a home would were said to have ceremonies that memorialised this tradition and offered substitutes for the ritual murder. Hence Paul teaching, targeting one woman in particular and the error that was being taught in the Ephesian church. (‘I Suffer Not a Woman: Rethinking 1 Timothy 2: 11-15 in light of ancient evidence’, Richard Clark Kroeger and Catherine Clark Kroeger, 1994, Baker Books, Michigan.

You women, study to show yourself approved unto God, a servant of God that does not have to be ashamed, but well able to divide rightly the word of truth  (2 Tim 2: 15a Paraphrased by Patricia).

Keep on, girlfriends  : )







1 Cor 11: 5 woman praying and prophesying in church at Corinth

1 Cor 12: 4-7 for the work of the ministry


Acts 8; 1-4 scattered and went preaching


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!”


Public prayer

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.



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.


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.



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.


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.



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.


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.[1]

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’;



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


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’.




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.


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


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?


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.


[1] ‘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.

[2] 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”