Jon Zens continues his list of examples that reveal the role of women throughout the New Testament. Women should not be silenced by the two “challenging texts”–1 Corinthians 14:34-34 and 1 Timothy 2:11-15. The weight of Scripture demonstrates that women do not have to “tape their mouths.” The first post in the series can be seen here. Jon writes:
- Jesus applauded the evangelistic efforts of the Samaritan woman (John 4:35-38). After experiencing a revelation of Jesus, she left her jar at the well and went to her city telling men, women and children about the Messiah (John 4:28-29). Everyone in Sychar knew about her history of broken relationships, yet she boldly proclaimed Jesus as the Messiah – a Redeemer even for those outside of Judaism!
- In the context of Jesus’ crucifixion the male disciples fled, yet the women were present and they helped in his burial (Matt.27:55-56,61; Mark 15:40-41; Luke 23:55-56; John 19:25-27).
- A woman’s testimony was disallowed as evidence in first century courts. Yet the Lord chose females to be the first witnesses and proclaimers of his resurrection (John 20:1-2, 11-18; Luke 24:1-11, 22-24; Mark 16:1-8; Matt.28:1-11).
- After Christ’s ascension, 120 men and women prayed together and chose a replacement for Judas Iscariot (Acts 1:14-15).
- The Spirit came upon the 120 disciples and they spoke the wonderful works of God in many foreign languages (Acts 2:1-4).
- Some thought that what was occurring on the Day of Pentecost was evidence of too much wine, but Peter insisted that it was a fulfillment of what Joel prophesied would come to pass – “your sons and daughters will prophesy….I will pour out my Spirit on my male and female slaves and they will prophesy” (Acts 2:17-18). There is no suggestion that males may prophesy freely, but that females are restricted in some ways.
- Philip the evangelist had four virgin daughters who prophesied (Acts 21:9). We would not be wrong in assuming that there were many other sisters who had this gift, not just Philip’s offspring.
- Paul entrusted his letter to the Romans to Phoebe, and she delivered it. She was a deacon in the assembly at Cenchrea and Paul had the highest regard for her (Rom.16:1-2). Paul recognized her as a prostatis, which carried with it the idea of leadership (cf. 1 Thess.5:12).
- Paul designated Priscilla and Aquila as his “co-workers” (Rom.16:3). The same word is used with reference to people like Timothy and Titus.
To be continued: