Women Who Ministered in the Bible

The Gospel of Jesus Christ tears down the power constructs that we as humans have created and establishes a new one that is defined by the humility, grace, and kingship of Jesus.

There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus (Galatians 3:28).

Many like to use a few single statements Paul made in the New Testament as solid foundations for theologies created against women in ministry.

To put it plainly, the contexts of those single phrases are important, because the same man who led alongside and recognized women who were leading in the early church wouldn’t have made a blanket statement against the very thing he also advocated for and supported.

If Christians were meant to be against women in ministry, we would have to denounce and ignore all of the women who were examples throughout the Bible. Both the Old and New Testaments give clear examples for us (and this list is not exhaustive):

Old Testament Examples
Judges 4-5
Deborah, a leader of Israel, prophet, judge, military leader and matriarch

2 Kings 22
Huldah, a prophetess, had a lead role in the restoration and revival of Judah

Micah 6:4
Miriam was named a leader of the nation along with Moses and Aaron

New Testament Examples
Luke 8:1-3
Mary of Bethany, one of many women who followed Jesus with and ministered alongside the disciples and the only one who understood that Jesus was going to die – she proclaimed him through the act of pouring the oil

John 20:11-18
Jesus chose Mary Magdalene to be the first person to share the Good News of his resurrection

Acts 16:14-15, 40
Lydia is named as a powerful woman in the community, head of her household, and an early church leader who cared for Paul and Silas.

Acts 18:24-26
Priscilla lead and taught in Corinth and taught theology to Apollos

Acts 21:9
Philip’s daughters, who prophesied

Romans 16:1
Phoebe is named as a deacon in the church

Romans 16:6-7 Paul sends names and recognizes Mary and Junia as apostles within his letter

1 Corinthians 1:11 & Colossians 4:15
Chloe and Nympha were the heads of churches that met in their homes

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