Important Women in the Bible (and In Ministry!!!)

This here is a list of important women in the Scriptures. I know its odd for a man to be doing this, but nonetheless, I think it is important to remember the role women have played in the formation of the Christian Faith and our Scriptures and what that means for our future.

  1. Eve – This women was said to have been made from Adam (funny that this puts Adam in a pseudo-giving-birth situation). It is odd that her most noticeable achievement is giving the forbidden fruit to Adam, but we tend to forget that she too walked with God as the man/Adam did in the creation narratives. All the great things the man did, she did too. In the end, she is held just as responsible as Adam in all things. She is also the one to start off humanity with the first baby. That is an amazing accomplishment. (Genesis 1-4)
  2. Mariam (Aaron’s Wife) – Not many people recognize this lady, but she was a Jewish woman and was with Aaron most of the way through the desert. She even led the community (the first worship leader?) in a song/hymn of praising God. She was considered sent by God in the same way that Moses and Aaron were called. (Exodus 15 & Micah 6:4)
  3. Deborah – Judge and Prophet. She was a fierce women that everyone seemed to know as filled with the Spirit. She was the leader of her tribe, but more than that, she spoke the will of God to those around her, even Barak, a male general. Although most would be scared of seeing a woman with a weapon at her hip, she wielded it with wisdom and praise towards God. (Judges 4-5; cf. Numbers 11 & Deuteronomy 16, it seems that in some cases Elders and Judges are interchangeable)
  4. Ruth – A daring woman who took chances. She was a foreigner who stuck with her Israelite mother, even though the Israelites would despise her. She also had no male to take care of her. Eventually, she meets a man that would take here and her family of just women in, but not without out some provocative and scandalous action on her part. (Ruth)
  5. Huldah – This is a woman that almost none of you have heard of. She was a prophet during the time of Josiah, the great reformer King. She was married, so she had a husband “over her.” The King has the priest and a group of men to ask her for advice after panicking, a result of them reading the lost Law (might be Deuteronomy) and thinking God was going to destroy them. Her oracle has been recorded in Scriptures. As a side note, one must remember that Josiah cleanses Israel, but allows a woman to remain the prophet of God, a leader who spreads the words of God. I just find that fascinating (2 Kings 22:3-20; 2 Chronicles 34:14-28).
  6. Esther – Esther finds herself a small town girl, living in a kingly world. She gets married to the King, finds out her people are in trouble, and performs the most daring plan to save them. She even gets a lucky break when the antagonist of the story performs one fatal mistake, arousing the anger of the king.
  7. Mary (Mother of Jesus) – The mother of Jesus. She raised the Christ Child. Through Jesus life, ministry, and even at His death, Mary keeps popping up in the story. There is something special about this woman. (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Acts 1-2)
  8. Mary Magdalene – This woman is just everywhere in the story. She seems to be a close follower of Jesus, like the male disciples. She also seems to serve the role of a patron, supplying Jesus and His followers with the basic life needs for the ministry.(Matthew 27:36, 27:61, 28:1; Mark 15:40, 15:47, 16:1; Luke 8:2, 24:10; John 19:25, 20:1, 20:18)
  9. Tabitha – This women was an important woman in the Church of Joppa. She passed away while the apostle Peter was visiting. The believers were so distraught from Tabitha’s death that they begged Peter to come. Peter prayed, she resurrected, and she kept doing what she always had done. (Acts 9:36-42)
  10. Priscilla – In Athens, Priscilla is mentioned after the discussion with the philosophers. She mentioned as part as her husbands house in chapter 18:2, but the next mention in chapter 18, her name is before the husband’s. They meet up with an excellent teacher named Apollos. Both Priscilla and her husband take in Apollos and teach him further of the way of God. The next you hear of these two is at the end of Romans. Oh, and every since Acts 18 her name comes before husbands. This was a very important woman. (Acts 18; Romans 16:3)
  11. Phoebe – She is the first name in Romans 16. She is “commended” to the Roman believers. Why? She is delivering the letter and will read it to the congregation. A note, the word for her position is deacon, not deaconess. The same word is found in describing Christ in 15:8. This is very key in understanding women in Acts. (Romans 16:3; cf. Romans 15:8)
  12. Junia – This lady’s name and status in the Church is always a topic for debate. Some say she is actually a he and that his name is Junias. Unfortuantely, there is no evidence of this. Also, they say that she was revered BY the Apostles. However, the preposition does not designate that concept. It designates being AMONG the Apostles. So guess what folks, we had a female Apostle. Just amazing.

Although it seems arbitrary, the mention of women and the roles they played in the Scriptures are crucial to understanding the roles they should play today. We should ask questions as the conversation of complementarianism and egalitarianism is still in process. One day we will come to the other side of that conversation. In my opinion, we will challenge the language of both sides and come to a third way of understanding it.

But I digress,

because I’m working on publishing something that has to do with that.

Sorry, I don’t do spoilers.

But I will say this…Women, rise up and sing with your lives and leadership. Live your servanthood as men have done in following Christ. And love all as Christ does his Church.

Grace and peace to you all.

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6 Comments

  1. Amen and amen. There’s a great book, too, geared to drive that point home, in devotional style called: (obviously) Women of the Bible by Ann Spangler & Jean Syswerda for anyone who may be interested. I’ve liked it so far. Blessings, Russell!

  2. How about Rahab and Lydia, for a couple more?

    • Ah, yes. The Lydia one is interesting. Thanks.

      Rahab is interesting too, but in a scandalous manner. Still working on the specifics on how to speak of her.

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