A Biblical Register of Roles God Has Called WomenAuthor: Bobby Valentine | Filed under: 1 Timothy, Bible, Church, Contemporary Ethics, Ministry, Patternism, Unity, Women
Late night thought. There is controversy in some churches over what is called “the role of women.” So I want to list some indisputable facts about what is stated point blank that women did in the Bible itself. So here they are, indisputable facts. There is not a person that can successfully deny these facts.
The Register of Women from the Holy Spirit
Wives (no need for BCV)
Mothers (no need for BCV)
Lovers (Song of Songs 1.2-8; 2.8-17; etc) Song of Songs does not present women simply as the object of a man’s pursuit. The Song of Songs is literally egalitarian beyond dispute. Many scholars believe a woman was the author of the Song. The woman is the primary speaker and primary actor in the Song. Sadly this book is typically and utterly ignored as having nothing to say regarding how women and men relate as equals. See my series of blogs on the Song but especially Returning to Eden: Song of Songs, Celebrating Sex & Egalitarian Women.
Singer (Ex 15.20-21; 2 Chr 35.25; etc)
Liturgical Dancer (Ex 15.20; etc)
Deliverer/Redeemer (Miriam, Micah 6.4) The biblical tradition includes another woman redeemer, Judith. She was revered in Jewish and Christian traditions. Sadly she is practically unknown among modern Evangelical believers but Clement, a first century shepherd in Rome, held her up to the Corinthians as a model of faithfulness. Luke echoes her in describing Mary the Mother of Jesus. See among other places, Judith: Salvation by a Woman, Judith’s Psalm of Praise.
Judge (Judges 4-5)
Warrior (Judges 4-5)
Proclaimers of God’s Mighty Acts/Victory (Ps 68.10)
Mourners (Jeremiah 9.17ff; etc)
Prophet (Ex 15.20; 2 Chr 34.22ff; Lk 2.36ff; Acts 21.8f; 1 Cor 11.5; etc) See Huldah Who? The Forgotten Ministry of a Female Prophet
Entrepreneurs (Proverbs 31.10-31; Acts 16.14)
Workers at the Tabernacle (1 Sam 2.22)
Rulers (2 Chr 23; Esther)
Author (Esther 9.29, 32; Pr 31.1-9; probably Ps 131)
Pray-er (1 Sam 2.1-10; 1 Cor 11.4-5; etc) In the Greek Bible of the early church (LXX) there are many examples of women prayer warriors. Susannah in the Greek version of Daniel. Esther was known as a passionate role model of prayer before the Lord in the LXX. Susannah was one of the most famous women in the early church and Esther (and Judith) were patterns to emulate. See on the Greek Esther: Greek Esther: Prayer and Aid from the All-Seeing God and Savior
Legislator for Worship festivals (Esther 9.29,32)
Sage (2 Sam 14; Pr 31.1-9)
Teacher (Pr 1.20-33; Pr 9.1-6; Pr 31.26; Acts 19.26) See Selina Holman: New Woman and the Exegetical Conscience of Churches of Christ
The Voice of Wisdom (Proverbs 1-9, Lady Wisdom)
Worship/Musician leaders in the temple/Psalms (Ps 68.24-25)
Disciple (Jn 4; Lk 8.1-3; 10.38-42; etc)
Deacon (Romans 16.1-2) See Voices on Female Deacons in the Stone-Campbell Movement
The financial support of Jesus’s ministry (Lk 8.1-3)
Carrier of New Testament Epistle (Rom 16.1-2)
Traveling coworkers of Paul (Phil 4.3; Rom 16.6,12)
Evangelists (Jn 4.39-42; Phil 4.2-3) See Where Are ‘Apostate’ Women Preachers taking Us?
Patron/Benefactor (Romans 16.2)
Shepherds (Gen 29.1-9; Ex 2.15-19)
Hosts for congregations (Rom 16.3-16; 1 Cor 1.11)
First to proclaim the resurrection (Jn 20.17-18; Mt 28.1-10; Lk 24.1-12, 22)
I think too often we do not acknowledge these facts. In fact many simply do not know these facts.
Overlooked Memory verses on women in the Sacred Record
““Queen Esther, daughter of Abihail, along with Mordecai the Jew, wrote with FULL AUTHORITY to confirm this second letter concerning Purim … Esther’s decree confirmed these regulations about Purim, and it was written down in the records” (Esther 9.29, 32)
“The Lord announces the word,
and the women who proclaim it
are a mighty throng …” (Ps 68.11)
“Yahweh gives the command:
great is the company of women
who bore the [glad] tidings”
Biblical women are not simply seen but not heard. Nor are biblical women only allowed to participate in the singing of the church.
Women are the image bearers of God and reflect his glory into the world around. Biblical women are not just wives, daughters, handmaidens and caretakers of children (and nothing wrong with any of these!). Biblical women serve, at the call of God, every conceivable role that men have served in the Bible.
Some times what people call and mean by “traditional” roles of women they actually mean “male made roles for women,” not biblical roles for women.