Exploring the biblical theology of Christian egalitarianism

Close this search box.

prophetesses in the Bible


There was a respected place and position for prophets, male and female, in ancient Israel, in early Judaism, and in the first-century church. Unlike monarchs and priests who gained their place through inheritance and tradition, prophets gained their place because of their unique abilities. They heard from God and spoke for God. Their speech did not always include foretelling; nevertheless, prophets were intermediaries between divinity and humanity.

In this article, I list the women who are plainly identified as prophets in the Hebrew Bible and New Testament (Hebrew: neviah; Greek: prophētis).[1] Most are presented in the scriptures in a positive light and I’ve written a short note on each of them. These women were influential, leading figures in their communities.


Five women are identified as prophets in the Hebrew Bible, with Miriam being the first to be given this title. Miriam was the older sister of Moses the lawgiver and of Aaron the high priest. All three siblings were prophets and all three were leaders. God reminds Judah of their leadership in Micah 6:4:

“For I brought you up from the land of Egypt, and redeemed you from the house of slavery; and I sent before you Moses, Aaron, and Miriam” (NRSV).

The scriptures do not record any of Miriam’s prophetic messages, but they do record a song she sings.

Then the prophetess (neviah) Miriam, Aaron’s sister, took a tambourine in her hand, and all the women came out following her with tambourines and dancing. Miriam sang to them: “Sing to the Lord, for he is highly exalted; he has thrown the horse and its rider into the sea.” Exodus 15:20-21 (italics added)

The Hebrew words behind “them” (lāhem) and “sing” (šîrū) in Exodus 15:21 are grammatically masculine. This indicates Miriam’s audience included men; she directs men and women to “Sing to the Lord …”

Miriam is mentioned in five books of the Hebrew Bible. The various biblical narratives show that she was a highly respected member of the Israelite community. They tell us she was a prophetess and a leader, even if her prophetic actions and messages are not recorded.

I have more on Miriam, here


Deborah is the only female judge mentioned in the book of Judges. She was also a prophetess.

Deborah, a prophetess (neviah) and the wife [or, woman] of Lappidoth, was judging Israel at that time. She would sit under the palm tree of Deborah between Ramah and Bethel in the hill country of Ephraim, and the Israelites went up to her to settle disputes. Judges 4:4-5 CSB

Unlike many of the other judges, there is not a bad word spoken about Deborah’s character, abilities, or actions. She was an effective spokesperson for God, and her prophetic leadership extended to commanding Barak, the general of the army (Judg. 4:4-6). Moreover, she wasn’t afraid to follow up her words with actions; she willingly entered the war zone with Barak (Judg. 4:9-10).

Hebrew scholar Robert Alter notes the two roles of Deborah as judge.

The [Hebrew] word shofet, traditionally translated as “judge,” has two different meanings —”judge” in the judicial sense and “leader” or “chieftain.” The latter sense is obviously the relevant one for [the book of Judges], though the sole female judge, Deborah, in fact also acts as a judicial authority, sitting under the palm tree named after her.[2]

Like Miriam, Deborah also sings a victory song that is recorded in scripture (Judges 5:1ff). Unlike Miriam, the Bible shows some of Deborah’s prophetic ministry in action.

I have more on Deborah, here


We know almost nothing of the woman who Isaiah mentions in Isaiah 8:3, not even her name:

“And I went to the prophetess (neviah), and she conceived and bore a son.”

There is some debate about her relationship with Isaiah; she may or may not have been his wife. There is also debate about whether she was truly a prophet, or if she is called “prophetess” because of her association with Isaiah. However, no other woman is called a prophetess (neviah) in the Bible who did not minister as such.[3]

Isaiah speaks about the son who the prophetess bore and his symbolic name:

“Here I am with the children the Lord has given me to be signs and wonders in Israel from the Lord of Armies who dwells on Mount Zion” (Isaiah 8:18).

Prophecies were sometimes symbolically acted out (e.g., Isa. 20:1-6; Jer. 19:1ff; Eze. 4:4-8; Acts 21:10-11). This is the case in Isaiah 8 where, as Wilda Gafney points out, “the production of a child whose name is a portent of the future of Judah is a prophetic performance.”[4]

Claude Mariottini believes the unnamed woman was “part of a prophetic guild and worked with her husband [Isaiah] by giving a symbolic name to their son as visible evidence of the message Isaiah preached to king Ahaz.”

Dr Mariottini’s article on this prophetess is here.


We read about Huldah in 2 Kings 22:8-20 and in 2 Chronicles 34:1-28 where the same account is repeated. According to the story, Josiah, the young king of Judah, has just been told that the scroll of the law (Deuteronomy) has been discovered after having been forgotten for many years. Josiah’s secretary then reads the scroll to him.

Josiah, being a godly king, is deeply concerned with what he hears. He commissions a delegation of five of his most important men with the charge,

“Go and ask the Lord on my behalf, and on behalf of the people, and on behalf of all Judah concerning the contents of this scroll that has been found” (2 Kings 22:13a CEB).

The delegation goes directly to Huldah. This indicates she was well known and respected by the king and his men. There are similarities here with King Hezekiah sending a delegation to the prophet Isaiah (in Isaiah 37:1-7), and with some of Israel’s elders going to the prophet Ezekiel to inquire of the Lord (in Ezekiel 20:1ff).

Josiah’s men speak to Huldah on behalf of the king and the nation. And Huldah replies and speaks on behalf of the LORD. Three times in her prophecy, some of which is recorded, she declares, “This is what the LORD says …”

I have more on Huldah, here


Noadiah is mentioned by name in a short prayer spoken by Nehemiah. Nehemiah had been a cupbearer for the Persian monarch Artaxerxes I, but was now governor of Judah employed by Artaxerxes I. As governor, Nehemiah launched new policies and projects that did not please everyone. One such project was building a wall around Jerusalem.

Noadiah and other prophets were opposed to what Nehemiah was doing. The biblical text does not tell us what the prophets had an issue with, but they were clearly giving Nehemiah a hard time.

Nehemiah felt threatened, so he prays to God for help:

“My God, remember Tobiah and Sanballat for what they have done, and also the prophetess (neviah) Noadiah and the other prophets who wanted to intimidate me” (Neh. 6:14).

Noadiah and two powerful men, Tobiah, an Ammonite official, and Sanballat I, the governor of Samaria, are mentioned in the same prayer. This is surely an indication of Noadiah’s status and influence. Nehemiah’s words also imply that she was a leader among the other prophets, perhaps the leader.[5]

Despite her difference of opinion with Nehemiah, there’s no clear indication Noadiah was a false prophet. By comparison, some earlier women are clearly described as prophesying falsely and they are themselves prophesied against by Ezekiel according to God’s instructions (Ezek. 13:17-23). (Because these false prophetesses in Ezekiel aren’t identified, I haven’t written a note on them.)


In the New Testament, the prophetic baton is passed onto Anna. Anna is identified in Luke’s Gospel as a prophetess (prophētis) who spends her time in the temple in Jerusalem “worshipping with fasting and prayer, night and day” (Luke 2:36-37). She is elderly and she is single, choosing not to have remarried after her husband’s death several decades earlier.[6] It is not clear in Luke 2:37 if Anna is eighty-four years old or if she had lived as a widow for eighty-four years which would make her extraordinarily old. Either way, she is depicted as a venerable woman of exemplary devotion.

Luke presents Anna as a counterpart to Simeon: both are elderly, pious, and guided by the Holy Spirit (Luke 2:25-35). When Mary had completed her 40-day period of purification after giving birth, she and Joseph took baby Jesus to the temple to be presented. Simeon is there, recognises who the child is, and speaks prophetically to Mary. Simeon is content and happy to die having seen the Messiah, but Anna looks to the future.

Anna, also recognising who the child is, speaks prophetically to a much larger audience. She begins talking about Jesus “to all who were waiting for the redemption of Jerusalem” (Luke 2:38), to “the rest of the righteous remnant who longed for the Messiah,” as Ben Witherington puts it.[7] These people who Anna speaks to, “as both a prophetess and a proselytizer for the Messiah,”[8] surely includes men as well as women.

Ben Witherington’s article “Mary, Simeon or Anna: Who First Recognized Jesus as Messiah?” is here


On the Day of Pentecost, at the birth of the church, Peter emphasised the ministry of prophecy:

“And in the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people.
Your sons and your daughters will prophesy, and your young adults will see visions, and your older adults will dream dreams.
And indeed on my male servants and on my female servants, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy.” Acts 2:17-18

Four of these daughters―these female servants―are mentioned in Acts 21:9: [9]

“Now [Philip] had four daughters, prophesying virgins.”

The feminine noun prophētis is not used here; instead, the related participle prophētousai functions as an adjective. The present participle shows that prophesying was an ongoing ministry for the women. That they were virgins indicates they had devoted themselves to ministry as Anna had done by choosing to live as a widow.

Philip’s daughters are barely acknowledged in the Bible, but several early Christian writers mention them. Eusebius regarded Philip’s daughters and their ministry as the benchmark for prophetic ministry (EH 3.37.1).  In book 5 of his church history, Eusebius compares the way they conducted their ministry with the ministry of other male and female prophets (EH 5.17.3). Agabus and Judas (male prophets mentioned in Acts) and Ammia of Philadelphia (a female prophet), among others, are listed here. Philip’s daughters were renowned and respected in the early church as prophets.

I have more on Philip’s daughters, here


There were genuine prophets and sound teachers in New Testament churches, but there were also prophets and teachers who were leading people astray. In the church at Thyatira, there was a woman who claimed to be a prophet but who was deceiving her people.

Jesus tells the church at Thyatira,

“But I have this against you: You tolerate the woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess (prophētis) and teaches and deceives my servants to commit sexual immorality and to eat meat sacrificed to idols. I gave her time to repent, but she does not want to repent of her sexual immorality.” Revelation 2:20-21 CSB

The example of Jezebel, despite her serious errors, “tacitly presupposes that women could be, and actually were, prophetesses” in the church.[10] Furthermore, her example shows that prophecy and teaching can be linked (cf. 1 Cor. 14:31).

Nothing in Revelation 2:20ff suggests Jezebel should not have been teaching because she was a woman. This passage does not say that Jezebel was given time to repent of the fact that she was teaching. Rather, it says that she was graciously given time to repent of her immorality.

I have more on Jezebel of Thyatira, here


According to the Megillah (one of the tractates of the Talmud), seven prophetesses prophesied to Israel: Sarah, Miriam, Deborah, Hannah, Abigail, Huldah, and Esther. (See Megillah 14a.13 and 14b.) These, and still more Bible women, had prophetic insight with some clearly receiving divine messages from God or his angel (e.g., Rebekah: Gen. 25:21-23; Rahab: Josh. 2:9-11; Samson’s mother: Judg. 13:1-23).

There are no books of the Bible devoted to preserving the prophecies of women, such as we have in the Major and Minor Prophets. Nevertheless,  the Bible does record prophetic words from some women. The inspired and insightful songs, prayers, praises, proclamations, and teachings of Hagar (Gen. 16:13), Miriam (Exod. 15:21), Deborah (Judges 5:1ff), Hannah (1 Sam. 2:1ff), Abigail (1 Sam. 25:28-31), women with good news (Psalm 68:11-12), Huldah (2 Kings 22:15ff), King Lemuel’s Mother (Prov. 31:1-9), wailing women (Jer. 9:17-22), Mary (Luke 1:46ff), Elizabeth (Luke 1:41ff), and the Samaritan woman (John 4:19, 25) may be considered prophetic and are included in scripture. This demonstrates that the writers of the Bible (who were presumably all, or mostly, male) recognised the significance of the words of these women.


Prophets responded to God―they were “carried along by the Holy Spirit” (2 Pet. 1:21 NIV)—but they also responded to situations at hand. And the apostle Paul believed their ministry was essential in the church.

Paul considered prophecy to be the most desirable of the spiritual gifts (1 Cor. 14:1), and he listed prophets and prophesying before teachers and teaching in his lists of ministry gifts in Romans 12:6-8, 1 Corinthians 12:28, and Ephesians 4:11. Paul does not specify gender in these lists of ministries in the Greek. Moreover, he specifically mentions that women prophesied in the church at Corinth, and he did not silence them (1 Cor. 11:5). (Unlike what has been commonly assumed, Paul did not have a problem with gifted women ministering.)

Because of Paul’s high regard for prophecy, it is doubtful he considered this ministry as having less influence or less authority than the ministry of teaching. Moreover, prophecy often included an element of teaching (1 Cor. 14:31). Considering Paul’s views on these ministries, Ben Witherington concludes, “So one cannot argue that prophesying—whether by women or by men—is less important, less enduring or less official than teaching or preaching.”[11]


There would have been more female prophets in Israel’s history and in first-century churches than those identified in the Bible,[12] but at least one female prophet is mentioned in each period of Israel’s history.

Miriam was a prophet and leader during the time of the patriarchs. Deborah was a prophet and leader when Israel was ruled by Judges. During the monarchy, Huldah was a prophet and an advisor to the king. During the exile, both women and men were condemned for prophesying falsely (Ezek. chapter 13).

In the post-exilic period, the prophetess Noadiah was prominent among a group of prophets. Then there was Anna who spoke to all about messianic hope after Jesus was born. In the church age, the daughters of Philip are mentioned in a positive light, while Jezebel of Thyatira is presented in a negative light.

It is important to recognize that there is no hint in the Bible that anyone had an issue with women prophets because of their sex. Rather, as I stated at the outset, there was a recognised and respected place for women prophets in Israel and in the first-century church.  It was understood and accepted that some women, as well as some men, were gifted and authorised by God to proclaim inspired messages and to guide his people.

You can support my work for as little as $3 USD a month at Patreon.
Become a Patron!


[1] These Hebrew and Greek words for female prophets are essentially the same as the words used for male prophets (navi; prophētēs) but with feminine endings.

[2] Robert Alter, The Hebrew Bible: A Translation with Commentary, Vol. 3 (New York: W.W. Norton, 2019) (Google Books)

[3] The wives of the prophets Ezekiel and Hosea, for example, are not called “prophetesses.”

[4] Wilda Gafney, Daughters of Miriam: Women Prophets in Ancient Israel (Minneapolis: Fortress, 2008), 104.

[5] Wilda Gafney has an interesting take on the story of Nehemiah which she reads through the lens of colonization. Her “empire-critical reading of the Israelite prophets troubles the presumed normative prophetic corpus in which Nechemyah is lionized and canonized and No‘adyah is criticized and marginalized.”
Dr Gafney’s 2009 paper, “A Prophet-Terrorist and an Imperial Sympathizer: An Empire-Critical, Post-Colonial Reading of the No‘adyah/Nechemyah Conflict” is available here.
Because Nehemiah is depicted as the “good guy” in the book that bears his name, it’s easy to assume Noadiah is one of the “bad guys.” But it may not have been as clear-cut as that.

[6] The marital status of Miriam and Deborah is uncertain. Miriam is not connected with any man in the Bible except for her brothers. Lappidoth may not be the name of Deborah’s husband but a description of her character or ministry. Huldah was married or perhaps widowed. Anna and Philip’s daughters probably chose to stay single for the sake of ministry. The prophetess associated with Isaiah is the only one known to have sexual relations and children. However, this seems to have been a prophetic act (Isa. 8:1-3).
Church orders of widows and virgins, of single women devoted to Christian service, started early in the life of the church (cf. 1 Tim. 5:9-10; Ignatius Smyrnaeans 13). (I have more on official widows and virgins in a comment to Katie, here.)

[7] Ben Witherington III, Women and their roles in the Gospels and Acts., (Durham theses, Durham University, 1981), 239. Available at Durham E-Theses Online.

[8] Ibid.

[9] The four women are mentioned in Acts 21:9 immediately before Agabus, a male prophet (Acts 21:10-11). This juxtaposition of female and male prophets is one of several instances where Luke pairs men and women to show the inclusivity of the gospel and its mission. Luke’s gender pairs are discussed here.

[10] Adolf von Harnack, The Expansion of Christianity in the First Three Centuries, Vol. 2 translated by James Moffat (Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock, 1998), 217. Harnack first published this work in 1902 (in German). I have a blog post about his discussion on New Testament women ministers, here.

[11] Ben Witherington, The Paul Quest: The Renewed Search for the Jew of Tarsus (Downers Grove: InterVarsity, 1998), 225.

[12] In the Hebrew Bible, there are several references to groups, or guilds, of prophets. At least some of these, perhaps most, included female prophets. Noadiah appears to have been a leader of a guild of prophets.

© Margaret Mowczko 2021
All Rights Reserved

Image Credit

Excerpt of an illustration of Miriam taken from The Bible and its Story (1908) (Wikimedia)

Explore more

Old Testament Priests and New Covenant Ministers
Bible Women with Spiritual Authority
The Holy Spirit and Equality in Acts
Many women leaders in the Bible had this one thing in common 
Bible Women Who Led Celebrations and Lamentations
Theone and Myrte: Prophetesses in Corinth

30 thoughts on “Every Female Prophet in the Bible

  1. Marg,

    Good article. This is a topic that is not known by many Christians.

    Claude Mariottini

    1. Thanks, Claude.

  2. Thank you for this. It is so refreshing to be reminded of the many biblical women who literally spoke for God. Once, priests, generals, kings and apostles could accept truth spoken by gifted women of God. It’s sad to me that I have spent basically my whole life in “Bible-believing” churches but never heard these women given their due. If they are talked about at all, their roles are either minimized or they are portrayed as somehow exceptional. Thus, they aren’t allowed to disrupt the male-led status quo.

  3. Greetings Marg,

    With love and gentleness in the Lord, your constant focus on complimentarianism reminds me a lot of the “Flat Earthers.”
    Allow me to explain.
    Nowhere does our Lord say, “Go, and teach that the world is flat (or round).” Yet many will intentioned people are obsessed with it. Likewise, He doesn’t say, “Go, and teach people about complimentarianism.” Yet, it is all you can talk about.
    No, our Lord says to “Go into all the world and preach the gospel.”

    So just like preaching about a “Flat Earth” has nothing to do with the gospel of our Lord, my question to you, Marg, is how is your laser-like focus on sex and gender, preaching the gospel?
    Jesus came to seek and save the lost. He never focused on this stuff, nor did His apostles.

    So why are you, from a biblical perspective?

    1. Bill, I don’t know you from Adam. And I have no idea why you are interested in me or my motives. But let me point out that Jesus said a lot more than “Go into all the world and preach the gospel.”

      Do you ask doctors and nurses why they are focused on bringing healing to people and not going out in the world and preaching the gospel? Do you ask school teachers why they are focused on educating the young and not out in the world preaching the gospel?

      I consider many of these people, and myself, as following Jesus’ example and continuing his gospel work. We are bringing healing and freeing the oppressed. See Luke 4:17-21. My hope is that I’m also helping to make disciples. (The feedback I get from my readers indicates that this is the case.)

      Also, your opening statement is incorrect. I am not focused on complementarianism and I’m not talking about complementarianism. You’re the one who has mentioned it twice.

      I’m focused on Jesus’s kingdom values and being conformed to his image. These are things the apostles, especially Paul, wrote about. And a few years ago, in keeping with New Testament teachings, I decided that I would highlight the inclusive and egalitarian nature of Jesus’s kingdom.

      My focus on the mutuality, or equality, of men and women in Christian marriage and ministry began in mid 2017. It was a conscious decision and carefully made. And for now, it is the right one.

      I’ve written a bit on this here: https://margmowczko.com/the-holy-spirit-and-equality/

      Anyway, Bill, I’m not interested in having a conversation about this with a random stranger who doesn’t know me or my work and who has a narrow view of the gospel, of the mission of the church, and of the ministry of the body.

      It is not necessary that you understand my calling and my ministry.
      People who know me, understand.

      The gospel of Jesus the Nazarene is a justice-bringing, slavery-crushing, illness-healing, debt-remitting, low-status-reversing, sin-cleansing, outsider-including, and truthing-to-power gospel. ~ Michael Bird.

      1. Marg, I can’t thank you enough for this. I have a few people who continue to attack me online for my beliefs and teaching, believing that throwing scriptures that I have read and studied for years at me will change my mind. I have continued to answer respectfully and thoroughly, but one has begun to get very abusive in her language. I needed to hear it is okay to let them go and tell them why. I sure appreciate all of your wisdom and research!

        1. It’s such a pity that some Christians feel threatened by the egalitarian/ mutualist message. It’s difficult for them to let go of centuries of patriarchal indoctrination and see things differently. I avoid discussions (arguments) with people who are not ready to see things differently, because our fight is not against “flesh and blood.” Sometimes we do need to let them go.

          If you’re intereted, I’ve jotted down four things I remind myself of when speaking with people who are uncomfortable with or antagonistic towards Christian egalitarianism. https://margmowczko.com/how-to-keep-friends-and-influence-people/

    2. Hey Bill,

      I’ve never met a flat earther in church (that I know of). However, I’ve met a lot of people who believe some messed up things about men and women. And, at least in conservative church culture in the US, they get to say that their beliefs are the only ones that are consistent with the Bible. So women wind up having to either accept that God wants them to be second class citizens in their churches and marriages, or keep their self-respect and jettison what they’ve been taught is the “plain and literal meaning of Scripture.” I’ve spent some time trying to square that circle, and let me tell you, it’s definitely crisis of faith material.

      Jesus didn’t say much about gender directly, sure. At least not that we have record of. But he did have a lot to say about people who give human interpretations the force of divine law, and put together heavy burdens for other people to carry.

      I for one am glad that there are people sharing a deeply Biblical perspective on gender. They have helped my faith tremendously. Correcting distortions of the truth is part of the work of preaching the gospel and is very valuable to Christ’s body.


      1. It is unfortunate that many men (and even women) see gender equality in the church as a “side issue” at best, and at worst as a divisive issue.

        Implying that addressing those gender inequalities and trying to educate people in a greater understanding of what scripture actually has to say about it is less than “preaching the gospel” smacks of gas lighting.

        The simple fact is women are not coming into churches and leaving them in droves, many because they are not willing to invest in a church that treats them as second class citizens. For the first category of women, why would any woman want to diminish herself and gifts by ever joining such? Fact is, they don’t.

        Marg’s work, educating people on what scripture says, correcting false beliefs and assumptions on “women’s roles” is preaching the gospel; the good news. Jesus’s death, burial and resurrection freed us all. Marg is spreading that message; Jesus freed women too of the the cultural constraints and burdens placed on them because of their sex. To women who have left it brings hope, and maybe even reconciliation. To women who are thinking of leaving it opens new possibilities. To women that are just hearing the gospel it removes impediments to them accepting it.

        Given all of this, how anyone could think that Marg is not preaching the gospel is beyond me.

      2. This is so well said. Thank you for sharing your impressions.

    3. Hey Bill

      It is refreshing to learn about the Godly women of the bible and how God used them to lead and teach His people. All to often, teachers only talk about the patriarchs of the Old Testament and make no mention of the women Marg has graciously wrote about. I appreciate what Marg has done with her ministry because there is a real need for it. I do not want to pass judgment on you but what you wrote shows your ignorance of Marg’s motivation to write these type of articles.

    4. I spent 30 years away from the church and secularism. After experiencing enshrined misogyny and multiple heinous sexual abuse scandals scores of women have either left the church or will never enter. Writings like these give women a doorway into,or back into Salvation through Christ. Women’s salvation matters. I’ve know untold numbers who segued into wicca, paganism, eastern philosophies etc due to blatant Christian misogyny. Quite frankly, it’s a disgrace.

    1. Thanks, Connie. <3

  4. As an ordained Presbyterian Church USA, I know this information. I studied this at length because I knew God was calling me and I answered, “YES.” One of my dearest friends was in a really conservative church when God called her, she told God, my church says women can’t preach or teach. God replied, I have prepared a way for you. She laughs now because the way is in the Presbyterian Book of Order. Thanks for your work. Hope you find supporters, Matrons, you know. Luke 8:2-3 😉

  5. Hi Marg
    Very good summary, without being pushy about the issue. You have obviously put in a lot of thought and prayer in this presentation.
    God is well able to raise up anyone to teach his truth, and the more despised the better. Those men who don’t want to listen to women should hear Mary, the Mother of Jesus, who was despised due to being pregnant out of wedlock:
    And Mary said, “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant. For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed; for he who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name. And his mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation. He has shown strength with his arm; he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts; he has brought down the mighty from their thrones and exalted those of humble estate; he has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich he has sent away empty. He has helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy, as he spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to his offspring forever.”
    (Luke 1:46-55)

    “He has brought down the mighty from their thrones and exalted those of humble estate”: God is no respecter of persons, even so he has put men in the position of leadership most of the time, yet the role of women is not despised by God or any righteous man in scripture.

    1. Thanks, Martin.

  6. Did I just read that you were accused of complementarianism? Either the writer is confused, or I am.
    My understanding of complementarianism is that it was developed to justify the exclusion of women from holding positions of authority in the church (& family), by stating that the positions they ARE permitted to hold are just as significant as those held by men.
    If you have EVER advocated that position, I’ve missed it, and I’ve misunderstood all of your teachings I HAVEN’T missed. What I understand you to have been saying is that PEOPLE fit into God’s system/ecology based on the gifts and calling from God. I understand your message to be that with respect to the things of God, it’s pretty much GOD’s choice, and the PERSON’s acceptance, that defines their place in Kingdom work.
    I haven’t read your work as having a “laser-like focus on sex and gender.” It seems to me that you have had a focus on ERRORS in theology and practice concerning sex and gender.
    But maybe I’m wrong, and miss the point. In that case, I wish to castigate you severely for your failure to publish a really great recipe for corn bread and a guide to maintenance of the 1995 GMC Suburban. That has at least as much relevance as Bill’s criticism, and I happen to like cornbread more than a discussion of Flat Earth.

    1. It was a confusing comment written by someone who doesn’t understand complementarianism or who has expressed himself poorly. I’m going with the latter.

      LOL He lost me on his flat earth analogy too.

      Also, his “love and gentleness in the Lord” lasted for only one comment. I had to remove two further comments from him because they expressed the opposite of “love and gentleness.”

      1. Thanks for your information and research. Thought I had lost interest in learning from the Bible, certainly lost interest in going to church, though I do miss the sense of community I felt at times. I shall investigate a few of these women further.
        I am curious, are people really still obsessed with a flat earth?? I see no validity in any of Bill’s rants.

        1. Hello Iris, I’m glad you found my article interesting.

          No one I know has any interest in a flat earth or even mentions it. Bill’s points are difficult to follow.

  7. Thanks for this. I became moderately interested in female prophets (I was a working pastor, not a theologian) while studying the Montanist movement in college, and think Harnack makes a good point about power conflicts and the decline of both female ministry and prophecy.

    I suspect that we need to have room for the entire range of APEPT ministries of both women and men to see the development of effectively functioning churches that are not clones of some established denominational model or other.

    1. It’s been a while since I read Harnack’s work. I love what he says about some New Testament and early church women. https://margmowczko.com/adolf-harnack-new-testament-women-ministers/

      I agree with your comment about the Ephesians 4:11 (or APEPT) ministries. I suggest that women functioned in these ministries in the NT.

      I hope you’re staying high and dry, Peter.

  8. You are right to say that the Bible doesn’t state whether Noadiah was good or bad. I think there is good evidence to show she was good – hope you’ll have a read https://alsowritten.wordpress.com/2022/05/13/noadiah-the-last-prophet/

  9. I thought this was a well-balanced article. Thank you for your efforts. One argument I could foresee against women prophesying is that certain gifts have ceased, but then I read in Rev. 11:3 that the two witnesses will prophesy. Even so, I’m interested in how Paul’s teachings about men AND women prophesying can be reconciled with his admonition that women are to remain silent in the churches. Aren’t we urged to “rightly divide the Word of truth?” Yet the scripture I always see is “I suffer not a woman to teach.” I keep searching your website for insight to this conundrum. Thank you for remaining faithful to the Word.

    1. Hi Diana, I don’t think there’s any conundrum.

      Paul never tells orderly, edifying, and well-behaved women to be silent. He only silences unedifying speech from women, and from men, in 1 Corinthians 14:26-40.

      Likewise, Paul addresses poor behaviour from certain women and men in the Ephesian church (1 Tim 2:8-15). This passage is not Paul’s general teaching on ministry.

      Paul valued the ministry of his female colleagues, and he encouraged the ministry of prophecy (and teaching, etc) without specifying gender.

      “I would like every one of you to speak in tongues, but I would rather have you prophesy. The one who prophesies is greater than the one who speaks in tongues, unless someone interprets, so that the church may be edified” (1 Cor. 14:5)

      All Paul’s general teaching on ministry (in Greek) includes women.

  10. […] [xii] Individual women who spoke prophetic words recorded in the Old Testament include Hannah (1 Sam. 2:1-10), Abigail (1 Sam. 25:28-31), and King Lemuel’s mother (Prov. 31:1-9). See https://margmowczko.com/prophetesses-bible/. […]

  11. […] Every Female Prophet in the Bible […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe to Marg's Blog

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.


Join Marg's Patreon

Would you like to support my ministry of encouraging mutuality and equality between men and women in the church and in marriage?