Women Were Prophetesses and Deaconesses


Could women serve in the congregation?
Can they express their biblical opinions?
Can they lecture men?
The Apostle Paul had strong words for women:

„A woman is to learn quietly with full submission. I do not allow a woman to teach (1321) or to have authority over a man; instead, she is to remain quiet.” – 1 Timothy 2:11-12

„The women should be silent in the churches, for they are not permitted to speak, but are to submit themselves, as the law also says. If they want to learn something, let them ask their own husbands at home, since it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church.” – 1 Corinthians 14:34-35.

We have more verses on this topic.
Let’s see the details.
A sister teaches a man:

“He began to speak boldly in the synagogue. After Priscilla (4252) and Aquila heard him, they took him aside and explained the way of God to him more accurately.” – Acts 18:26.

Priscilla – Christian, wife of Aquila.
It turns out that Priscilla, as the dictionary states: Aquila’s wife, together with her husband translated the Scriptures to Apollos.
Who was Apollos?
As the earlier verses say, Apollos was a Judean, a scholar of the Scriptures. He was eloquent, wise,
well-spoken. He taught about Christ according to the Scriptures and was fervent in spirit.
While he was speaking in the Synagogue, Aquila and Priscilla took him aside and explained „God’s way.”

What could Apollos not understand?
Why did a brother and sister in faith have to explain some of the Scriptures to him?
Apollos had John’s immersion. According to Acts 19, from the first verse it follows that he should be immersed in the name of
Yeshu. Perhaps they raised this issue in the conversation.
Note an interesting lesson for men: such a brilliant person as Apollos was not offended by his sister instructing him, helping him understand some of the Scriptures. He differed from the other brothers in that he was not immersed in the name of Yeshu.

Phoebe serves as deaconess

“I commend to you our sister Phoebe, who is a servant (1249) of the church in Cenchreae. So you should welcome her in the Lord in a manner worthy of the saints and assist her in whatever matter she may require your help. For indeed she has been a benefactor of many — and of me also.” – Romans 16:1-2.

„Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Yeshu: To all the saints in Christ Yeshu who are in Philippi, including the overseers and deacons (1249)” – Philippians 1:1.

Who is a deacon?

“Deacons (1249) are to be husbands of one wife, managing their children and their own households competently.” – 1 Timothy 3:12.

The deacon was a servant of God.
Strong’s paper dictionary says:
• a deacon, one who, by virtue of the office entrusted to him by a given church, cares for the poor and has control over the money collected for their use and its distribution,
• a servant who serves food and drinks.
Strong’s dictionary on BibleHub describes this function in an interesting way:
• especially a Christian teacher and pastor (technically, a deacon or deaconess) – a deacon, pastor, servant.

A deacon is a minister, a person who helps others. It follows that the office of deacon included a number of services.
Can a woman
study the Scriptures?
The Apostle Paul in one of the churches forbade women from speaking. Maybe it was too much of a mess with everyone talking. Hence his order that they ask their husbands about the principles of faith at home and not do it at meetings.
After all, Paul certainly knew about the numerous prophetesses who nevertheless spoke out:

This man had four virgin daughters who prophesied.” – Acts 21:9

„After this I will pour out My Spirit on all humanity; then your sons and your daughters will prophesy, your old men will have dreams, and your young men will see visions” – Book of Joel 2:28.

Deborah, a prophetess and the wife of Lappidoth, was judging Israel at that time.” – Judges 4:4.

Then the prophetess Miriam, Aaron’s sister, took a tambourine in her hand, and all the women came out following her with tambourines and dancing.” – Exodus 15:20.

To prophesize means to convey the principles of faith, prophecies, and the content of the Scriptures coming from the Holy Spirit. We don’t know if the prophetesses did this at the meetings. However, we cannot rule it out.
Also in the New Testament we have a call to prophetesses:

Every woman who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered (177) dishonors her head, since that is one and the same as having her head shaved.” – 1 Corinthians 11:5.

This means that there will be women prophesying, transmitting words from the Holy Spirit.
Therefore, it would be a great mistake if someone forbade women to speak out and search the Scriptures. It is as if he forbade the Holy Spirit to speak.
The Messenger of God, the Holy Spirit, chooses whether
to transmit information through a man or a woman. When the Holy Spirit chooses a woman, He conveys something that a man does not know or understand.
Therefore, it would be a mistake for the man to then say, „Don’t teach me, because you are not allowed to do so.” You cannot cross out every statement made by a woman and say: „the apostle Paul did not allow
you to teach.”
Teaching and speaking
/transmitting the words of the Holy Spirit are two different things.


Author: Robert Brzoza

Translator: Hubert Brzoza



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