Many have asked the question, what does the Bible say about women preaching? Despite the assertions of some denominations and organizations, the Bible clearly states that women can, and indeed should, preach the gospel. Through the inspired word of God, we learn that women have the same right as men to express their faith. Paul and Peter both acknowledge that women had distinctive roles in the first century, yet both state that all believers, male and female, are welcome to proclaim the gospel.
The Bible reveals a number of passages that speak to women’s capacity to become preachers and proclaimers of the Word. In Acts 2:17-21, Peter admonishes the people and the apostles, saying “And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy.” Here the Bible affirms women’s right to be prophets and preachers.
In the Gospels of Luke and Matthew, Jesus points at Junia, a female, as being foremost among the apostles. In Romans chapter 16, Paul positively refers to her and her husband Andronicus as apostles. This indicates that both men and women can be called to serve in ministerial capacities.
The Proverbs 31 woman serves as an example of strength, wisdom, and authority. The woman in Proverbs 31 is empowered by her faith, and she exercises her authority over her household and her community without shame or discrimination. Esther provides another example of a strong yet gently spoken woman who is able to persuade the powerful King Xerxes to save her people. Jesus’ own interactions with women such as Mary Magdalene and Martha of Bethany prove that respected female figures served in local church communities.
The Bible makes it clear in every book that true faith does not discriminate based on gender. Whether man or woman, all believers are acolytes in God’s service and have an equal opportunity to preach the good news of the gospel. The Bible says it best in Galatians 3:28: “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.”
This applies not only to one’s standing as an equal before God, but to one’s obligation to share the gospel. Just as the Proverbs 31 woman speaks out boldly to others, God calls all believers, regardless of gender, to proclaim the gospel to the world. The Bible is full of examples of female preachers using their authority to share the good news.
We must ask ourselves: What place do I have in the proclamation of the gospel? Will we allow the inspired Word of God to break through the chains of the world, and allow all believers, male and female, to freely preach in the name of the Lord?
The Roles Of Women In The Church
The Bible supports the concept of women leading within the Church and holding valuable positions of authority. Through the lens of scripture, we understand that women are called and gifted for ministries just as men are. In the New Testament, women served in various roles in the early church; these included deaconesses, pastors, and missionaries. It is important to note that women could also teach within the Christian community and lead public prayer.
Women, like men, have particular gifts granted to them from the Holy Spirit. According to Romans 12:6-8, members of the church are to use these gifts to serve Christ and their fellow believers. There are no restrictions based on gender when it comes to the roles of service given in the scripture. Women too, have been given spiritual gifts, which make them eligible for leadership roles in the church.
Paul himself was willing to work with women in ministry, as evidenced by his letters to Priscilla, Timothy, and Junia. He acknowledges the valuable contributions women make and even encourages them to take part in leadership opportunities. It is clear that Paul did not subscribe to the notion that women should remain silent and obedient in the church.
Moreover, in 2 Timothy 2:2, Paul calls on fellow believers to teach and preach. He does not exempt women based on gender but rather states “that they may teach others also.” God has gifted all believers – male and female – with the tools to preach and teach the gospel of Jesus Christ. The Bible clearly graces women with the right to serve in a preaching environment.
The Bible records a number of exemplary and transformative disciples who were women. These women left an enduring legacy of faith within the Biblical narrative and their example continues to serve us today. Women such as Mary Magdalene, Lydia, Priscilla, and the Samaritan woman at the well all demonstrate that women are indeed capable of leading within the church.
Mary Magdalene, for example, was the first to see the risen Lord and informed the Disciples of the Good News. Jesus showed her much respect and reverence and she became the “Apostle to the Apostles”; her witness of the resurrection was the catalyst for Peter and the surviving disciples to have faith. Jesus sent Mary out to spread the word, commanding her to “go to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’”
Lydia was a leader within the Philippian church, as evidenced by her generosity and faith. Acts 16:14 states that “The Lord opened her heart to pay attention to what was said by Paul.” Not only was Lydia a convert to Christianity, but she was also an active member of the early church. Her faith contributed greatly to the growth of the church in Philippi.
The Samaritan woman at the well provides another example of a woman disciple. In John 4:7-8, Jesus speaks with the woman and reveals Himself to her as the Messiah. The Samaritan woman responds by preaching to her community, saying, “Come, see a man who told me all that I ever did. Can this be the Christ?” Her encounter with Jesus precipitated a revival within the Samaritan community.
Women In The Bible
The Bible is full of inspiring examples of women who used their faith and influence to pursue God’s purposes. Women such as Deborah, Ruth, Hannah, Miriam, Esther, and more have stories of faith we can emulate. Deborah, for example, was a prophet-judge in Israel. She bravely led the nation in battle against oppressors and cried out to the Lord for strength. Through her faith and obedience to God, Deborah saw a major victory.
Ruth embodies faithful obedience, devotion, and hard work. Her loyalty to her mother-in-law Naomi, her faith in God, and her commitment to hard work resulted in divine provision and favour; she was blessed to marry Boaz and receives protection as an orthodox Jew. As a result, Ruth is remembered for generations among the faithful and is honoured as an ancestor to King David and Jesus Christ.
Hannah was an example of prayerful faith in a difficult situation. When Hannah was unable to have a child, she freely shared her sorrow with God in prayer. God heard and answered her faithful cry and Hannah was blessed with a son, Samuel. Her story is a reminder that God has the power to turn despair into joy when we cry out to Him in faith.
The Bible gives other examples of faith-filled and obedient women standing for what is right. Rahab, for example, protected the Israelites and hid them from the pursuing enemy, while Vashti courageously rejected the immoral orders of her husband. These women demonstrate the power of faith and the confidence we can have when we rely on God’s promises and act according to His will.
God has gifted all believers, both male and female, with the same spiritual gifts and abilities to bring the gospel to the world. From Mary Magdalene and Lydia to Deborah and Esther, the Bible provides many examples of women preaching and teaching the gospel. Through their stories, we can learn to use our faith and courage to proclaim the good news. What’s more, the Bible upholds the authority of women serving in the church, commanding them to lead and evangelize just like men.
A husband of one wife, father of two beautiful girls, laborer of Lord, Jesus Christ, and a servant to God’s His saints. I hope to encourage you by God’s grace. Thank you for stopping by.