The New Testament includes the stories of numerous women. We already noted the important role women played in the life and ministry of Jesus and in Acts. Before moving on to the letters of the New Testament, perhaps we should pause and reflect on the significance of Jesus allowing Mary to sit at his feet, “listening to what he said” (Luke 10:39). Jesus offered this woman something that others denied – time to sit and learn at the feet of a rabbi.
But there are so many other noteworthy women in the New Testament. That being said, here is some information about a few more of the women and some additional passages about women in the New Testament letters.
- Romans 5:12-21 The apostle Paul, writing about the importance of Jesus to all who have sinned, tells of how sin entered the world. Worth pondering is that Paul points to the disobedience of Adam (as opposed to Eve).
- Romans 7:1-6 The apostle Paul uses an illustration about marriage to make his point about the law. Interestingly, he uses the rights of women as the heart of his illustration.
- Phoebe in Romans 16:1-2 Paul commends Phoebe to the church in Rome. Phoebe is a deaconess or servant who has been helpful to a great many people, including Paul.
- Priscilla in Romans 16:3-5 and 1 Corinthians 16:19 Paul describes Priscilla and her husband Aquila as his “fellow workers.” Paul mentions that they had risked their lives for him, and in so doing, had blessed him and all the Gentile churches. They are also described as hosting a church in their house. Previously in Acts, Luke had introduced us to Priscilla and Aquila as teachers with knowledge and skills to more fully teach Apollos, known to be a learned man with a thorough knowledge of scripture.
- Mary in Romans 16:6 Paul described Mary as a woman who “worked very hard” for the church at Rome.
- Junias in Romans 16:7 Paul writes of his relatives Adronicus and Junias who were followers of Jesus prior to his conversion. While the language can be argued, Paul seems to refer to the two of them as “apostles.”
- Additional women in Romans 16 Paul mentions a number of other women in Romans 16. Clearly, these women played a significant role in the life of the early church and were coworkers who blessed Paul.
To be continued….