Does the Bible authorize women to work as evangelists?

SHARE

By BibleAsk Team


Women Evangelists

The question of whether the Bible authorizes women to work as evangelists is a topic that has sparked significant debate and discussion within Christian communities. Some argue that certain passages restrict women from holding leadership roles in the church, including the role of evangelist. However, a careful examination of Scripture reveals numerous examples of women who played crucial roles in spreading the gospel and ministering to others. In this essay, we will explore various biblical examples of women who served as evangelists and examine the scriptural basis for their roles.

Mary Magdalene: Mary Magdalene is a prominent figure in the New Testament and is often associated with being one of the first evangelists of the Christian faith. In John 20:11-18, after Jesus’ resurrection, Mary Magdalene encounters the risen Christ at the tomb. Jesus instructs her to go and tell the disciples about his resurrection, effectively commissioning her as an evangelist. This interaction highlights Mary’s important role as a witness to the resurrection, demonstrating that women were entrusted with spreading the good news of Jesus’ victory over death.

The Samaritan Woman: Another notable example of a female evangelist is the Samaritan woman whom Jesus encountered at the well (John 4:1-42). Despite societal norms that would have frowned upon such interactions between a Jewish man and a Samaritan woman, Jesus engages her in conversation and reveals his identity as the Messiah. The woman then goes and tells her fellow Samaritans about Jesus, leading many to believe in him. Her testimony serves as a powerful demonstration of the transformative impact of encountering Christ and the role that women can play in sharing the gospel with others.

Lydia: In Acts 16:11-15, we encounter Lydia, a businesswoman from Thyatira who becomes one of Paul’s earliest converts in Philippi. After hearing Paul preach, Lydia and her household are baptized, and she invites Paul and his companions to stay in her home. Lydia’s hospitality and influence within her community likely contributed to the spread of Christianity in Philippi. While the text does not explicitly label Lydia as an evangelist, her actions demonstrate her commitment to the gospel and her role in furthering its message.

Priscilla: Priscilla, along with her husband Aquila, is mentioned several times in the New Testament epistles as a fellow worker in Christ Jesus (Romans 16:3; 1 Corinthians 16:19; 2 Timothy 4:19). In Acts 18:24-26, we see Priscilla and Aquila mentoring Apollos, a gifted preacher, and explaining the way of God more accurately to him. This passage illustrates Priscilla’s active involvement in teaching and equipping others for ministry, indicating her role as an evangelist alongside her husband.

Euodia and Syntyche: Euodia and Syntyche are mentioned in Philippians 4:2-3, where Paul urges them to reconcile their differences and work together in the Lord. Though the specifics of their disagreement are not provided, their inclusion in Paul’s letter suggests that they were significant figures in the Philippian church. While the text does not explicitly identify them as evangelists, their presence indicates that women were actively involved in the ministry and leadership of early Christian communities.

Junia and Andronicus: In Romans 16:7, Paul refers to Junia and Andronicus as “notable among the apostles” and mentions that they were in Christ before him. This passage has been subject to debate, with some translations obscuring Junia’s gender by rendering her name as “Junias.” However, the majority of scholars agree that Junia was indeed a woman and likely held a significant leadership role in the early church. While the term “apostle” may refer to a broader group of messengers rather than the twelve disciples, Junia’s inclusion among them suggests that she was actively involved in proclaiming the gospel and planting churches.

Conclusion: In conclusion, the Bible provides ample evidence of women serving as evangelists and playing significant roles in spreading the gospel message. From Mary Magdalene to Lydia, Priscilla, Euodia, Syntyche, Junia, and others, these women exemplify the diverse ways in which God used them to advance his kingdom. While some may argue for restrictive interpretations of certain biblical passages regarding women’s roles in ministry, a holistic examination of Scripture reveals a more inclusive perspective that affirms the valuable contributions of women in spreading the good news of Jesus Christ. As the body of Christ, we are called to recognize and celebrate the gifts and talents of all believers, regardless of gender, and to empower and support women in fulfilling their God-given callings as ambassadors of Christ.

References:

  1. New King James Version (NKJV) Bible.
  2. John 20:11-18; John 4:1-42; Acts 16:11-15; Acts 18:24-26; Philippians 4:2-3; Romans 16:7.

Check out our Bible Answers page for more information on a variety of topics.

In His service,
BibleAsk Team

We'd love your feedback, so leave a comment!

If you feel an answer is not 100% Bible based, then leave a comment, and we'll be sure to review it.
Our aim is to share the Word and be true to it.