Thursday, May 28, 2020

Bold Women in the Bible

When they saw the boldness of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they marveled and took note that these men had been with Jesus.

-Acts 4:13 (Berean Study Bible)

Boldness. The word in the Greek is “parresia.” It means freedom of speech or confidence. So, the word has to do with confidence in what we say.

There were many bold women in the Bible. I put together a short list that I thought would encourage some of us when we speak. Some of these women were bold in their actions as well. If her name is highlighted, you can click on it and go read where I have written more about her story in another post.

Tamar -Genesis 38

Tamar's story is found in the book of Genesis. While we might not agree with her actions, nevertheless she was bold in securing her rights that were actually set in place by the law. She is also the first woman listed in the genealogy of Jesus. (See the Gospel of Matthew chapter 1.)

Deborah-Judges 4

Now Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lapidoth, was judging Israel at that time.-Judges 4:4

Deborah led men in the book of Judges. She was the only female judge in Israel that is listed. To lead an army and be a judge would require some boldness.

Rahab-Joshua 2Rahab was a prostitute that hid the two spies when they came to spy out Jericho. She helped them escape and her family were the only ones who were saved when Jericho was destroyed.

Jael-Judges 4
Jael was also included in the same story of Deborah. She risked her life and is the heroine of the story. When the enemy invaded her house, she used a hammer and tent peg to end his reign as an adversary.

Naaman’s servant girl-2 Kings 5

Now Naaman was commander of the army of the king of Aram. He was a great man in the sight of his master and highly regarded, because through him the Lord had given victory to Aram. He was a valiant soldier, but he had leprosy.

 Now bands of raiders from Aram had gone out and had taken captive a young girl from Israel, and she served Naaman’s wife. She said to her mistress, “If only my master would see the prophet who is in Samaria! He would cure him of his leprosy.”

Naaman went to his master and told him what the girl from Israel had said.

-2 Kings 5:1-4

Phoebe-Romans 16Phoebe is one of the women listed in Romans chapter 16. Paul said she was a deacon at the church of Cenchrea. It is widely held by many scholars that Phoebe was the one who delivered the epistle to the Romans to the Church at Rome. Not only would that have been a dangerous journey during the time, but it was a very important letter!

Mary of BethanyMary is found in all four Gospels, always sitting at Jesus’ feet. She was ridiculed on multiple occasions, first by her sister and then by other disciples for her actions. She was brave and set a precedent for what women in the Church should be like now.

Martha-Luke 10, John 11
Martha was brave in her outspokenness in her conversations with the Lord. In Luke 10, she refers to him as Lord, but in an extremely exasperated and sassy way. Jesus answers her statement but does not rebuke her boldness. In John 11, we see her have a monumental theological conversation with Jesus that is pivotal in our understanding of Jesus and who He is.

Women in Luke 8
There is a list of women in Luke 8 that supported the ministry of Jesus out of their own financial means.

Priscilla -Acts 18
Priscilla and her husband were both companions of Paul. She is said to have “risked her life for the church” and on one occaision corrected another male believer in his theology, albeit privately.

Lydia-Acts 16
Lydia was the first European convert in the book of Acts that we know about. After her conversion, she boldy invites Paul and his team to come and stay at her house, if they consider her a Believer in the Lord.

In 2 Timothy 1:7, Paul writes to Timothy,

For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.

That is the Spirit of Jesus, the Holy Spirit, who lives inside all Believers. He gives us boldness, just like he did Peter and John.

The book of Acts is still being written. The Holy Spirit wants us to continue to proclaim Jesus with boldness, as women, as men, as the Church.

May you continue to grow in grace and in the knowledge of Jesus,


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