Women as Prophetess and Teachers   

Women as Prophetess and Teachers

Some women have the gift of teaching and being a prophetess as is Anna,  Philip’s daughters are another example of prophetesses in the NT.  I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy.

First, however, let’s examine what a prophet is, biblically. 

Often when people think of prophets, they think of someone who can predict the future or see the future. While that is partially true, a biblical prophet is much more than just the ability to see the future

While the priest represents the people before God and takes their petitions to Him, the prophet represents God to people. In the Old Testament a prophet would face the people and speak. Jesus was a prophet who spoke the Word of God to the people. A prophet speaks for God. 

While a prophet speaks to people on behalf of God, a priest speaks to God on behalf of people.

Some women have the gift of teaching and being a prophetess as is Anna,

While serving the Lord by staying in the temple and worshiping. She would also teach the people, and “to speak of him to all who were waiting for the redemption of Jerusalem.”

Luke 2:36 Now there was one, Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was of a great age, and had lived with a husband seven years from her virginity;

John the Baptist was the last prophet of the OT.  Lord Jesus was a prophet.  No other person I can find was mention as a Prophet after Jesus, except for 5 women.

This Anna, at the time of Christ’s birth, and afterwards four daughters of Philip the Evangelist, who were virgins, were prophetess.  

Anna’s work as a prophetess in the temple court suggests that she addressed all who would listen to her, 

Daughter of Phanuel {means Face of God}. Evidently a man well known in that day.

Luke 2:37 and this woman was a widow of about eighty-four years, who did not depart from the temple, but served God with fasting and prayers night and day.

Departed not from the temple. Probably assigned, on account of her saintly character, a chamber in the temple.

Her age will appear to be great, if it be observed, that she was seven years a married woman, and fourscore and four years a widow, which make ninety one; and if she was married at twelve years and a half, at which time the Jews (o) reckoned females marriageable, she must be an hundred and three years old; and perhaps her age might be eight or ten years more:

Was found there at all stated hours of the day, and even during the night services of the temple watchmen

1 Timothy 5:5 Now she who is really a widow, and left alone, trusts in God and continues in supplications and prayers night and day.

The Pharisees had adopted the practice of ‘fasting twice in the week,’ on Monday and Thursday, when Moses is supposed to have ascended, and descended from, Sinai

Luke 2:38 And coming in that instant she gave thanks to the Lord, and spoke of Him to all those who looked for redemption in Jerusalem.

Spoke unto men to edified and to encourage, and to comfort. We find this holy widow proclaiming Jesus to all who looked for redemption in Jerusalem and declaring that Jesus was the promised child.

At all events, it appears that this widow was one of the first publishers of the Gospel of Christ, and it is likely that she traveled with it from house to house through the city of Jerusalem, where she knew they dwelt who were expecting the salvation of God.

The Father answer one of her prayers, were present, when Joseph and Mary brought the child Jesus to the Temple to sacrifice on his behalf, according to the custom for firstborn male children. Anna thanked God for having given her the opportunity of seeing Jesus and spoke of him to all the people who came to Jerusalem seeking redemption.

Could this be why many people were looking for the Messiah to come.  Laying the groundwork Jesus to come, just like John the Baptist.  

Luke wrote about Peter Sermon

Acts 2:17 “‘In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams.

This is what the church considers sermons, speaking under inspiration.

Acts 2:18 In those days I will even pour out my Spirit on my servants, both men and women alike, and they will prophesy.

The Holy Spirit being poured down upon both men and women alike, can-do inspired prophecy {telling others about our Lord Jesus or declaring the will of God}

Acts 19:5-6 When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.  (6)  And when Paul had laid hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke with tongues and prophesied.

Philip’s daughters are another example of prophetesses in the NT. 

About  25 years later. The last account of Acts 8:40, shows him preaching in the cities of the seacoast.  In one of these we find Philip living.

Using the understanding of a prophet is, essentially, a spokesman for God, as chosen by Him. They are tasked with speaking to the people on God’s behalf, by sharing a message or even teaching.

Acts 21:8-9 On the next day we who were Paul’s companions departed and came to Caesarea, and entered the house of Philip the evangelist, who was one of the seven {original deacons}, and stayed with him.  (9)  Now this man had four virgin daughters who prophesied.

The prophetic spirit in either the Old or New Testament is not confined to a single sex. We mention Deborah, Miriam and Huldah are Old Testament examples, and in the New Testament, Elisabeth, Mary, Anna, and the daughters of Philip are instances

What about other women in the New Testament

Acts 18:2-3 There he {Paul} found a Jew named Aquila, a native of Pontus, who had recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla because Claudius had ordered all the Jews to leave Rome. Paul went to visit them, (3) and because they had the same trade he stayed with them. They worked together because they were tentmakers by trade.

Who were Priscilla and Aquila were a first century Christian married couple described in the New Testament.   They lived, worked, and traveled with the Apostle Paul, who described them as his “fellow workers in Christ Jesus”.

Priscilla and Aquila are described in the New Testament as providing a presence that strengthened the early Christian churches. Paul was generous in his recognition and acknowledgment of his indebtedness to them. Together, they are credited with instructing Apollos, a major evangelist of the first century, and “[explaining] to him the way of God more accurately”.

They are mentioned six times in four different books of the New Testament and are around the Apostle Paul. 

Acts 18:18 After staying there for quite a while longer, Paul said goodbye to the brothers and sailed for Syria, accompanied by Priscilla and Aquila. He had his hair cut in Cenchrea, since he was under a vow. 

Paul had his hair cut as part of a Nazirite vow he had made (Num. 6). Such a vow had to be fulfilled in Jerusalem, where the hair would be presented to God. Vows were made either in gratitude for God’s blessing (like Paul’s safekeeping in Corinth) or as part of a petition for future blessing.

The vow involved abstinence from drinking wine and a commitment not to cut one’s hair for a period of time. At the end of this set period, the hair was cut and then burned along with other sacrifices as a symbol of offering oneself to God (Act_21:23-26). Paul redirected his entire travel schedule because he wanted to get to Jerusalem in time to make this vow. 

Acts 18:19 When they arrived in Ephesus, he left Priscilla and Aquila there. Then he went into the synagogue and had a discussion with the Jews.

Acts 18:24 Meanwhile, a Jew named Apollos arrived in Ephesus. He was a native of Alexandria, an eloquent man, and well versed in the Scriptures. 

Acts 18:25 He had been instructed in the Lord’s way, and with spiritual fervor he kept speaking and teaching accurately about Jesus, although he knew only about John’s baptism.    {About repentance}

Did not know about the Holy Spirit and laying on hands

Acts 18:26 He began to speak boldly in the synagogue, but when Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they took him home and explained God’s way to him more accurately.

Notice, women were in the synagogue, with the men

Acts 18:28 He successfully refuted the Jews in public and proved by the Scriptures that Jesus is the Messiah.

Learn this from a female prophesy 

1 Corinthians 11:4-5 Every man who prays or prophesies with his head covered dishonors his head.  (5)  But every woman who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head; it is the same as having her head shaved.

So Apostle Paul says there are woman who prophecy.

1 Corinthians 14:3 But the one who prophesies speaks to people for their strengthening, encouraging and comfort.

Shows women can prophesies and did not she instruct Apollos.

Romans 16:3-4 Greet Priscilla and Aquila, my co-workers in Christ Jesus.  (4)  They risked their lives for me. Not only I but all the churches of the Gentiles are grateful to them.

This was written in 56 or 57, stating that they risked their lives for Paul

Churches are grateful to them.

1 Corinthians 16:19 The churches in the province of Asia send you greetings. Aquila and Priscilla greet you warmly in the Lord, and so does the church that meets at their house.

This indicates the couple were in Paul’s company, remember Paul founded the church in Corinth.  Greetings implies that Priscilla and Aquila were also involved in the founding of that church

2 Timothy 4:19 Greet Priscilla and Aquila and the household of Onesiphorus.

They must have been some couple in the New Testament.

  • They were tentmakers as was Paul
  • They were among the Jews expelled from Rome by the Roman Emperor Claudius in the year 49 {what, around 18 years after Jesus resurrection)
  • Paul lived with Priscilla and Aquila for approximately 18 months in Corinth
  • started out to accompany Paul when he proceeded to Syria, but stopped at Ephesus 

Tradition reports that Aquila and Priscilla were martyred together

Timothy grew up with Lois and Eunice, they are only mention here and taught and instructed Timothy.

2 Timothy 1:5  I am reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also.

What about Phoebe, a deaconess

Romans 16:1-2 Now I commend to you our sister Phoebe, a deaconess in the church at Cenchrea.  (2)  Welcome her in the Lord as is appropriate for saints, and provide her with anything she may need from you, for she has assisted many people, including me.

Of most of them we know nothing, save that he places women in the Paul writings to all remember forever.  Deacon, same word for men and women

Romans 16:6 Greet Mary, who has worked very hard for you. 

Romans 16:7 Greet Andronicus and Junia, my fellow Jews who are in prison with me and are prominent among the apostles. They belonged to the Messiah before I did   Husband and wife team

Romans 16:12 Greet Tryphena and Tryphosa, those women who work hard in the Lord. Greet my dear friend Persis, another woman who has worked very hard in the Lord.

Romans 16:13 Greet Rufus, chosen in the Lord, and his mother, who has been a mother to me, too.

1 Corinthians 1:11 My brothers, some members of Chloe’s family have made it clear to me that there are quarrels among you.

Philippians 4:2-3 I urge Euodia and Syntyche to have the same attitude in the Lord.  (3)  Yes, I also ask you, my true partner, to help these women. They have worked hard with me to advance the gospel, along with Clement and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the Book of Life.   {bore fruit through the faithfulness of these women}

And finally

Acts 16:13-15 On the Sabbath day we went out the city gate and walked along the river, where we thought there was a place of prayer. We sat down and began talking to the women who had gathered there.  (14)  A woman named Lydia, from the city of Thyatira, a dealer in purple goods, was listening to us. She was a worshiper of God, and the Lord opened her heart to listen carefully to what was being said by Paul.  (15)  When she and her family were baptized, she urged us, “If you are convinced that I am a believer in the Lord, come and stay at my home.” And she continued to insist that we do so.

Acts 16:40 Leaving the jail, Paul and Silas went to Lydia’s house. They saw the brothers, encouraged them, and then left.

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