A professional artist friend of mine on Facebook wanted to know why there was no writing by women in the Bible. He is a Catholic who is sincerely, though angrily, searching for answers. I gave him some info about Deborah and Hannah’s songs that were recorded in the Bible. He was happy to hear about that and asked for more. Here is my response:
Let’s start with proverbs. Not only is ‘Wisdom’ personified as a woman, but a woman gave the advice in proverb 31 to her son who was a king.
Then there are two books with names of two women. They are Esther and Ruth. If you read the stories you realize that the subjects clearly are Esther and Ruth. They may not have written the stories but someone wrote THEIR stories. One was a queen of great influence because of her relationship to God and the other was of the lineage of the Messiah.
Phoebe didn’t write Paul’s letter but she was mentioned in it as a deacon, as well as Priscilla who joined Paul in evangelizing. Junia is mentioned in Paul’s letters that were written not by Paul but by Luke. Luke observed what was going on and penned that Junia was working alongside of Paul. Some say Junia may have been an apostle because/but the wording is tricky.
Mary Magdeline was the first person that Jesus spoke to before he rose from the grave. It was not Peter or the rest of the apostles – it was Mary. Her personal story is recorded by the gospel writers. And then Mary of Bethany’s ‘prophetic act’ is shared as Jesus commends her for preparing for his burial.
Miriam was a prophetess alongside of Moses. She led a group of women in singing, dancing and playing instruments after the red sea was parted. Yep, she was a prophet leader just like Deborah.
Then there are the five daughters of Zelophehad. Their names are Mahlah, Noa, Hoglah, Milcah, and Tirzah. They petitioned God through Moses for an inheritance that typically went to the first born male. Since there were no men in the family then God gave it to these women.
The four daughters of Phillip prophesied in the New Testament.
Anna was New Testament intercessor/prophetess who was one of the first to recognize the Messiah.
Mary, the mother of Jesus, wrote a song - so that makes three song writers: Hannah, Mary, and Deborah.
Lydia is included as someone who financially supported Jesus. Can you believe a successful business woman did that?
The three Marys were at the foot of the cross as Jesus died. All but one of the Apostles abandoned him.
Rebecca was given the prophecy of Jacob’s (later named Israel) destiny before her husband Isaac knew.
Sarah was mentioned in the hall of famous faith people and she directly spoke to God and was re-named by Him as My Princess.
Christ calls his followers the ‘Bride of Christ’ which is feminine. Does that make Christ a feminist?
It is debatable if the Holy Spirit is feminine. Some say yes and some say no and some say the name is neuter, but as Genesis says: God made both male and female in his image. That means that both are like him.