Women were there. For centuries, discussions of early Christianity have focused on male leaders in the church. But there is ample evidence right in the New Testament that women were actively involved in ministry, at the frontier of the gospel mission, and as respected leaders.
Nijay Gupta calls us to bring these women out of the shadows by shining light on their many inspiring contributions to the planting, growth, and health of the first Christian churches. He sets the context by exploring the lives of first-century women and addressing common misconceptions, then focuses on the women leaders of the early churches as revealed in Paul's writings. We discover the major roles of people such as:
- Phoebe, Paul's trusted coworker
- Prisca, strategic leader and expert teacher
- Junia, courageous apostle
- Nympha, representative of countless lesser-known figures
When we understand the world in which Jesus and his followers lived and what the New Testament actually attests about women in the churches, it becomes clear that women were active participants and trusted leaders all along. They were welcomed by Paul and other apostles, were equipped and trained for ministry leadership, instructed others, traveled long distances, were imprisoned--and once in a while became heroes and giants.
The New Testament writers tell their stories. It's time for the church to retell them, again and again.
About the Author
Nijay K. Gupta (PhD, University of Durham) is professor of New Testament at Northern Seminary. He has written several books, including A Beginner's Guide to New Testament Studies, Paul and the Language of Faith, and academic commentaries on Galatians, Philippians, Colossians, and 1-2 Thessalonians. He is coeditor of the second edition of IVP Academic's Dictionary of Paul and His Letters and serves as a senior translator for the New Living Translation. He blogs at cruxsolablog.com.