Pursuing Partnership: New Light on Timeless Texts – Week 16

Are the Women in 1 Timothy Leaders, Needers, or Both?

Wall Fragment with Two Women; Unknown; A.D. 1–75; Fresco

By Wendy Wilson, Missio Nexus, Mission Advisor for Development of Women

This article is part of the series Pursuing Partnership: Men and Women in Ministry.

Are the Women in 1 Timothy Leaders, Needers, or Both?

A note from Wendy Wilson, MissioNexus, Mission Advisor for Development of Women:

As more women have come into the academic and research aspect of biblical theology, they have also brought different questions than their male counterparts. What happened inside daily family life? How was food cooked and arranged? What happened to single women and widows?  A great majority of first century inscriptions and sources that have previously been overlooked for their insight on culture and even use of language, are coming more into helpful view. As women ask more questions about first century culture related to the social side of life, more discoveries that shed light on context for Scripture have been presented.  Recent discoveries in social history have brought new questions to Paul’s instructions in 1 Tim 5 for example . . . Who were these widows and how did they contribute?

The link to the blog article is below . . .but here is an excerpt from “Are the Women in 1 Timothy Leaders, Needers, or Both?”:

“One of my students, Corinne Samuelson, has spent the summer investigating what’s happening with “widows” in 1 Timothy 5. At first glance, one might think Paul was simply instructing Timothy about how to handle the many hungry older women in the Ephesian church (1:3). But on closer exploration we see a description of what might look like an office. That’s a challenging question. As Corinne notes, “While Timothy would have surely understood Paul’s instructions about widows in the Ephesian Church, 1 Timothy 5:3–16 leaves today’s readers with many questions.”

Read the whole article – Are the Women in 1 Timothy Leaders, Needers, or Both?


Dr. Sandra Glahn is Professor of Media Arts and Worship at Dallas Theological Seminary. She is an author, co-author, or general editor of more than twenty books including Vindicating the Vixens: Revisiting Sexualized, Vilified, and Marginalized Women of the Bible. Learn more about her at her website: aspire2.com.

This article is submitted by Wendy Wilson of Missio Nexus and of Women’s Development Track.  Women’s Development Track is a Missio Nexus member.  Member organizations can provide content to the Missio Nexus website. See how by clicking here.

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