Women in the Ancient Jewish Synagogue
When we address the matter of women in ministry in the New Testament, the focus tends to be on evidence for women in leadership roles in the church—and for good reason. But if we zoom out, it is helpful to look at roles that women played in other religious institutions of the time, especially the Jewish synagogues. Most scholars agree that the nature and structure of the Jewish synagogue influenced the formation of the earliest churches (see Wayne Meeks, The First Urban Christians).
Therefore, I have found it advantageous to examine the roles and titles attributed to Jewish women in the synagogue. This doesn’t directly “prove” anything related to Christian churches, but offers a more complete picture of what women could and did do in the ancient world.
For a short, but somewhat technical essay, read THIS.
Mother of the Synagogue, Elder…
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