- The women, on the other hand, were either independent people, without husbands or dependent relatives, or, if they left families, probably left male family members well able to support the family economically.
There have been, throughout history, many wealthy women who have supported and protected male leaders. These leaders would not have been able to support themselves otherwise. Some of the great women patrons and protectors throughout history have been Margaret of Valois, Anne Boleyn, Countess Huntingdon, and of course, Queen Elizabeth I, about whom we read,
- In a letter to William Cecil in 1559, John Calvin (1509-64) reasoned that female rule was acceptable in countries where it had been established by law or custom and, furthermore, asserted that in exceptional circumstances God deliberately chose to channel His authority through women rulers, witness the Judge Deborah and prophetess Huldah in the Hebrew Bible. Susan Dorian
Returning to Bauckham's book on named women of the gospels, the author does make at least one statement which puts him squarely in support of leadership roles for women. He remarks that there are nine women and twenty-four men named in the gospels and,
- ...the names individuals Paul greets among the Christians of Rome in Romans 16:3-15 comprise nine women and sixteen men. These figures may give us some rough idea of the relative numbers of men and women in the leadership of the early Christian communities. page xxi
Women have been protectors and providers for men since Rahab tucked the spies under the thatch. God asks us all to step outside the conventional gender roles that society assigns us in order to serve him.