Sunday, June 04, 2006

Your sons and daughters will prophesy

Strange things were happening. Simple people (Galileans) started to speak in all sorts of different languages. We are talking about the birth of the church; Pentecost, the descent of the Holy Spirit. (See Acts 2.)
Then, when there was some confusion and people started to ask themselves what was going on, Peter made a speech. It is remarkable that he cites the Old-Testament prophet Joel on exactly this occasion:
In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams. Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy. (Acts 2:17-18)
The disciples were speaking in public about the wonders of God (vs. 11). (Usually we call that preaching...) And exactly on this massive manifestation of speaking in public on the birthday of the church, Peter cites a text about speaking by men as well as women. The prophesying of women is even mentioned twice in this passage.
How so, women are not allowed to preach?


Suzanne McCarthy said...

Thanks Ruud,

This is a very powerful passage. I would like to write more about women prophets in the Bible, but have decided to put this off until the fall. It is such an interesting topic and deserves thorough treatment.

Anonymous said...

I don't think anyone who has looked at the Bible seriously has tried to claim that women are not allowed to 'preach' (that is, proclaim the gospel to non-believers) or 'prophesy' (that is, speak words they receive from God) in the Biblical senses of those words. If anyone did, I would find it difficult to take that person seriously as a Bible scholar or theologian, becuase this would be opposed to a very simple and straightforward teaching of Scripture. But let's not confuse this with (a) the office of elder, or (b) teaching. These are both separate and much less straightforward issues.