Assemblies of God SearchSite GuideStoreContact Us

Enrichment Journal - Enriching and Equipping Spirit-filled Ministers

Main image Goes Here
  • Back
  • Table of Contents for this issue.

 

The Place of Women in the Graeco-Roman World

By Svetlana Renee Papazov

By 200 B.C., the Graeco-Roman world was standing on the threshold of a new kind of society. Communication, distribution of resources, and organization of large-scale societal interaction had vastly improved. That time period was the dividing line — the foot-in-two-worlds — between the old order of things and the progressive reforms experienced by this civilization. During the era of the Roman Republic a new pattern of women’s civic affairs, with promise for the future, began to develop.1 Meanwhile, the reign of one woman — the famous Cleopatra — characterized the Hellenistic period from 323 to 30 B.C.2 A transition from the oppression of antiquity to the relatively open societies of the new Europe began to occur. Yet, that transition was neither easy, nor complete. In one sense, it gave the perception that the “modernized” world already represented the new epoch; in another, it still belonged to the dying world of the first empires.

A far more definitive signal of those new perceptions came at the end of the millennium with the appearance of a new teacher in the obscure town of Nazareth in the Roman province of Syria. While still a young rabbi, He gathered unlikely followers, who bypassed the usual sex-role definitions. Something very remarkable was beginning to happen. For the first hundred years of the new era, women everywhere were leaving old constraints, stepping into the public sphere, and participating in the creation of a new society. The extent of the persecution of these women by Roman authorities was a measure of the extent to which the old world feared the new roles for women. The rate at which women joined the new Christian movement was a measure of the readiness of women for the new life.3

The lives that women of various societal levels led in the Graeco-Roman world were so diverse and under-recorded, it would be presumptuous of anyone to attempt to reconstruct a complete and accurate picture of the changes taking place. As Averil Cameron assesses, neither Hellenistic queens nor Egyptian papyri will necessarily tell it all about the women of the cities of Asia Minor, especially when one city differs so widely from another.4 Nor, will one do justice to the facts, if one takes historical data and interprets it through the lenses of a contemporary observer.5 For example, the apparently freer pattern of upper-class marriage in late Republican Rome, cited as a sign of the rising status of women, may have an explanation more practical than that of female emancipation.6 Thus at best, one can hope to achieve a general overview of the place of women in the different regions of the Graeco-Roman world, all the way being cautious to acknowledge the obscurity of data, and the colored perception with which a contemporary explorer would approach women’s history.

Man and woman, both created in the image of God,7 had reflected through the ages the intrinsic characteristics, defining the self, and differentiating the other. Lellia Ruggini is right in her observation that the phenomenon of human otherness was undoubtedly manifested even in antiquity in an immense variety of situations, such as the way society regarded and treated women.8 Observing the otherness in women, Aristotle theorized that women were naturally inferior. Most of his views on the moral and social disabilities of women and their place in society are contained in the twin treatises, the Nicomachean Ethics and the Politics. In his works, Aristotle talked about friendship as a bond keeping social communities together. According to the philosopher, the friendship of husband and wife is comparable with that to ruler and ruled, like the just king, looks to the welfare of his subject.9

Aristotle also pointed out that there are different tasks in a household for men and women — the former acquire, the latter administer. For that, the woman should be responsible for all work indoors, and the man would take charge of the outdoor activities. A later author, the Stoic Hierocles, gave specific identification of the division of labor — the man should take care of the fields, the market, and the urban affairs, while the woman will process the wool, bake bread, and look after the house.10 J.K. Campbell comments that apart from a mere gender-specific division of labor, society regarded the confinement of a woman inside the house as a social and ethical ideal. “In general, it befitted a woman to stay indoors because this way of life was more ‘beautiful’ than any other.”11

Another philosopher, Philo, invented the dichotomy that both physiologically and symbolically equated the category of the masculine with reason and that of the feminine with the sensuous. Thus, he justified philosophically men’s domination of women. “This very identification,” says Ruggini, “of the feminine with physical and moral frailty caused women to be assimilated to social groups that were considered inferior politically, economically, and culturally.”12

In the Greek society, men were the heads of the families. Society expected women to marry when they became of age. Their fathers and prospective husbands arranged this marriage. Women were simply passed from the house of one kyrios (master) to the house of another. Fathers gave their daughters their dowry when they married. If their fathers were dead, their brothers made a provision for it. When women became divorced, or when their husbands died and they had no children, these women returned to their former families, and took their dowries with them.

The ease with which a Grecian husband could terminate the marriage is quite disturbing to a contemporary student of history. The only thing the husband needed to do was to send his wife away to her paternal family and the marriage ended.13 Society did not allow women to conduct legal or economic transactions without a male guardian. In Athenian law women could not own property. Women did not generally inherit anything in the presence of equally close males.14

During their marriage, women in the Graeco-Roman world were supposed to occupy themselves with weaving within the house confines. The seclusion of women was common among Athenians as well. This lifestyle was probably promoted by the cultures of the most active trading peoples, whose influence was strong in the developed world. Greeks and Hebrews were those well-known merchants in the Mediterranean and Europe from 200 B.C. on. What made fashionable that practice was the fact wealthy Jewish traders had homes in each of the major cities of the known world, and to them, secluded wives were a display of social status. It was a matter of pride for Greek and Jewish merchants to have their wives as conspicuously and expensively secluded as possible.15

A respectable woman was not allowed to leave the house unless a trustworthy male escort accompanied her. A wife was not permitted to eat or interact with male guests in her husband’s home; she had to retire to her woman’s quarters. Men kept their wives under lock and key, and women had the social status of a slave. Girls were not allowed to go to school, and when they grew up they were not allowed to speak in public. Women were considered inferior to men. The Greek poets equated women with evil, such as they did with Pandora. In men’s view, woman was responsible for unleashing evil on the world.16

Since a Grecian woman’s sphere of life was her family, her active life did not really begin until her marriage. In the Classical period, women had been able to look forward to only two journeys: the first, from their father’s house to their husbands, the next from their husband’s house to the grave. Fortunately, with the entering of the Hellenistic period, things began to change for women.17 Families migrated to the new cosmopolitan cities, and although some restrictive conventions of the old city-states were retained, others were altered or completely discarded in response to the new dynamics of societal and individual needs.18

Nonetheless, the mindset of many was still firmly anchored in paternalism. This paternalism, so inherent to the Athenian male society, was based on the presumption that men were more intelligent than women. David Schaps concludes, “Each sex was considered to have a proper role for which it was fitted, and intelligence, beyond such understanding as was necessary to mange the day-to-day affairs of a household, was not thought necessary or desirable for the Greek woman.”19 Yet, the Athenian men recognized that women were people, and they were interested in women’s well-being. But men would not entrust to a woman the power to guarantee that welfare. In the majority of cases, the head of the family chose the husband for the bride. Thus her family, not her, made the most important decisions of a Grecian woman’s life.

The status of Roman women was also very low. Roman law placed a wife under the absolute control of her husband, who had ownership of her and her possessions. He could divorce her if she went out in public without a veil. A husband had the power of life and death over his wife, just as he did his children. As with the Greeks, the Romans did not allow women to speak in public.20

But things in Rome began to change around 200 B.C. Nobody blamed the Romans any longer for the seclusion of women, since they already looked on their women as “emancipated.” Among the Romans, there were those who blamed the” barbarians” for the female house confinement. Roman women had brought their sisters in from the countryside in great masses to demonstrate against the Oppian Law — a law restricting ladies of the upper classes the display of luxury in dress and carriages.21 There were lengthy debates in the tribunes. They repealed the law.

In that freer political arena, Roman women increasingly moved about in public, and increasingly participated in their husbands’ careers. In addition, they conducted large-scale trading enterprises, and had considerable freedom to marry, divorce, remarry, and conduct their own affairs as they chose. Understandably, men were getting progressively uncomfortable with the freedom and power women were acquiring. Still, the household was the real power base for Roman women. Women’s most important purpose in life was procreation.22 Marital fertility was of great importance in the Roman world, and they closely related legitimate marriage with procreation.23 The Roman matron not only managed her home, her estate, her business affairs, but she also bore and educated children, training them in the international politics of the time.

Roman morals were much stricter for women, than for men. The Romans punished riotous banqueting by stringently enforced adultery laws. Some upper-class women, desiring to live such lifestyles, registered as prostitutes to protect themselves from consequences, since extramarital sex was legal for prostitutes. This is an example of women’s readiness to do anything, even use laws of prostitution, to gain extra freedom. On the whole, Roman women were well educated. The poor ones went to school; the richer were tutored at home. The double maternal and tutorial responsibilities of mothers, especially those in the middle and upper classes, set a standard of education for women that led to the tradition of scholarship among Christian women in the succeeding centuries.24

Looking at the place of women in late antiquity, we cannot forego a large sector of them who were involved in agriculture. In general, in the Graeco-Roman world, agriculture was a man’s domain, while women were confined to domestic chores. The common held belief was that the gods had made one gender — the women — fit only for a seated way of life, but too weak for activities out of doors, while the other gender — the men — were less suited for domestic work, but were strong enough for labor that required motion. That presumption applied primarily to women from the upper class society.25 Only Greek and Roman men of some social and economic standing would have been able to keep their wives and daughters totally withdrawn from physical labor and the world of men. Peter Garnsey asserts that in reality, two basic preconditions governed the lives of most people in antiquity: the level of poverty and the place of labor occupation. The mass of the population lived at or near subsistence level. The majority of people lived in rural areas. Peasant society greatly outnumbered the rich, and a large part of the labor force had to be employed in agriculture. 26

Yet, men laborers were not sufficient to deal with the needs of the family and the land, which meant that the majority of women in the Graeco-Roman world had to work in the fields out of necessity. Since the economic role of women profoundly affected their status and what might be called their personal freedom — women bore a large part of the outdoor work in more egalitarian communities based on hoe cultivation, but tended to be more secluded in the home, and largely occupied in the domestic sphere in male-dominated plough farming.27 The extent to which Greek and Roman women were involved in field work, and other outdoor tasks, contributed to the degree of visibility, or invisibility that was dictated by the physical location of their daily chores. That could had likely been a factor in shaping both their position with their own family, and their relations with, and access to the outer world.28

We can assume that an absolute majority of women in that epoch either belonged to households that lived by agriculture and had, at least at times, to rely on the labor of all its members, or were compelled as slaves or dependents to fulfill whatever tasks they were assigned.29 The extent to which women participated in farming labor depended on the size of an agricultural holding, and on the strength of the available labor force. Thus, small family units required greater efforts of their female members than larger estates. The generalizing observation by Aristotle that he made in his Politics, “the poor have to use their wives and children as servants since they cannot afford to keep slaves” could certainly be applied to the rural population as well.30

The social status of Jewish women in Palestine during the Graeco-Roman period had an image of its own. This status was not only shaped by the prevalent culture of the ruling empire, but also was strongly influenced by religious norms and expectations. Judaism, and later Christianity, had put their formative stamps on the identities of the Jewish women. As in the pagan cultures, the family was of utmost importance for the Hebrew woman. According to rabbinic sources, they regarded age 12 as the suitable age for Jewish girls to be given in marriage. In the rabbinic ideal, women are not to be found in the marketplace, where the risk to their chastity was considered enormous. Polygamy was present in the Jewish society, but was more likely to be an upper-class phenomenon. Wealthy men without heirs could afford to take other wives, while keeping the first. Poorer men were more likely to divorce under similar circumstances. Jewish women, when widowed, would frequently remarry.31

Concerning women’s education and study of Torah, girls learned to read and write only if someone at home taught them. Women were especially likely to know the rules for keeping a kosher household, particularly in Pharisaic and tannaitic families. The oral law prohibited women from reading the Torah out loud. Synagogue worship was segregated, and they did not allow women to speak. Jewish women were barred from public speaking.

Tal Ilan, who wrote her doctoral dissertation on Jewish Women in Graeco-Roman Palestine, believes that if women studied Scripture it was probably confined to Genesis. She asserts that women were involved in the performance of commandments connected to the Temple service.32 Although rarely, there were incidents in Judaism where women served as leaders in the ancient synagogue, and some were even well educated.33 Judaism and Christianity were both thriving religious movements in the Graeco-Roman period, and the evidence for female conversions suggests that women found both religions attractive.

Nevertheless, Jewish women were looked upon as inferior. Judaism found some substantiation of that presumption by looking at the bodily marker of circumcision. Men were set apart as Jewish by circumcision, but there was not a comparable bodily identification for Jewish women. For the rabbis, who considered the “natural” inferiority of women self-evident, the lack of bodily sign was not problematic. Even later in Christianity, some considered that since femaleness was inescapable, the female salvation would always be somehow lesser than that of males.34

As the developed world was undergoing social, political, and economic revisions on its journey to the new era, unbeknownst, mankind was moving toward the “fullness of time” of Christ’s coming. That single man’s effect on the arena of the Graeco-Roman world of first century would make such a profound impact on history that the collective rulers of influential Greece and powerful Rome could not begin to duplicate it. Life as it had been known thus far, was no longer. There was a well of abundant life, a spring of living waters that this Son of Man brought to men and women alike, causing the reassessment and profound alteration of all philosophical systems, and all theological beliefs. The validity of the “natural” inferiority of women, and their subordinate place in society was duly challenged and exposed as false. This new kyrios was becoming the head of all who wanted to experience life to the fullest, and in Him there were no longer male or female priority status.35

Jesus valued women and treated them with respect and dignity. The New Testament’s position on women developed that perspective, and passed it along to the following centuries. We do not find the value of women that permeated the teachings of the New Testament in the Greco-Roman culture, or the cultures of other societies. The extremely low status that the Greek, Roman, and Jewish women had for centuries was radically affected by the appearance of Jesus Christ. His actions and teachings raised the status of women to new heights, often to the dismay and sharp disapproval of His friends and enemies. By word and deed, He went against the ancient, taken-for-granted beliefs and practices that defined women as socially, intellectually, and spiritually inferior.

With this new teaching, revolutionary trends began to appear. Throughout the empire there was developing a new conception of the rights of married women. Gradually they had passed out from the restrictions of the old in manu marriage and were permitted to study, if not to practice, learned professions, to control their own property, and in many other ways to break from the restraints set by the old views of the necessary wife’s subjection.36 The emancipation of women advanced steadily.

The humane and respectful way Jesus showed toward the Samaritan woman at the well in John 4, was in effect a radical proclamation of equality in sexes. His disciples were stunned at such treatment. Jesus ignored the Jewish anti-Samaritan prejudices along with the prevailing view that saw women as inferior beings. He started a conversation with a Samaritan woman in public. He went at least against three restrictive rules for communication — Samaritan, woman, and public. The rabbinic oral law was quite explicit: “He who talks with a woman in public brings evil upon himself.” Another rabbinic teaching prominent in Jesus’ day taught, “One is not so much as to greet a woman.”37 No wonder the Messiah’s disciples were amazed to find Him talking to a woman, Samaritan at that, in public.

Yet, that was not the only example of Jesus’ revolutionary attitude toward women. Among His closest friends were Mary, Martha, and Lazarus, who entertained Him at their home. Martha assumed the traditional female role of preparing a meal for Jesus, her guest, while her sister Mary did what only men would do — learn from Jesus’ teachings.38 By accepting Mary in the men’s circle of disciples, and even commending her for her thirst of spiritual knowledge, Jesus violated the rabbinic law that said, “Let the words of the Law [Torah] be burned rather than taught to women. … If a man teaches his daughter the law, it is as though he taught her lechery.”

When Lazarus died, Jesus comforted Martha with this promise containing the heart of the Christian gospel: “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die.” Then He asked her, “Do you believe this?”39 Schmidt says, “To teach a woman was bad enough, but Jesus did more than that. He called for a verbal response from Martha. Once more, He went against the socio-religious custom by teaching a woman, and by having her publicly respond to Him — a man.”40

All three of the Synoptic Gospels note that women followed Jesus — a highly unusual phenomenon in first-century Palestine. In the prevailing culture only prostitutes and women of very low repute would follow a man without a male escort. Yet, these women were genuine followers of Christ, and some even provided financial support for Him and the apostles.41 Shockingly, the first people Jesus chose to appear to after His resurrection were women. He instructed them to tell His disciples that He was alive.42 In a culture where a woman’s testimony was worthless because she was inferior and untrustworthy, Jesus elevated the value of women beyond anything the world had seen. The Living Word — the Creator of humankind — gave women the status and respect they were always intended to have — a status equal to men. Author Dorothy Sayers, a friend of C.S. Lewis, wrote: “Perhaps it is no wonder that the women were first at the Cradle and last at the Cross. They had never known a man like this Man — there had never been such another. A prophet and teacher who never nagged at them, who never flattered or coaxed or patronized; who never made arch jokes about them, never treated them either as ‘The women, God help us!’ or ‘The ladies, God bless them!’; who rebuked without querulousness and praised without condescension; who took their questions and arguments seriously, who never mapped out their sphere for them, never urged them to be feminine or jeered at them for being female; who had no ax to grind and no uneasy male dignity to defend; who took them as He found them and was completely unselfconscious.”

She continues: “There is no act, no sermon, no parable in the whole Gospel that borrows its pungency from female perversity; nobody could possibly guess from the words of Jesus that there was anything ‘funny’ about woman’s nature.”43 Not only did Jesus break with the anti-female culture of His era, but He also set a standard for Christ-followers. Peter and Paul both rose to the challenge in what they wrote in the New Testament.

People often accuse the apostle Paul of being a misogynist, one who hates and fears women. Yet, if one looks at the church as fraternity within the Roman Empire, one would appreciate the teaching of Paul on the details of social life. His teaching in each department of social communication was affected both by practical considerations, resulting from the actual environment in which the Christian life was to be lived, and also by the regulative conceptions of his eschatology. Thus, Paul’s teachings on women reflect the creation order, and high value God places on women as creatures made in His image. Paul’s commands for husbands and wives in Ephesians 5 provided a completely new way to look at marriage: as an earthbound illustration of the spiritual mystery of the union of Christ and His bride — the church. Paul called wives to not only submit to their husbands as to the Lord, but he called husbands to submit to Christ.44 He called men to love their wives in the self-sacrificing way Christ loved the church. In a culture where a wife was property, and a disrespected piece of property at that, Paul elevated women to a position of honor previously unknown in the world.

Paul also provided highly counter-cultural direction for the New Testament church.45 In the Jewish synagogue, women had no place, and no voice in worship. In the pagan temples, women served as prostitutes. The Christian church, on the other hand, was a place for women to pray and prophecy out loud.46 God gave spiritual gifts — supernatural enablings to build God’s church — to women as well as men. Paul commanded older women to teach younger ones. The invitation to women to participate in public worship of Jesus was unthinkable — but true. There was a great diversity of ministries available to Early Church women to perform.47

Paul’s “patronesses” are famous: Priscilla, Lydia, Phoebe, Mary, and others.48 These women seem to be people of some position — “chief women;” “honorable women;” having households, which they are able to influence; conducting church meetings in their own homes.49 E.A. Judge describes these and others of Paul’s female “sponsors” as a “cultivated social elite,” through whom the apostle was able to reach their social dependents by a sort of clientele system.50 Wayne Meeks relates the well-known prominence of women in Acts to a rising status of women, and the questioning that had began of male and female roles.51 Paul’s female converts demonstrated a freer participation of women, not only in the religious life of the community, but in the economic life of the Graeco-Roman society as well. Their story amounts to a functional equality in leadership roles that would have been unusual, and strongly rejected in that society prior to Christ.

Unfortunately, as the Christian movement grew larger, it also grew more conservative. Over the centuries, many Christ-followers have fallen far short of the standard Jesus set in showing the worth and dignity of women. There were no models for this new kind of participation of women. Might women squeeze men out of their traditional authority roles? The next four centuries of the new era would slowly spiral down toward the earlier, domestic role model for women, and women would loose their initial equal status in the new Christian communities. The overarching cultural lesson is that of a history in which real women lived out their lives in social systems, where their roles were largely circumscribed, as symbols of family, honor and social acceptability. In their time, the women of the Early Church were sacrificial victims to a rivalry over honor and true belief.

The question that the postmodern society of the 21st century faces is how far has it moved from the first-century model of Christ’s example? Being more advanced in technology, is the society better equipped to fix the broken partnership in marital relations? Being more advanced in medicine, is it better equipped to bind the wounds of inequality in hurting women? Being more advanced in social relations, is this postmodern world better equipped to extend a hand of friendship and true appreciation to the “weaker gender”? Being theologically versed in all church doctrines, is the contemporary Christian ready to live by the teachings of Galatians 3:28? This new millennium society will do well to remember the Genesis account of Creation — “God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female he created them.”52 If people can only grasp that inequality of sexes tears directly at the heart of God, for both man and woman equally represent the divine image to His creation. Nothing short of mutual partnership and genuine appreciation of the otherness can aid both man and woman in their quest for completeness of self.

Svetlana Renee Papazov, D.Min. candidate, and spiritual formation pastor, Fellowship of Joy Church, Grand Prairie, Texas.

Notes

1. Elise Boulding, The Underside of History: A View of Women Through Time (Boulder: Westview Press, 1976), 340.

2. Elaine Fantham and others, Women in the Classical World (New York: Oxford University Press, 1994), 136.

3. Boulding, 340.

4. Averil Cameron, “Neither Male Nor Female,” Journal of Greece & Rome 27, no.1 (April 1980): 61.

5. Robert Wetzel, Essays on New Testament Christianity (Cincinnati: Standard Publishing, 1978), 52.

6. Ibid., 61.

7. Genesis 1:27.

8. Lellia Cracco Ruggini, “Equal, and Less Equal in the Roman World,” Journal of Classical Philology 82, no.3 (July 1987): 188.

9. Alan Cumming, “Pauline Christianity and Greek Philosophy: A Study of the Status of Women,” Journal of the History of Ideas 34, no.4 (October – December 1973): 523,524.

10. Walter Scheidel, “The Most Silent Women of Greece and Rome: Rural Labor and Women’s Life in the Ancient World (I),” Journal of Greece & Rome 42, no.2 (October 1995): 204.

11. John K. Campbell, Honor, Family and Patronage: A Study of Institutions and Moral Values in a Greek Mountain Community (Cary: Oxford University Press, 1974), 289.

12. Ruggini, 188.

13. Louis Cohn–Haft, “Divorce in Classical Athens,” The Journal of Hellenic Studies 115, (1995): 1.

14. David M. Schaps, Economic Rights of Women in Ancient Greece (Edinburgh: University Press, 1979), 89.

15. Boulding, 345.

16. Alvin Schmidt, Under the Influence: How Christianity Transformed Civilization (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2001), 98,99.

17. Diana R. Garland, Family Ministry. A Comprehensive Guide (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 1999), 191.

18. Fantham, 140.

19. Schaps, 92.

20. Sue Bohlin, “Christianity: The Best Thing That Ever Happened to Women,” at (accessed 5/27/2010).

21. Ruggini, 189.

22. Sarah B. Pomeroy, Women’s History and Ancient History (Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 1991), 176.

23. Bruce W. Frier, “Natural Fertility and Family Limitation in Roman Marriage,” Journal of Classical Philology 89, no. 4 (October 1994): 318.

24. Boulding, 349,350.

25. Jack Goody, Production and Reproduction. A Comparative Study of the Domestic Domain (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1976), 35.

26. Peter Garnsey, The Roman Empire, Economy, Society, and Culture (Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1987), 43.

27. Lester C. Thurow, “Women’s Role in Economic Development,” Journal of Economic Literature10, no. 2 (June 1972): 27,31.

28. Scheidel, 203.

29. Carol R. Ember, “The Relative Decline in Women’s Contribution to Agriculture With Intensification,” Journal of American Anthropologist 85, no. 2 (June 1983): 285.

30. Ibid., 207.

31. Ross Kraemer, “Jewish Women in Graeco-Roman Palestine: An Inquiry into Image and Status,” Journal of the American Oriental Society 118, no. 4 (October 1998): 570.

32. Tal Ilan, “Jewish Women in Graeco-Roman Palestine. An Inquiry into Image and Status” (Ph.D. diss., Hebrew University of Tübingen, 1995), 204.

33. Bernadette J. Brooten, “Christians among Jews and Gentiles: Essays in Honor of Krister Stendhal on His Sixty-Fifth Birthday,” Journal of The Harvard Theological Review 79, no. 1/3 (January – July 1986): 26.

34. Helen Parkins, “Voluntary Associations in the Graeco-Roman World,” Journal of The Classical Review 50, no.1 (2000): 355.

35. Galatians 3:26–29: “You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.”

36. Shailer Mathews, “The Social Teaching of Paul.VII. The Family,” Journal of the Biblical World 20, no.2 (August 1902): 124.

37. Schmidt, 102.

38. Luke 10:38–42.

39. John 11:25,26.

40. Schmidt, 104.

41. Luke 8:3.

42. Matthew 28; John 20.

43. Dorothy L. Sayers, Are Women Human? (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1971), 47.

44. 1 Corinthians 11:3.

45. Bonnidell and Robert Clouse, Women in Ministry (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 1989), 191.

46. 1 Corinthians 11:5.

47. Lisa Bellan-Boyer, “Conspicuous in Their Absence: Women in Early Christianity,” Journal of Cross Currents 53, no.1 (Spring 2003): 48.

48. Acts 16:14; Romans 16:1–3,6.

49. E. Margaret Howe, Women & Church Leadership (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1982), 30.

50. Timothy H. Lim, “Not in Persuasive Words of Wisdom, but in the Demonstration of the Spirit and Power,” Journal of Novum Testamentum 29, no.2 (April 1987): 140.

51. Wayne Meeks, “The Image of the Androgyne: Some Uses of a Symbol in Earliest Christianity,” Journal of History of Religions 13, no.3 (February 1974): 165.

52. Genesis 1:27.

Works Cited

Bellan-Boyer, Lisa. “Conspicuous in Their Absence: Women in Early Christianity.” Journal of Cross Currents 53, no.1 (Spring 2003): 48–63.

Bohlin Sue, “Christianity: The Best Thing That Ever Happened to Women,” at (accessed 5/27/2010).

Boulding, Elise. The Underside of History: A View of Women through Time. Boulder: Westview Press, 1976.

Brooten, Bernadette J. “Christians among Jews and Gentiles: Essays in Honor of Krister Stendhal on His Sixty–Fifth Birthday.” Journal of the Harvard Theological Review 79, no. 1/3 (January–July 1986): 22–30.

Cameron, Averil. “Neither Male Nor Female.” Journal of Greece & Rome 27, no.1 (April 1980): 60–68.

Campbell, John K. Honor, Family and Patronage: A Study of Institutions and Moral Values in a Greek Mountain Community. Cary: Oxford University Press, 1974. Clouse, Bonnidell, and Robert. Women in Ministry. Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 1989.

Cohn–Haft, Louis. “Divorce in Classical Athens.” The Journal of Hellenic Studies 115, (1995): 1–14.

Cumming, Alan. “Pauline Christianity and Greek Philosophy: A Study of the Status of Women.” Journal of the History of Ideas 34, no.4 (October–December 1973): 517–528.

Ember, Carol R. “The Relative Decline in Women’s Contribution to Agriculture With Intensification.” Journal of American Anthropologist 85, no. 2 (June 1983): 285–304.

Fantham, Elaine, H.P. Foley, N.B. Kampen, S.B. Pomeroy, H.A. Shapiro. Women in The Classical World. New York: Oxford University Press, 1994.

Frier, Bruce W. “Natural Fertility and Family Limitation in Roman Marriage.” Journal of Classical Philology 89, no. 4 (October 1994): 318–333.

Garland, Diana R. Family Ministry. A Comprehensive Guide. Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 1999.

Garnsey, Peter. The Roman Empire, Economy, Society, and Culture. Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1987.

Goody, Jack. Production and Reproduction. A Comparative Study of the Domestic Domain. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1976.

Howe, E. Margaret.Women & Church Leadership. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1982.

Ilan, Tal.“Jewish Women in Graeco-Roman Palestine. An Inquiry into Image and Status.” Ph.D. diss., Hebrew University of Tübingen, 1995.

Kraemer, Ross. “Jewish Women in Graeco-Roman Palestine: An Inquiry into Image and Status.” Journal of the American Oriental Society 118, no.4 (October 1998): 570–573.

Lim, Timothy H. “Not in Persuasive Words of Wisdom, but in the Demonstration of the Spirit and Power.” Journal of Novum Testamentum 29, no.2 (April 1987): 137–149.

Mathews, Shailer. “The Social Teaching of Paul.VII. The Family.” Journal of the Biblical World 20, no.2 (August 1902): 123–133.

Meeks, Wayne. “The Image of the Androgyne: Some Uses of a Symbol in Earliest Christianity.” Journal of History of Religions 13, no.2 (February 1974): 165–208.

Parkins, Helen. “Voluntary Associations in the Graeco-Roman World.” Journal of The Classical Review 50, no.1 (2000): 355–356.

Pomeroy, Sarah B. Women’s History and Ancient History. Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 1991.

Ruggini, Lellia Cracco. “Equal, and Less Equal in the Roman World.” Journal of Classical Philology 82, no.3 (July 1987): 187–205.

Sayers, Dorothy L. Are Women Human? Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1971.

Schaps, David M. Economic Rights of Women in Ancient Greece. Edinburgh: University Press, 1979.

Scheidel, Walter. “The Most Silent Women of Greece and Rome: Rural Labor and Women’s Life in the Ancient World (I).” Journal of Greece & Rome 42, no.2 (October 1995): 202–217.

Schmidt, Alvin. Under the Influence: How Christianity Transformed Civilization. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2001.

Thurow, Lester C. “Women’s Role in Economic Development.” Journal of Economic Literature10, no. 2 (June 1972): 463,464.

Wetzel, Robert. Essays on New Testament Christianity. Cincinnati: Standard Publishing, 1978.

Enrichment
International Editions

Bengali
Albanian
Bengali
Bengali
Croatian
Croatian
Czech
Czech
French
French
German
German
Hindi
Hindi
Hungarian
Hungarian
Malayalam
Malayalam
Hindi
Portuguese
Romanian
Romanian
Russian
Russian
Spanish
Spanish
Tamil
Tamil
Ukranian
Ukrainian
Donate to this project.

Order Paraclete CD

All 29 years of the out-of-print Paraclete magazine. Excellent source of Pentecostal themes and issues, theological articles on the work and ministry of the Holy Spirit, and sermon and Bible study material. Fully searchable subject/author index.

Good News Filing System

Order Advance CD

Long out of print but fondly remembered, Advance magazine blessed thousands of A/G ministers. Now the entire Advance archives — 30 years of information and inspiration, helps, and history — is available on CD.

Visit our Spanish web site
Women in Ministry
Tools of the Trade
Women in Ministry
Enrichment on CD
AGTV