As I was reading through Acts, I came upon these verses: “As for Saul, he made havoc of the church, entering into every house, and hauling men and women committed them to prison. Therefore they that were scattered abroad went every where preaching the word.” (Acts 8:3,4) I then wondered if women were preaching the word.
This is what Barnes’ Notes on the Bible Commentary had to say about verse 4:
Preaching the word – Greek: “evangelizing,” or announcing the good news of the message of mercy, or the Word of God. This is not the usual word which is rendered “preach,” but it means simply announcing the good news of salvation. There is no evidence, nor is there any probability, that all these persons were “ordained” to preach. They were manifestly common Christians who were scattered by the persecution; and the meaning is, that they communicated to their fellow-men in conversation wherever they met them, and probably in the synagogues, where all Jews had a right to speak, the glad tidings that the Messiah had come. It is not said that they set themselves up for public teachers, or that they administered baptism, or that they founded churches, but they proclaimed everywhere the news that a Saviour had come. Their hearts were full of it. Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks; and they made the truth known to “all” whom they met. We may learn from this:
(1) That persecution tends to promote the very thing which it would destroy.
(2) That one of the best means to make Christians active and zealous is to persecute them.
(3) That it is right for all Christians to make known the truths of the gospel. When the heart is full the lips will speak, and there is no more impropriety in their speaking of redemption than of anything else.
(4) It should be the great object of all Christians to make the Saviour known “everywhere.” By their lives, their conversation, and their pious exhortations and entreaties, they should beseech dying sinners to be reconciled to God. And especially should this be done when they “are traveling.” Christians when away from home seem almost to imagine that they lay aside the obligations of religion. But the example of Christ and his early disciples has taught us that this is the very time to attempt to do good.
We are to share the Gospel, women. God wants us to be salt and light for Him, and He also wants us to point others to Him. But, the only ones ordained to preach are men, and God gives specific qualifications for men who are to be the elders in the churches. There are NO women in the Bible who preached. Yes, they shared the Good News of the Gospel with others, as are we all are to do, but in order to preach, one must be a qualified man to do so as prescribed by God.
Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.
1 Timothy 2:11,12