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  • Writer's pictureElaine Kelly

Should Women Preach and Teach? Argula Von Grumbach

Updated: May 16, 2022

Argula von Stauff von Grumbach 1492 – 1557 found it impossible to silent when she read the Bible telling her she was required to speak.

"Everyone who acknowledges me before people, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven. But everyone who denies me before people, I also will deny before my Father who is in Heaven." Matthew 10: 32-33

"When God made flesh comes into his glory, he will be ashamed of whoever is ashamed of me and my words." Luke 9:26

When men argued that she should not preach and teach, she argued with more Scripture, saying that St Paul wrote that every believer is a temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19). She expanded the theme in a poem:

God's spirit is within you, read,

Is woman shut out, there, indeed?

While you oppress God's word,

Consign souls to the devil's game

I cannot and I will not cease

To speak at home and on the street.

It is estimated 30,000 copies of von Grumbach's pamphlets circulated, read aloud to the illiterate audiences of the day.

It seems that when it is convenient, "every believer" refers to "men and women", and when it is inconvenient, "every believer" or "you" refers to men alone.

My upcoming novel, Forgotten Followers: from Broken to Bold, tells the stories of two women eyewitnesses of Jesus who become disciples, patrons, and apostles. It shines the light on every woman who interacted with Jesus in the Gospels, many of whom have been maligned, belittled, or forgotten altogether.

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