Women in the Early Christian Church

     Contemporary emphasis on women's rights and equality has focused attention on the role women should play in today's Christianity.  Some rely on cultural values or theological implications, but some people look for guidance in scripture or historical precedent.  Occasionally, the debate is heated and intense, with unfounded claims dotting the rhetoric.
     Unfortunately, too often people make errant and misleading statements when referring to historical precedent.  Since few are acquainted with the historical record, misunderstanding and misinformation is easily passed off as authentic and accurate conclusions.
     Women in the Early Christian Church is a thorough examination of the extant writings remaining from early Christianity.  The booklet reviews the information that has reasonable claims for authorship during three time periods in the history of the early church: the era when the apostles administered church affairs, the next few generations that succeeded those disciples, and influential Christians from the third and fourth centuries.  The copious quotations from works written during those centuries reveals a robust role for women in the proclamation of gospel and the care of the saints. 
     But what do the remaining records reveal about women's ordination?  Were they ever set apart to priestly roles?   Did they baptize, ordain and serve the Eucharist as men did?  The early Christians were not silent on this issue.  They left sufficient information for researchers to form conclusions about whether women served the apostolic church as priests.
38 pages divided into 7 chapters

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