Pilate’s Wife – a gospel woman worth remembering

Rob Dixon asks the right question about one of the shortest conversations in the gospels: Who is Pilate’s wife, and why did she speak up for Jesus?

Challenging Tertullian

2dQNlX3Let’s just say this:

Too many women go unnamed in the Bible.

You know what I mean? While it’s true that some men are not identified (the paralytic in Mark 2:1-12 comes to mind), it seems like more women suffer the indignity of have their name go unrecorded. I’m thinking of women such as the hemorrhaging woman (Mark 5:24-34), the woman caught in adultery (John 8:1-11) and the Caananite woman (Matthew 15:21-28).

To compound the problem, instead of getting named, often women in the Bible get identified according to the men in their life. This makes sense in an overwhelmingly patriarchal culture, but it’s still tragic. So you have Lot’s daughters (Genesis 19:30-38), Peter’s mother-in-law (Matthew 8:14-15), and Philip’s prophetic daughters (Acts 21:9), among others.

You also have Pilate’s wife, from Matthew 27:19.

This past weekend, as I listened…

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3 Responses to Pilate’s Wife – a gospel woman worth remembering

  1. Pastor Bob says:

    “This makes sense in an overwhelmingly patriarchal culture, ….”
    — Very true, a point ignored by many for a variety of reasons.

    but it’s still tragic.
    — Eisegesical comment, modern that does not fit traditional / orthodox studies. The culture is where we draw our understanding of God communicating values to us. Throughout history man has tried to add to some some what was not liked – thus the debate on women ministry continues to this day.

    Having trained young men and women for positions in leadership, I stress the dependence on what HE wants. I try and avoid a strong position when it comes to issues that the Bible is not crystal clear on (there are many where is NO ambiguity) this is not one of those.

    Hoping to see more comments, as growing Christians, our thoughts need to evolve some as HE (and only HE) leads.

  2. Mary Anne says:

    What always stayed with me is that she said she “suffered” a great deal in that dream. Must’ve been some nightmare, and I know when I have one I usually try
    to forget about it ASAP–but she remembered it, warned Pilate, and tried to do right what was right for both Jesus AND Pilate with her warning.

    It may have been the only time in history that warning someone to have “nothing to do” with Jesus was actually the right thing to do! ;-D

    • Tim says:

      She suffered in the dream, she was probably tormented in her own mind as she figured out how to tell her husband about it, and then her advice was completely rejected. What a night and day for her!

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