What was Thyatira’s sin? Was it a Woman Minister perhaps?

This week, I want to get to a point where I will discuss 1st Timothy 2.12, but before I do, I want to discuss some thoughts leading up to that final discussion on what that verse means and more especially the New Testament’s view on women in the ministry. For me, I consider myself a conservative, theologically speaking, because if Scripture can be shown to say something to the current situation, then that is where I find my ultimate authority. So, I want to keep Scripture first and foremost in this discussion. Also, I would like to keep the discussion on the post at hand.

My first discussion point is Jezebel, the false prophetess in Thyatira which is one of the mystical Seven Churches in Revelation. Christ specifically address certain issues, behaviors, sins, etc… with nearly all of the churches. Here, it is the adulterous teachings of a women whom we only know as ‘Jezebel.’ I believe that she might have been the pastor’s wife, for several reasons. Namely, because of the name. Second, ‘that woman’ is a pointed phrase which may also mean ‘wife.’

“Write this letter to the angel of the church in Thyatira…. But I have this complaint against you. You are permitting that woman– that Jezebel who calls herself a prophet– to lead my servants astray. She teaches them to commit sexual sin and to eat food offered to idols. I gave her time to repent, but she does not want to turn away from her immorality.

“Therefore, I will throw her on a bed of suffering, and those who commit adultery with her will suffer greatly unless they repent and turn away from her evil deeds. I will strike her children dead….

“But I also have a message for the rest of you in Thyatira who have not followed this false teaching (‘deeper truths,’ as they call them– depths of Satan, actually). I will ask nothing more of you except that you hold tightly to what you have until I come…. (Rev 2:18-29 NLT)

It was not for her teaching that she was condemned, but for what she taught. She was not condemned for leading servants, but for leading them astray. Nothing in the mini-epistle leads us to read that she was ever convicted of teaching, nor that Christ is speaking against a woman teacher, only that He was railing against what was being taught.

Now, what say ye?

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5 Replies to “What was Thyatira’s sin? Was it a Woman Minister perhaps?”

  1. I don’t know, so many interpretations,but let me pass one by on you, My ex sister in law,whom was married to my brother,was called to preach,”she was” . so now she is remarried to a divorced man,and she is over a church now..what do you think about that? I have never heard her preach,I am a little skeptical about this..

  2. Joel,

    A bit anachronistic, “I believe that she might have been the pastor’s wife.” They didn’t have singular elders/bishops at that point in time. Ignatius was pushing for it in 110 AD, but prior to that it was plurality. Otherwise, nice insight.


    1. You know, you are correct, James. I forgot about the leadership during that time. I am still, even subconsciously, working with the interpretation that ‘angel’ means pastor. Perhaps instead of pastor, maybe a Clement-styled elder?

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