Exciting news! We’re running a brand new series on Great Women of the Bible and the lessons they can teach us as we study their stories.
You see, here at Equipping Godly Women I LOVE sharing my best tips and tricks for helping you be ALL IN as a Christian woman, wife, and mother.
But… I’m only one person. I only know so much. AND I don’t want you just following me and my opinion anyways.
While I love sharing my best strategies and advice, my ultimate goal is always to lead you back to the Bible, where you can study and learn more for yourself.
That’s why I’m so excited for this new blog series!
The posts won’t all be from me, however. In fact, I have several amazing friends (who all run their own Christian blogs for women) who have all graciously agreed to write a guest post for this site on the women of the Bible of their choosing!
All of the posts will be published right here on Equipping Godly Women, and I will continually come back and update this page with links to each post as they publish, so you can find them all easily–all in one place.
Why We Should Study the Great Women of the Bible
Before we even begin, however, I guess I should start by answering the question “Why Should We Study the Great Women of the Bible?”
This is a great question because sometimes it can feel like the men and women of the Bible lived in a time so different from ours that we have little in common and little to learn.
And yet, when we learn to study the Bible for ourselves, we see that while the women of the Bible did live in a very different time and culture than our own, they still have so much to teach us about what it means to be a woman of faith today.
- We can learn from and be inspired by their positive example
- We can learn from their mistakes so we don’t make them ourselves
- We can see that they weren’t perfect and God used them anyways, so it’s okay that we’re not perfect either
- We can be encouraged by watching how God takes care of them, knowing He’ll take care of us too
Maybe that’s a little vague, but as we dive into this series, you’ll see what I mean!
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Top Books About Women of the Bible
Before we get into our blog series on great women of the Bible, I wanted to mention a few really great books you might be interested in that cover these inspiring Biblical women far more in-depth than we’re able to here – which is great!
And I know I personally prefer to read paperback (rather than on screens) when there’s a topic (such as the women of the Bible) that I really want to study deeper — and I thought you might feel the same.
Complete with an illustrated, full-cover interior as well as unique study and application questions, this book is a great way to learn more about the lives of some of your favorite women in Scripture.
This book would make an excellent reference book, or you could read through each profile one at a time as a study on women of the Bible – either way, works well!
This is a fun series! In “Bad Girls of the Bible” (as well as the other two books in the series: “Really Bad Girls of the Bible” and “Slightly Bad Girls of the Bible“) humorous Christian author Liz Curtis Higgs shows us how women of the Bible weren’t so perfect after all.
I heard Liz share her story at a conference, and I love how she used a dark past to help real women get real encouragement from the Bible today — no matter what skeletons may be lurking in their closet!
If you’ve ever felt like you didn’t fit the typical “good Christian girl” mold, this is a great book you won’t want to miss! Plus it teaches you more about women of the Bible like Delilah, Sapphira, and Michal who you may not know of.
Thorough, helpful, and interesting to read, this is a great choice if you want more information about all the women of the Bible including Deborah, Miriam, Sarah, and others.
Otherwise, keep on reading to find all of the great posts in this “Women of the Bible” series!
15 Great Women of the Bible Worth Studying
Altogether, the Bible specifically mentions somewhere between 150 to 200 individual women within its pages – that’s a lot of women! – but unfortunately, we know very little about the vast majority of them.
There are many stories of women of the Bible showing great faith that we can learn a lot from, however, and we’re studying 15 of them in this series!
1. The Proverbs 31 Woman / Virtuous Woman
Found in Proverbs 31:10-31, the Proverbs 31 Woman (also referred to as the Virtuous Woman, the Woman of Valor, and the Wife of Noble Character) pretty much sets the standard for many women for what it means to be a good Christian woman.
The only woman on this list who likely isn’t a real person (she’s actually a description, given by a mother to her son, of the type of woman he should look for in a wife) sets a lofty ideal that praises virtuous women as a whole while giving us a high standard to work toward. While maybe not a real person, the Proverbs 31 woman is one of the women of the Bible that gives us a great example of how to be a strong Christian woman.
2. Mary Magdalene
Mary Magdalene appears in just 12 verses in the Bible, so there’s much that is left unspoken about her role in Jesus’ life.
Despite the misconceptions that surround her and what other books may have said, Mary Magdalene in the Bible was not a prostitute and was not romantically involved with Jesus or married to him.
Here is what we know for sure about one of the more controversial women of the Bible based on what the Bible clearly states.
- Jesus cast out 7 demons from Mary Magdalene (Mark 16:9).
- Mary Magdalene was at the crucifixion (Matthew 27:56).
- Mary Magdalene was at the empty tomb of Jesus (Matthew 28:1).
- Jesus first appeared to Mary Magdalene after his resurrection (John 20:16-17).
- Mary Magdalene told the disciples of Jesus’ resurrection (John 20:18).
Miriam in the Bible may best be known as the big sister who helped save her baby brother, sweet Moses in the basket, from certain death.
The next time we see Miriam, she is a leader along with her brothers, taking the Israelites across the Red Sea into freedom.
We know nothing of her life between Miriam the child and Miriam the prophetess in the Bible, but while Moses was a desert shepherd, she lived with her people in Egypt. And to be labeled a prophet, God must have used her greatly there.
It seems many in modern Christianity neglect Leah. She rarely makes it into books of Bible heroines. Sure, on occasion she gets a parenthetical mention in a sermon.
But recently, I’ve come to realize we have much to learn from one of the more overlooked women of the Bible.
Truth is, scripture gives us more details about Leah’s appearance, relationship with her sister, her marriage, and her mothering than many other women who fill Bible study books. What can we learn from Leah in the Bible? Here are two of my favorite lessons.
Rahab occupies an interesting place in the mind and heart of the modern church. Her documented profession as a prostitute keeps her from being a Sunday School staple like Jonah and the Whale or David and Goliath, but her story draws people back over and over again as one of the more interesting women of the Bible.
Rahab in the Bible is best known for three things:
- She was a harlot—Rahab the prostitute
- She hid two Jewish spies who were scoping out the city of Jericho before God caused the walls to come “tumbling down.”
- She was directed to hang a scarlet cord from her window, and God honored her faith by preserving her and anyone within her home from the destruction of the city.
The story of Ruth in the Bible begins with a family (Elimelech, his wife Naomi, and 2 sons) who left Bethlehem because of a famine in the land and moved to the country Moab.
The two sons married Moabite women; Orpah and Ruth. Then the unthinkable happens: Elimelech and his two sons died.
Ruth chose NOT to abandon her mother-in-law, and it’s this decision of loyalty and responsibility that sets Ruth apart with her remarkable character of integrity. Her integrity is later rewarded when she meets her future husband Boaz. One of the most well-known women of the Bible, it’s no wonder why many reference scripture about Ruth and her inspiring dedication.
Hannah was the wife of Elkanah, a man of influence and monetary wealth. Unfortunately, Hannah’s womb was closed and she was unable to conceive or bear this noble man a son. Hannah was heartbroken.
She fervently pleaded with God to grant her a child and vowed to dedicate the baby back to the Lord if He opened her womb. Faithfully, the Lord heard Hannah’s plea and allowed her to conceive her own blessing, a son, which she named Samuel. After Samuel was weaned, Hannah graciously gave him to the Lord as promised.
Abigail’s story in 1 Samuel 25 is one that shows the strength women of the Bible had. As a young married woman, Abigail in the Bible was not living her happily ever after. Instead, she found herself in a seemingly impossible, terrifying situation.
And yet somehow, she was able to look at a story much larger than hers and find strength in the storm. She made a gutsy move. God honored her courage, and she played a pivotal role in his larger narrative.
Have you ever heard the phrase, “She’s such a Jezebel?” If so, you probably know this is NOT intended to be a compliment! Thousands of years after this woman walked the face of the earth, she continues to be the epitome of shameless femininity. Even today, when searching the name Jezebel, here are the synonyms you’ll find associated with her: hussy, tramp, wench, and prostitute.
In I Kings 18-21, Jezebel uses her position and influence to murder, steal, and persecute the prophets of God, trying to get them to worship Baal instead. Some say she used her femininity to connive, convince, and pretty much get her way. Even so, she’s one of the more complex women of the Bible and there’s a lot we can learn from her about influence.
10. Mary and Martha
Mary and Martha in the Bible were friends of Jesus. They welcomed Jesus and his followers into their home.
Mary and Martha had two completely different approaches to worship. Mary, the sister of Martha, sat at Jesus feet, listening to Him, while Martha was worried and distracted by the preparations for their guests. Martha felt all alone in her serving so she asked Jesus to tell her sister to lend a hand.
11. Mary, Mother of Jesus, and Elizabeth
We’re first introduced to Mary’s cousin, Elizabeth, and her husband Zechariah. This elderly couple has long experienced the pain of infertility when one day Gabriel showed up promising the faithful priest that his wife was going to conceive a son. Known as the mother of John the Baptist, Elizabeth is known for her faith and friendship.
Mary, Mother of Jesus Christ to be, is a poor girl from a humble family, residing in an insignificant town in Galilee. Why would her life be any different from anyone else’s? Nothing about her or her family seems unusual, yet Mary is about to receive a visit from the same angel Gabriel, a visit that changes everything.
When she says “Yes,” she chooses a path that will change the course of history, making her one of the greatest women of the Bible.
12. The Woman at the Well (Samaritan Woman)
John chapter 4 tells the story of the Samaritan Woman at the Well. One of the women of the Bible known for her poor choices and past mistakes, she did her best to avoid people. She went as far as collecting water in the middle of the day when no one else was around.
That day she came face to face with Jesus and her life was never the same. Confronted with the truth of her past (and present), she found redemption and healing in The Messiah. And this Woman at the Well even went back home and evangelized the entire town.
13. Rachel in the Bible
Rachel is the daughter of Laban, who was the brother of Rebekah, who is the mother of her betrothed Jacob. Rachel is also the sister of Leah, who incidentally shares a husband with her.
(Yes, you read that right. Sisters Rachel and Leah in the Bible share a husband. How’s that for a family tree?)
Rachel in the Bible has four beloved sons, two adopted sons by her servant Bilhah, and two biological sons, including the famous dreamer Joseph.
Adam and Eve were the first man and woman created by God that lived in the Garden of Eden. Adam and Eve lived in perfect surroundings, had the ideal relationship, and all their provisions met ~ everything they needed through God’s loving care.
Adam and Eve walked in perfect harmony and intimacy with God in the Garden of Eden.
Eve was the first woman, the first wife, the first mother, and the first (and only) sinless woman, and sadly the first to be tempted by Satan, thus making her one of the most famous women of the Bible.
Esther in the Bible was just a pretty young girl who became a queen. I bet she felt like she’d won the royal lottery, but it didn’t take long for Queen Esther’s story to change.
Esther’s family was in trouble. Her own husband had made a decree that would wipe all of the Jews out, and then she was asked to do the impossible: to speak up to the Persian king and risk her very life.
Your turn! Who are your favorite women of the Bible to study? Which of these great women of the Bible would you like to know more about? Comment below!