n Journal of Early Christian History - Rahab, Esther and Judith as models for church leadership in

Volume 5, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 2222-582X


Several powerful women receive praise in 1 Clement. Clement introduces women into the historical survey known from Hebrews. He compares female martyrs with apostles, and he lists Esther and Judith with foreign kings. I argue that Clement's validation of the prayer and prophecy of figures such as Esther and Judith indicates that Clement is not opposed to female leadership, and, indeed, Clement does not forbid women from office in his discussion of the leadership structures of the Corinthian church. Clement's concerns may be connected to the contemporary movement from temporary ecclesial offices to less democratic, permanent priesthoods in Roman Greece. Roman control of Greece increased the importance of belonging to the Greek aristocracy. Corinthian Christian support for democratically elected leaders could be the impetus for Clement's letter. Arguing against Roman Greek priestesses and Christian female leaders on account of their sex is not part of Clement's project. We have no evidence from 1 Clement that the letter, which refers to the Pauline correspondence with churches of Corinth, knows of and adheres to the injunction against female public speech in the Pastoral Stratum of 1 Corinthians 14:34-35.

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


Article metrics loading...


This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error