Joanna: The Witness

            Joanna, the wife of Herod’s steward, Chuza, participated in a three-day drama that changed the world. On the Friday of Passover, she, along with other women, witnessed Jesus’s Crucifixion and death, even though the eleven disciples were nowhere to be found. With that group of women witnesses, Joanna followed his body from the cross to his…

Thecla of Iconium

Unfamiliar to many of us, but famous in early Christianity, Thecla survived her mother’s betrayal, her betrothed’s treachery and the government’s condemnation. Her crime? She rejected marriage in favor of following Jesus. A Christian ascetic, one who submits to intense self-discipline and abstains from pleasure, Thecla was a role model for women. In all likelihood,…

Priscilla of Italy

Tentmaker, missionary, preacher, and host to congregations in her home, Priscilla’s missionary work stretched from Rome to Ephesus, perhaps to Syria. Paul said she “saved his neck,” was a coworker, and labeled her synergos, that is, a fellow leader, placing her the same category as Titus, Timothy, Mark and Luke. (Rom 16:3-4a) Priscilla (also known as…

Anna the First Christian Prophet

Anna the First Christian Prophet              An old woman who lived at the temple in Jerusalem became the first Christian prophet. After praying and fasting in the temple for decades, she recognized that the baby presented by Mary and Joseph was Jerusalem’s redeemer.              Anna saw Jesus on the day his parents took him to the temple…