“44. Is female pastoral ministry supported by the Old Testament example of a female judge?
Yes. “Now Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lapidoth, was judging Israel at the time. And she would sit under the palm tree of Deborah between Raman and Bethel in the mountains of Ephraim. And the children of Israel came up to her for judgment” (Judg. 4:4-5). The judges participated in a pastoral or shepherding function since the Bible refers to rulers as shepherds (2 Sam. 5:2; Prov. 8:16). In addition, female shepherds are mentioned in the Bible such as Rachel (Gen. 29:9) and Zipporah (Ex. 2:16). The term shepherd also implies authority since kings are also shepherds (Psalm 78:70-71; Eze. 37:24; Mic. 5:2-4).” (Martin Hanna and Cindy Tutsch, editors, “Questions and Answers About Women’s Ordination” (Pacific Press: Nampa, Idaho), 2014, p. 38).
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