In the second century, a prophetic movement emerged out of Asia Minor that sent shockwaves through the Christian Church. Montanism, as the movement became known, emphasized both prophetic and female authority. These aspects of the movement were a threat to the male hierarchy of bishops, and in their efforts to combat threats to both episcopacy and patriarchy, Church leaders tied prophetic excesses to the usurpation of authority by women. Both Montanists and their opponents used New Testament literature and their own understandings of Church tradition to legitimize their claims. Church leaders were largely successful in neutralizing prophecy as a threat to episcopal authority, but they were not as successful in their attacks on women's authority. Women continued to pursue other avenues to exert spiritual influence on the Church.
"Word, Spirit, and Power: Women and Prophetic Authority in the Early Church,"
Bridges: A Journal of Student Research: Vol. 7
, Article 5.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.coastal.edu/bridges/vol7/iss7/5