Often skimmed over, is the story of Paul casting out a spirit from an unnamed slave-girl found in Acts 16. When read using a feminist lens, the seemingly minor text reveals unique power differentials between the girl and the other characters. Every character in the story exploits and uses the girl for a specific purpose, which illuminates the power differentials. The spirit of divination uses her body to speak through, the apostle Paul uses her by casting out her spirit so satisfy his needs, the owners exploit her for her fortunetelling abilities, and Luke, the author of the text, uses her to progress the story.
For purposes of the paper, the girl is named Nia as an alternative to calling her “the slave-girl.” The name, Nia, means, “purpose”…show more content… She keeps proclaiming this for many days. Nia seems to have agency in this part of the story because the voice that comes from her mouth is heard, but the voice is quickly quieted and not heard again. The reader needs to consider if the voice is Nia’s, or if it is the spirit of divination using her body to communicate through. The text does not provide a clear answer to the question, however it is understood that the spirit does exploit and use her. She has no choice in how the spirit uses her body to communicate with the…show more content… The story leads to the imprisonment of Paul and Silas. Luke, the author of Acts, exploits Nia to continue the progression of the story. Luke makes her the exploited victim because she has no power to act upon the situation. Luke writes the story of Nia for his convenience as the author. The unimportant slave-girl is not supposed to be the focus of the story, because the story is not about Nia, the victim. The story is about portraying Paul and Silas as heroes. At the end of Acts 16 Paul and Silas are freed from prison and credited for bringing the jailer and his family to believe in God. Luke uses Nia to advance the story so Paul and Silas have the opportunity to prevail and give glory to God. The author creates her a victim for the sake of continuing his story, with the intent that the reader forgets about her and brings the focus to Paul and