Revelation 2:20 reads:
But I have this against you, that you tolerate the woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, and she teaches and leads My bond-servants astray so that they commit acts of immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols.
People argue about this a little. Some say it is a reference to a pagan deity. Others suggest that Jezebel was the actual name of a woman, but it is generally agreed that Jezebel is a symbolic name for a real woman in the church who is a false teacher.
Reading about this passage in the New Bible Commentary, I came across a sentence that struck my funny bone.
Some authorities have a curious variant in v 20 and read your wife Nezebel.
Apparently, some translators take the fact that there are a few Greek manuscripts that contain the possessive pronoun ‘your’ and run with it. Coupled with the understanding that the angels (2:18) of the churches are the pastors, this would mean that Jesus was calling out the pastor’s wife by name in very unflattering terms.
Now the passage reads,
But I have this against you, that you tolerate your wife Nezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, and she teaches and leads My bond-servants astray so that they commit acts of immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols.
Now maybe it doesn’t change the application of the passage much, but it really reads different. I’m thinkin’ I’d go with the consensus on this one. 🙂
Just so you know, the New Bible Commentary did go on to say that the whole Nezebel thing was likely inaccurate.