There are many examples of street preaching in the Bible. However, some have argued against many of the following examples, saying that what we see in Scripture is not the same kind of street preaching most commonly seen on the streets today. But their arguments are not valid. Street preaching is simply the public reading of Scripture, proclamation of the law, and/or preaching of the gospel in an outdoor setting.
While this is not an exhaustive representation, here are some biblical examples of street preachers and street preaching:
- Noah was a “herald of righteousness” (2 Peter 2:5).
- Solomon addressed the entire nation of Israel “with a loud voice” (1 Kings 8:54-56).
- Ezra called the people of Israel to repentance as they sat in the “open square” (Ezra 10:9-14).
- Ezra read the law of God and explained it to the people of Israel while standing before them (Nehemiah 8:1-8).
- Jeremiah stood at the gate of the Lord’s House and “proclaimed” the very words of God (Jeremiah 7:1-3).
- Jonah preached on the streets of Nineveh (Jonah 3:1-5).
- The prophets of old were hated by the people, because they heralded the word of God at the city gates (Isaiah 5:29; Amos 5:10).
- The first street preacher, the first to herald the good news in the open-air, was John the Baptist (Matthew 3:1-2; Mark 1:4; Luke 3:3).
- Jesus sat atop a hill and preached the greatest sermon ever preached in the open-air -- the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7).
- Jesus’s disciples preached on the streets in many villages (Luke 9:5-7).
- Peter preached in the open-air at Solomon’s Portico, after healing the lame beggar (Acts 3:11-26).
- Philip preached the gospel to large crowds on the streets of the city of Samaria (Acts 8:6-8).
- Paul preached the gospel to the entire city of Antioch. He was viciously heckled, yet all those whom God had appointed to be saved believed the gospel (Acts 13:44-52).
- Apollos boldly and publicly refuted the Jews and proclaimed Christ Jesus in Achaia (Acts 18:27-28).
- Paul stood before the judiciary of Athens, atop of Mars Hill, and preached to the men of Athens in the open-air (Acts 17:22-34).
The Scriptures are rich with examples of street preaching. Street preaching is clearly a biblical practice, and those who engage in it follow in the footsteps of great men of the faith and our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.