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Do I Allow a Woman to Teach Men?

1 Timothy 2:12-14
“But I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man. She must remain quiet. For Adam was formed first and then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman, because she was fully deceived, fell into transgression.”

There are a few ways in which this passage has been taken. These go from the most conservative (hard complementarian) to the most liberal (hard egalitarian):

1. Under no circumstances can women teach men in any setting.

2. Under no circumstances can women teach men spiritual truths.

3. Under no circumstances can women teach men theology.

4. Under no circumstances can women teach men the Bible.

5. Women can teach men when there is no male who is willing and able to teach, but this is not ideal (i.e. Deborah as a Judge).

6. Women can teach men in the church but should not be the primary teacher of men.

7. Women can teach men, but they should not hold a position of authority (i.e. elder) in a church setting.

8. Paul did not let women teach due to the often combative nature that teaching must entail concerning the confrontation of false doctrine, but this is limited to similar contexts.

9. Paul did not let women teach, but this was more of a proverbial suggestion rather than an absolute command. This would be likened to Paul’s suggestion that people remain single (1 Cor. 7:26) due to the “current distress.”

10. Paul’s command was purely cultural without any necessary abiding or eternal principles. Because the culture of the day was not prepared to tolerate women teaching men, Paul accommodated the culture by restricting all teaching of men to men, but this is not how God intends things today. Therefore, all teaching roles are equally accessible to both women and men.

My position is a combination of 5, 6, and 8. I reject all the others.

Focusing in on 8 for a moment:

8. Paul did not let women teach due to the often combative nature that teaching must entail concerning the confrontation of false doctrine, but this is limited to similar context. Therefore, men must be the teachers only when combating false teaching. However, because the role of a teacher in the church is so often to combat false doctrine, and because false doctrine is always a problem, generally speaking, the principles are always applicable. The “exercising of authority” is inherently tied to teaching and its necessary condemnation of false doctrine, not administration of those within the church.

The combative nature of teaching is particularly relevant to a broader understanding of the characteristics of men and women. The other day, my wife was confronted by another couple who did not believe that she was doing what was right. She used to do princess parties where she would dress up as a princess (Cinderella, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty) and go to little girls’ homes and entertain them for an hour or so. She was really good at this. After we moved from Frisco to Oklahoma, she still had one party on the schedule. She called her boss and let her know that she could not do it since we had already moved. Her boss became very angry and began to threaten her. She also said that she was going to bring in her husband (who was a lawyer) and sue Kristie. Kristie became very scared and did not know how to handle this situation, especially since her boss was now using her husband as part of the threat. She told me about this and I told her not to speak to her boss anymore, but to let me handle it. I did. I stepped in and confronted both her boss and her husband’s threats concerning the issue. In the end, they backed off.

I felt that it was my duty and obligation to step in and be strong on behalf of my wife as the situation became confrontational. Kristie is both tender, gentle, and, in those situations, frightened. She was going to give in and travel back to Texas to perform this last party even though she would lose money in the gas it took to go there and back. Her boss refused to pay her mileage.

My point is that men are conditioned to handle confrontation better than women. It is not that Kristie could not have done the same thing as me, it is just that this was not her bent. Women, generally speaking, are not bent to deal with confrontation the same way as men. Teaching in the church involves, more often than not, confronting false understanding.

Can women teach? Absolutely! Can women understand and think as well as men? Most certainly. But the bent of a man is better able to handle the type of teaching that is always necessary in the church.

Would I let a woman teach from the pulpit from time to time? Yes. Paul is not restricting women teachers over men in the absolute sense. The infinitive here, “to teach” is in the present tense which suggests the perpetual role of teaching which exercises authority (confrontation).

I also believe that with the way that most elderships are set up in the Evangelical church today that women can and should be elders. I believe that women should be ordained into ministry. And I believe that women can have the gift of pastor/shepherd and carry this office, understanding that the office of pastor does not necessarily mean primary teacher.

OK, I am now going to get it from my strong complementarian friends and from strong egalitarians friends alike. At least you can say that I am not trying to be a people-pleaser!!

40 Responses to “Do I Allow a Woman to Teach Men?”

  1. I disagree with you on this subject. While I hold firm to the belief that women are good teachers, I do not believe women should be able to hold authority or teach over men in the church.

    What you didn’t confront in this article was 1 Tim 3:14-15. First of all, this letter is addressed to Timothy by Paul. In 1 Timothy 3:14-15, Paul says to Timothy, “I am writing these things to you, hoping to come to you before long; 15 but in case I am delayed, I write so that you may know how one ought to conduct himself in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and support of the truth.”

    So we know that this letter was intended for Paul to tell Timothy conduct that should be followed in the household of God. So lets look at what Paul tells Timothy in 1 Tim 2:8-12.

    1 Timothy 2:8-12

    8 I desire then that in every place the men should pray, lifting holy hands without anger or quarreling; 9likewise also that women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire, 10 but with what is proper for women who profess godliness—with good works. 11Let a woman learn quietly with all submissiveness. 12 I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet. 13(V) For Adam was formed first, then Eve; 14and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor. 15Yet she will be saved through childbearing—if they continue in faith and love and holiness, with self-control.

    In this passage above, we know from 1 Tim 3:14-15, it is talking in regards to conduct within the Church. In verse 12 Paul says that women are not permitted to teach or exercise authority over men. We know again from 1 Tim3:14-15 that Paul is not talking about women teaching and exercising authority over men in general, but “within the church.”

    Paul even gives explanation why this is true:

    1 Timothy 2:13-14 – 13For Adam was formed first, then Eve; 14and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor.

    The reason for women not teaching or exercising authority over man within the Church is because God created man first. It is about the order of creation. Not only that, but secondly because woman (Eve) was deceived and became a transgressor (someone who violates a law or command).

    Also, along with the “Elders Issue,” here is an excerpt from carm.org (Christian Apologetics & Research Ministry) regarding this issue, along with women being pastors. Read below:

    “When we look further at Paul’s teachings we see that the bishop/overseer is to be the husband of one wife (1 Tim. 3:2) who manages his household well and has a good reputation (1 Tim. 3:4-5, 7). Deacons must be “men of dignity”(1 Tim. 3:8). Paul then speaks of women in verse 11 and their obligation to receive instruction. Then in verse 12, Paul says “Let deacons be husbands of one wife…” Again, in Titus 1:5-7, Paul says, “For this reason I left you in Crete, that you might set in order what remains, and appoint elders in every city as I directed you, namely, if any man be above reproach, the husband of one wife, having children who believe, not accused of dissipation or rebellion. For the overseer must be above reproach as God’s steward…” Notice that Paul interchanges the word ‘elder’ and ‘overseer’.
    In each case, the one who is an elder, deacon, bishop, or overseer is instructed to be male. He is the husband of one wife, responsible, able to “exhort in sound doctrine and to refute those who contradict” (Titus 1:9). We see no command for the overseers to be women. On the contrary, women are told to be “dignified, not malicious gossips, but temperate, faithful in all things” (1 Tim. 3:11). Why is it that it is the men who are singled out as the overseers? It is because of the created order of God that Paul references (Gen. 1-2; 1 Tim. 2:12-14). This is not merely a social custom that fell away with ancient Israel.
    Additionally, in the Old Testament in over 700 mentions of priests, every single one was a male. There is not one instance of a female priest. This is significant because priests were ordained by God to hold a very important office of ministering the sacrifices. This was not the job of women.
    Therefore, from what I see in Genesis 1-2, 1 Timothy 2, and Titus 1, the normal and proper person to hold the office of elder/pastor is to be a man.”

    Read Full Article

  2. Michel,

    My response could easily be under a discussion of “Orthodoxy”, but I will place it here. I am convinced that the foundational disruption of God’s revealed social order is a heretical concession to worldly social changes that our global economy/society has created. Their principles and ethics are of their kingdom and not of Christ’s Kingdom. A simple example may be found in the exegetical understanding of 1st Corinthians 11:10 and the interpretation of the word sign/symbol on a woman’s head. This issue is not open to a take it or leave it understanding. It is a commandment of the Lord.

    Yet the Church at large – esp. in protetstant circles – have interpreted this as a culturally limited reqirement and not a spiritual requirement indicative of Christ’s Kingdom/Church.

    Denominations like the PCUSA and Anglican/Episcopal Church USA are now seeing first hand the ill effects of worldly concessions and their consequences.

    Vladimir

  3. You are simply wrong. There is no need to quote other Scripture. The Scripture you quoted is in context, and the language is quite clear. There are no caveats. IN way too many cases, people want the Bible to say what they want to hear, so they pretend that plain language means something other than what it says. God is capable of putting things in more ambiguous forms, but He idn’t do so here.

    Stop trying to “interpret” the Bible where no interpretation is necessary. This passage says nothing about the worth or ability of women compared to men, it simply says what God’s order is. If it were up to me, I would be happy to have women teach. This passage goes against what I would like to see. However, it’s not my call, nor yours. God said it.

  4. I think what the commenters forgot…Paul said many times it was “His own opinion and not God’s”…isn’t this also a case of what Paul’s opinion was and people putting words into God’s mouth He did not say?

    There are no such customs….

    In the Spirit they’re neither male nor female.

    God never said women could not teach, or speak. For those people commenting…point to the verse where Jesus said it.

  5. In Christ there is neither man nor woman.

    A woman pastor brought me to God and baptized me at 45 years old after I spent decades thinking Christians were brainwashed fools, more evil than good.

    If you want to call that a sin, feel free to deny the Spirit.

    And in general, women are better at loving God and neighbor than men. Men tend to start wars and such.

  6. Frank Leyland July 6, 2009 at 3:13 am

    Is it not the case that, whether we like it or not, Paul is revealing a truth that the Spirtual make up of a man is different to that of a woman?
    The tempter first approached the woman and deceived her; he did not approach the man directly. Why not? Is this profound Divine revelation, which our Adamic nature finds unpleasnt?
    Who is the “Head” of the Church of England?

  7. Your reasoning flies in the face of Calvin and the Reformers … as well as the Westminster Divines.
    Were they ‘accomodating’ the culture too?

    Thoughts?

  8. Thank you for bringing this to my attention. I have now changed my position to whatever yours is. Phew, glad you stopped by to say that.

    :)

  9. Michael,

    Thank you for the Theology Program available on Bible.org. I found both the Introduction to Theology and Bibliology and Hermeneutics to be very good courses. I completed Intro and I am halfway through B&H.

    Could you give me an example of how you used the Homiletical Process to derive your current thinking on this?

    Jeremy, in the first post, referenced (CARM.org) Matt Slick’s article on the issue. His exegesis seems to be straight forward. The thing that has me, at this point, is Paul’s appeal to the created order. Thereby telling us this is a timeless principle.

    Where would you put this issue on your Concentric Circle of Importance and Chart of Certainty? Thanks.

  10. “The main things are the plain things and the plain things are the main things.”

    This scripture is pretty plain, Michael. How absurd for a women to be a pastor…a Shepard of a flock, yet somehow a man is to be the leader? Doesn’t work out.

    There is wiggle room so as to not become legalistic, but in the general sense, women should not teach over men as pastors, elders (hello, the bible speaks of what an elder should be), or bible study leaders.

    I am actually quite surprised by this post! :)

  11. Michael, please explain what you mean by the following: “I also believe that with the way that most elderships are set up in the Evangelical church today that women can and should be elders.”

    You italicised the phrase for emphasis, so I am wondering if you could shine additional light on your thinking process here.

    Werner

  12. First, I agree with Jeremy and the others that say the Bible is very clear on what position a woman should hold in the church.

    Secondly, to Kara, I could not find the verses you are referring to about that being Paul’s opinion and not God’s words, but I did find the verse that says “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God.” So therefore, yes, God did say that. Also, just out of curiousity, do you disregard every part of the Bible that is not written in red?

  13. I also believe that with the way that most elderships are set up in the Evangelical church today that women can and should be elders.

    This might spin off into a whole other issue of ecclesiology, but I have a few questions: In what form of eldership would you say that a woman should not be an elder? How would that differ from the current system that you typically see?

  14. Isn’t also possible to distinguish between the conveyance of information and the determination of the bounds of that information? In the early church, there were no written statements of faith and the teaching seems to be (given Paul’s disputations with false teachers) not only the conveyance of information but also the authoritative conveyance of it. That is, “by my teaching I am establishing the nature and boundaries of correct belief”.

    If we assume, for the sake of argument, that a hierarchy in the church is to demonstrate or symbolize something and be an analogous representative of a truth (e.g., like marriage is a symbol and representation of Christ and church union, or Christ’s headship over the church is represented physically by man’s headshipt within the church), then, once those boundaries are established, could not a woman convey the informational content of the teachings? That is, the male leadership decides what it is to be believed and taught (penal substitutionary atonement, continuation of charismata, etc.), then anyone appointed by them can convey/teach the information, whether man or woman.

    Just thinking out loud.

    regards,
    #John

  15. To Kristi,

    Kara posted that months ago, and I think we scared her off shortly after.

    That being said, Paul clearly offers his opinion and personal wishes and identifies them as such in 1 Cor 7. That’s a pretty well-known book, so I’m surprised you didn’t find that.

    So, is there personal opinion in scripture, even opinion that disagrees with God? Yes. Is it therefore possible that Paul is expressing his opinion regarding women? Yes, it is possible.

    Furthermore, it must be determined whether Paul’s statements on women are descriptive (what Paul personally practiced or did) or prescriptive (what everyone must do). Part of that is to look at his statements as they fit in the overall tenor of scripture, following the understanding that scripture interprets scripture. Is it the consistant position of God, throughout all of biblical teaching, that women are to remain silent? If so, Paul statements fit right in. If not, then in light of that, Paul’s statements must be examined carefully to determine his true intent.

    It’s not quite as simple as some present it.

    AS CMP said, I think the example of Deborah is something that must be dealt with in order to take Paul at face value. She held authority over the entire nation. I do disagree with Michael’s statement that the only reason Deborah led Israel is that there were no men capable or available. The Bible simply does not say that.

  16. Michael paaaaaaahhhhhhh leaaaaaaaaaseee….

    I teach … no hold up… I schoooooool you daily.

    :D

  17. Dave Z,
    Thanks so much for replying to my post and answering so thoroughly. I didn’t search the entire Bible for the scripture, just 1 Timothy since that is what was originally referenced. Thanks for finding it for me.
    I must admit that I am no scholar or theologian. I’m just someone who attends church, reads her Bible, and does her best to follow it. I have always been raised to take the Bible at face value. If it says to do something, then do it. If it says not to do it, then don’t. It is my belief that too many people take Scriptures that are very plain and twist them to suit their own purposes. That is why there are so many different denominations and divisions in the church. There are even people who try to twist Scripture to support homosexuality. To me this is just another case of twisting Scripture. Whether it was Paul’s opinion or not is irrelevant. If it’s in the Bible then you should follow it. But that’s just my beliefs……

  18. “I also believe that with the way that most elderships are set up in the Evangelical church today that women can and should be elders. I believe that women should be ordained into ministry. And I believe that women can have the gift of pastor/shepherd and carry this office, understanding that the office of pastor does not necessarily mean primary teacher.”

    Michael, I was willing to go along with you until you got to this paragraph, and then you lost me. When you look at 1 Timothy 2:12, the key words are “exercise authority”. Pastors and elders are authority figures within the local church (subject to the ultimate authority of God, of course), and thus it looks like Scripture disqualifies women from such.

    However, I am a little easier on teaching. I think that Paul is referring to preaching/teaching, instead of Bible study class kind of teaching. In fact, even Southern Baptist churches seem to allow this, and I have taken a great course on 2 Timothy from a woman. Since Paul seems to be talking about the church/congregation setting, I would be hesitant to expand this to be a decree that expands to all settings. The same context appears to apply in 1 Corinthians 14:34, where it seems to indicate more of a church/teaching from pulpit situation. Titus 2 seems to be less concerned with the church, and more concerned with the home.

    However, as I said before, it looks like God’s word is pretty clear on the leadership and pulpit issue, and women are not to be in those positions.

  19. When you look at 1 Timothy 2:12, the key words are “exercise authority”. Pastors and elders are authority figures within the local church (subject to the ultimate authority of God, of course), and thus it looks like Scripture disqualifies women from such.

    The meaning of authentein is a hot issues; it’s not all that clear that it means “exercise authority.”

    And the whole passage there is fraught with interpretive difficulties. The assumed integration of Genesis 1 with Genesis 2-3 allows statements about a woman’s subordinate rank and place in the church that would not be so if the Genesis 1 creation were emphasized. And whereas here you have Paul or whoever authored 1 Timothy blaming the fall on the woman, in Romans 5 he blames the man Adam. For all the arguments that the conservative historical church has used to deny women certain positions and activities in the church, there are some scriptures and some differently-informed ways of reading the text that challenge those beliefs.

  20. EricW, I think you might be reaching now. I don’t see what you call a “hot issue” here. Here are the various translations:
    NET – “exercise authority”
    NIV – “have authority”
    NASB – “exercise authority”
    NLT – “have authority”
    NRSV – “have authority”
    NKJV – “have authority”
    KJV – “to usurp authority”

    And a translators note from the NET:
    “According to BDAG 150 s.v. αὐθεντέω this Greek verb means “to assume a stance of independent authority, give orders to, dictate to” (cf. JB “tell a man what to do”).”

    I’m not feeling “hot issue” here. Paul is be pretty clear here. Furthermore, 1 Corinthians 14:34 seems to back this up. So, while I am not sure it ever precludes all teaching in all settings by a woman, I definitely can’t go the other way and open the door completely. That would seem to fly in the face of teaching that has been pretty consistent since apostolic times, with few exceptions.

  21. Jerry:

    I probably shouldn’t have narrowed my comments to the meaning of authentein, but should have said that the meaning of the verse and its application today in the church is a hot issue. My bad.

    Read chapters 2 & 3 of WOMEN IN THE CHURCH (Second Edition – Kostenberger and Schreiner). Then read P.B. Payne’s essay on the verse:

    http://www.linguistsoftware.com/Payne2008NTS-oude1Tim2_12.pdf

    Then read what Dr. Ann Nyland says in her notes on this verse in THE SOURCE NEW TESTAMENT. Then go to

    powerscourt.blogspot.com (aka Suzanne’s Bookshelf)

    and do a search for the 12/14/08 article on “request re authentein” and read Suzanne’s other blogposts on the passage.

    Then go to the complegalitarian.wordpress.com blog and read some of the posts on 1 Timothy and the comments.

    Ben Witherington III and Scot McKnight and Craig Keener and Gordon Fee are egalitarians. So was F.F. Bruce.

  22. EricW,

    I have given some of the sources you mention a quick once-over, and I think what I can see is best summed up by a sentence from Suzanne’s Bookshelf, where she states “It indicates that there is a strong thirst for a justification for restricting women’s roles.” This strikes me as quite backwards. I think, based on historical background, that the sentence is more accurate when it is stated “It indicates that there is a strong thirst for a justification for expanding women’s roles.” This makes it easier for me to see why so much word-wrangling is being done. Essentially, we have a Biblical statement (1 Timothy 2:12) that is backed up by another (1 Corinthians 14:34) that a group of people don’t like, so an awful lot is being done to try to justify that position. I don’t think that church history or the Bible is working for that position terribly well. I know there are times when I don’t like what the Bible says about something, but what is called for in that situation is obedience, not attempts to justify an alternative position. The word-wrangling over 1 Timothy 2:12 seems to be such an attempt. Rather than advance an agenda, I choose to let the weight of history and Scripture guide my understanding of this.

  23. Jerry, the weight of history and Scripture would also go a long ways towards justifying slavery. History does not make something right and the correct interpretation of Scripture is not a given. You mention 2 passages. I once read through the entire Bible with an eye to this issue (starting as a complementarian), and came away thinking the two passages, taken at face value, disagree with the overall tenor of Scripture. So, if scripture cannot contradict itself, Paul’s words must be nuanced. It’s not a twisting, as Kristy suggested, but a look at the big picture; the forest, not just one or two trees.

  24. “It is an abomination for a woman to speak in a church”?

  25. Bishop NT Wright’s thoughts on women in ministry.

    http://www.ntwrightpage.com/Wright_Women_Service_Church.htm

  26. I would have to agree that women should not be in the pastor role. Although I am no authority (pun intended) on Biblical exegesis, I offer my opinion most humbly, in hopes that it will merit reflective response. Please, if I am misled in my logic or information, guide me to the source of correcting it. 

    Since I tend to be a little long-winded I will post my actual opinion in a following entry.

    I think it’s great that so many are doing their research and understanding what to believe and why to believe it. This discipleship, sadly, is so lacking in today’s modern American church!

    Thanks and God bless all!

  27. It seems like a lot of New Age and Feminist influences have fogged the Christian worldview, and, in effect, overtaken popular interpretation of Scripture.

    I used to be quite feminist and thought that my role was as a human being, and wasn’t at all limited by my sex, especially by God who is “no respecter of persons” (and all those other one-line phrases preachers seem to pull from various locations of holy writ to ascribe as all-encompassing attributes of God.)

    However, I have learned that the roles of men and women are very different, while their worth remains the same. It is the place of honor for the woman, who is the glory of man (she identifies herself to the man,) to be submissive. In this way, she honors both man, through her respect (something all men naturally crave,) as well as God, by following the order He initiated and perpetuated since the beginning.
    Also, to reiterate a point mentioned in the original post, the natures of men and women create for them differing roles. Even the naturalists argue that the role of men and women has always been different to fit their natural differences. Women are more inclined to the maternal role of nurturing, while men are suited for guarding, defending, and leading. The latter sounds more like someone I would want to shepherd my sheep. Tending to them is seemingly ineffective if they are being attacked and slaughtered…

    Not that women are incapable etc. but it is how God has designed things.

    Absolutely women have a place in the Church, even teaching (other women) in the church. However, this role does not include exercising authority over men.

    Jesus taught women who were clearly competent, and tutored, if you will, these women. They “sat at the feet of Jesus” which was their way of saying “were discipled by the Rabbi.” These women were educated and would participate in discussions in the temples… There are numerous other examples of women having educational roles in the church. Phillip had four daughters who prophesied, publically proclaiming the Word of God. Priscilla (who is always identified with her husband) and many, many more who were instructional members in the Church.

    The women Paul was talking to were ill-informed and teaching false doctrine, correct? (Perhaps the same “breed” who were causing so chaos in the services in other churches?) Of course Paul would want them to be silenced! Ask your husbands at home, ladies, and don’t be disruptive in church.

    On another note, in a response quote earlier (April) someone mentioned that he was led to the Lord by a woman pastor, and calling this wrong was “denying the Spirit.”
    I disagree. All throughout the Bible God has used people who are blatantly disobeying Scripture to influence His own. Just because He uses situations for His glory doesn’t mean that the situations glorify Him in the typical manner of thinking.

  28. When discussing this, we also need to include: Joel 2:28-29; Acts 2:17-18, 21:8-9; Romans 16:1, 3, 7; Philippians 4:2-3.

    I found the NETBible translation (note 21 from Jerry Brown) to be fascinating. NO pastor of an organized denomination (i.e., Presbyterian, Methodist, etc.) can be truly considered “independent”, as they are called by a board or the bishop. Depending on the denomination, even bishops are elected, so are not independent (though many act like it).

  29. Michael this is one of the few things (very very few) things that I have to take exception to that you have written.

    You have more than one portion of scripture that shows that the primary vocal and leadership roles in the corporate gathering of the Church are deligated to men. And if we ordain a women into that postion we have rejected the scriptures and God’s authority.

    The delgation by God of these postions is not based on inherent ability. There are many portions of scripture where women are shown to have performed equally as men. But the context of both 1 Corinthians and 1 Tmothy are clear that the offices and leadership positions are to be given to men.

    It is also clear in Acts that outside of the official meeting of the local Church that it was ok for women to teach. Look at Pricillia and Aquilla where they take equall teaching credit to disciples even the Apostle Paul.

    This is not a cultural thing but a submission to the authority of God and that transcends culture.

  30. ThatRockWasChrist May 1, 2010 at 4:13 pm

    Those that would restrict women from speaking or ministering in any position must ignore the fact that the Spirit was poured out on all; it is the Spirit who determines the gifts, not man.
    Those that would place restrictions on women also must believe that men are morally and intellectually superior. What utter nonsense. To take what Paul wrote in Timothy literally as a blanket statement for all women everywhere does not make sense –

    Consider a few other conclusions must be drawn if one takes this as most do:

    Men don’t need to learn in silence.
    It’s ok for men to usurp authority.
    It’s ok for men who aren’t in a position of authority to have more than one wife.
    Women must submit to all men, husband or not.
    Women are not able to discern when their pastor is in error, or whether a teaching is in error.
    The Holy Spirit is limited in what He can do with women.

    Regarding elders: An elder is not a position in the church, but simply an older person/Christian. We still use the term that way: “Mind your elders”.

  31. I am unsure of which part of your thesis on this topic to tackle first.
    I am so glad you wife is able to be a sweet princess and you the knight who fights her battles. God must have made a huge mistake in leaving so many of his daughters without their husband to go to battle for them due to death disability, separation on the males part leading to divorce etc.
    There is no earthly reason or heavenly either why a woman cannot deal with conflict or resolving a combative situation.
    How on earth do woman manage to teach and bring up children are two areas that come to mind let alone the woman who are Queens, governors and high up in administration. Your point had to do with the nature of the one woman you know well, rather than the many who are living examples for you. Christian or not.

    Why is it OK to have many woman missionaries over the generations??
    Being brought up in a strict open brethren background with one grandfather a great convention preacher I never imagined I would preach. I spent 3 years in Bible College, I taught Sunday School and youth and women……but there came a time when there was a call for me to be a preacher. Not this baby!!! No way.
    Yet, in what I always saw as, “for such a time as this” my grandfathers cloak fell only on me in the family…..in fact in both sides of my family with one exception of another lay preacher who happens to be male. I had no idea I had the skills God had birthed in me but I knew that if it was not the Holy Spirit who spoke through me then what I spoke would be worthless.
    There were years of great joy in preparing and proclaiming through the power and enabling of the Holy Spirit, the word of God. Especially over three years when the Church had no Minister.
    But it was for “such a time as this” I left that particular church and denomination, not that of my youth, and moved to another church where younger women preach but someone of my age and experience is not wanted or needed.

  32. Carl D'Agostino July 11, 2010 at 5:36 pm

    You all mean the Holy Spirit inside of or that speaks to a woman is inferior to or subordinate to that of a Man? So is woman a second class citizen in the Kingdom? Does she do all the washing, cleaning, and ironing in God’s household? And all the scripture to support this. My word. Some of you wold make good Islamic Apologists for the way they treat their camels better than their woman and got their scripture stuff about it too. I am not Christian Science but when I read her book, it seems Mary Baker Eddy is more connected to and full of the Holy Spirit than any man I have heard or read.

  33. As I read Genesis, Adam and Eve were together in the garden when she first ate of the fruit and that Adam who was given dominion over his helpmate, Eve, just stood there and said nothing to stop her, even though he had been told that if they ate of the fruit “they would surely die.”

    Adam had dominion over the wife, but chose to watch and when he saw that Eve did not die, he too took a bite of the apple.

    Did I misunderstand the passages????

  34. Carl D'Agostino July 17, 2010 at 1:13 am

    Re #34 Why would anyone with half a brain base an understanding of the man/woman/God relationship based on this silly mythology of the OT. The Israelites themselves understood these as beautiful stories and traditions but , for example, the sophisticated author of Job would not base an understanding based on Adam/Eve story. Of course there were literalists then too who used this to subdue the equality of woman just as commenters here do. They do the same in Islam and as a result they treat their camels better than their woman. Do you think your own mother is subordinate to man? And I suppose it happened 6,000 years ago too, huh?

  35. Good outline. #7 is where I stand. Just had a really good discussion with one of my pastors about it. We are a hierarchial comp church but are in transition to recognizing the need to allow women to receive more training and use their gifts more.

  36. 1-10 options are insufficent.

    Option 11. The issue is always authority. Women are NOT to have authority over the man in the home or in the church.
    The issue of preaching and teaching the authoritative scriptures in an authoritative way (as the oracles of God) precludes women in this capacity.

    Women CAN and should teach other women.

    However, even the teaching of the scriptures to other women an children seems to imply under the headship of the husband or bishop (i.e. elder/ pastor).

    Can a woman teach a man how to make a pot of coffee in church? of course.
    Can a woman teach the pastor how to decorate his office? of course.
    Can a woman teach a male child? I think that is up to the parent as the child is not a “MAN” (Though personally a women should NOT teach a teenager)
    Can a woman teach her husband how to defrag the hard drive. of course.

    Paul limits 1 Tim 2 and 1 Cor 14 passage to the church and authority in the church setting; and therefore the preaching/ teaching of the scriptures to other men in the church.

  37. The reason option #4 is not sufficient is: Outside of the home and the local church, I believe women can and do have the responsibility to give the good news of eternal life to those who do not possess eternal life.

  38. Fundamentalists usually focus on literal interpretation.

    Orthodox method of interpretation includes literal interpretation as well as historical and cultural context.

    We need to consider Paul’s audience. Greek women with pagan backgrounds believed:
    1. that God created Eve first then brought Adam from Eve.
    2. that Adam received his knowledge from Eve.

    When Paul uses the word HEAD, it is translated from Greek word kephale which is closer in meaning SOURCE.
    Paul was confronting the false teaching by stating that God created Adam first and brought Eve from Adam. Therefore, Adam was the SOURCE of Eve.

    The city of Ephesus was the headquarters for the temple of Diana. If a man wanted to serve in the temple of Diana, he had to be castrated and wear women’s clothing. Usurp authority is translated from Greek word authentein, closest in meaning to the word murder. When Paul said that women are not to usurp authority over men, I believe he was referring to this pagan practice from temple of Diana, telling Greek women that they could not bring this pagan practice into the Christian church.
    Considering this pagan practice, it is understandable why the Apostle Paul would have used such a strong word.

    Source: Biblical scholar Catherine Clark Kroeger, who held a high view of Scripture

    Paul never said anything negative about Priscilla because she was sound in the faith.
    He never told Priscilla to keep silence in the church.
    Abraham Kuyper wrote an excellent lesson on Priscilla in his book: Women of the New Testament.

  39. But then again, Abraham Kuyper was not influenced by culture of American fundamentalism.

    Most of the time, I prefer to read Christian writers (like Spurgeon) who lived and died before the 20th century. That way, I can avoid mysoginist interpretations of Scripture as well as charisma-tic teachings concerning the Holy Spirit.
    For example, check out 2 books by Spurgeon:
    Spiritual Warfare in a Believer’s Life
    Holy Spirit in a Believer’s Life
    Great books for men as well as women!

    Thank God I live in a free country where I can enjoy my liberty in the Lord….for where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.

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