Are Women Permitted to Teach? (1 Timothy 2:12)

What does the Bible say about female teachers?

Are women permitted to teach in church? You might think not if you read this verse:

I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man, but to remain quiet. (1 Tim 2:12)

Oh dear.

Don’t tell Joyce Meyer that women aren’t allowed to teach. Or my mum, my wife, or a gazillion other ladies who teach in church. They’re all sinning. They should stop teaching and be quiet. Paul said so.

But wait a second.

Paul endorsed several female teachers including Junia, Priscilla, Euodia and Syntyche. Did Paul have a Biblical view of women? Was he confused about the role of women in the church?

Or are we?

Can a woman teach the word of God?

I want to offer a grace-based commentary of this troublesome passage and the surrounding verses. Much of what follows was inspired by an essay on women’s service written by NT Wright:

Let a woman learn… (1 Tim 2:11, NKJV)

Whoa! Right there we should dip our hats to Paul the liberator of women.

Consider the context. Under patriarchal Jewish religion, women had few rights. They could not enter the main part of the temple, they were forbidden to speak in the assembly, and they certainly weren’t encouraged to learn.

The low view of women held by religious Jews is revealed in this saying of Rabbi Eliezer: “Let the words of the law be burned, rather than that they should be delivered to women” (source: Adam Clarke’s Commentary).

In other words, women should not study and learn. To teach women, according to some, was to cast your pearls before swine. This was Paul’s view, but then he met Jesus and got set free from his Pharisaical misogyny.

Let a woman learn in silence with all submission. (1 Tim 2:11, NKJV)

Meaning they should quietly submit to God and his gospel, which is something we all must do. Grace is for the humble and teachable. The proud learn nothing.

I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man, but to remain quiet. (1 Tim 2:12)

“Don’t hear what I’m not saying,” the apostle might have said. “I don’t mean to imply that I’m setting up women as the new authority over men in the same way that men previously held authority over women. Under the law, men lorded it over the fairer sex. That was wrong. It would be similarly wrong for women to lord it over men. Instead, let us submit to one another out of reverence for Christ” (Eph 5:21).

Note that Paul is writing to Timothy who lived in Ephesus. Who else lived in Ephesus? Artemis, the Greek mother goddess, and her nutcase followers.

Ephesus was a town of radical femi-nazis (see Acts 19:28). Paul wanted to liberate women from religious bondage, but there was a danger the Ephesian Christians might swing the pendulum too far. Lacking role models, they might take inspiration from the priestesses of Artemis. Here’s NT Wright:

Was the apostle saying, people might wonder, that women should be trained up so that Christianity would gradually become a cult like that of Artemis, where women did the leading and kept the men in line? That, it seems to me, is what verse 12 is denying… Paul is saying, like Jesus in Luke 10, that women must have the space and leisure to study and learn in their own way, not in order that they may muscle in and take over the leadership as in the Artemis-cult, but so that men and women alike can develop whatever gifts of learning, teaching and leadership God is giving them.

In short, women aren’t to lord it over men any more than men are to lord it over women. Recall these words of Jesus:

The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them; and those who exercise authority over them call themselves Benefactors. But you are not to be like that. (Luke 22:25-26)

A Biblical teacher does not throw their weight around like a Gentile king but sets an example to others (1 Pet 5:3). He, or she, is one who says “follow me as I follow Christ.”

(Speaking of Jesus, the first person commissioned by Jesus to preach the good news of his resurrection was a woman (John 20:17). And the first person to preach the gospel of Jesus to Gentiles was a woman (John 4:28). So much for women remaining silent and not teaching men.)

That’s 1 Timothy 2:12. What about the rest of the passage?

The bit about Adam and Eve

For Adam was formed first, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression. (1 Tim 2:13-14)

This verse has been used to club women into submission, as though Eve was somehow inferior or more sinful than Adam. This sort of thinking misses the point which is that Adam entered into sin with eyes wide open, but Eve was deceived. She was younger (Adam was formed first), less knowledgeable, and duped. This is why it’s important for the daughters of Eve to have the same learning opportunities as the sons of Adam.

We all need to grow in grace and be taught lest we be deceived (see 2 Cor 11:3-4).

If you were a first-century Jewish woman, you were discouraged from learning and speaking in the assembly. Under no circumstances would you ever be allowed to teach men. Sadly, this bondage is still experienced in parts of the world today. But this was not the case in the churches that Paul planted!

Grace brings liberty. While we may debate the meaning of what Paul said, the evidence of what Paul did is indisputable: Paul empowered women. He identified female teachers by name and, far from naming and shaming them, he called them colleagues in Christ. He would’ve loved Joyce Meyer!

Are women permitted to teach men?

Paul was writing to a young man who had been raised by two godly women, Lois and Eunice (2 Tim 1:5). Who taught Timothy? Lois and Eunice!

After acknowledging the faith-heritage of these ladies, Paul reminded Timothy to “fan into flame the gift of God which is in you.” He would say the same thing to every woman and girl reading this article.

God has given you unique gifts and talents. He’s given you a story and a voice. And what you have, the world needs. The world does not need you to lord it over others like a bad king, but the world does need you to shine with the grace God has given you.

With that in mind I’ll finish with these slightly altered words of Paul:

Let no one look down on your gender, but rather in speech, conduct, love, faith and purity, show yourself an example of those who believe. (My paraphrase of 1 Tim 4:12)


More articles about Women in the Church.

Sign up to our free email list and we’ll notify you about new articles as soon they come out.

Join 40,638 other followers

75 Comments on Are Women Permitted to Teach? (1 Timothy 2:12)

  1. Sam Griffith // October 26, 2017 at 1:09 am // Reply

    Wow! I’ve got to say that this was a fantastic post. As you pointed out in that comic: “There is neither Jew nor Greek, Slave nor Free, Male nor Female, for we are all one in Christ.”

  2. The grace clarity is greatly appreciated here. Unfortunately, Biblical hyper-literalism & proof-texting has gotten the best of too many men in the Body for far too long. Praying for change in this (& doing).

  3. Great. This is a much difficult passage. I’ve read a lot of NT commentaries. But the thing that makes no sense to many commentaries is they bypass the they will be saved by child bearing. Is salvation a different path for women. One commentary I read (who I suspect IS a feminist, but made a valid point I can’t ignore) that the woe authority here is only used here. It’s only used one time. And this commentary also leans towards the false teaching occurring in Ephesus. Didn’t they also follow a female “deity” Diana?
    I’ve heard two commentaries that both conclude this isn’t about forbidig women from teaching or holding pastoral offices. This one here you espoused upon, which is strongly supported by manners and customs of the setting. The other was simply speaking about a husband and wife. Still another I saw was that there was a specific woman in the Ephesian church who was an issue.
    Either way I don’t see this as subjectating women back to their place. Wasn’t the first evangelist a woman?

    • I read an excellent commentary which described Ephesus as being in the grip of the social mores of the cult of Diana-Artemis, who was the town’s patron god. You can see how angry even the men became when they thought Paul was trying to unseat her. (Acts 19)

      The vestiges of their view of what makes a person spiritual can still be seen in the mystique around nuns and convents:

      To be spiritual one must be married to one’s god. Marriage to a man was seen as defiling, as was the marriage bed. They idealized the ever-virgin model as true holiness. Bearing children was considered an inferior, low class act for the ‘breeders’ and not for the truly spiritual.

      In addition, the women were the priestesses; in this cult female deity was venerated, so men were the ones dominated, cut out and also viewed as inferior spiritually.

      Seeing as every action requires an equal and opposite action to bring balance, apostle Paul had his work cut out for him to tackle these false teachings. But would he have said these things if writing to a church in a town battling the reverse: misogyny, crushing/domineering of women? Or would he instead have been stressing what they most needed to hear for deliverance from their just-as-wrong, false world view?

      • John W Reed // October 30, 2017 at 12:26 pm //

        Good points. Much understanding is gain when we look at manners and customs during the time of the Epistles when we encounter obscure passages in the New Covenant. The divorce and remarriage traditional view would be settled when looking at manners and customs.

  4. Connie Witter is a great example of a woman who is blessing the Body of Christ with her gift to teach. If God is against this, why is He blessing people through her and others?

  5. When reading the Title, “Are Women Permitted to Teach”, it brought pain to my heart and tears welled in my eyes. I have such a desire in my heart to teach, to speak about, to enlighten, to proclaim, to set captives free from the law, to loosen the bonds of the law that ties all people to the old covenant, to bring them into the fullness of the truth. God ladies go. When we were buried with Christ at the cross……..we became new creations just like all of God’s creation did. As Paul states, there is neither male nor female, it is all about love and acceptance that we are all made one in Christ Jesus……… We can look at one another as family in Christ and use the gift or gifts and calling in which the Author and Finisher of faith gave us… It is His journey in us that fulfills us and even makes our way on this journey of life. His life is my life, we love one another and become as joyful children in community of His church, His body… Whom He calls He equips and even makes that way………that walk in the Spirit of HIs faith… We are all kept under tutors until we come to the knowledge of truth (grace and truth came by Jesus Christ). Let us love one another and work together as Ambassadors of Christ……don’t look at my status anymore………..see me IN CHRIST!! Go Joyce Go!!! and all whom want to proclaim the Good News… Neither male nor female… One Christ, One God, One Faith, One Spirit, One baptism… Blessings…fight the good fight!!!

  6. Berris-Dale Joseph // October 26, 2017 at 6:40 am // Reply

    I have enjoyed and appreciated your article. It is a reflection of sound truth. If women should be silent who would teach the children, especially from the womb to at least teen age? A mother is naturally the closer parent to the offsprings. She affects their entire character development in a way the father is not privileged to do. Yes, in Christ there is neither male nor female. The grace of Christ Jesus makes each recipient a transformed person. Everyone has a heart with which to respond to the matchless grace of our loving Lord, including women. God clearly states that while man looks at the outward appearance God looks at the heart. To have a heart or to not have a heart (together with the quality or condition of that heart with respect to truth and honesty), would be the criterion for God’s consideration of a human being, of which women are a part—and not whether the person or human being is a female or a male.

    Certainly, God has appointed the man as head of the woman; Christ being the head of the man, and God being the head of Christ. There is no two ways about this established order. And this order is absolutely immuned to any bad repercussions. Why? Because this order depends on one common denominator to run it properly, LOVE. Yes, the LOVE of God. Nothing can go wrong when love rules. It flows from the top down: from God to Jesus Christ, from Jesus Christ to the man, married or unmarried, and from the man, meaning a converted man, to the woman. We may say that the woman will transmit this same love to the children. And further, the children will transmit the same to the animals, as it takes only a little child to lead them. That is, a child with the love— or that which flows (like a river the precious water) from the Heart of God.

    And now the whole earth is full of His glory, the glory of God’s love.

  7. My lands Paul, you’re beginning to raise some eyebrows… I’m all for the ladies bringing the word but in the proper context. Just surprised to see you mention a couple questionable characters in this post.

    • We are all questionable characters. Indeed, God’s grace only shines through questionable characters.

    • @Austin, well, NT Wright is wrong! But, have you realized that we’ve all been wrong about one doctrine or another but are still saved? Ask the disciples who were frequently confused about Christ before and after His death and resurrection (John 20:9). We are all recovering and changing our minds (repenting) about error’s in doctrine. For years my understanding of the Trinity was modalism. No, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are three separate persons in One being. Scripture declares it (Gen 1:26; 2:24; Psalm 110:1). And I never understood that Jesus was my righteousness until a few years ago – like most of us! Being wrong about one point of doctrine doesn’t make a person wrong on all points. Also, how are we, heir’s of the world, co-heirs with Christ, gonna take dominion of anything having nothing? It’s okay for the devils kingdom to have everything, but not the children of the King? Never mind that Solomon was the richest man in the world, and by today’s standards, he still is, estimated by today’s economy to be a trillionaire. We forget he was not only the wisest, but the richest (1 Kings 3:10-13), and God did that. Maybe the private-jet thing is a matter of having the faith to receive (1 Cor 12:9; Luke 5:4-10) – crazy faith attracting crazy Grace – possessing our possessions.

      We are all questionable, indeed. Well said, Paul. Thanks for doing your part to change the game for the kingdom!

      • tatjana virant kramar // October 26, 2017 at 11:50 pm //

        if you take one tenth from all gullible sheeps you “pastor”( and pressure into giving by false teachings) its not blessing that you get rich- it is MATH

  8. Clarence Reyneveld // October 26, 2017 at 8:44 am // Reply

    Just a general comment:

    Some (Christian teachers) on the other side of this issue have said that they have no problem with women teaching younger and older women (in the Church). They also have no problem with women teaching in the home. This assumes that the teaching (that women do in these above-mentioned settings) is based on good themes of the Bible. These (Christian teachers) hesitate, however, when it comes to women exercise authority (sometimes shown by teaching) over men in the Church. They see that as a line that has been crossed but should not be normally be crossed, where normal male, mature leadership is available.

    I am not entering into the right or wrong of this article and what it says. I only wish to point out something just for general info.

    • Some Christian teachers haven’t heard of Deborah, a judge of Israel, or any of the other influential women leaders of the Bible. There’s no right or wrong of it; there’s just what the Bible says on one side and sexist stupidity on the other.

      • William MacDonald // October 28, 2017 at 12:50 am //

        I respect you brother, but you are simply wrong to refer to those who hold a different view to your own as sexist and stupid. Was Derek Prince a stupid sexist? Yet he believed leadership was male. Though I don’t agree with everything Derek taught, I do believe him to be a man of integrity. There are many others too like him who love and respect women, but due to their convictions believe God’s ideal for leadership is that it is male, being aware that there are exceptions to the rule. We need to be careful not to right everyone off as misogynistic if they don’t share the same convictions as ourselves.

      • Interesting example, since Derek Prince and I have something in common. We both have (or had, in his case) Danish wives who were teachers. You can choose to disagree, but there were many influential women in the Bible, some of whom were teachers.

        Viewing half the human race as inferior to the other is stupid, unwise, ignorant, foolish, and thoroughly unbiblical.

      • John W Reed // October 30, 2017 at 12:39 pm //

        Interesting choice of words from a Grace preacher lol. Not sure if misogyny is at the root as is religious tradition. Tradition is a mighty powerful stronghold.
        That said I am actually glad you called out what you see. Grace has suddenly began to be defined as one who isn’t allowed to hold or share an opinion on politics, Government, patriotism, or a political party. Speak your convictions freely.

    • richard elson // October 26, 2017 at 9:46 pm // Reply

      I just wonder . . . when was the last time anyone here ever submitted themselves to a teacher because they had “authority”.
      I used to be involved with a church organization which stressed unity and conformity through their ” authority ” figures.
      Most people on the outside of the resultant bubble called it a cult. Those on the inside called it “family”.
      In was only the threat of being ejected from the so called ” family” that the Authority was underpinned.
      My point is, teachers don’t have authority, they offer perspective and insight, agreement is totally up to the hearer.

      • Been there, Richard, I have put myself under that type of authority. Thankfully, I see now that it should be love that keeps a family together. In that type of environment leaders are serving those they lead, just like Jesus.

  9. Paul told the Galatians they were all sons of God thru their faith in Christ Jesus (3:26). Neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, but all one in Christ (3:27). Abraham’s seed, heirs according to the promise (3:29).

    Is it stretching things to say women become “sons,” and “heirs” by faith in Christ? (The explanation being, that only sons would be legal heirs to anything, not daughters. Saying “sons and daughters” of God, then, would not carry the same weight.) I do not mean to affirm the gnostic gospel of Thomas’ saying that “Every woman who makes herself male will enter the kingdom,” but Paul nevertheless delineates roles, not only in marriage, but also in the church, for men and women.

    Abiding by those God-given roles seems to be a test (or trial?) for everybody.

  10. Wonderful again, Paul, thank you so much!

  11. I think Jesus made it clear there are no leaders in the church besides himself. When assembled, the Holy Spirit leads us (ideally). For this reason I don’t think you can relate women or men OT leaders to the NT church body. IE neither men nor women are leaders/shepherds/under-shepherds.

    Some NT verses about women’s ministry are referring to outside of assembly and some in assembly. Preaching is something done to non believers outside of Christian assembly which is mostly proclamation(ironically what we see done by leaders inside churches today). But teaching is done with Christians inside assembly, which is where the difficulty lies. But If the Holy Spirit leads the church body during assembly then we don’t need to worry ourselves with the role of women using their gifts.

    I think these difficult NT verses concerning women must seen more as specific guidelines for their conduct when not exercising their gifts, otherwise the bible would be contradicting itself. Eg, we know NT women used their gifts and prophesied and taught other Christians. So we know that no NT verses can be interpreted to restrict women from speaking during assembly.

    • Ephesians 4 is how the ascended and descended Christ gave his gifts for His Church…there are 5….Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors and some Teachers……these are to equip the body for the work of the ministry………each saint has his Christ given ministry but is equipped because of the 5 gifts of Christ who work together as one……..UNITY!! Have you seen this church anywhere??? This is what Christ has called me to do……and that is to set it up in this manner. Certainly will be a change from the present Evangelical Pastor head ran operation. If you note, this is the only place in the NT where Pastor is used, but he is not a separate entity to Christ’s church…. Hmm, do we have it wrong in the foundation of our local churches? Who is equipping the saints for ministry, one man as pastor??

  12. Oh how I wish the churches near me subscribed to this truth. As a woman I really struggle with the leadership of men only in church, men only teaching from the pulpit frequently relying on sports analogies, men presuming spiritual authority over me and the women around me agreeing to it all “for the sake of order.” Paul, will you be writing on any of these? In particular I’m curious of the grace perspective on what it means for an elder to have spiritual authority.

    • I have read all of the comments to the article which is so good and had a couple days to read God’s words and let this sink in. I took the time to read Paul’s letters, for the major part he starts all of them with the phrase, “to the saints, to the brethren, to the church, then he goes on to state to “all the saints”. After looking up these from the Greek meaning he is speaking to the body of Christ as His church and in that body are many members, but one body, 1 Cor 12:12 “For as the body is one, and has many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ. For by one Spirit “are we all”-kjv, web, asv, “we were all”-nkjv, niv esv, rsv, [pastense]…[all is all], for by one S[irit we were all baptized into one body — whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free—and have all been made to drik into one Spirit. For in fact the body is not one member but many. 12:18, But now (means now), God has set the members, each one of them , in the body just as He pleased….. 22… No, much rather, those members of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary. 23….And those members of the body which we think to be less honorable, on these we bestow greater honor….. 25… that there should be no schism in the body, ……the members should have the same care fo one another…..26…if one suffers, all suffer with it…or if one honored…all rejoice with it….and God has appointed these in the church, first apostles, second prophets, third teacher, after that miracles….etc….” NO WHERE HERE DO I SEE A MALE OR FEMALE GIVEN A POSITION. Sorry but I see the church being made one and Christ is giving the appointment to whom He chooses… Blessings… Desire the best gift…!!

  13. Geraldine, I am with you in part of what you say.. our church is pastored why men and women, which is great, but when the men preach they are too prone to using sports analogies which just baffle me!

  14. In verse 12 Paul uses the woed ‘authority’ or authentein.
    authentein here makes its one and only appearance!
    Koine Greek writings in general use it in several ways:
    ‘Precedence (coming first)’ which ties in with the Gnostic doctrine of Eve creating Adam
    ‘domineering, usurping authority’ like that of the Gnostic teachers.
    ‘To murder a wife and take her place.’ Again, extreme usurpation and violence!

    Most of these meanings are about the abuse of power. The following translation is a perfectly permissible translation of the Greek text, and best suits the Gnostic context:
    I do not permit (such) a woman to teach nor to represent herself as the originator of man; she is to be in conformity (to the scripture teaching) for Adam was created first, not Eve….
    A woman who does not peddle Gnostic rubbish but who holds sound doctrine should teach and can hold proper authority, in line with Paul’s teaching elsewhere! Eve was deceived and a sinner, not enlightened and perfect as the Gnostics taught! This is far removed from saying that because Eve sinned all women are unfit to speak or lead.
    The clinching verse is 15, because out of the Gnostic context it makes no obvious sense at all; is it saying good women don’t die while giving birth (they do) or that they are saved by having children? Paul was denying the Gnostic doctrine that having children would hinder a woman’s salvation. Paul teaches that salvation depends on faith in Christ, not on whether or not you have babies!
    The final proof that Gnosticism is behind many of the statements of Paul in this letter comes in 1 Timothy 6:20:
    Turn away from godless chatter and the opposing ideas of what is falsely called knowledge, (A.V. ‘science’) which some have professed and in so doing have wandered from the faith.
    The word ‘knowledge’ there is, you’ve guessed it, GNOSIS. (Strong’s 1108) Could Paul be more plain?

    • Thank you!!! This makes sense!

      • Elaine Urie // November 6, 2018 at 5:02 am //

        Well, didn’t the “Last Adam” trump the first Adam??? And doesn’t Paul state that “in Christ” there is neither male nor female but we were all made ONE “in Christ”. I think we should be able to communicate on the same level as the head is Christ. Even the husband and wife relationship, the two become one and are to submit to one another. My husband has learned a lot of things from me as I have from him. Sometimes I think the church (the body of Christ) is still living under the legalistic mode of operation instead of the Spirit walk in Him. That, my dear sisters and brothers in Christ, causes division…. The men end up “ruling over the woman” instead of seeing them as their own body and nurturing them in the Faith….and more and more division in the church takes place….. The creation is awaiting the revealing of the sons of God, he doesn’t say male sons of God or female sons of God…… because we have been ALL made one in Him…..let us live and walk in the Holy Spirit with God and Jesus whom is all One. As we are a part of the Trinity in Him…who cares what the flesh part is. Let us love one another as Jesus/Elohim/Emanuel loves us and gave his life for us… Let us live in harmony in the new covenant in his blood (see the fruit). Husband love your wife as Christ loved the church and gave his life for her….

  15. My last comment is edited from an article by “Peter Baylis”.
    search his name and “women teachers” for the full article.

  16. Spoken like a true feminist!

    • Real men empower others to be greater than themselves, and are proud of themselves to the same measure that they are proud of others. Their boast is in the Lord.

  17. To quote Jason Elkins, “Good stuff, man”

  18. Hi Paul
    Great stuff.Opened my eyes to right believing That if GOD has blessed a woman with the ability to teach Grace
    gospel let her teach. Paul Please do not mess with GOD’s word ie. (My paraphrase of 1 Tim 4:12) Not Good!!

  19. I think the answer is right in the verse itself:
    “I suffer not a woman to teach, or usurp…”
    (to teach or usurp what exactly?)
    “… authority over a man.”

    No problem with teaching correct Gospel, just don’t teach usurping of authority over a man.
    I don’t see any reason for it to be any more complicated than that.

  20. I think you are writing in a light-hearted way to draw in a person or a woman. But, first … I don’t think Jesus would love Joyce Meyer….

    • Of course Jesus loves Joyce Meyer. He died on the cross for her as much as for you and me. You might not love Joyce Meyer, but it would be a mistake to project your views onto the One who bled and died for all of us. Jesus thinks the world of Joyce Meyer and he thinks the world of you. This is the good news and it’s worth sharing, no matter what your sex. And the fact is that many women in the Bible did teach.

    • If we are ALL ONE IN CHRIST (yes all) and he is the head of his body/HIs Church, then we must operate as not seeing anyone’s nationality (to God there are two nationalities Jew/Gentile), we can’t look at the living status (bound as a servant or set free and unrestrained from bounds) and we can’t look at the persons sexual state (literally man/man-child/male or female/woman) in the operation of HIs Church, He said so!! So in “the Body”, in the Christ made Church, if we go by the Apostle Paul’s Words, as given to him by the risen Savior…….He gave a new message to His Church, we can’t look at race, creed or sex…. as all have been made one in the one body but with differing functions, but we all need each other to move in that one body (Eph 4). In the fleshly marriage of man and woman, this differs from the church and even there, the two became one for unity in relationship. And all I can say brothers/sisters, we don’t look at the exterior in the body of Christ………love one another as I have loved you and gave My life a ransom for you. Yes, till all come to the knowledge that their is neither male nor female in the body of Christ, we must function a one to get anywhere with spreading the Good News…

      Not all are gifted as teachers, pastors, evangelists, prophets and yes apostles…. If your not gifted to teach………DON”T, that’s like a clanging cymbal. And yes, the greatest of all gifts is love……… Blessings!!

      • William MacDonald // November 29, 2017 at 6:22 am //

        Absolute nonsense. There still is male and female in the body of Christ. God help us!!!

      • Elaine Urie // November 29, 2017 at 8:11 am //

        I guess to you Paul’s inspired New Testament words from the resurrected Jesus are not correct. To me they are life and that life more abundant because I can see everyone as equals “in Christ” and He, Jesus, is the head of His body, and what a wonderful Savior he is. Jesus came to set up his church and in it, there is nothing that divides. Love one another as I have loved you. Be at peace with all men (people). Merry Christmas

      • William, I’m not sure if you’re explaining yourself clearly. . . are you saying that the body of Christ should acknowledge the differences between people who make up the whole, all the time disciplining ourselves not show partiality towards any of its members?
        Alternatively, we are to show partiality towards the different people who are a part of it. . . taking a leaf out of the Hindu caste system? A billion Hindu’s can’t be all wrong.

        Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave and freeman, but Christ is all, and in all” (Col. 3:11). Women are conspicuously absent in this list so perhaps they are the exception. So maybe we are only to be impartial towards all manner of men.

      • Elaine Urie // November 30, 2017 at 8:16 am //

        Thank you Richard……….and I think we women are part of the all, “but Christ is all and in “all”……. I just like to look at it as being in the One and serving one another as we are one in Him… Merry Christmas….thank you Jesus for you taking “all our sins” upon you, dying our death and substituting it in us with YOUR LIFE!!! What a Savior He is for all men/people!! Bless my bro’ Richard…

  21. V 13-14 refer to the time right before the fall. Adam fell because he listened to his wife. Was first example of women leading. Also Eve no younger than Adam. Male and female created he Them Gen 1:27. She was created on sixth day too.

    • Also was first example of man failing to lead, man sinning, and man harming his wife through sinful disobedience. Eve was deceived, but Adam sinned with eyes wide open.

    • I offer to you. . . Paul is correcting/refuting part of the Gnostic doctrine Timothy had been dealing with. . . 1st being, that Eve was created first. 2nd, Adam was deceived(for various Gnostic reasons) and 3rd, Eve(women) was perfect, sinless, and wise because she sort out knowledge(gnostis)
      Verse 15 only makes sense when answering the Gnostic claim that women defile themselves by bringing flesh(babies) into the earth. Paul says, “NO, there saved”

  22. William MacDonald // November 29, 2017 at 7:57 pm // Reply

    Merry Christmas to you too Elaine. 😉!

    • Back at ya Brother Will….and may the New Year of 2018 be the best one ever “in Jesus”…. As my “brother” IN Christ’, I stand on the promise in prayer for you, that you receive the abundantly above blessings that have been supplied to his children (one body) by Jesus Christ. Let us rest in Him as he called his children to (Heb 4) and follow his lead by the Spirit’s guidance and love….and operate together in the body of Christ as one… “hugs”… : )

  23. Regarding the last Sentence in your post >> Let no one look down on your >> gender, <>>> the husband of one wife, <<<< vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach;

    1 Timothy 2:12 – But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.

    Better Repent of your false Teaching !

    In Love,
    a Brother in Christ

  24. I always wondered what Adam and Eve’s creation, and Eve’s deception have to do with it all. Then I realized the key point here is DIVINE ORDER. Adam came first, then Eve—as helper. That’s just how God ordered it. And Eve was deceived, not Adam. What does that mean? It doesn’t mean that because Eve was deceived, therefore women are more gullible so they shouldn’t teach. No, what it means is that Satan did not follow God’s divine order—Adam first, then Eve. Satan BYPASSED Adam (the head) and went to Eve.

    Let’s say I’m a salesman and I come to your home. I want to sell you something that will affect the lives of your whole family. But instead of going to the man of the house—the gatekeeper/leader of the family—I bypass him and go talk to the woman or wife. That’s just not right. Or think in terms of your workplace. You have a complaint but instead of telling it to your immediate superior, you break protocol and bypass him or her and tell it to the person two or three levels higher. That’s just not right either.

    So when Paul tells us he doesn’t permit a woman to teach or to have authority over men, he is saying that if you do so, then like Satan in the garden, you are not following God’s divine order. You are bypassing the man when you allow the woman to have authority over the man.

    • richard elson // May 31, 2018 at 5:00 pm // Reply

      Drew, that’s a great narrative, makes a lot of sense and had me nodding my head with in agreement, as the age old wisdom wofted over me. I dismissed the surfacing feelings of duplicity and instead redirected my energy towards disguising any condescending body language. I chose a thoughtful caring look, sometimes gently closing my eyes so I might look more like Yoda. BS endth here.

      The tuth being closer to; Paul was correcting proto-gnostic ideas that eve was created first. And, that authority(aggressive/violent) women are not to be validated as leaders. (Please look this singular use of the translation of “authority”) Part of the implication of the curse (of sin and death)that Jesus took authority over was that women would now live with men ruling over them. If you want to enforce the terms of Jesus victory you firstly need to recognize what the curse looked like. Instead of endorsing the curse, as if it’s a pillar of the church, we need to make a footstool out of them.

  25. Reuben Carpenter // August 1, 2018 at 2:55 am // Reply

    This really helped clarify things for me. But what about verse 15? Or 9 and 10?

  26. Woah thank you so much for this. God is using you to make my faith stronger. Jesus spoke with women and taught women even when other people thought it was wrong. He told the Samaritan woman to go and tell everyone about the news she had heard, so in other words He was telling her to preach.

  27. You should be careful before you publicly contribute to such doctrinal matters that people are still grappling with. Doesn’t the Scriptures say be not many teachers? Teachers would be judged more harshly.
    Firstly, you have no right altering Scriptures to “encourage” as you did at the end of your article.
    Secondly, one must understand that the Holy Spirit is the source of all Scriptures, and it’s not merely the result of a man trying to address some potential social issues that the church could be influenced by. In contrast to your view of the passage, Paul, inspired by the Holy Spirit, used God’s order of creation and purposeful intent as the guideline for order and authority in the church as well as in the home.
    Thirdly, if you follow the principle of context in interpreting Scriptures you will understand that Pual is writing a letter without chapters. Therefore in the preceding verses (the next chapter 3) you can see that the apostle was addressing more of the issue of authority and doctrinal leadership in the church, i.e. church elders or overseers, from which women are barred. [This of course puts into question the beloved Joyce Mayers’ role in her church].
    Finally, instead of hyping up an already emotional misunderstanding of scriptural intent with passages taken out of context, one should try to foster love amongst the brethren and churches. Why should we be bitter over issues that are not salvivic in nature. Rather more discussion like the Bereans did should be encouraged. Besides, some of the most important things in scripture, like prophesying and preaching the Gospel is what the churches need more than ever women are not to neglect.

    • Thankfully the hypocrisy of your comment is so obvious, I doubt anyone will take it seriously. You argue for more love and discussion while making vague threats against those who don’t share your views. Perhaps you should heed your own advice before foisting it upon others.

  28. Jenny L Beauchamp // September 18, 2019 at 8:52 am // Reply

    Rickford, You are wrong.
    Galatians 3:28: There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

    Wrestle with this and ask God first, then the scriptures will line up for you!
    Seriously, I am female and to walk in the flesh – I can bake you cookies. However, if you want to have fellowship “In Christ” then we are equals and in His Spirit! He came as a man, but in Spirit is Jesus male or female or “Other”?

    Ask of Him and He will teach you, but first one must lay down all the religious teachings to hear Him only!

    And yes, you can listen to my words (as I am female) because you should be listening “for God” to speak to you, and He speaks in many ways……… even if you are surrounded by only rocks or a donkey!

    • Thank you for your comment Jenny, very truthful. There is no male, female, we are all one in Christ.
      It is a given that a ‘good’ father would not treat his children differently on the basis of their gender. God is a good Father.
      Praise God that we are putting off religious shackles in this area.

    • I love the words of Gal 3:28, when I first read them years ago it gave me a new perspective on the meaning of the body of Christ and changed my thought processes regarding male and female role as the “male church” instructed the “women”. It made it very difficult for the ladies to feel any connection with a voice to communicate and discuss scripture.

      Grace and Truth was certainly not a part of the legalistic realm and I always felt an uneasiness about such. As a single lady, had some of the men in it, for a better word, chase me and I had to exit that body. Had a Pastor at one do the same, had to leave that body as well. Just crazy as how lust becomes a part of their motive many times, especially when they don’t get the fullness of the grace and truth………..they are chasing their sister, but won’t let them take part within the body… Let me tell you I could have done some teaching them about the Lord Jesus fulfilling their desires with His Holy Spirit!!!! Currently, I do not attend any church but I’m still the body of Christ and still love to share the beautiful message of the Love of God for All Mankind..and how He fixed us all…………2 Cor 5:18-19!!!

      Blessings to all!! Ladies are great people that can do wonders for the body!!

  29. So, you are ok, as a man to have your pastor as a woman?

  30. Thank you. For the powerful Information

  31. Joe Conaghan // March 23, 2021 at 7:41 pm // Reply

    Brother Paul, I enjoy so much your grace-based ministry. It has blessed so many all over the world and I am so thankful for you. I must tell you though that I believe you are wresting scripture here. It may help to understand that this is not a matter of superiority vs inferiority but simply of assigned roles. There will be a higher position of authority in the heavenly places for the woman who does her role better than the man to whom she submits, and in that sense there is neither male nor female. I hope you don’t call me stupid, lol, for this post but even if you do, I want you to know that I think the world of you and I will never forget reading “Out of the Jungle” in my cube, within a cage, within a vault, within a windowless building on a dark and desperate day and hearing the Good News of God’s Grace thanks to you, Paul. God bless you precious brother!

    • God bless you too, Joe.

    • Jeffrey Simon // March 24, 2021 at 11:26 am // Reply

      In context, Paul was not giving a universal commandment for all women to teach teach, just to a particular women to not teach in a dominating (authotenio) way. Ephesus was plagued with ‘strange doctrine’ and Paul was dealing with a specific problem in a specific city for a problem in a specific ecclesia.
      There is no evidence in the life of Paul indicating a repression of the female; quite the opposite. Pricilla taught, Phoebe was a deacon, Junia was an apostle, and Phillip had four daughters that were prophetesses. Projecting ‘silence’ to the female gender is unscriptural and harms the functioning of the ecclesia.

  32. I’ve kicked this passage around a lot. The whole argument that there is no male nor female in Christ so she can lead seems weak to me. Paul is referring back to the time before the Fall. Thus it seems there is something in the design that gives man the leadership.

    • There is nothing in Genesis 1 to suggest women can’t teach or that they are in way or role inferior to men. That part came in Genesis 3 with the arrival of sin. If we are to return to God’s original plan for partnership, we must follow the example set by Jesus and the New Testament church.

      • Dean Schmucker // March 24, 2021 at 10:11 am //

        Paul is not saying women are inferior. They are designed for nurture. They are sesual by design. That is a good thing. But that sensual nature will lead to problems if they lead.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.