1 CORINTHIANS 14:34
Let your women keep silent in the churches, for they are not permitted to speak; but they are to be submissive, as the law also says.
Does the Bible really teach against women serving as church leaders? If you read this verse without putting it into context the answer would be: “Yes, it does.”
The Apostle Paul states: the women should keep silent “as the law also says.” So, what does the law say? Searching the old and the new Covenant you will discover: There is no law about a woman not serving as church leaders.
First Corinthians 14:34 is establishing order in the church not banning women from being leaders. Within the home the husband is the head and has the greater authority, all questions pertaining to how the family lives are presented to him.(Ephesians 5:22, Colossians 3:18) Teaching God’s word does not begin and end within the walls of the church apparently the women in Corinth were not seeking counsel from their husbands prior to coming to service.
1 CORINTHIANS 14:35
And if they want to learn something, let them ask their own husbands at home; for it is shameful for women to speak in church.
The women were asking questions that they should have been asked at home. They were embarrassing their husbands.
In studying 1 Corinthians 14 the Apostle Paul was correcting everyone not just the women. Verse 35 was addressed specifically to married women. The entire body was out of order.
1 Corinthians 14:40Unfortunately modern man decided to take this verse out of context as a method of putting women down (as they did with slavery). God does allow women to advice, teach and lead men. Throughout Scripture women have assisted men in living a victorious life not only in scriptural teaching but in battle and activities of daily living.
Let all things be done decently and in order.
One of my favorite female leaders is Deborah (Judges 4) she was a married woman who was a Prophetess sitting in the office of a Judge. She not only shared the word of God with the people but she judged (advised) men when there was a dispute. A significant story was when she led men to a victorious battle.
Judges 4:5-9What about the verse in 1 Timothy? He said women should not teach or have authority over a man. Again, at first glance this verse seems very straight-forward.
And she would sit under the palm tree of Deborah between Ramah and Bethel in the mountains of Ephraim. And the children of Israel came up to her for judgment. Then she sent and called for Barak the son of Abinoam from Kedesh in Naphtali, and said to him, “Has not the Lord God of Israel commanded, ‘Go and deploy troops at Mount Tabor; take with you ten thousand men of the sons of Naphtali and of the sons of Zebulun; and against you I will deploy Sisera, the commander of Jabin’s army, with his chariots and his multitude at the River Kishon; and I will deliver him into your hand’?”
And Barak said to her, “If you will go with me, then I will go; but if you will not go with me, I will not go!”
So she said, “I will surely go with you; nevertheless there will be no glory for you in the journey you are taking, for the Lord will sell Sisera into the hand of a woman.” Then Deborah arose and went with Barak to Kedesh.
1 TIMOTHY 2:12
And I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man, but to be in silence.
As I was mulling over verses 8 through 15, which is segmented in my Bible I realized- you have to read the entire chapter. The Bible was not written in numbered sentences or topical sections thus it is important to read the entire book to grasp the essence of what the writer is saying.
What Timothy is speaking of is how a woman should minister to a man. Putting this verse within the context of the subject it is important to note that first Timothy chapter two is discussing prayer: ”Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men,” (verse 1).
Can a woman teach a man how to intercede for his family? Perhaps, but should she?
Think about this. Today we have “Men’s Conferences” in which men teach other men’ and “Women’s Conferences” in which women teach women. Because there are some things that only a man can teach a man and there are somethings that only a woman can teach a woman.
This does not mean that a man cannot learn from a woman. It is not that women cannot or should not preach but women need to exercise caution and not minister to men outside the presence of her husband.
2 TIMOTHY 2:13-14
For Adam was formed first, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression
Eve was a married woman. Genesis teaches that the Serpent spoke to Eve and challenged her understanding of God’s word. Adam was present but did not stop Eve, she convinced her husband to eat of the same fruit she had. Had Eve submitted to her husband and simply asked referred the serpent to her husband or asked her husband’s opinion things might have turned out differently.
For single women, living outside of their father’s home, Jesus is their head; for married women their husband is their cover. (Husbands are Christ earthly representatives. Ephesians 5:23-25)
Married women have responsibilities within their household which includes overseeing the spiritual maturity of their children. Problems occur when we try to be “ministers” outside of the home before ministering to those who live within our household.
1 CORINTHIANS 7:13-14
And a woman who has a husband who does not believe, if he is willing to live with her, let her not divorce him. For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband; otherwise your children would be unclean, but now they are holy.
Women can hold offices within the ministry of our Lord but their primary responsibility is to their household (Titus 1:6).
I believe there are some very knowledgeable men and women who should not be teaching because their home life sucks! I also believe there are women who are full of wisdom but do not share because someone told them that women cannot serve in the ministry. Women can and do serve and there is no Scripture that says they cannot. The Apostle Paul reminded the Galatians:
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.
A MATTER OF FAITH reflects the opinions and property of the author MARSHA L F RANDOLPH. All rights reserved- do not use without permission. All Scriptures quoted are from the New King James Version of the Bible unless otherwise stated. Don’t miss weekly faith based post by SUBSCRIBING , receive notifications when a new article is posted.
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