Friday, June 01, 2007

Women Teaching Men

Recently I was asked the following question:

I take it you believe in the universal application of 1 Tim 2? Assuming so, I note your hope to publish Bible studies - how would you expect these to be received by males?
I do hold to the conservative interpretation of this passage.
1 Timothy 2:11 Let 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.
I believe that women aren't called to teach or have authority over men and I believe this passage is a clear mandate against ordaining women.

I write my Bible studies for women so that they my grow in their love of God and his word and that the growth will manifest itself in obedience to the will of God as it is revealed in his word. I write the studies for someone like me. After I become a Christian I wanted to study the word of God and understand it but I didn't have anyone to teach me and it seemed so foreign to me. Most of the Bible studies on the market were meant for group study and didn't have the answers, they only had questions. My studies ask questions but also provide commentary -- things I've learned as I've studied the text at seminary and using commentaries. I hope that I can be a guide to Christian women who want to understand the Bible. A guide who points to things that they might have missed in reading the text on their own.

Now, I know when I've handed out my study material some of the women gave it to their husbands and I know that there are guys reading this blog and the studies that I publish here, so I'm aware that guys will probably read a study that I publish. I'm not going to turn someone away who wants to find out what I've learned in the study of God's word. But I'm not trying to teach them at all -- they are not in my thoughts when I write.

I believe in the mandate not to teach guys and I have no intention of doing so, but I believe that we've stretched that mandate to include not even talking about God's word or theology at all, least we violate God's command (in what I've come to think of as a pharisaical way). I have no authority over anyone either on the Internet or the women I teach at my church. The teaching authority is my pastor and I have no intention of usurping his authority. All I want to do is share what I've learned with others and I would value a discussion about what I've written whether it comes from men or women. The Internet is not the church, so I don't think that what Paul is saying would mean that I couldn't publish my thoughts on the word of God here on my blog.

Each of us will be held accountable to God for what we do in the body and it's up to each of us not violate our conscience. I would find it more egregious to keep to myself all the wonderful things I've learned at seminary out of fear that some guy will read my stuff and learn something than to publish the material here and be aware that guys will read it and maybe obtain some insight into God's word. Those men who believe it's wrong to learn anything from a woman will avoid reading my blog (and thus will not violate their conscience) while others may see my studies for what they are: my opinion about what I believe the Bible says and will be willing to engage me in dialog about it.

I think that I stand on solid biblical ground for my opinion:
Acts 18:24 Now a Jew named Apollos, a native of Alexandria, came to Ephesus. He was an eloquent man, competent in the Scriptures. 25 He had been instructed in the way of the Lord. And being fervent in spirit, he spoke and taught accurately the things concerning Jesus, though he knew only the baptism of John. 26 He began to speak boldly in the synagogue, but when Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they took him and explained to him the way of God more accurately.

Acts 2:14 "Men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and give ear to my words. 15 For these men are not drunk, as you suppose, since it is only the third hour of the day. 16 But this is what was uttered through the prophet Joel: 17 "'And in the last days it shall be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams; 18 even on my male servants and female servants in those days I will pour out my Spirit, and they shall prophesy.
Clearly you have women speaking out about what they know whether it's to a man or not and this is the huge difference between Israel and the kingdom of God manifested in the church: women were excluded from service in the temple but now we are not. We are part of the priesthood and we are now allowed to handle the holy instruments (God's word). Thanks be to God that he has set women free to serve him in this temple (the body -- the church) and that we are viewed by him in the same way that men are and that we are all one in Christ (Galatians 3:28).


  1. Pamela said...
    mothers have done it for years....
    just a thought.
    David Wynn said...
    Forgive my lack of study (or even a Bible at hand), but I'm not familiar with the context of the Timothy passage. Who is speaking at this point, and to whom? What context is it framed in?
    michele said...
    This is a letter that Paul sent to Timothy on some issues in the church. He is speaking in context of the church.

    You can go to and should be able to find a link to the passage to read it in context.
    Kevin Stilley said...
    Shhhhh. ;)
    Anonymous said...
    Its not that women are not capable, its just that men are not capable of listening. FYI:(Gonna cause a firestorm maybe BUT Genesis 3:6And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.*n6.1 7And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked;
    - The woman ate of the apple and her eyes were not opened. Adam ate of the apple and both of their eyes were opened.
    michele said...
    I think it's interesting that the author wrote it that way. That they were both in it together. I don't agree with your interpretation that she didn't get it until after he ate.
    carolyn d. said...
    I normally don't respond to anything on the net but tonight it burned within me (in a good way).

    Any pharisaical (like) teachings don’t sound like Jesus (the Word who came in the flesh). It is a legalistic spirit, the same strong hold that was there when Jesus walked the earth with his fellow Jews.
    Jesus spent His whole ministry "Outside" the box. He is Love, Wisdom - was lead by the Holy Spirit, in perfect submission to the Father.
    (Remember he healed on the Sabbath; He met with sinners; He let a prostitute (touch) worship Him: He told Mary to go and tell when He rose from the dead...there was so much more...)
    So, how can people be lead by the Holy Spirit when most think (have a mind set of) the ways the Holy Spirit works and or say the gifts are not for today? Does it really sound like God, a loving perfect Father, to leave us to our own understandings? And then to walk in darkness, with no way to cope with demonic entrapments? I just have to share that it is so awesome to pray in tongues privately, giving God praise and communing with His Spirit! What a release from heaviness and really a JOY to praise Him! I can't imagine my life without Jesus and learning more about Him.
    People are at risk of being lead by human understandings when they take the Holy Spirit leading out of their walk with God. This is a scary spiritual place to be because cursed is the man lead by man (any of man's teachings - referring to doctrines that say the Holy Spirit move isn't for today or anything about a women's role that demeans or limits them).
    Rejecting the leading of the Holy Spirit, or to deny His place today - is bordering on blasphemy, and hurts the tender heart of God. He said He would not leave us without a comforter...I believe Him!
    The gifts are alive to those who will obey and walk in holiness. All you have to do is get on your face, repent and ask. Be contrite, humble yourself and get passed the intellect. After all who is better off? The one with Wisdom or intellect?
    I vote for repentance, obeying Jesus, and walking in love. Let the Holy Spirit reveal to you the Father's heart. Jesus is all that matters in the end. Thank you sir for your openness for comments. Priestly blessings for your ministry in Jesus. May you abound with Love and God's Glory.
    Carolyn D.
    January Cat said...
    For centuries, the Christian church justified slavery based on a few words written by Paul.
    michele said...
    Yeah, we generally don't throw out the Paul because of their misinterpretation.

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