What does the Bible say about women preachers and teachers?
1 Timothy 2:11-15 scripture is used by some Christians to forbid women to have preaching and teaching positions in the church.
On closer examination of scriptures we see another position entirely.
1 Timothy 2:11-15 Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. For Adam was first formed, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression. Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety.
This verse seems to be saying that allowing women to teach men would be giving them “authority over a man,” but on closer examination we can see something else entirely is being presented.
The Greek word authenteo for authority occurs in this verse but no nowhere else in the entire New Testament. While the word authenteo has been translated as “authority” in nearly all English versions of the Bible, it is not the same word as exousia. The word used for “authority” in many other passages of scripture.
Let us look at the difference in these two words.
One who with his own hands kills another or himself. One who acts on his own authority. Autocratic. An absolute master. To govern, exercise dominion over one.
Power of choice. Liberty of doing as one pleases. Leave or permission,physical and mental power. The ability or strength with which one is endued, which he either possesses or exercises the power of authority (influence) and of right (privilege) The power of rule or government (the power of him whose will and commands must be submitted to by others and obeyed) universally authority over mankind. Specifically the power of judicial decisions of authority to manage domestic affairs. A thing subject to authority or rule. Jurisdiction. One who possesses authority, a ruler, a human magistrate,the leading and more powerful among created beings. Superior to man, spiritual potentates. A sign of the husband’s authority over his wife. The veil with which propriety required a women to cover herself. The sign of regal authority, a crown
Now why do you think the word authenteo is used instead of the more common usages of the word exousia?
According to Gnostic teaching, Eve was not deceived because she was the illuminator and all-wise mother goddess and was created before man. She was superior to him and his teacher.
Timothy corrects this false teaching by saying that only One is all-wise, and that is God Himself. So what Timothy was saying is this .
“I am not allowing (present tense for that situation) a woman to teach or to proclaim herself the originator of man (authenteo). Adam was formed first, then Eve.”
This mother-goddess heresy and emerging gnosticism in First and Second Timothy and Titus, makes it clear that Paul was bringing correction in 1 Timothy 2:11-15 to this heresy.
He was correcting women who were teaching this heresy.
For more info, this article has quotes from the Gnostic texts.
If this scripture was meant universally rather than to a specific situation it would have been stated more in the rest of scriptures, (1 Corinthians 2:13) and it was not. In actuality women did teach men and held significant places as leaders in the church (Acts 18:26;21:9; Rom. 16:1,3,7).
In the Old Testament, we find women teaching men. (2 kings 22:14; Proverbs 1:8;31:26; and Micah 6:4.)
So we can see that women can teach both men and women in the scriptures but they are not to be over men in a superior position as the Gnostic doctrine elevates women.
For more information about the eve goddess of wisdom heresy check out this link.
Now lets take a look at what the Bible has to say about women preaching the word of God in other scriptures. Remember that to discern the truth we must always compare scriptures with scriptures.
The Bible tell us that in the last days women will prophecy. What does it mean to prophecy? To speak under the divine inspiration of the Holy Spirit.
“‘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; Acts 2:17
Also the name Junia is a Latin female name. Based on this assertion we can see that women were active in the ministry.
Greet Andronicus and Junia, my kinsmen and my fellow prisoners. They are well known to the apostles, and they were in Christ before me. Romans 16:7
Scriptures tell us that Jesus not only liberated slaves and made Gentiles equal to Jews but he also made women equal to men. Different but equal.
There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. Galatians 3:28
Here is another scripture indicating that women were active in ministry.
I entreat Euodia and I entreat Syntyche to agree in the Lord. Yes, I ask you also, true companion, help these women, who have labored side by side with me in the gospel together with Clement and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the book of life. Philippians 4: 2,3
The Old Testament tells us that women taught.
She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. Proverbs 31:26
A prophetess speaks the word of the Lord to both men and women. Remember that prophecy is for edification, comfort AND instruction.
And there was a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was advanced in years, having lived with her husband seven years from when she was a virgin, and then as a widow until she was eighty-four. She did not depart from the temple, worshiping with fasting and prayer night and day. And coming up at that very hour she began to give thanks to God and to speak of him to all who were waiting for the redemption of Jerusalem. Luke 2:36-38
Prophetess speak on behalf of God. They speak his words to the people. Men and women.
Greet Prisca and Aquila, my fellow workers in Christ Jesus, Romans 16:3
A husband and wife team in the ministry
The Lord gives the word; the women who announce the news are a great host: Psalm 68:11
To announce is to preach and teach. To proclaim.
And the people of Israel again did what was evil in the sight of the Lord after Ehud died. And the Lord sold them into the hand of Jabin king of Canaan, who reigned in Hazor. The commander of his army was Sisera, who lived in Harosheth-hagoyim. Then the people of Israel cried out to the Lord for help, for he had 900 chariots of iron and he oppressed the people of Israel cruelly for twenty years. Now Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lappidoth, was judging Israel at that time. She used to sit under the palm of Deborah between Ramah and Bethel in the hill country of Ephraim, and the people of Israel came up to her for judgment. Judges 4:1-24
To bring “judgment” is to teach and instruct in righteousness.
I Commend to you our sister Phoebe, a deacon of the church in Cenchreae. I ask you to receive her in the Lord in a way worthy of his people and to give her any help she may need from you, for she has been the benefactor of many people, including me.” Romans 16:1-2 (NIV)
It is interesting how the king James version translates the word to servant when the Greek word actually means deaconess.
What is a deaconess?
One who ministers to the sheep.
Lastly let us not forget the Samaritan women who was not only a sinner, rejected by the religious people of Jesus’ day but a woman that Jesus ministered to at a well. She went about proclaiming the gospel to both men and women.
“Come and see a man who told me everything I have done. Could he possibly be the Christ?” (John 4:29).
Many “began to believe in him because of the word of the woman who testified, ‘He told me everything I have done’” (John 4:39).
Historically speaking it was mostly women who went out on the mission field to preach the gospel. They preached to both men and women.
So as you can see the Lord calls both men and women to preach and teach his word to anyone with ears to hear.
For more information click on the links below.
For more information about the eve goddess of wisdom heresy check out this link. http://newlife.id.au/equality-and-gender-issues/1-timothy-212-in-co…
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