What About the One Place in the Bible

What About The ONE Place In The Bible That “Seems”

To Say Women Can’t Teach Men?   -Mark Drake

Since we know that Paul had several women who worked alongside him in church planting and teaching, what about the ONE place in the Bible that “seems” to say women can’t teach men?  I rarely recommend the King James Version because of its 400 year old language.  However, this passage is one place where the KJV actually comes closest to the original Greek wording.

“But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.”  

(1 Tim 2:12 KJV)

The word, “usurp,” is the key to understanding what Paul wrote.  It literally means “to act of oneself” or to “dominate.”  This is the opposite of humility and working as a team member with other teachers and leaders.  To act independent of the other leaders is the same reason Paul would tell a man he could not teach.  But it would be especially true of women because very few of them had any education at all.  A woman was never allowed to teach UNLESS they were qualified in education, gifting and had the recommendation of the other leaders.  But, remember, these are the same things required of men to be teachers and leaders.  

These are things we know are true.

1)  Most women throughout the Roman Empire were forbidden to receive ANY education or talk with men outside their own home.

2)  Because of these cultural realities, many women couldn’t even ask reasonable questions.  So Paul told them to begin their learning at home.  With no experience in education, for women to ask questions in a church meeting would like a 5 year old attempting to ask a question in a calculus class.

3)  There were some women who, for a variety of reasons, were educated.  Many of them, after being converted, were trained to teach the Word and help lead churches.

4)  Several women were commended by Paul for their teaching and pastoring churches that met in their homes.  So we know that there could not have been a church-wide prohibition on all women not teaching any men.

Temporary Problem-    

Most women had no education and were completely unable to communicate in a group setting.

Permanent Solution-  

Teach them, train them, equip them, and release them to fulfill their calling.

More Questions?   Please write to askmark@abbottloop.org