can women preach? why or why not?
we know the scriptures: i suffer not a woman to teach, nor ursurp authority over the man....b/c the man came first then the woman and eve was decieved first.....and the other scriptue, it is a shame for a woman to talk in church. but why then do churches let women sing and testify and teach sunday school if they shouldnt talk at all? and what if there's a woman who know more than most men preachers should she still not preach? and what about the prophets that were women in the old and new testiments and the women who followed jesus, and the ones who went out and spread god's word? does that mean a women prophet shouldnt prophesy in church? please comment on all these facts as im trying to do things by the word, not trying to offend anyone, or knock any beliefs, i just want to understand its confusing to me
- Elder GregLv 61 decade agoBest Answer
Yes they can. Let's examine some verses people mis-interpret for the true interpretation.
"Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law" (1 Corinthians 14:34).
"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" (1 Timothy 2:11-12).
In these verses, Paul cannot be addressing women who were in the ministry, but rather those in the congregation who were out of order. How do we know this? We have many such proofs, many from Paul himself. Here is a partial list of women who were all in influential positions of leadership in the early church.
Pheobe (Romans 16:1-2): This woman was a deaconess of the church in Cenchrea, who was beloved of Paul and many other Christians for the help she gave to them. She filled an important position of leadership. It would be a difficult stretch of the imagination to say that this woman fulfilled her duties without ever speaking in the church!
Priscilla (Acts 18:26): Priscilla and her husband Aquila are often mentioned with great respect by Paul. Together they were pastors of a church in Ephesus, and were responsible for teaching the full gospel to Apollos. We are informed that they both taught Apollos, and pastored the church together. In fact, Priscilla is sometimes listed ahead of Aquila when their names come up. This has led some to speculate that of the two, she was the primary teacher and her husband oversaw the ministry. At any rate, we see here a woman in a very prominent position of teaching and pastoring. (Other references to Priscilla and Aquila are Acts 18:2, 18; Romans 16:3, and I Corinthians 16:19).
Euodia and Syntyche (Philippians 4:2-3): Here we see reference to two women who were "true yokefellow" and who labored with Paul in the advancement of the gospel.
Junia (Romans 16:7): In this verse we see Paul sending greetings to Andronicus and Junia, his "fellow-prisoners" who are of note among the apostles. Junia is a woman's name. In some modern translations, an "s" has been added (Junias) because the translators were so sure a woman could not be an apostle, that they assumed a copyist has accidentally dropped the "s." However the proper male ending would have been "ius," not "ias." No church commentator earlier than the Middle Ages questioned that Junia was both a woman and an apostle.
Though there were other women throughout the Bible in positions of leadership, such as prophetesses, evangelists, judges, leaders, etc., the above references should be enough to establish that women were indeed a vital and normal part of church leadership. Paul expected women to speak in the church, or else why would he have given the following directive? It would have been useless to give directions for women who were speaking in the church, if they were never allowed to do so.
1 Corinthians 11:5, "But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoureth her head: for that is even all one as if she were shaven."
Furthermore, if Paul believed that all women should never teach or speak in church, why does he commend many women who did just that?
Hope this helps.
- 1 decade ago
Whether women can preach is a very confusing topic and the bible goes both ways with it. The Bible states that women can not have an OFFICIAL position as a preacher in the church, as you already know from Paul. However, God did use women to help do his will. For example Deborah.
But there is a difference between preaching and doing god's will. Just because God is using you does not allow you to become a priest or priestess. All the women that followed Christ are good people however none of the women became Pastor in the church. What people are wanting to do is establish equal right for women in the church. What they are forgetting is that equal rights does not apply to the bible.
You can not change the bible because women can not get the same position has men. We all know that God does not treat women lower than he treats men however he did place the Man over the Women is authority.Women can be teachers in the church and being people to Christ and they should have every right to. However, women can not have control of the church.
I hope that I help you, I'm 16 and I'm trying to get a clear understanding as well.
- 1 decade ago
Yes, I think a woman should be able to do anything a man can do. What does a person's sexuality have to do with teaching ability anyway? You must realize though, that the bible was written by men who thought of women as little more than livestock, and rated their intelligence on a similar level. In some Arabic countries women are still treated as property, and in biblical times this was a common practice. This is one of the many reasons that the bible is outmoded and should be scrapped, I mean it's supposed to be a teaching book, a textbook for the soul if you will, but it hasn't been revised since the time of King James! I mean come on, we have new texts at school every TWO YEARS, and there's a reason for it. Modes of thought and teaching should be revised to keep up with the times!
- happy pilgrimLv 61 decade ago
Yes, it can be confusing. Different Christians who really love the Lord and love the Word come to different conclusions.
I think Paul's teaching is that women should not teach or usurp authority over the men. They can teach children, other women - but men should be the elders and leaders in the church. This is not to say women can not get up and say something - but they should not "take over."
(Now, of course, in some instances, men refuse to take their rightful place - and the women are almost obligated to take leadership then)
women can prophesy - but they cannot do so unless they are "covered" by a man's authority and blessing - and, again, they cannot be the leader.
some churches adhere to the strict "keep silence in church" rule but Paul seems to be speaking about women speaking "out of turn."
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- Poor RichardLv 51 decade ago
Yes, a woman can preach. The phrase "...to teach, nor usurp authority over a man..." is key. "The teacher" in this passage is the pastor over the church. Paul intends here for a man to be the leader in each congregation. This does not mean that a woman can not teach or preach-but it does mean she can not be "pastor" in today's language.
I can understand why some men feel intimidated by some women teachers/preachers. Look at people like Kay Aurthur from Precept Ministries- she is definitely God inspired. Who could deny her the platform?
- DocLv 51 decade ago
The Scriptures were written by men; the tribal and religious leaders were all men, Jesus was male, and God is thought of as male, while the Holy Spirit is at best neuter...Christianity is entirely patriarchal and has been from its inception. Of course everything about it is going to confirm that women aren't allowed all the rights and privileges of men.
In my non-Christian opinion, it is good that you're questioning this. There are plenty of Christian denominations that do not have any problem with female-led congregations and celebrations. You might do well to find a path that leads you to one that is not so exclusive against women.
- 1 decade ago
i think it comes down to the fact that many of the disciples were jealous that jesus shared his most profound love and i would bet, his most profound secrets and teachings, only with the one he loved above all others, who happened to have been a woman, his wife and lover. jealousy can make people do or say a lot of ugly, harmful things. this might also explain the hard on (pun intended) many 'christian' men have for women. because if jesus chose to share his profoundest discoveries with mary, then that would mean she carried the true legacy of what he did forward through the world. are you starting to see where i'm going with this because i gotta lot to do today and can't explain much more...
- Anonymous1 decade ago
Theological reason. Sin came first through Eve. Reversal process is taking place.
Ability is no determinant to qualification...
David could not build the temple because of 'blood on his hands as a warrior', and Moses was forbidden to enter the Promiseland for 'hitting the rock at Kadesh twice'.
Suppose a murderer knew the bible better than the minister?
- Anonymous1 decade ago
I believe that Paul's words to Timothy, were directed at a specific church or society. I agree that woman can be and sometimes are, some of the best teachers and preachers. I really enjoy listening to Joyce Meyer myself.
- 1 decade ago
Sure women can preach. Many are excellent and the Holy Spirit testifies of that.
Ruth is a pretty good example of a pretty good example.
That is not the same however, as women holding clergical positions. Is that where you wanted to go with this?