I recently received an email from a woman asking for Scriptural proof that that God does not want women to be treated as second class citizens. She could have sent this email to a lot of Christian sites and they may have sent her back Scriptures that they believe support the idea that women should be treated completely equal with men.
The most common Scripture passage used to try and say the Bible supports equal rights for women is found in the Apostle Paul’s letter to the Galatians:
“There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.” Galatians 3:28 (KJV)
The advocates for woman’s rights hail this verse saying that it teaches that God intends for there to be absolutely no distinction and thus completely equal rights between men and women. But is this passage from Galatians God’s complete revelation on the subject of gender? We will explore the answer to that question later in this article.
I have changed the name of the woman who wrote me to Lauren in order protect her anonymity as she gave me her real name in the email. What follows are several statements from her in the email and my response to her showing her from the Bible what God’s Word says on this issue.
“I am raising daughters that have been in an environment that teaches them that women are second class… Do you know any podcast, bible verses, bible studies, websites, etc that can guide them back to trusting the Bible as God’s word and that the verses are not intending women to be second class citizens?”
First, we need to define what treating someone like a “second class citizen” is. In common language usage today treating someone like a second-class citizen would be to show disdain for them or mistreat them in some way. If we were talking about treating with disdain or hatred we can easily show that Biblically speaking this is wrong. We are to be kind to all people no matter what their race, gender or ethnicity is. We are also to treat others as we would want to be treated as Christ exhorted us in what has become known as “The Golden Rule”:
“Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.” Matthew 7:12 (KJV)
But often times this rule that we should treat others as we would want to be treated is vastly abused by many to cancel out entire sections of the Scriptures.
I get people writing me all the time saying “You only believe the way you do because you are a man and it is advantageous to you to believe in Biblical Gender Roles. If you were a woman you would not so easily believe in such things.” You know what my response is to such assertions? I tell them if I was a woman like my mother or my daughter or many other godly women I knew growing up I would absolutely believe the way I do about Biblical Gender Roles. I don’t believe in Biblical Gender Roles because it is advantageous to me as a man – I believe in Biblical Gender Roles because that it is what the Bible teaches.
Trust me, it is not easy living counter to the culture you live in. It is also not as easy as women think to be a man especially in this day when masculinity is attacked and women no longer respect men. Marriage has become more of a battlefield today than it ever was thanks to feminism poisoning the minds of women. Many men have just given up and given the reigns to their wife and they do whatever she says and whatever makes her happy. That is taking the easy and cowardly way out.
Returning back to the subject of women being treated as second-class citizens – we are not talking about mistreating women in the sense of treating them with disdain, dishonor or unkindness by Biblical standards.
The key phrase in my last statement is “by Biblical standards”. Our culture has a whole different set of standards by which women are said to be treated with disdain, dishonor and in an inhumane way. Before I speak to this let me give a dictionary definition of a “second class citizen” according to https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/us/second-class_citizen:
“A person belonging to a social or political group whose rights and opportunities are inferior to those of the dominant group in a society.”
So, if one social group of people has inferior rights and opportunities to that of some other dominant group than they are said to be treated as second class citizens.
American and Western culture in general have devised a new standard of treating someone as “less than a person” or treating someone in “an inhumane way”. The standard is equal rights. If a culture has different classes of people with different classes of rights then they are said to be treating those people with hatred, disdain and in an inhumane manner. No one is allowed to question this modern definition of treating someone in an inhumane way.
In fact, in America we have sacrificed the doctrines of our Christian faith as well as our marriages and many other things on the altar to our false god of equality. It is ok if we worship the Christian god too, as long as our service to the god of equality comes first.
So now the question then becomes does the Bible advocate for women to be treated as second class citizens to men according to the dictionary definition I just gave?
The answer simply put is YES. The Bible does in fact advocate for women to be treated as second class citizens to men if “second class citizen” simply means they are to have less rights and opportunities than men.
In fact, women occupy the second of three social classes of humanity that God designed.
The Three Social Classes Ordained by God
Contrary to modern Western and American ideals about equality God’s original design of mankind features a social order with three classes of people.
God’s First-Class Citizen – Man as God’s Image Bearer
“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.” Genesis 1:27 (KJV)
There are a great number of Christian theologians that misread this famous Biblical account of the creation of man and woman. This passage does NOT teach that God created “them” (male and female) in his image. It clearly states “in the image of God created he HIM”. Many Christian teachers (even non-feminist teachers) have tried to argue that because “man” can refer to mankind that this can mean “So God created mankind in his own image”. That is absolutely true that sometimes “man” (or Adam as it is in the original Hebrew) can refer to an individual man or mankind in general. The problem with this interpretation in this particular passage is found in the second phrase with the word “him” which is a translation of the Hebrew phrase “eth haa-‘adam” which literally means “this same man”.
So in Genesis 1:27 the Scriptures are telling us “God created Adam in his own image, in the image of God created he this same Adam. Male and Female created he them.”
This passage tells us two very important truths. God created man (male human beings) in his image and also that he created women as well. It does not say he created women in his image, only that he created women.
And if there was any doubt as to the correct interpretation of this passage God gave the Apostle Paul this divine commentary on Genesis account:
“For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man.” I Corinthians 11:7 (KJV)
God’s Second-Class Citizen – Woman the helper to man
“And the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.” – Genesis 2:18 (KJV)
In Genesis chapter 2 we see that God did not want Adam to be alone and so he created a helper for him. Now a helper can be one in authority (like a manager who helps his workers), a helper can be an equal partner or a helper can be a subordinate. So which kind of helper did not create Eve to be? The Genesis account tells us that Adam named her type “woman” and later he even gave her personal name which was Eve. This was a sign that she would be a subordinate helper, not an authority helper nor an equal partner. Throughout the Old Testament this is maintained when we see that men ruled over women and that husbands could override any decision of their wives and fathers could override any decision of their daughters (Numbers 30).
Multiple New Testament passages confirm that woman was designed by God to be a subordinate helper to man.
“Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives; 2 While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear.” I Peter 3:1-2 (KJV)
“22 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. 24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.” Ephesians 5:22-24 (KJV)
God designed woman to be man’s subordinate helper in many ways. She helps him by bearing and caring for his home and his children (1 Timothy 5:14). She helps him by being a faithful companion (Proverbs 31:11, Malachi 2:14). She helps him by bringing him sexual pleasure (Proverbs 5:15-19). But another way she helps her husband is simply by being “the weaker vessel” (1 Timothy 5:14) and needing his leadership, provision and protection. A man cannot fully image God as he was designed to do without being a husband and father and woman helps him in this way to fulfill image God to his fullest capability.
So, if you are asking “Why did God make women to be second class citizens?” the answer is found in a passage we just stated above:
“For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.” Ephesians 5:23 (KJV)
Not only was man made to image God and thus bring glory to him but marriage between a man and woman was made by God to model the relationship between God and his people. So, by fully embracing their status as second-class citizens to men women help men to fully image God and also model the relationship between God and his people.
To our equality obsessed world this makes no sense but this is why we as Christians are called to honor women for being the second-class citizens God designed them to be (I Peter 3:7).
Let me put this another way. God could have made a partner for man that was his equal in every way. In fact, God could have created man as a hermaphrodite (with both sexes) and then humans could have just chosen any other human as partners. They could have equally broken up the division of having children, caring for the home, leading, providing and protecting. If what I just said sounds familiar it is because this is exactly what our culture does today. We promote homosexuality and gender equality – both ideologies which are in direct contradiction to God’s Word and his design.
But if humans existed in pair bonded relationships as equals this would not have properly modeled the relationship of God to his people. Only if there were two genders with one dependent on the other for their leadership, provision and protection could the relationship of God to his people be properly modeled.
God’s Third-Class Citizen – Children as God’s inheritance to man
“Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord: and the fruit of the womb is his reward. 4 As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth. 5 Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate.” Psalm 127:3-5 (KJV)
While man does not create life in exactly the same way God does – God wanted man to have a taste of his ability to create life and in this way, he blessed man with the ability to father children.
Children help both men and women to fulfill their God given God given roles by having someone who needs their care and support. Children help men to exercise their father role in the way God is father to his children.
Summary of God’s three ordained social classes
Now let’s summarize the three classes and how they relate to one another. Men are to be the image bearers of God. One of the ways a man images God is by loving his wife as Christ loved his Church. Another way a man images God is by loving his children as God loves his children. Women are to show respect and deference toward men in general and specific obedience and submission toward their father and later their husband. Children are to show respect and deference to adult men and women and they are specifically to obey and honor their father and mother. This is God’s original creation design and order of humanity.
A fourth social class allowed by God because of Sin
Sin’s entrance into the world resulted in crime, laziness, poverty and war. These four human conditions would necessitate that God allow for a fourth class of citizen which is that of a slave.
“If a countryman of yours becomes so poor with regard to you that he sells himself to you, you shall not subject him to a slave’s service. He shall be with you as a hired man, as if he were a sojourner; he shall serve with you until the year of jubilee. He shall then go out from you, he and his sons with him, and shall go back to his family, that he may return to the property of his forefathers. For they are My servants whom I brought out from the land of Egypt; they are not to be sold in a slave sale. You shall not rule over him with severity, but are to revere your God. As for your male and female slaves whom you may have—you may acquire male and female slaves from the pagan nations that are around you. Then, too, it is out of the sons of the sojourners who live as aliens among you that you may gain acquisition, and out of their families who are with you, whom they will have produced in your land; they also may become your possession. You may even bequeath them to your sons after you, to receive as a possession; you can use them as permanent slaves. But in respect to your countrymen, the sons of Israel, you shall not rule with severity over one another.” Leviticus 25:39-46 (NASB)
While God allowed for slavery he also specifically gave rules regarding the humane treatment of slaves and the conditions under which slavery may occur. The version of slavery that occurred in North and South America neither met the conditions allowed for slavery or the treatment of slaves. See my article “Why Christians should not be ashamed of Slavery in the Bible” for more on this subject.
Is a woman’s second-class status only applicable if she is married or living with her father?
Some might think by the passages I mentioned previously that a woman’s second-class status only applies to her if she is married or perhaps is still a young woman living at home with her father. Such thinking is flawed and does not take into account the entire witness of the Scriptures. Yes, God allows and even praises celibacy in both women and men (I Corinthians 7). However, celibacy is God’s exception to his first command to mankind to “be fruitful and multiply” (Genesis 1:28) and to keep this command men and women must marry, have sex and have children.
Even if a woman feels called by God to celibacy in his service this does not remove her second-class status. Paul’s divine commentary on the Genesis account of the creation of man and woman makes this clear.
“3 But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God. 4 Every man praying or prophesying, having his head covered, dishonoureth his head.
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. 6 For if the woman be not covered, let her also be shorn: but if it be a shame for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her be covered.
7 For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man. 8 For the man is not of the woman: but the woman of the man. 9 Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man.
10 For this cause ought the woman to have power on her head because of the angels.”
I Corinthians 11:3-10 (KJV)
This is one of the most controversial and most un-preached passages in modern churches today. Why? Because it blows away our entire “equality based society”. Men and women are equal in their humanity because woman was taken from man. However, Paul explains why women were to wear head coverings in worship services – because they were to reflect the order of God’s creation. Notice there is no mention in this passage of marriage or the relationship between a husband and wife. Instead this speaks to the social order between men and women in general. This is why women regardless of their marital status are to wear a sign of authority on their head when they come to worship.
“We attended home church and was told that women are to be submissive to their husbands, and not speak in the church.”
If you had church services in your home (as many churches do) then your husband would be right in teaching that you and your daughters should remain silent and simply listen during the spiritual instruction given by the men. This is actually very clearly taught in the Scriptures.
“11 Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. 12 But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. 13 For Adam was first formed, then Eve.” 1 Timothy 2:11-13 (KJV)
Now does these mean women can never speak in their home because it is also used for church services? No. Paul even commands that elder women are to teach younger women in the Lord when he writes:
“3 The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; 4 That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, 5 To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.” Titus 2:1-5 (KJV)
So, it is perfectly Biblical for elder women in the Lord to conduct women’s Bible studies in their home or maintain blogs online with other women as long as this occurs under the authority of their husbands. The women teaching should teach what is in accordance with their husband’s teachings and the women attending should do so with their husband’s permission.
“Some of the men in the church were not very caring and loving husbands and they did not honor their wives. Last year I realized that my efforts to be a proverbs 31 wife has led me to have a relationship that is not what I consider to be what God wants. My husband is verbally abusive, self-centered, and has neglected his role as Father and Husband.”
Who determines if a husband is acting in a caring or loving way toward his wife or honoring his wife? I can tell you who does not determine this. Neither his wife nor his children. Ultimately it is God himself who judges whether your husband is caring and loving to you and honoring you in the way God expects of him. And how does he determine God’s will in these areas? By examining the Scriptures and how God loves his wife.
Now this is not to say that men should not listen to the counsel of other men whether it be their fathers or their pastors or other spiritually mature men in the Lord. The Scriptures tell us “Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counsellors there is safety.” (Proverbs 11:14). Also, men should hear their wife’s concerns but men must weigh their wife’s concerns by the Word of God. Is what she is asking for within the commands or example of God’s love toward his wife? Maybe. But is it also possible that how a wife feels her husband should care for her and love her is not warranted or commanded by the Scriptures? Could she actually be selfishly ambitious for a type of love that God does not entitle her to?
For instance, what is verbally abusive? If a man simply raises his voice to his wife is that verbally abusive? You won’t find that anywhere in the Scriptures. If a man calls his wife foolish for acting or talking in a certain way is that verbally abusive? No – in fact we have the example of one of the most righteous men in the Bible doing just that with his wife and the Scriptures tell us he did not sin in doing so (Job 2:10).
“As my daughters are growing up they are rejecting this unfair situation and are questioning the Bible. They see how there are many verses that are not in favor of women and that we are not as entitled as men… My daughters are losing interest in the Bible as they feel how can God want us to be treated unfairly and they also think that because men wrote the Bible that their sin and attitude about women is revealed in their writing.”
If I had a dime for every woman that wrote me over the past few years saying something like this “Thanks for confirming for me from the Bible why I never want to be a Christian” or “Thanks for helping me to leave the Christian faith your gender role teachings” I would be a wealthy man. The Atheist emails are especially humorous with their “I love your site – keep up the good preaching! You will convert everyone to atheists like me.”
I have had others write me things like “Please stop teaching these gender role doctrines. The Gospel is the most important thing people need to believe but people will never come to hear the Gospel if they first hear these gender role doctrines. Let them discover these passages on their own and decide for themselves what they believe. Stop putting a stumbling block for people coming to Christ.”
What are all these complaints really saying? They are saying that Christians need to leave behind anything in the Bible that conflicts with our modern culture. We need to teach people what makes them feel good and things that match the values of our culture or so we are told. A lot of big churches today do just that. Even many small churches do this. The sad fact is only a small percentage of Christian Churches today follow Paul’s example when he stated in Acts 20:27 “for I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole counsel of God.”
The fact is the doctrines of Biblical gender roles are part of “the whole counsel of God”. Pastors and Christian teachers do exactly what the Apostle Paul warned them NOT to do:
“1 I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; 2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine. 3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; 4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.” 2 Timothy 4:1-4 (KJV)
What do most Pastors and Christian teachers do today? They teach only what their congregation’s itching ears want to hear. They have conformed themselves to the pattern of this world and the culture we live instead of transforming their minds and seeing the sin that the lays before them in our culture as the Bible exhorts us to do:
“And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” Romans 12:2 (KJV)
We need to pray for preachers who will once again not be afraid to preach “Thus saith the Lord”.
But Christ didn’t treat women as second-class citizens!
The truth is that there are many Christian Pastors and teachers today that “preacheth another Jesus” (II Corinthians 11:4). The Christ they preach is a feminized Christ who is not Lord of all, but one who bows the knee to the false god of equality.
Some online articles try and point to the fact that Jesus broke some social norms of his age when it came to interactions with women and that somehow shows he was a feminist or rejected patriarchy as I have shown the Bible clearly supports.
Their supposed evidence for this is that Jesus encouraged women to sit and listen to him rather than doing house work while he taught (Luke 10:38-42), he spoke to a Samaritan woman (John 4:6-30) or that he had women followers who came along with his disciples.
None of these actions by Christ prove one iota that Christ did not in fact treat women as second-class citizens to men. What it proves is that he believed the men had had gone too far in forbidding women to hear the teaching of God’s Word (which many did).
Did Christ have even one of his twelve Apostles whom he commissioned to build his Church be a woman? No, he did not. Did Christ one time tell women they should be social equals with men? No, he did not. Did he tell women not to submit to their husbands? No, he did not.
But the biggest problem with saying Jesus Christ believed in treating women completely equal with men is the fact that his Word says otherwise! Remember that what the Prophets before Christ and the Apostles after Christ wrote came directly from God. Some Christians falsely believe that the words Christ spoke while he walked among men are more authoritative then the words he gave to his Apostles after he ascended to heaven. To attack the teachings of the Apostles like Peter and Paul regarding gender roles is to attack Christ himself who gave them his Word.
We have shown that those who use Paul’s statement that “there is neither male nor female“ in Galatians 3:28 and Christ’s actions in teaching women have built a false platform of support of equal rights for women. When we examine the whole counsel of God as found in the entirety of the Scriptures we see this is not the case.
If you are a Christian woman who feels as Lauren and her daughters do toward your husband, father or just men in general this is what you need to do. You need to heed the words of the Apostle James where he wrote:
“13 Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. 14 But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. 15 Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. 16 For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.” James 3:13-16 (NIV)
As a woman who feels the way Lauren and her daughters do – you need to recognize your feelings for what they are when measured against the Word of God. If you desire anything God did not intend for you to have that is by definition selfish ambition. If you are desire the status that someone else has that is envy.
If you as a woman desire to be a first-class citizen – meaning to have all the rights and privileges of a man, then you have selfish ambition and envy in your heart. You need to get down on your knees and pray the prayer of David in Psalm 51:10 where he prays “Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.” You need to fully embrace your position as the weaker vessel and your place in God’s design.
If you are a father, husband or teachers of God’s Word you must have the courage to stand firm against the evil attitudes and ambitions in the women of our age.
“Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong.”
I Corinthians 16:13 (NASB)
32 thoughts on “Does the Bible Teach that Women are Second Class Citizens?”
Great post. I agree with you 98%, with the exception of women teaching other women scripture, but I digress. I don’t intend to fight about it.
Beyond that I would concur that the bible certainly teaches that men and women have differing status in Gods eyes despite what society and the modern Western church teaches (I have no clue what the churches growing in the third world or the far East are teaching). The sad thing about the whole thing is that its right there in scripture! The only way to miss it is to ignore it or willfully misinterpret it. It certainly doesn’t mean men are any more deserving of salvation or punishment than women, for all have sinned and all are in need of Jesus as their savior, but God has made it very obvious though the bible that men and women have different roles and a different status!
The incorrect teaching by the modern church have lead to an infection of feminism in nearly every modern Christian woman! Even some of the most ardent Christian women still have a nasty streak of “you go girl” in them, and will bristle if they think you are even insinuating that a man has authority over them, both the married and unmarried! It has lead to many, many problems!
I have said that the muslim religion is all about authority and no love, while Western Christianity has become all love and no authority. You can see the flaw in both systems. Western men, however, will never, NEVER increase their authority over their women en masse. Not only would they be afraid to do it, but they would need to also deal with the government and law enforcement, which none would be willing to do.
The church does its people a great disservice by ignoring the scripture on this subject. Let us hope sites like yours will help others learn.
Your application of the 1 Corinthians 11 passage wasn’t complete. The passage refers not simply to women coming into worship services, but to ALL times of praying or prophesying, regardless of where they are, church, home, or society. Other than that, wonderful article, BGR! 🙂 Keep up the good work!
@Snapper BGR was right about elder women teaching women Scripture, the Bible verse he gave blatantly said that.
I’m afraid I do not agree, but will not derail the conversation. I am more than happy to discuss on my own blog on my own post on the subject (if BGR doesn’t mind me posting the link).
I agree that if a woman prays, or prophesies she is to where a head covering as well.
“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.”
I Corinthians 11:5 (KJV)
Whether a woman can teach scripture to other women and/or children – this may be one of those gray issues where you can literally quibble over each word and its meaning. Whenever I see that situation I have to say look at the entirety of scripture to see which idea is more aligned with God’s ways overall.
[NASB 1 Tim 2:12] But I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man, but to remain quiet.
This scripture does indeed speak negatively to a woman teaching, but it is linked specifically with teaching or exercising authority over a man. I think that is the critical part of this because there are other scriptures where women and commanded to teach – only that the ones they are told to teach are different. How are they different? They aren’t men which makes perfect sense because that is what this scripture is really speaking against, women teaching men, not women teaching anyone.
In contrast to it:
[NASB Titus 2;3] Older women likewise are to be reverent in their behavior, not malicious gossips nor enslaved to much wine, teaching what is good,
Older women are supposed to teach “what is good” to younger women. Let’s look at the result of what teaching “what is good” should be:
[NASB Titus 2;4-5] so that they may [b]encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, 5 to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, so that the word of God will not be dishonored.
In other words, Godly ways. They are to teach Godly ways. Godly ways are found in scripture. It makes no sense to say that older women should teach younger women how to cook, but they should keep quiet about real Godly wisdom that may have come from scripture. I don’t see that meaning anywhere her or in scripture at all.
There is one critical thing about all of this – is the woman teaching under the authority of her husband or father? Can a husband not ask his wife to teach his children? And how does she do that? Rightfully, she will be teaching them what her husband wishes her to, in other words, she will be under his authority in the way that she teaches. In the same way, can a husband not ask his wife to further God’s kingdom by teaching younger women if he feels she is in a position to give spiritual wisdom to them? I see that as honoring Titus 2:3. I don’t see it violating 1 Tim 2:12 which specifically speaks to teaching men.
Your position on women teaching other women pretty much matches mine. You have made all the points I have in the past. It makes no sense to me to say that when Paul exhorts elder women to teach other women “good things” that those good things would not be and should not be Scripturally based. Women should be quoting Scriptures to one another all the time for all the things they do and think as wives, mothers and daughters. As Christ said himself “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” Matthew 4:4.
Should women share the Gospel with other women? You BET! and they should and anything else related to general holy living and being good wives, mothers and daughters I strongly encourage because the Bible encourages this.
@BGR You only mentioned that with regards to going to church in the article, so I just wanted to make sure you knew it applies to all times, not just in church. Wasn’t trying to be rude though. Sorry if I came off that way. Hope you’ve been doing well lately, and God bless you!
i think verbal abuse is when you degrade another person, like say if a husband were to constantly raise his voice and call his wife, hoe, slut,b*tch and words like, that is verbal abuse and its not okay
I disagree on women teaching women about Scripture. They simply can’t be trusted to get it right. Let them teach how to be a good wife and mother, no more.
It’s cultural Marxism which has infected the Church, leading to the rise of feminists within the church. It was a deliberate attack. Everything is a deliberate attack, from the UN Charters, to the advent of suffrage and democracy. satan indeed is finding work for idle hands, who believe his lies the world over.
Glad I found your blog. I might be able to put you in touch with a lady who has just launched a blog aggragator site for Christian bloggers, need to get on my laptop and off this IPad though.
God be with you.
No problem. I have been really busy with my day job and family vacations so have not been able to write as much. I have lots more interesting emails and comments I would like to write on soon. Also trying to get my next you tube episode out…so I am busy man as always. But I like it that way.
‘I see that as honoring Titus 2:3.’
‘[NASB Titus 2;4-5] so that they may [b]encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, 5 to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, so that the word of God will not be dishonored.
In other words, Godly ways. They are to teach Godly ways. Godly ways are found in scripture. It makes no sense to say that older women should teach younger women how to cook, but they should keep quiet about real Godly wisdom that may have come from scripture. I don’t see that meaning anywhere her or in scripture at all.’
You have to torture scripture to reach the conclusion that women should be teaching ANYONE about scripture. I don’t know, but I’d hazard a guess you are a woman. It’s in your nature to seek to elevate your position, women feel they are entitled to what they want to do (like eating an apple from the tree of knowledge for example). That’s why the Titus verse is explicit on the matters with which women can instruct, all of them related to marriage and home-keeping. None of them could be construed as teaching scripture. I think you seek to honour women. Titus gives you a very clear hint as to why you should stick to homely matters:
‘so that the word of God will not be dishonored.’
I’ll add my 2 bits on the Titus 2 scuffle.
Principle 1 if a woman has questions regarding the Word she is instructed to ask her husband, not instructed to ask an older woman.
Principle 2. Older women will no doubtably teach many things, their primary teaching ministry is yo teach younger women how to love their husband and children including how to be subject to him.
While all Christians are to engage in evangelism and where all should learn Bible and theology, I see no place for Christian women to be teachers of these subjects (ala Joyce meyer) but by their Godly example.
Principle 3 A husband IMO ought to delegate much of the “education” of His children to his wife and a Christian education necessitates Bible and theology.
She is Bible teaches to her own children and a love coach to younger wives.
Perhaps I have not made myself clear:
My understanding is that the bible restricts women from teaching other women the interpretation of scripture in a manner similar to that of a pastor or rabbi. This does not prevent them from sharing scripture nor sharing the gospel. Indeed when the older women teach the younger women “good things” it should absolutely be backed by scripture. “The word of God says we are to be submissive to our husbands and respect them, regardless of their relationship with God or scripture. It says so right here in ‘x’.” However a woman teaching a bible study where the ladies all gather round and listen to an interpretation of scripture, either from the leader of the group or one of the various books available, is not permitted. Wives should be asking their husbands for interpretation of scripture (as Jonadab has pointed out), not other women or books. Why? Because its far too easy for women to be lead down the wrong path of bad doctrine (as glosoli pointed out). This is backed up by Paul’s assertion that it was THE WOMAN who was deceived in the garden and not THE MAN. Doesn’t mean men can’t be deceived, but overall men stick to the book more often than women do. I made another post on this on my own blog where I talk about the scientific data pertaining to in-group bias amongst women:
Not to say that EVERY woman will fall into this category, but the majority of them do, and that makes their interpretation and teach of scripture high susceptible to corruption.
Where a husband is not a believer the Word says that the Holy Spirit is a more than adequate teacher. No reason for women to be taking this role.
>I don’t know, but I’d hazard a guess you are a woman. It’s in your nature to seek to
>elevate your position, women feel they are entitled to what they want to do (like eating
>an apple from the tree of knowledge for example).
I am a man, husband, and father who is passionate and solidly behind the gender roles that God gives in the Word.
The fact is, if the Word wanted to say it is wrong or a sin for women to teach scripture specifically to women or children, it could have easily stated this, yet it does not. What it does state is that a woman should not teach men or have authority over men. For those of you holding on to the idea that women cannot teach scripture specifically, take note that it DOES NOT EVEN mention WHAT a woman should not teach men, just that they should not teach men at all.
And yes, I am aware that women are weaker in this way (elevating position), but the assumption that some are making is that ALL women are incapable because of it. That is absolute foolishness. If that is the case, then why is the instruction given to husbands to wash them in the word so they can be presented to him blemish free? There are women who take Holiness seriously and are wise. Women have a valuable role in the Kingdom, and they have a valuable role in His order. God does place limitations on them such as not teaching men, The bible says not to add anything to it and not to take anything away from it.
>Principle 3 A husband IMO ought to delegate much of the “education” of His
>children to his wife and a Christian education necessitates Bible and theology.
>She is Bible teaches to her own children and a love coach to younger wives.
So a woman can teach her own children scripture as explained to her by her husband, but not younger women she knows? Just because Titus 2:4-5 includes ideas of some things to teach, doesn’t mean that anything unlisted is automatically excluded!
Just to mix this up a bit more, there is this interesting scripture verse:
[NASB Acts 18:26] and he began to speak out boldly in the synagogue. But when Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they took him aside and explained to him the way of God more accurately.
Now, I’m not suggesting that Priscilla was leading this teaching, but she was a part of it and present which says something. Don’t misunderstand, I adhere completely to women should not teach men as scripture specifically states, but you don’t see a hint of she shouldn’t be part of the teaching going on in this verse. Again, I think it is about order and leadership. She was present and part of the situation under the authority and responsibility of her husband, this example is right here in the Word.
Too far left = “Women are equal with men” = FALSE TEACHING NOT TO BE FOUND IN THE BIBLE.
Too far right = “Women can’t be trusted to do anything and have very limited purpose” = FALSE TEACHING NOT TO BE FOUND IN THE BIBLE. These are the people who give proper biblical gender roles a bad name. God doesn’t think women are incapable. Is the Proverbs 31 woman incapable? Or just maybe does her husband have great trust in the way he has led her? There is an ugly male pride in this thinking, and it is not Godly. I am not saying men should not be pleased of the position God has given them as His image reflector, they should, but they should also appreciate that He created woman to bless us and to teach us how to lead and grow her into spiritual maturity. There is a reason and purpose in that. This type of male pride is just as wrong as female pride seeking equal-ness with men as it is not from God. Looking at the entirety of scripture shows this.
God’s Word = Women are not men. They were not created for the same purpose as men. Though, they are subordinate to men, you see women doing amazing things in the Word.
I’m done on this topic, but I will leave with if you don’t know a women who has God’s wisdom in her, whose fault is that?
This is simply not correct.
Before I continue I will post a link to this short video. I encourage you to watch it, though I know most Christians would say not to argue over the version of bible being used, but I think it is imperative that we avoid modern translations that add, change or remove words. Words create meaning and changing wording changes meaning.
1 Timothy 2:
“12 But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.
13 For Adam was first formed, then Eve.
14 And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.”
The above is two separate statements. 1) I do not suffer a woman to teach nor 2) to usurp authority over a man…
Paul then proceeds to give the reason WHY this is the case in verses 13 and 14.
According to you the woman being deceived only prevents her from teaching men, but doesn’t matter so long as she is teaching other women or children. That makes no sense! Paul has stated clearly: Women should not teach nor should they have authority over men because they are gullible and easily deceived! To see this as anything more than a flat out restriction on biblical teaching is a stretch, for it asks us to ignore Paul, and therefore Gods, words!
As for Acts 18:26, the preceding verses state that the one ‘speaking in the synagogue’ knew only the baptism of John. Likely Priscilla and Aquila shared with him the gospel of Christ, and then, according to the proceeding verses, sent him to the disciples, who received him, taught him and, through this, he preached Christ to the Jews.
I know its difficult for modern Christians to grasp the concept of restricting women from certain things. It has been pounded into our heads for the last 50 years, plus, that men and women are equal, even in the church, but this is simply not the case. It is not meant for women to be teachers of scripture in the same manner as a pastor/rabbi, not even to other women.
I have great respect for the KJV and you know I use it probably 90% of the time. I do believe some modern translations like the NIV have grossly wrong translations on some verses especially when it comes to gender related issues. However I am not KJV only and I don’t want this to descend into that conversation. This is not about the KJV – I can argue from the KJV that I respectfully believe your position is wrong.
You are making the same mistake the Christian feminists make in taking Galatians 3:28’s phrase “there is neither male nor female..in Christ” and then canceling out what the Bible and specifically the same writer(the Apostle Paul) said in other places about gender roles and instructions.
The Apostle Paul said in I Timothy 2:12 – “But I suffer not a woman to teach” and then the same Apostle Paul said of older Christian women that they should be “teachers of good things” in Titus 2:3. So we know since the Scriptures never contradict that Paul was not saying in I Timothy 2:12 that women cannot teach. So what was he saying they cannot teach? He was saying they cannot teach men. Only men may teach men the Scriptures and how to be a godly man. This is the job of fathers, pastors and elder men to teach young men. But older women are to teach younger women how to be godly wives and mothers.
Does I Timothy 2:12 say “I suffer not a woman to teach the interpretation of the Scriptures“? No my friend it does not include that last phrase “the interpretation of the Scriptures”. You have added that.
You are adding to the Scripture when you say I Timothy 2:12 prohibits women from teaching the interpretation of the Scriptures. Every time a person(man or woman) gives the Scriptures we should expound on their meaning otherwise it is meaningless to the hearers. I would agree with those who say women should stick to teaching other women about marriage and children from the woman’s role perspective and not get into things like prophecy and church structure. Those things should be left to men.
But when a woman teaches other women on marriage passages like Ephesians 5 and I Peter 3 and Titus 2:3-5 she is going to be interpreting those passages for the women in her group(whether it be her daughters or women at church). Now yes she should teach her husbands interpretation. So will there be times when a woman comes home and hears a different interpretation from her husband? Of course she will. And that is when she learns to follow her husband when interpretations are different.
The fact is whether it comes from the Pastor of one’s church, or Christian books, or just being in other Christian’s homes our wives and children will hear other interpretations of the Scriptures. We cannot shield them from that or stop that unless we lock our wives and children in our homes and just have home church as some men do – I respectfully believe this behavior by men is unbiblical. I am the first to rail against the feminism that has poisoned our modern churches but I will NEVER EVER give up on God’s institution of the Church because of sinful corruption anymore than I will give up on God’s institution of marriage because of sinful corruption.
What we need to do is continually remind our wives and children that we are spiritual heads of our homes and ultimately in our home our interpretation is the rule for behavior in our home.
You keep alluding to I Timothy 2:14 “And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.” but the verse before it goes right with it “For Adam was first formed, then Eve.”. The reason a woman is not to teach a man or usurp authority over him is because Adam was formed first. In addition yes women can be deceived more easily which is why everything they do(including teaching other women) should be done under male leadership.
But you cannot add to the Scripture and say women can’t teach the interpretation of the Scriptures to other women. No Scripture forbids this – not even I Timothy 2:12 which you cite.
I wanted to take on a couple more things your said.
I agree 100% with this statement you made. Pastors and Rabbis are spiritual authorities and they teach with spiritual authority – a woman can never occupy these kinds of positions(aka Joyce Meyer). But a person does not have to be a spiritual authority to teach the interpretation of the Scriptures to another person. I could teach a friend at work the interpretation of a Scripture passage or my daughter could teach a girl at school the interpretation of a Scripture passage(as she often does). My daughter is not doing so with authority – but rather sharing the interpretation she has received from me as her father. If that girl’s father disagrees – then so be it – she should listen to her father’s interpretation and follow that. But many of the girls in my daughters school don’t even have fathers that teach them anything about the Bible or even take them to church. The only Bible they hear is from my daughter and I am proud of her sharing God’s Word with her friends at school.
Also on a different note I wanted to share this important truth about I Timothy 2:11-14 that you have hung your entire argument on. I have taught extensively over the years on I Timothy chapters 2 and 3 even before I had this blog. Do you know what the context is of chapters 2 and 3? Remember when the Bible was written there were no chapters and verses – those were added by men centuries later. This was all one letter. This entire epistle was written to a young pastor name Timothy and it was to teach him how people were to conduct themselves in the assembly of the Church. Verse 15 of chapter 3 gives us the entire purpose of the the first part of this first epistle to this young pastor:
Everything written in chapters 2 and 3 of this Epistle was written to teach how we are to behave in the house of God – the church with is to be the pillar and ground of the truth. The rest of the Epistle in chapters 4 and 6 mix some issues with the church(like the support of widows) and doctrines regarding family matters as well as the relationship between slaves and masters.
But returning to chapters 2 and 3. Paul says “Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection.” in verse 11 of chapter 2. Does that mean women must be silent at all times and never speak in any place? Of course not. The context is within the assembly of the church. Women are not to be raising their hands in mixed gender teachings in the church. We know that Paul’s exhortation to the Corinthian church that his command regarding woman’s silence is limited to the assembly of the Church:
So literally based on I Timothy 3:15 which tells us Paul’s commands in the previous chapters were teaching us “how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church” we can truthfully say when Paul said in chapter 2:12 “But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.” that he was placing this restriction on women teaching men or usurping authority over men and being in “silence” to the context of the church assembly.
Now I can argue from Ephesians 5, I Corinthians 11 and I Peter 3 and other passages that women should never take authority over men. But Paul’s words in I Timothy 2:12 are spoken in the context of how to behave and conduct one’s self in the church.
I just wanted to make sure everyone understands the context of these I Timothy chapters 2 and 3.
Allow me to respectfully reply and then I shall lay my arguments to rest, seeing as how we will not see eye to eye on this.
1. I added nothing to the scripture but made it clear that my reference was to “I suffer not a woman to teach”. I also made clear that my understanding is that this references teaching within the capacity of a pastor/rabbi. I add nothing, nor do I take away.
2. I agree that creation order is part of the reasoning for Paul’s statement, but it is not the only reason, as he proceeds to indicate that “woman was deceived” and not the man. This was included for a reason and not just tossed in there haphazardly. Because of this we must ask ourselves to believe one of two things: A)Paul, and by proxy, God, as the words of the bible are his, believes that women being easily deceived restricts them from expounding doctrine….but only if those they are teaching are men – other women and children its perfect fine! Or B) women being easily deceived restricts them from expounding doctrine, period.
This first option simply makes no sense, particularly when considering the social makeup of the day, when women certainly wouldn’t be hanging around with and teaching men to begin with. Women should not be standing in front of the church and teaching doctrine, nor should they be assembling in a group in which one is acting as the de-facto authority, as this is no different and is where, to me, much of the danger of misinterpretation and bad doctrine is able to be established, particularly when considering that women bible-study groups depend heavily on ‘additions’ to the bible.
3. I make no assumption via Timothy 2:12 that it references anything other than scripture, to do otherwise is silliness. There is no conflict between Paul’s words about restricting women from teaching in Timothy and his words about “teaching good things” in Titus. Please give me more credit than that. Again, the things Paul says women should teach in the proceeding versus do not require exposition of scripture, nor that any act in the capacity of a pastor.
Personally I think our conflict comes from my inability to clearly define what I am thinking. Perhaps its old age or the troubles of the day, but I think we are pretty much on the same page. As Christians we absolutely should be sharing the gospel, which requires the sharing of scripture. As a church we definitely need pastors to lead the flocks, but the position should definitely not be filled by women, as they are restricted from such positions. The only place we may have issue is bible studies, which I think are included in said restriction, as it has already been pointed out that wives should be asking their husbands for clarification on scripture and not other women or books written by whoever the flavor of the day is.
As I said I will put this to rest. I feel I have already derailed the discussion after I said I wouldn’t, and for that I apologize. I still feel like we are more on the same page than not, but my mind lately has been suffering from a bit of a fog.
Brother, we may not be able to change each others minds, but perhaps some thoughts we have can sharpen each other.
>I think it is imperative that we avoid modern translations that add, change or
>remove words. Words create meaning and changing wording changes meaning.
I agree with this, but I don’t think any one translation is infallible either. I usually go to biblegateway.com and click on the “view all English translations” link of specific verses. After going through all of them I can often see which translations try to change the meanings for cultural reasons and which differences are different ways the Greek could be interpreted. In the case of something being not as clear as it could be, or it is only seen in one place in scripture, it is wise to take into account all of scripture and especially the context of the scripture under question.
>The above is two separate statements. 1) I do not suffer a woman to teach nor 2) to usurp
>authority over a man…
In some translations, but not most. Also, as bgr pointed out, the idea that Paul’s is saying that women are never able to teach at all is clearly refuted later when he tells them to do exactly that. Again, we can’t go by what we “think” he is saying, but rather what he actually says, can we?
>According to you the woman being deceived only prevents her from teaching men, but
>doesn’t matter so long as she is teaching other women or children. That makes no sense!
These verses put a specific rule in place (women are not to teach men or have authority over them) for specific reasons (God’s order of men over women, and that one woman (Eve) in particular was deceived.).
If I were going to add any thoughts to what this scripture means, I have two of them. (1) Women are weaker when it comes to certain things such as elevating their position. We know this as the enemy has exploited it to no end and continues to. Make special note that this is the exact thing that put the enemy with odds with God in the first place. (2) Men have a weakness to be misled by women as Adam was by his wife. We must put God first as men, then we can be effective leaders for those entrusted to us.
I think the thoughts you are adding to this scripture are that it means that all women are deceived all of the time and can’t be trusted with important things. From that you are adding to the verses that scripture specifically is not to be taught when scripture is not mentioned at all. You are also adding to the verse that women and children are not to be taught when scripture specifically states men.
My real concern in this type of thinking (women are deceived all of the time) is that not only is it mistruth, it misrepresents proper biblical gender roles in a way that the enemy can easily attack. Let me ask this question, does this line of thinking bind men and women together to work for His glory, or make them enemies of each other? Who is at the helm of making men and women enemies?
The biblical truth is that while women are weaker in this area, if they accept and submit to their husband’s leadership, they are stronger for it and more than capable when being led by a husband who teaches them truth. Interesting is that they need men to lead them and are blessed by it and can bless others through it. Where have I heard that before? Oh yes, men need God to lead them and are blessed by it and can bless others through it. He is a brilliant designer!
There are tons of scripture that bolster these thoughts, not the least of which is that Jesus taught women and did not treat them as though they were a lost cause who couldn’t accomplish anything. Before anyone gets any ideas, one thing I really despise is the idea of Jesus being a feminist when there is absolutely no truth or scripture to support it. At the same time, I love our God who in the form of Jesus treated women with love, kindness, and compassion. We men can lead with love and compassion and still have/respect the order God blessed us to have. An order which benefits us, our wives, and children. Notice that everyone is blessed by doing what is right, brilliant isn’t He?
>I know its difficult for modern Christians to grasp the concept of restricting women from certain things.
It isn’t difficult for me. The Word is the Word, and what it says is what it says. I don’t want to add anything to and take anything from what it directly says. You might be able to infer some things, but those have to agree with the rest of scripture of they are likely wrong.
>It is not meant for women to be teachers of scripture in the same manner as a pastor/rabbi,
>not even to other women.
Again, this is an entirely different situation. A pastor has very specific requirements as laid out by scripture. Women clearly cannot be pastors according to the biblical requirements. In addition, pastors must assume authority over men which again women cannot do because it violates the scripture we’ve been discussing. How does any of that prevent a woman from sharing the gospel or scripture with other women or children when the bible specifically tells older women to teach younger women.
I don’t actually feel this derails the discussion. This post is discussing what it means for women to be second class citizens from a Biblical perspective and I think this is a big part of that. I apologize if I seemed like I was upset with you – I was not and am not. I was just probably a little passionate in my wording.
I realize you and I might not be able to convince each other of our positions – but I think it is good to have the discussion and while we don’t want to go on forever I think there is a little room left for us to discuss without it becoming unfruitful where we just need to agree to disagree.
With that being said let me move on to some of your statements.
I totally agree with you that I Timothy 2:12 is forbidding women from “teaching within the capacity of a pastor/rabbi”. As I said in a previous comment I Timothy chapters 2 and 3 are all within the context of how we are to conduct ourselves in the assembled church. When it says women are to be silent it is speaking of the church assembly – this is verified by a companion passage to this I Corinthians 14:34-35:
Yes Pastor’s and Rabbis interpret the Scriptures. But are they the only ones allowed to do so? In the assembled church they are the authorities over the interpretation of the Scriptures. In the home husbands are the authority over interpretation of the Scriptures. But does this mean only Pastor’s, Rabbis and Husbands may interpret the scriptures for others? I don’t see that anywhere in the Scriptures.
What you miss is that whenever we share the Scriptures – whether as pastors, husbands or just people in general(men or women) we also share the interpretation. You cannot separate the two. You seem to be trying to thread that needle and I just don’t see that. When a woman shares Gospel passages or passages on marriage with other women she is also giving the interpretation. You can’t separate that.
But when we are under authority we need to abide by our authorities interpretation. When a man teaches a Sunday school class at church – he needs to teach within the interpretation of his church and his pastor as his spiritual authority. When he goes home he can teach his own interpretation to his family because he is the spiritual authority in his home. When a woman teaches other women she must do so according to the interpretation that her spiritual authority(her husband) has given her.
I will continue this another comment as to not make my comments too big(a problem I often have).
I agree that Paul’s comment about the woman being deceived was not thrown in their “haphazardly”. But what does his reference to woman being deceived mean? The reason he references is to say that in the church(as in all other areas) women are to be under the authority and supervision of men. That is why I maintain that when women teach other women the woman doing so teaches interpretation and doctrine on marriage and family matters in accordance with what she has been taught by her male authorities(whether it is her father, her husband or her pastor).
He is not saying women can’t teach the Scriptures ever. He saying women cannot teach the Scriptures to men or take authority over men in the Church. Women are clearly allowed and even commanded by Titus 2:3-5 to teach women how to be good wives and mothers and the only way they can do that is by sharing the Scriptures on these subjects and the interpretation and application of these scriptures in accordance with the interpretation they have been given by their male spiritual authorities.
So again the context of I Timothy chapters 2 and 3 is behavior in the assembled church. Paul is giving reasons why women are not to teach or have authority over men in the assembled church. His two reasons are the creation order and that women can be easily deceived. This is why in all major areas of life men are to lead women(government, the church and the home).
But then he tells us outside the assembled church that women are to be “teachers of good things”(Titus 2:3) and then he in the next verses he says what subject areas they should teach young women on:
So while agree women ought not to be getting into things like church structure and prophecy – Paul seems to have given a wide range subjects that older women can and should teach younger women on and all this should be backed by the Scriptures.
You admit in a previous comment that “This does not prevent them from sharing scripture nor sharing the gospel. Indeed when the older women teach the younger women “good things” it should absolutely be backed by scripture.”
So if a woman shares Ephesians 5:22-24 with a group of ladies and shares her husbands interpretation of what that means to be submit to their husbands as unto the Lord with examples from real life where is the violation of Scripture? I see none. In fact the woman sharing Ephesians 5:22-24 with her ladies group is doing exactly what Paul commanded in Titus 2:3.
Maybe here I will be able to truly zero on our disagreement. Certainly I Timothy 2:12 is referencing women teaching Scripture – but it clearing referencing women teaching men the Scriptures. That is the crux of our argument. You say women can be “teachers of good things” to other women in accordance with Paul’s command in Titus 2:3-5 without requiring them to expound on the Scriptures in doing so and then you throw in acting in the capacity of a Pastor. We agree that women can never be Pastors – that is expressly forbidden by the Scriptures. However you seem to keep confusing expounding on the Scriptures with one being a Pastor. Expounding on the Scriptures is just one of many duties of a Pastor.
Women can’t do as you say and share the Scriptures with other women without expounding on them. When you share the Scriptures – whether it be the Gospel or passages on marriage or the family you are going to interpret or expound on it – otherwise it is useless to hearers.
I have really been mulling over this trying to bridge the gap between your position and mine and I “think” I may have found it.
The two key phrases here are “they are commanded to be under obedience” and “let them ask their husbands at home”.
The command for women to be under obedience is not just about marriage, but women being under the headship of men in general as referenced in I Corinthians chapter 11:
So with that as a backdrop here is clarification of my opinion:
Women because they are under the spiritual headship of men may not contrive their own interpretations of the Scriptures. If a woman has no father or husband then she must teach the interpretations of her Pastor or another elder Christian man in her life. If a woman has a Christian father but no husband then she is to teach her father’s interpretation of the Scriptures. And if a woman has a husband then she is to teach his interpretation of the Scriptures. So whether she teaches her children, or a ladies group, or has a blog toward helping women be better wives and mothers she is to teach the interpretation of the Scriptures that has been given to her by the male spiritual authority in her life.
So to sum up what I just said – women may not come up with their own private interpretations of the Scriptures but they may in fact teach the interpretations of the Scriptures given to them by their male spiritual authorities.
So yes I believe a woman may and is in fact commanded by Titus 2 to teach women how to be good wives and mothers according to the Scriptures(as everything we do in this life must be by the Bible) and there is no teaching without giving the interpretation or meaning of the passage so yes women must give the interpretation to other women.
But that interpretation comes from their male spiritual authority.
So where do you disagree with what I have just said?
It is not a woman’s place to deliver such interpretation, that is where I disagree with you.
When I share the gospel or even scripture with others, Christian or not, it is a far cry different from what my pastor does on Sunday mornings, or even what myself and other men may get into during a bible study.
You have said, in response to one of my own questions on this very blog, that during the time of the bible, even Jesus and the disciples, that women were not even allowed to possess the holy books, much less teach them. Where has that changed? Where did Jesus deliver the message to allow women to begin to study and teach the books to others? Instead Paul instructed women to keep silent in church and to ask their husbands for the meaning of scriptural things and not to teach in the church.
Allowing women to teach other women and children has lead to a huge mess. Just look at the mess brought up today on Dalrocks page (http://dalrock.wordpress.com). Browse his site and see what women teachers have wrought! Women teaching other women that submission is optional. Women teaching other women that men are abusive because they go so far as to place restrictions on them for spending or clothing.
Look at the host of books that Christian women are bible studying with. Books written by women who encourage the drawing and creation of circles, which stems from the arcane (Priscilla Shearer), women who don’t believe Jesus’s death on the cross freed us from sin, but rather that he took some kind of heroic action in hell that freed us from sin (Joyce Meyer). How many Christian women teach that it is okay to divorce if your husband doesn’t “love you as Christ loved the church”? Or that God encourages women to throw “holy tantrums” to get their husbands to change their minds when they don’t get their way! How many are teaching that “submitting” to your husband means assigning him boundaries and punishing him when he steps out of those boundaries? All within the context of God and the bible?
Women should not be standing in front of the congregation teaching. Women should not be in front of a bible study teaching. Women should not be in front of a classroom of children teaching, not even under the authority of the men of the church. The ladies at the church I attended two churches back were teaching under the authority of the pastor, and yet they argued with my wife over being TOO submissive (which, if you know my story is an odd thing for my wife to be arguing about, but, I digress). Many pastors don’t even have the wherewithal to stand up against books and studies that teach half-truths where women are concerned. They likely don’t even keep tabs on anything the women are doing because they have been told that they should leave the women alone, and that men shouldn’t be trying to teach women (see the now defunct Mark Driscoll)!
This is what Paul has warned us about. He warns us about women who fall prey to false and silly gospels, and once women have taken a foothold it is apparently extremely difficult for Christian men to take back what is right, as we see church after church and denomination after denomination allowing what should not be allowed. Most women have contextual morality, even Christian ones! Their view on what is moral and not changes with their circumstance or the circumstances around them, and again we reap the harvest of this as we see churches allowing women pastors, gay pastors, gay couples, frivolous divorce and abortion all because the circumstances were right. Contextual morality is a devious thing. It allows those who possess it to rationalize in their minds things most backward to their faith, all while letting them continue to believe they are doing what is right.
Look, I know its not popular for even strong Christians as yourself to come to this conclusion, but I see the results of allowing women to go where they should not all around me. It would be one thing if the world were burning yet the women of the church were still strong and following the narrow path, but they aren’t. What, then, has lead to this? Christianity and feminism have been co-mingled and turned into a deadly sweet poison that is destroying the church. I can hardly think of ANY Christian women who do not bristle at the mere mention of being under the partial authority of their husbands, much less FULL authority. This is the result of mixed teachings in the church: Feminism + “Christianity”. I see men cowering before their wives because it is taught that their wife is the litmus test that measures their relationship with God. I hear music and see sermons on the purity and perfection of women, and how nothing they do is of their own volition, only that devious men lead them astray.
The churches have, for too long, went along with what you are describing and the churches of the West are failing. Men are leaving in droves, families are leaving in droves and the churches themselves are suffering from deep, deep invasion.
I look back at the time of the bible and think, “Why are we doing anything different from them?”. Jesus did not condemn the men to let the women teach. Nor did Paul nor any of the disciples. It has been tried, and I don’t see that it has gotten the Church anywhere but trouble.
That’s all I have. I cannot, in good faith, allow my wife to continue being taught by women whom I have no knowledge of what they believe or what they are teaching. My wife, like many other Christian women, believe that I have no right, as her husband, to look over and approve materials, and it would be a fight either way.
I wish no ill will between you and I, BGR. I enjoy your page and have learned much from it, and will continue to visit, but I have struggled with this for too long, and I just don’t see what your seeing.
Ok that clears up what our difference is. I believe if a woman teaches other women or children she must deliver the interpretation of her male spiritual authority – you do not believe she may even deliver the interpretation period. But still I maintain you cannot share the Scriptures without also sharing the interpretation(expounding) for the people you are sharing with. It is only a matter of degrees on how deep you go. The difference with a Pastor is that he may go into more detail and he does so as a spiritual authority.
So really we have two disagreements here. One is that you believe women cannot even deliver the interpretation of various Scriptures to other women or children and I believe they may to women and children. The other disagreement we have is that you believe it is possible to share the Scriptures with others without giving the interpretation and I do not believe that is possible. Yes I believe it is possible to expound to deeper levels – but it is not possible to share the Scriptures properly without also giving the interpretation.
Yes I have stated the historical fact that women in Jewish culture before and at the time of Christ were not allowed possess the holy books or teach them. Also I have mentioned that women in many cases were not even allowed to be taught by Rabbis but were often told to leave and let the men be taught. But you know what the problem was both of these Jewish traditions? They were not in the law but were added by the Jewish leaders. Christ actually broke these traditions of women even being able to be taught by Rabbis. Look at Luke 10:38-42 where Martha is worried about kitchen work while her sister Mary sits at Christ’s feet listening to him teach. Christ also had female followers who went along with him on his ministry and this was also unheard of for Rabbis.
It is interesting that I find myself in the middle of Christian feminists and those on my right in your position as I respectfully believe you are both wrong. Christian feminists try and use the traditions Christ broke with teaching women and allowing women to follow him to say he believed in complete equality for women which he clearly did not. But I would argue those in your position argue for the traditions of Jews as if they are on the same level as the Scriptures.
Doing what God commands in Titus 2:3-5 and not only allowing but encouraging spiritual women to teach other women how to be good wives and mothers is not what has caused the mess we are in today. The mess we are in today is because men gave up their authority over women. Pastors stopped rebuking their female congregants when they got out of line. Fathers stopped rebuking their daughters when they got out of line. Most importantly husbands stopped rebuking and reigning in their wives.
We as men are the ones who are responsible for our women(whether they be our church members, our daughters or our wives) and men have utterly failed exercise their authority fully over women for more than a century.
All these crazy teachings you cite by women teachers(and I agree with you 100% on all these that they are un-biblical) are the result of Christian men allowing it to happen.
But if we as Christian men exercise authority over our wives or daughters and teach them correct interpretation that they may give to other women then we have nothing to fear.
You know my writings. I don’t teach things because they are popular – I teach things because they are Biblical. I teach many many things on this site that hit our culture square in the eyes. I believe because of the damage caused by false female teachers that your wife has listened to you have simply come to a conclusion on your own that women cannot teach even deliver the interpretation of the Scriptures to women and children even if they are delivering what their husband or male leader has given them.
I say this in brotherly love – because you and I have talked a lot offline as well as online. I think you are twisting yourself into a pretzel to try and explain away Titus 2:3-5 where women are expressly told to be “teachers of good things” including how to be good wives and mothers and such teachings MUST come from the Scriptures.
You are threading a needle when you said “This does not prevent them from sharing scripture nor sharing the gospel. Indeed when the older women teach the younger women “good things” it should absolutely be backed by scripture. “The word of God says we are to be submissive to our husbands and respect them, regardless of their relationship with God or scripture. It says so right here in ‘x’.” ” So you change “teach” to “share”. That is not the language of the Scriptures. The Scriptures in Titus 2:3-5 clearly have the words “teacher” and “teach” in regard to women teaching other women.
You are doing this because of how badly you have been hurt by your wife listening to false teachers. But just because man women today in Christianity are teaching false teachings and men have abandoned their authority to reign in these women does not mean we throw out Titus 2:3-5 or water it down. I feel that is exactly what you are doing.
In conclusion – your wife and other women today are not lead astray because women were allowed to teach(as the Scriptures allow in Titus 2:3-5) but they are lead astray for two reasons. The first is they have rebelled against the spiritual authority of the men God has placed over them. Secondly the false teachers they listened to were not stopped before they said a word by godly husbands, fathers and Pastors.
This is my last word on this thread on this subject as I know we are both passionate about our positions. And don’t worry – I wish you no ill will either and understand the situation in your life that brought you to this position even if I disagree with your position.
I agree with you SnapperTrx that everything you describe is an absolute mess.
I think though that the cause of the mess isn’t women teaching other women good things as the bible instructs them, but women teaching women mistruth as you pointed out. The hard thing here is that even some of the ones teaching mistruth think they are doing good when they are not. You have to ask yourself why they are teaching mistruth…
Why are women teaching other women mistruth? Because men have failed to lead and teach them properly! In fact, all of the mess you describe is a complete failure of men to properly lead what God has given us authority and responsibility over! I find Romans 5:12 interesting in that it states that sin entered the world through Adam even though Eve sinned first. Who was responsible? Who failed? Who did God question first? The mess men are in is because we became no longer were strong in the Lord and became weak and lazy as we lacked God’s wisdom more and more. The result of this is that not only do we suffer, but women suffer alongside us because we are failing them as well as ourselves.
What do to? Men need to become strong again. We need to put God first. We need to be on our knees praying to God who will grant us wisdom and strength if we humble ourselves to ask Him. It will not be easy and will require rebuking/correcting our wives and children in love, but it is necessary. We need to teach our wife and children the right way to live according to the bible. We need to also love our wife the way Jesus loves the church (which does NOT mean obeying them), but it may mean something harder like sacrificing for them and treating their flesh as our flesh.
BGR, I would love to hear more of your thoughts on women covering their heads while praying or prophesying. I have started wearing a hat or covering to church, and wondering if I should be wearing it for prayer outside of church? Also, I am wondering what to do about the theology part and submitting to my husband and pastor in this regard. What if I do not trust my pastor’s view on gender roles are biblical? He has preached on Eph 5 in the very typical “everyone submit to everyone” interpretation, and I was a little disappointed, as I understand the passage to mean what it says that husbands love the wife as Christ loves the church and wives submit. He also flirts around with the typical feminist ideas that do often get into the church, and I simply do not trust him in some topics. My husband is not that interested in theology on a deep level. Even though we both went to a conservative Bible college. He is biblical in his thinking and into traditional gender roles, but isn’t really concerned about theology and things like that. My dad and father in law are both very well read in theology and in the case of my father in law, he is an ordained pastor. As the woman, I want to follow my husband in his theology, but find it hard. If my husband is not interested in theology, does that mean I too should not be interested in it? I end up talking the most about theology with my dad and brother actually. What should I do?
@afd Yes, you are supposed to wear the head covering away from the church for praying and prophesying, as well as at the church, no matter where you are, be it home, in private, or out and about in society. This we know from the 1 Corinthians 11’s absolute style of writing in verses 4 and 5 regarding the man and the woman’s part in the head covering command(these verse both say they are to either not wear(the man) or wear the external head covering when praying or prophesying PERIOD, not just in church or any other single specific time) and the passage’s connection of the head covering purpose being its symbolism of the manner of woman’s creation in relation to man’s and her role in God’s Divine Order and Purpose in relation to man’s shown in verses 7-10.
Verse 7 says the man is not to cover his head because he is the image and glory of God, but that woman is the glory of man in the same way, and then verse 8 and 9 together with Genesis 2:18 explain how as they say that man of not “of” woman, but woman of man, and that man was not created “for” woman, but woman for man(the word translated as “of” in the Greek in verse 8 means “from, out of” and the word translated as ‘for” in verse 9 means “for reason of, because of”).
Therefore these verses are referring to the creation of woman and its manner and purpose, which Genesis 2:18 shows to have been God creating woman from man’s rib as literally a “helper comparable, corresponding, suitable for, yet opposite to,” as the word translated in KJV as “help-meet” is a two word term in the original Hebrew that literally means that. Ezer-Kenegdo is the term, which ezer means aid, help, and kenegdo is a written for of the Hebrew root word “neged,” which means “opposite to, comparable, corresponding.”
The term therefore shows that God created woman from man, directly in his image, as a helper designed and given by God to be comparable and corresponding to the man, yet opposite him, which apart from the obvious difference in gender woman’s physiology has many key differences right the opposite of man’s, so the Bible has everything covered remarkably well.
This shows us how woman is the “glory of man” just as he is the image and glory of God(verse 7), because she was created from man, for man, directly in man’s image as a helper made to be corresponding(similar in character, form, and function), yet opposite him, and this is the first thing the head covering symbolizes, the second is in verse 9-10, where again we have to remember why God created woman(to be man’s comparable helper). with verse 10 referring to the head covering by the term “authority,” showing its also a symbol of authority.
Whose exactly? Well firstly God’s(He is the one giving this command) and second man’s authority over woman as her individual God-given head in this world, which verse 3 of the passage shows. From this we see that the head covering also symbolizes woman’s role in relation to that of man, that she is man’s help-meet just as he is her head(for you that is specifically your husband), and since man’s headship over woman applies not only in church, but also in home, private, and society(even when your in private alone your husband is still your head, not just when hes with you), we know therefore that the head covering command applies to not just in church, but also in home, private, and society.
Anytime you pray or prophesy, regardless of where you are, you are to wear and external head covering like your hat in reverence of your husband and proper recognition of not only his role and his help-meet, which the head covering is the symbol of your position as such, but also in recognition of the manner of your creation, that you as woman are created as and are the glory of man just as he is the image and glory of God.
Simple really, though admittedly time-consuming to learn as it took me a while of study and researching the original languages of the Bible to learn all this. I hope it has been helpful, and that you are able to learn this command and follow it properly without much trouble. Some things just don’t seem to stick in people’s memories. 🙂 Let me know if I can help any further in any way.
@afd As to your pastor on the flirting with feminist ideas, he is definitely wrong and your are always, even if your pastor’s understanding is blatantly false to follow your husband over him as he is a higher spiritual authority with regards to you. As to what you should do regarding following your husband’s theology, simply obeying any teachings of his that do not blatantly contradict the Bible and if you want to have more theological discussions with him maybe asking him if he would mind picking up a little more so he can be more of a leader and praying for God’s Will to be done regarding him would be best. Again, I hope I have been helpful and please reply is I can help you out in any way! 🙂
@afd In my first comment I mean’t to write “in recognition of not only your role as his help-meet, which the head covering is the symbol of your position as such,” not “not only his role and his help-meet, which the head covering is the symbol of your position as such.” Sorry about the mistake, I was trying to get done quickly due to the thunderstorm happening outside my house making me worry about the power blinking out and screwing me over.
@Tyler Bryant thanks for your thorough replies! It does help. Will be taking time to think this over.
You’re welcome, and thank you! 🙂 Glad I could help out!