Teaching In Todays Sermon
If Dicksons definition of ancient teaching is too narrow, his understanding of contemporary preaching is too impoverished. In Dicksons telling, the sermon is essentially a running commentary plus application. I confess I have a very different view of what preaching entails, not because preaching is less than exposition and application, but because it is much more. The preacher is a kerux, a herald . Of course, we dont preach with the authority of an apostle, but for those qualified men called to preach they do pass along the apostolic deposit and they ought to preach with authority. Why else would Paul command Timothywith such dramatic language and with such dire exhortationsto preach the word to reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching ?
In the end, I believe Dicksons approach is not only historically and exegetically unconvincing, it is practically unworkableat least for complementarians. Egalitarians will affirm women preaching for all sorts of reasons. But complementarians who try to thread the needle and argue that this message on Sunday morning is a sharing not a sermon or this woman preaching is under the authority of the session will find that their arguments for not letting women preach all the time and in any way look exceedingly arbitrary.
At various points, Dickson admits that some preaching today may involve teaching and that the different kinds of speaking in the New Testament probably overlapped.
What Does The Bible Say About Women Pastors What Scriptures Support A Woman’s Right To Preach And Spread The Gospel
1 Timothy 2:11-12
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.
In the church, God assigns different roles to men and women. This is a result of the way mankind was created and the way in which sin entered the world.
1 Timothy 2:13-14
13 For Adam was first formed, then Eve.
14 And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.
God, through the apostle Paul, restricts women from serving in roles of teaching and/or having spiritual authority over men. This precludes women from serving as pastors over men, which definitely includes preaching to them, teaching them publicly, and exercising spiritual authority over them.
There are many objections to this view of women in pastoral ministry. A common one is that Paul restricts women from teaching because in the first century, women were typically uneducated. However, 1 Timothy 2:1114 nowhere mentions educational status. If education were a qualification for ministry, then the majority of Jesus disciples would not have been qualified.
A third objection is that Paul is only referring to husbands and wives, not men and women in general. The Greek words for woman and man in 1 Timothy 2 couldrefer to husbands and wives however, the basic meaning of the words is broader than that. Further, the same Greek words are used in verses 810.
1 Timothy 2:810
10 But with good works.
Bible Verses About Women Preachers
Bible verses related to Women Preachers from the King James Version by Relevance
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So Does The Bible Condone Women In Other Offices Of The Church
That is a very good question and, once again, the answer to that question is not unanimous. There are some who believe that 1 Timothy 2:12 forbids a woman to be a senior pastor, it does not forbid the ordination of women to the office. Others, feel that a woman can serve as an associate pastor or in another expression of pastoral ministry. There are others still, who believe that the office of deacon is open to women. Usually, those who hold this position point to the great female figure in the New Testament, Phoebe. She most certainly is identified as carrying out diaconal ministry. Others, point to 1 Tim. 3:1-7 ).
Paul says that “their wives likewise must be dignified, not slanderous, but sober minded, faithful in all things.” Why are deacons given this requirement and not elders? A survey of the New Testament provides further insight to this question. The deacon was required to be involved with the women of the church, for example, the distribution of support to widows, and, obviously, other ministries that are necessary but not mentioned. The elders principal duty is the teaching of the Word of God and the spiritual and doctrinal oversight of the flock. Therefore, the apostle Paul focused his comments on the work of the deacon and the necessity, if he were to be married, of a wife who is trustworthy in dealing with such sensitive, confidential matters within the body of Christ.
Should Women Be Silent
We can now discuss one more New Testament verse that is sometimes used to restrict what women can do in church. This is also in Pauls letter to Corinth: As in all the churches of the saints, the women should keep silent in the churches. For they are not permitted to speak, but should be in submission, as the Law also says. If there is anything they desire to learn, let them ask their husbands at home. For it is shameful for a woman to speak in church .
Pauls instructions are good only for married women, because widows are unable to ask their husbands at home. And what about women who had unbelieving husbands? We do not have the complete picture here.
In chapter 14, Paul is dealing with the somewhat chaotic Corinthian church services, and women are not the only people he tells to be silent . People were interrupting each other, and more than one person was trying to talk at a time. Pauls instructions here would be needed if women were being unruly and asking their husbands questions during the church service. So Paul tells them to stop talking, and ask their questions later.
Paul does not say to what they should be submissive. The Law of Moses does not tell women to be submissive to their husbands . However, the Law does say that people are to be submissive to the word of God. The word of God was being preached in Corinth, but the women were talking and not being submissive.
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An Exhortation For Men
It is significant that Paul addresses men in verse 8 before addressing women in verse 9. Paul views men as leaders of their homesand some of them as leaders of the church. He is making clear that they have a particular role to play in every place where the church gathers, including at Ephesus. Men are supposed to pray. Paul has already made clear what he wants them to pray for . The issue that he focuses on here is how they are supposed to pray, zeroing in on two things, one positive and one negative. On the positive side, they are to pray while lifting holy hands.
Different Kinds Of Speech
Lets think again about the different kinds of speech in the New Testament from a different angle, and again I want to suggest that Wilsons example contradicts his point.
Preaching, I would argue, always contains teaching. In fact, preaching probably combines together the gifts of teaching and exhortation. Hence, it isnt plausible or convincing to say that preaching ever takes place without teaching. If there is no teaching, then it isnt authentic biblical preaching, for preaching explains and unpacks Gods word. How can that take place without teaching?
What is fascinating is that Wilsons example of what non-elders do when they preach supports the point. They dont give a spontaneous word like an exhortation or prophecy. Instead, Wilsons church requires the sermon to be prepared in advance to be scrutinized and evaluated before it is delivered. That is not little-t teaching! That is big-T Teaching, and so it is quite different from the informal kind of instruction that Paul talks about in Colossians 3:16 and 1 Corinthians 14:26.
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Who Can Really Be In Ministry
Going back to 1 Timothy chapter 1 we find that Paul goes on to speak about how God placed him into the ministry. He says the following words that I also understand fully.
1 Timothy 1:12-15
12 And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry 13 Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief. 14 And the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus. 15 This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners of whom I am chief.
Paul went from one kind of ministry to another! First, against Christians and then with them.
1 Timothy 2:1-2
1 I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men 2 For kings, and for all that are in authority that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.
In verse 1 he uses the word âtherefore.â In other words, because of what I just spoke about. What did he just speak about? The entire theme of the first chapter was that we should do ministry out of love. And remember what love does NOT do?
1 Timothy 2:5
5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus
1 Timothy 2:8
8 I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting.
Women Preaching: Is It Biblical
Question: Dr. Luginbill, Does the Bible prohibit women from preaching or teaching in the church?
Response: Let us start with some basic principles. Every single believer in the Body of Christ has an important role to play, whether male or female. Every one of us is a “body part”, and the Body needs all of its parts. There is no one who has accepted Jesus and who is faithfully following Him for whom God has not provided or is not preparing a ministry that person is meant to accomplish for Jesus’ Church. The gifts given by the Spirit to accomplish the various ministries God intends are many, the rows in the vineyard are many, and the results determined by God are also of various sorts , and it is on the basis of how well we carry out theactual ministries God assigns , that we are eternally rewarded . Therefore, from the very start, we need to approach this question as one of God’s will, not our own will. Every believer has to respond to the will of God, to the leading of the Spirit, picking up their cross and following Christ. God will make clear to each and everyone of us what it is He wants us to do.
For more on the authority issue involved here, see: “The Creation of Eve” in part 3 of the Satanic Rebellion series.
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I Do Not Permit A Woman To Teach Or Dominate A Man
The word authentein, which appears only here in the New Testament, is usually translated exercise authority. However, in later Greek writing, authentein is a harsh word that expresses dominance. Its sometimes used for taking advantage of someone in a business deal, or for violence or murder. This, obviously, isnt the type of authority that Jesus wants leaders to have . When Paul speaks of legitimate authority in the church, he uses the term exousia.
The women at Ephesus might have been dominating men through their teaching. But again, its more likely that they were not allowed to teach because they were bringing Artemis worship into the church. Remember, Paul left Timothy in Ephesus to command certain people not to teach false doctrines .
The situation in Ephesus is no reason for faithful women not to teach elsewhere. In fact, Paul tells Titus that the elder women in Crete should be teachers of good. In 1 Timothy, Paul was correcting a specific instance of false doctrine and ensuring that those responsible didnt continue to teach. False teaching that spiritually privileged women might easily turn into domineering leadershipas we see with false teaching that spiritually privileges men.
Should Women Preach In Our Churches
More By Kevin
This is not an article about the case for complementarianism instead of egalitarianism. That matters, of course, but this piece is for self-identified complementarians wondering if their theology can allow, or should allow, for women preaching.
Here is the question I want to address:
Is there biblical justification, given basic complementarian convictions, for the practice of women preaching sermons in a Sunday worship service?
Most people reading this column understand the immediate relevance of this question. Im not going to rehearse the cases where this question has been raised or sift through recent responses online. Instead, Im going to interact with what I think is the best case, from a complementarian perspective, for allowing women to preach. First, Ill explain the argument for women preaching as fairly as I can. Then Ill make a case why the argumentno matter how plausible it may sound at firstfails to convince.
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Is It Wrong For Women To Preach In Church Or Be A Pastor
I have been working my way through dozens of Bible and theology questions which people have submitted through that ask a question area in the sidebar. Here is one that was sent in about whether or not women can preach in church.
Is it biblical for the woman to preach in the congregation?
Along with this question about whether or not it is wrong for a woman to preach, I will also briefly address the issue of women pastors.
This question has split some churches, which I find odd. Of all the things that can create division within the church, why is it the ones that only have a verse or two one way or the other which seem to be the most divisive? I suppose if there were scores of verses the issue would be more cut and dry, but when there are only a couple verses dealing with an issue, people are more likely to fight over it, especially when the verses are a little vague
So lets briefly look at some of the key passages which seem to address the issue of whether or not it is wrong for women to preach in church, and then I will provide one short and simple suggestion for how this whole issue can easily be dealt with.
Teaching In The Early Church
The strength of Dicksons approach is that he rightly points to the different speaking words in the New Testament. True, teaching and exhorting and prophesying and reading are not identical. And yet, his overly technical definition of teaching does not fit the evidence, or in some instances even square with basic common sense. If I do not permit a woman to teach can mean I permit a woman to preach because preaching doesnt involve teaching we must be employing very restrictive definitions of preaching and teaching.
More to the point, we have to wonder why this highly nuanced reading has been lost on almost every commentator for two millennia. In a revealing endnote on the last page of the book, Dickson acknowledges, I have no doubt that within time the word teaching in the early church came to mean explaining and applying the written words of the New Testament . That would be an interesting line of research, but I am not sure it would overturn the evidence that in 1 Tim. 2:12 Paul had a different meaning of this important term . That is a telling admission. But it invites the question: If teaching in the ancient world clearly had a narrow meaning of repeating oral traditions, why does no one seem to pick up on this exclusively technical definition? To be sure, the Bible is our final authority, but when an argument relies so heavily on first-century context, you would expect the earliest centuries of the church to reinforce the argument, not undermine it.
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Teaching In The Pastoral Epistles
But what ifdespite the Old Testament background and the synagogue background and the use of teaching in the Sermon on the Mount and the broader understanding of teacher in the early churchPaul choose to use a very narrow definition of teaching in the pastoral epistles? After surveying all the uses of teaching in the Pastoral Epistles, Dickson concludes that teaching, as a verb and a noun, refer not to Bible exposition but to apostolic words laid down for the churches . Simply put, teach does not mean exegete and apply it means repeat and lay down . Pauline teaching was never exposition in the contemporary sense . Whatever else teaching may entail in other places, according to Dickson, for Paul it only meant laying down oral tradition.
One does not have to equate didasko with a three-point sermon to see that transmitting the apostolic deposit can scarcely be done apart from biblical references and exposition.
Can A Woman Be A Deacon
The ministry of a deaconess is, in modern times, a non-ordained ministry for women in some Protestant churches to provide pastoral care, especially for other women. The term is also applied to some women deacons in the early church.
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