What Men Can't Learn from Women
I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet. (1 Tim. 2:12)
Within the church there is this trend that continues to get worse every year. This is the idea that women can be pastors within the church or, minimally, they are biblically permitted to be Sunday school teachers or Bible study leaders for co-ed groups. However, the Bible is quite clear in places like 1 Timothy 2:12 where God says, “I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet.” To be clear, this text is not saying that women are not permitted to teach science or math or literature to men. The book of 1 Timothy is written by Paul to Timothy giving him instructions on how to organize and govern the church. Thus, the context is within church ministry and life. However, some argue that so long as a woman is not teaching men the Bible while at the same time holding an authoritative office or position, then she is biblically permitted to teach men the Bible. But notice the text does not say, “I do not permit a woman to teach AND to exercise authority over a man.” It says, “I do not permit a woman to teach OR to exercise authority over a man.” It’s either/or, not both/and. But why is that? Is it because men are smarter or more capable than women? Not so. Notice the Bible gives two reasons for this in the next two verses, “For Adam was formed first, then Eve; and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor.” Thus, the reasons given are that Adam was formed first, in the position of leadership with Eve being formed for Adam, to be his helpmate. And secondly, Eve was deceived first, not Adam. Thus, that women are not permitted by scripture to teach the Bible to men has nothing to do with intelligence or ability, but has to do with order of creation and culpability. Women are just as intelligent, just as capable, and just as valuable to God as men are.
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