Is it wrong for women to teach a Bible class?

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Wings

Member
I am a woman I teach a Sunday School Class. It is mostly women over 65. Two men attend one regularly and one on occasion. It is about 15 in number.
Hi @Justine Votaw,

'But speak thou the things which become sound doctrine:
That the aged men be sober, grave, temperate, sound in faith, in charity, in patience.
The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness,
not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things;
That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,
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)

'I beseech Euodias, and beseech Syntyche, that they be of the same mind in the Lord.
And I intreat thee also, true yokefellow,
help those women which laboured with me in the gospel, with Clement also,
and with other my fellowlabourers,
whose names are in the book of life.'

(Philippians 4:2)

'Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection.
But I suffer not a woman to teach,
nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.'

(1 Timothy 2:11)

'And a certain Jew named Apollos,
born at Alexandria, an eloquent man,
and mighty in the scriptures, came to Ephesus.
This man was instructed in the way of the Lord;
and being fervent in the spirit,
he spake and taught diligently the things of the Lord,
knowing only the baptism of John.
And he began to speak boldly in the synagogue:
whom when Aquila and Priscilla had heard,
they took him unto them,

and expounded unto him the way of God more perfectly.'
(Acts 18:24-26)

* These verses all have something to tell us of the role of women in the Church don't they? They were named as having been Paul's fellow-labourers in the gospel, and Priscilla laboured in like manner, alongside her husband. She was under the authority of her husband, he being head over her, her protection; and in the case of the other women who laboured alongside Paul and the other Apostles, they were under the authority of the men of course, but they still had opportunity to serve. A woman is not to usurp authority over a man though are they? and Paul says that she is not to teach. But woman to woman, or in regard to the teaching of children (?) well, like you I have questions.

With love in Christ Jesus
our risen and glorified
Saviour, Lord and Head.
Chris
 
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mattfivefour

Administrator
Staff member
There is a difference between usurping authority and simply teaching the Word of God. As long as you are operating in a proper order, accountable to a pastor, I see no problem. You are not lifting yourself up over anyone, you are simply serving Christ as He provides. If men desire to learn the Word in that environment, that is their choice. I think you are doing what God has called you to do.
 

Wings

Member
There is a difference between usurping authority and simply teaching the Word of God. As long as you are operating in a proper order, accountable to a pastor, I see no problem. You are not lifting yourself up over anyone, you are simply serving Christ as He provides. If men desire to learn the Word in that environment, that is their choice. I think you are doing what God has called you to do.
With respect, @mattfivefour, it is not your opinion or mine that Justine is seeking, but what God has to say: and it is not for us to be dismissive of what God has said in His Word on this matter.

* There was good reason given for women not to teach: shown to us with the example given of Eve:-

'But I suffer not a woman to teach,
nor to usurp authority over the man,
but to be in silence.
For Adam was first formed, then Eve.
And Adam was not deceived,

but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.'
(1 Timothy 2:12-14)

'For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy:
for I have espoused you to one husband,
that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.
But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty,
so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.

For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached,

or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received,
or another gospel, which ye have not accepted,

ye might well bear with him.'
(2 Corinthians 11:2)

* Eve gave that attractive serpent her ear, she listened, and she was beguiled (deceived); whereas Adam was not deceived. Women must obviously be more susceptible to being beguiled, to being deceived, otherwise this example would not be given.

In Christ Jesus
Chris
 

ldonjohn

"God said it, that settles it!"
There is a difference between usurping authority and simply teaching the Word of God. As long as you are operating in a proper order, accountable to a pastor, I see no problem. You are not lifting yourself up over anyone, you are simply serving Christ as He provides. If men desire to learn the Word in that environment, that is their choice. I think you are doing what God has called you to do.
Agree!

Don, aka John
 

Andy C

Well-Known Member
I disagree strongly with Wings, and concur with Adrian (mattfivefour).

Teach away, knowing you are clearly allowed to do so.

Below is from the late Jack Kelley, which mostly states the same as Adrian posted.

Question: I really appreciate your teachings and enjoy hearing your biblical insights on the many questions people ask you. Now I would be pleased to hear what you think about my situation.

I’ve been in a situation over the years where I’ve had the opportunity to teach. Mostly because I’ve been more familiar with the biblical material than many of my male counterparts. I believe that even though I was the one doing the teaching I was in no way in a position of authority over the few men I taught. I also home schooled my three grown sons spiritually and academically.

Now, I find out this is some form of heresy. The scripture quoted to me is I Timothy 2:11-15 and to question this is to question God himself. What is so incredible to me is that Timothy was taught spiritually by his mother and grandmother. While I believe this is a rule that should be followed and that men should be our leaders especially in spiritual matters, I can find several exceptions IN the bible where women lead and teach men.
The scripture in Timothy has been used to keep women from teaching for a long time. And I can accept this if asked. But I have to wonder, Where are the men and why aren’t they teaching?? And, if they refuse, are uninformed or undereducated in biblical teaching does this scripture really absolved women of any responsibility to teach??? I find this situation hard to believe. I would love to hear your thoughts. I would hope I haven’t committed a heresy of some sort.


Answer: 1 Timothy 2:11-15 is a real puzzle, especially in light on Both Paul’s and Timothy’s experience and practice. Paul allowed Priscilla to teach, and at one she even helped instruct the great Apollos in a matter of doctrine (Acts 18:26). The entry of Christianity into Europe would surely have been delayed had Lydia’s group of female worshipers not been converted. Acts 16:11-15 offers no criticism of Lydia’s role in this. On the contrary Paul welcomed her offer of fellowship. And as you say women were a prominent part of Timothy’s spiritual education.

Then there’s the Greek phrase translated “usurp authority over the man” (1 Tim. 2:12). The word for usurp authority originally meant “to strangle someone with one’s own hands” but can also mean to act on one’s own authority as an absolute master.
In my opinion this is meant to describe a woman who demands to be the ultimate authority and refuses to be accountable to any one, “choking off” any man’s attempt at supervision.

I interpret this passage to mean that a called and qualified woman is free to accept a teaching role in the church as long as it doesn’t give her autonomous authority. In a local church this would exclude the position of senior pastor, and in a para-church ministry there needs to be an oversight board or committee led by a male. This isn’t intended to say that women aren’t as capable as men, but that it’s important to respect the governmental order for the Church that the Lord has established.
 

ByGod'sGrace

under His wings - Psalm 91:4
* Eve gave that attractive serpent her ear, she listened, and she was beguiled (deceived); whereas Adam was not deceived. Women must obviously be more susceptible to being beguiled, to being deceived, otherwise this example would not be given.
Eve sinned by being deceived, but Adam sinned by knowing what he was doing....and he threw Eve under the bus....so which one is worse? Male and female are equal in falling short of the glory of God....God did make order for a reason, yet females are the ones who birth and raise the children. So, in love, just pointing out that your post is a little off-putting.
 

mattfivefour

Administrator
Staff member
With respect, @mattfivefour, it is not your opinion or mine that Justine is seeking, but what God has to say: and it is not for us to be dismissive of what God has said in His Word on this matter.

* There was good reason given for women not to teach: shown to us with the example given of Eve:-

'But I suffer not a woman to teach,
nor to usurp authority over the man,
but to be in silence.
For Adam was first formed, then Eve.
And Adam was not deceived,
but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.'

(1 Timothy 2:12-14)

'For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy:
for I have espoused you to one husband,
that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.
But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty,
so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.

For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached,
or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received,
or another gospel, which ye have not accepted,
ye might well bear with him.'

(2 Corinthians 11:2)

* Eve gave that attractive serpent her ear, she listened, and she was beguiled (deceived); whereas Adam was not deceived. Women must obviously be more susceptible to being beguiled, to being deceived, otherwise this example would not be given.

In Christ Jesus
Chris
God forbid that any of us should ever be dismissive of what God has said in His Word. However, it does behoove us to rightly divide it. And that requires far more than cherry picking some verses. Brother, I respectfully think you are wrong, using only some verses and ignoring or altering the context of others, thus giving them a meaning the original does not possess.. You quote 1 Corinthians 11: 2-4. But that entire passage—from 2 Corinthians 10 through 11—is actually a defense of Paul's own apostleship and the verse you put in bold face type is speaking of salvation ... nothing else. The reference Paul makes to "the simplicity that is in Christ" simply describes the nature of God's plan of salvation. It IS absolutely simple. Yet man, too often complicates it. But then, are we any different than the Pharisees who zealously tried to apply every minute aspect of the law in order to achieve the holiness they sought, using the verses that supported their viewpoint and applying them strictly regardless of anything else God may have said that could have altered that view. Frankly, I like Jack Kelley's view above. But allow me to give my own answer as well.

Since "rightly dividing" in the Greek literally means "cutting straight", let's try to cut straight the cloth of God's Word in its original form. The KJV translation of "usurp authority" is a poor translation. The verb αὐθεντέω (authentéo) means literally "to self arm" (ie: to take up arms oneself) and was used to describe the actions of someone who chose to exercise authority unilaterally. As Strong's correctly puts it "acting as an autocrat – literally, self-appointed (acting without submission)." The vast amount of papyri and other ancient documents and literature from that era that exists makes it clear that the people of that time understood authentéo to refer to someone who attempted to master or dominate others. Therefore, Vincent says a better translation would be "exercise dominion over." Wuest puts it in its full context and suggests the following: "In the sphere of doctrinal disputes or questions of interpretation (of Scripture), where authoritative pronouncements are to be made, the woman is to keep silence."

What I have said is supported by the Greek word Paul used for "silent." Had he meant for a woman not to speak, he would have used the verb σιωπάω (siopáo) or σιγάω (sigáo) which mean "to keep silence", "to not speak." . Instead the Holy Spirit inspired the use of the word ἡσυχία (hesuchía) which means "to be peaceful". Paul uses this very same word earlier in the same chapter when he writes, "Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable (ἡσύχιον) life in all godliness and reverence." (1 Timothy 2:1-2) As you can see, there this same word is translated "peaceable". Therefore, what Paul is saying in 1 Timothy 2 is that women should behave without contention, not that they should be in total silence. In other words, in the debate over doctrine and in decisions concerning the teaching of the church, a woman should not assert herself or try to impose her will over men. This is because that, in the same way as God created marriage to follow a certain order, He created the Church with a similar order. As in marriage men are to lead the family, so too in the Church men are to lead the assembly. This has nothing to do with the value of a woman or a man, for both are of equal value in the Lord's eyes. But it has everything to do with the order that God has ordained for marriage and the Church.

Does a godly wife keep silence at home while only her husband speaks? Is she thus at the mercy of his every whim, that only he has the wisdom and the right to make decisions? No, in a godly home the wife is a partner and freely gives her input. what she does not do, however, is attempt to dominate or master her husband. A godly husband listens, engages in the free exchange of information and views, and then prayerfully makes the best decision he can, taking into account all of his wife's input as well as his own.

Back to the Church, nowhere in God's Word do I see a ban on a woman doing something that a pastor oversees and that he has asked her to do. Such a woman is respectful, not dominating. Thus nowhere do I see that our sister is resisting and disobeying the proper order of a church, creating contention in order to impose her own will. She is merely serving God in the way that her pastor—the person with authority over her in the church—has determined.

Now, that is my view and the view of a lot of other pastors. But I have a few friends who are also pastors and they disagree with those of us with this view. Nevertheless, I consider them sound men of God and friends. The important thing to remember here is that it is quite possible to disagree on such issues while treating each other with the love and grace with which God treats us. If we disagree, we disagree. We reasonably discuss the issue, but we do not suggest that someone who disagrees with us is somehow being disobedient to God's Word. Each of us—pro or con—is zealously attempting to follow God as best we can. And, for myself and most others I know, unless the issue is one of salvation, we will not allow it to break the bond of unity between us.

I pray this helps.
 

Wings

Member
God forbid that any of us should ever be dismissive of what God has said in His Word. However, it does behoove us to rightly divide it. And that requires far more than cherry picking some verses. Brother, I respectfully think you are wrong, using only some verses and ignoring or altering the context of others, thus giving them a meaning the original does not possess.. You quote 1 Corinthians 11: 2-4. But that entire passage—from 2 Corinthians 10 through 11—is actually a defense of Paul's own apostleship and the verse you put in bold face type is speaking of salvation ... nothing else. The reference Paul makes to "the simplicity that is in Christ" simply describes the nature of God's plan of salvation. It IS absolutely simple. Yet man, too often complicates it. But then, are we any different than the Pharisees who zealously tried to apply every minute aspect of the law in order to achieve the holiness they sought, using the verses that supported their viewpoint and applying them strictly regardless of anything else God may have said that could have altered that view. Frankly, I like Jack Kelley's view above. But allow me to give my own answer as well.

Since "rightly dividing" in the Greek literally means "cutting straight", let's try to cut straight the cloth of God's Word in its original form. The KJV translation of "usurp authority" is a poor translation. The verb αὐθεντέω (authentéo) means literally "to self arm" (ie: to take up arms oneself) and was used to describe the actions of someone who chose to exercise authority unilaterally. As Strong's correctly puts it "acting as an autocrat – literally, self-appointed (acting without submission)." The vast amount of papyri and other ancient documents and literature from that era that exists makes it clear that the people of that time understood authentéo to refer to someone who attempted to master or dominate others. Therefore, Vincent says a better translation would be "exercise dominion over." Wuest puts it in its full context and suggests the following: "In the sphere of doctrinal disputes or questions of interpretation (of Scripture), where authoritative pronouncements are to be made, the woman is to keep silence."

What I have said is supported by the Greek word Paul used for "silent." Had he meant for a woman not to speak, he would have used the verb σιωπάω (siopáo) or σιγάω (sigáo) which mean "to keep silence", "to not speak." . Instead the Holy Spirit inspired the use of the word ἡσυχία (hesuchía) which means "to be peaceful". Paul uses this very same word earlier in the same chapter when he writes, "Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable (ἡσύχιον) life in all godliness and reverence." (1 Timothy 2:1-2) As you can see, there this same word is translated "peaceable". Therefore, what Paul is saying in 1 Timothy 2 is that women should behave without contention, not that they should be in total silence. In other words, in the debate over doctrine and in decisions concerning the teaching of the church, a woman should not assert herself or try to impose her will over men. This is because that, in the same way as God created marriage to follow a certain order, He created the Church with a similar order. As in marriage men are to lead the family, so too in the Church men are to lead the assembly. This has nothing to do with the value of a woman or a man, for both are of equal value in the Lord's eyes. But it has everything to do with the order that God has ordained for marriage and the Church.

Does a godly wife keep silence at home while only her husband speaks? Is she thus at the mercy of his every whim, that only he has the wisdom and the right to make decisions? No, in a godly home the wife is a partner and freely gives her input. what she does not do, however, is attempt to dominate or master her husband. A godly husband listens, engages in the free exchange of information and views, and then prayerfully makes the best decision he can, taking into account all of his wife's input as well as his own.

Back to the Church, nowhere in God's Word do I see a ban on a woman doing something that a pastor oversees and that he has asked her to do. Such a woman is respectful, not dominating. Thus nowhere do I see that our sister is resisting and disobeying the proper order of a church, creating contention in order to impose her own will. She is merely serving God in the way that her pastor—the person with authority over her in the church—has determined.

Now, that is my view and the view of a lot of other pastors. But I have a few friends who are also pastors and they disagree with those of us with this view. Nevertheless, I consider them sound men of God and friends. The important thing to remember here is that it is quite possible to disagree on such issues while treating each other with the love and grace with which God treats us. If we disagree, we disagree. We reasonably discuss the issue, but we do not suggest that someone who disagrees with us is somehow being disobedient to God's Word. Each of us—pro or con—is zealously attempting to follow God as best we can. And, for myself and most others I know, unless the issue is one of salvation, we will not allow it to break the bond of unity between us.

I pray this helps.
Hello there,

I am sorry that you interpreted my words as you did. The reference from 1 Corinthians 2 was in regard to what was said about Eve, and for no other purpose, which a comparison with the other references quoted should have made clear. There was also no intent on my part to bring an element of judgement into this discussion. I am looking at this subject objectively. I too am female, and therefore it is important to me that I understand God's will in this regard, as it is for the thread originator.

I value the principle of right division, and practice it.

Within the love of Christ our Saviour,
Chris
 

Andy C

Well-Known Member
Eve sinned by being deceived, but Adam sinned by knowing what he was doing....and he threw Eve under the bus....so which one is worse? Male and female are equal in falling short of the glory of God....God did make order for a reason, yet females are the ones who birth and raise the children. So, in love, just pointing out that your post is a little off-putting.
Im not sure how you quoted words I did not use, but you quoted words from Wings post number 6.
Can you explain how the above error happened?
 

mattfivefour

Administrator
Staff member
Hello there,

I am sorry that you interpreted my words as you did. The reference from 1 Corinthians 2 was in regard to what was said about Eve, and for no other purpose, which a comparison with the other references quoted should have made clear. There was also no intent on my part to bring an element of judgement into this discussion. I am looking at this subject objectively. I too am female, and therefore it is important to me that I understand God's will in this regard, as it is for the thread originator.

I value the principle of right division, and practice it.

Within the love of Christ our Saviour,
Chris
My sister, I apologize if I misunderstood your words. Please forgive me.
 

RestInHim

Well-Known Member
I am a woman I teach a Sunday School Class. It is mostly women over 65. Two men attend one regularly and one on occasion. It is about 15 in number.
To answer your question, no, it is not wrong for a women to teach a bible class. But, women can teach women in bible study groups and in Sunday School, but, God's Word is very clear that women are not to teach men. Only men can teach men.

I've gathered some of the threads on here to share...

https://www.raptureforums.com/forum...GGfGFt85bJcG-cPjXlpVGIHnsfuYO9oX8efeyKjwNyKBg


https://www.raptureforums.com/forum...yKGlKk73rX9xuc21VMi8LA_c7a5cHUhoLg7J81a4NSO3Q



https://www.raptureforums.com/forum...5lQg9Yv_-gW9tzkS7mWHno1Mp8m698#post-842738493



Here are some other resources that might be helpful...

Dr. Andy Woods

http://www.spiritandtruth.org/teach...UTabGP_CF_Z5y7eePwQSObkndeXp4Jfdlxc0BY7A8Esws


https://www.truthfulwords.org/artic...ocJgukwU4CcPR8fCT-flx_4V5GpgUPFTVvMYwLCZfbLpQ


I don't support everything at this site, it tends to lean towards Calvinism, but, I agree what this study says about (1 Tim. 2: 11-15)

https://bible.org/seriespage/what-d...aBgShjMRmxCpaKmVn4up2f_yFDl7JJDdJK_cn_hW_bIro


Oh, forgot to add this one...


https://bible.org/article/did-priscilla-teach-apollos-examination-meaning-acts-1826
 
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mattfivefour

Administrator
Staff member
We'll, we've certainly heard both sides, each with appeals to Scripture. Now it is for each person to prayerfully seek God's will in this matter for themselves, asking Him regarding specific circumstances what He would have them do.

I think the topic has been covered, so I am closing this thread for now. If anyone thinks there is a vid that had notbeen heard, please report this post and I will consider reopening the thread.
 
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