Questions and Answers


Can women teach and preach?

In the New Testament, God’s handmaidens were among those receiving miraculous benefits of the Holy Spirit in the age of miracles which was prophesied. “And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy:” (Acts. 2:18) However, Paul forbad a woman to usurp authority over the man. “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. For Adam was first formed, then Eve.” (1 Tim. 2:11-13) Now, the Scriptures are abundant with references to women teaching. However, they were forbidden to teach or pray “over the man.” Philip had 4 daughters who prophesied. “And the same man had four daughters, virgins, which did prophesy.” (Acts 21:9) Priscilla and Aquila taught Apollos “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 18:26) However, these women did not usurp authority by doing so over the man. Furthermore, the wives of the prophets could not interpret their husbands and thereby usurp authority. “Let the prophets speak two or three, and let the other judge. If any thing be revealed to another that sitteth by, let the first hold his peace. For ye may all prophesy one by one, that all may learn, and all may be comforted. And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets. For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints. Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law. And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church.” (1 Cor. 14:29-35) Robert Notgrass

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