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"Why does the church of Christ not believe in women teachers and preachers?"

  • Sometimes questions are asked which do not accurately reflect the belief of a particular group.  Certainly, as with any Bible question, our appeal is to the Bible.

    God has given men and women responsibilities and various roles.  Some of them can be shared while others are distinct and canoot be shirked or passed along to others.  For example, Paul penned in Ephesians 6:4 - "And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath:  but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord."  This is a duty of the fathers. 

    The Bible teaches that both men and women are given the responsibility of teaching.  Paul instructed Timothy:  "And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also" (2 Tm. 2:2).  In writing to Titus, Paul penned:  "That they [aged women, v.3] may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children" (Titus 2:4).  Thus it becomes clear that both men and women are to teach.

    The question is not necessarily "can women teach" but rather "in what capacity or setting can women teach?" 

    In 1 Timothy 2:12 Paul stated:  "But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence."  This verse does not forbid all teaching by women as seen in Titus 2:4.  In fact, Colossians 3:16 states:  "Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord."  As we sing to God we are teaching and admonishing one another.  If women were forbidden to do any teaching, they would be forbidden to sing.  Yet, that is not the case.

    The teaching prohibited by women in 1 Timothy 2:12 is teaching which would "usurp" authority from the man.  The phrase "usurp authority" actually comes from the Greek word "authenteo" which means, according to Strong's, "To act of oneself, i.e. (figuratively) dominate." 

    Women are permitted to teach women as well as children.  However, women are not permitted to teach in such a way which dominates over or takes authority from a man. 

    It is for that reason, as shown forth in the Bible, that women cannot occupy the role of a preacher.  Such is contrary to God's plan and the roles which he has given for women and men.



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