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Are Women allowed to preach according to the Bible?

A much debated issue among Christians is whether women are allowed to preach in the church or not. Most women, of course, want to believe that it is allowed. Otherwise they would feel unfairly treated. Especially today, when emancipation is on the rise, women want to believe that there is no difference between men and women. But who really determines that? Shouldn’t it be God who lays down all the rules and guides us on how to behave? As it is often the case, the Bible is very clear on this subject.

It is God’s Command that women should not preach in front of the church

According to the Bible, women are generally not allowed to preach or teach in the church because they should submit to their husbands and be quiet. If there is anything they want to learn, they can ask their husbands at home and be taught by them. Paul even emphasizes that this is a COMMANDMENT OF GOD and not just his own thoughts.

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.

What? came the word of God out from you? or came it unto you only? If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord. But if any man be ignorant, let him be ignorant. (1 Corinthians 14:34-38)

Preaching in the church is reserved for men

God ordained that the man should be above the woman (compare Genesis 3:16 ). This is the natural order that God intended for humans. Women should not put themselves on the frontline or even preach, but submit according to the divine order. The Bible is clear that men should teach and women should submit to them.

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. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression. Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety. (1 Timothy 2:11-15)

Women should preach primarily through their exemplary behavior

The way women preach consists primarily of setting a good example to others and in exemplifying God’s will in the best possible way. Everyone should know from their appearance and behavior that they are holy and belong to God. Women should first and foremost be a good example to others and thus teach others to lead a God-pleasing life. This role is by no means less important than that of the men who preach.

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 2:3-5)

Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives; While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear. (1 Peter 3:1-2)

Are women allowed to preach in the church? Conclusion

So according to God’s will, women in the church are not allowed to preach or teach. I hope that the women who read these passages will give a serious thought to this issue instead of shooting through the roof. I didn’t write the Bible and tell people what to do and what not. We are only confirming what is written in the Bible. Whoever truly loves God will gladly conform to his will. Are women allowed to preach? The bible says no! For all others, Paul’s perfect conclusion applies. “But if someone wants to disobey it, he may disobey it.” In the end, every woman who defies this commandment and goes on preaching, has to face God on her own.

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.

What? came the word of God out from you? or came it unto you only? If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord. But if any man be ignorant, let him be ignorant. (1 Corinthians 14:34-38)

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6 Comments

  1. When I was very young I had a lady Sunday school teacher. And all the kids just loved her. She taught us straight from the Bible and I really want to know…..was she wrong for teaching us? Just because she was a woman????

    1. According to a plain reading of the NT epistles and this website, she would have been wrong to teach it. Of course, this only proves that Paul and the New Testament contains dated, sexist ideas and should not be considered as coming from an all-righteous, all knowing deity. 😉

    2. Technically it says “over MAN”, and children (young) wouldnt be considered “men”. So if it was only to the young children, then it may be okay.

      But it depends on what Paul meant by “man” and “men”.
      Some take it some way, and others take it another way. I also dont know Greek to know what the original text said.
      So im still undicided.
      But what is clear, is that females can not teach “men” (12? 18? 30? I dont know) in the congregation .

  2. Think about this for a moment. If Paul was actually saying women need to be silent (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) in the church universally and strictly, then a woman can’t read, prophesy, pray, preach, teach, sing, worship, announce anything, or utter a word in church period. This is illogical and makes no sense for it would contradict all of the Bible, i.e., Anna prophesizing in the temple the birth of Jesus; Junia and other NT women ministry leaders working in the ministry with Paul; Pricilla in the NT serving with her husband, Philip’s 4 daughters who were Evangelists; pray or prophesize with head covered for women (lmeaning long hair); and the pouring out of the Spirit upon all flesh (old women and young women–dreams and prophesy), etc. I could go on further with many examples that would make the Bible contradictory at best regarding women leading men, i.e., Deborah, a Judge? What? Answer: Women are gifted to lead, preach, teach, pray, prophesy, exhort, in all instances and are not limited to only teaching other women and children as the Bible does not make that distinction. We have taken the one text noted above about being silent and come up with work arounds to make this work, but the truth is Paul, as often he did, was given a cultural response to specific outbreaks of disorder in the church, hence his decree in the letter to the church at Corinth to help married couples not squabble in church. It was not meant to be universal instruction, but cultural and even more narrow to the situation on the ground if you will. Otherwise, Paul contradicted himself many, many times. Remember whem Paul says, I not the Lord, or the Lord not I, says this and that–have you ever wondered why? He was writing culturally and to narrow auidences with most of these controversial things. I have seen augments that say preaching or prophesy is not teaching so a woman can preach or prophesy but not teach? Does that make any sense? No. If we literally tried to apply this scriptures, women could not say anything (complete silence for it is a shame for them to speak) and we would be following the “law” that Paul refers to? Are we under the law? So even those who say they are biblical and do not let their women teach, preach, etc., but let them read, sing, announce, etc., If you will apply this literally and universally, you must apply it to every way possible to women to be silent in the church. Then here is one for you! Paul commands, ask your husband at home? What if the woman is not married? Okay we can conclude that this teaching only applied to married women and not single women? Makes sense? No it does not. Bottomline: Women can be and have been used by God to preach, teach, prophesy, proclaim, read, sing, announce, worship, just as Paul knew and applauded throughout the NT such as demonstrated in Romans 16 chapter where he named over 12 women ministry workers–oh they never taught and were silent in the church and when he complimented them for ministry–they never spoke in a church or to men? No it does not make sense. Why would Paul say here be silent in churches and it is a shame to utter a word, yet in 1 Cor 11 he says women should have their head covered when praying or prophesizing? Praying is not being silent! Major contradiction. See we can’t have it both ways with our interpretations. Look forward to your responses.

    1. My question and response is basic. Why do Protestants worship Paul over Jesus? Yeah, they often do. Paul is ONE man who was a missionary, with ONE opinion who never knew Jesus personally. Common sense dictates to me that nobody gets it right, and I don’t think you need to get theological to argue that point. Bottom line: Both women and men have gifts and should be used. We don’t need controlling men in any society putting down women or diminishing them, nor do we need western feminists making men feel like they should apologize for existing. I think Paul is wrong about his thoughts on homosexuality in Romans 1, and he is wrong about the role of women in Corinth, even if his intention is to stop the squabbling. The Bible may make us delve deeper into the nature of God, but it also just causes divisions. That’s why so many of us love God, but left organized religion decades ago. All this squabbling is a waste of energy that takes away from the joy of living and doing the work of God.

      1. Technically homosexuality is sexual sin, the same as lusting toward someone of the opposite sex. And we know that sin will lead to death. There’s actual demons and spirits oppressing people, that they don’t even know that’s oppressing them, and homosexual temptation has a spirit trying to lead you to sin. And yes our flesh feels temptation to sin, but when you first do and don’t repent, you continue to live in that and you invite these spiritual entities into your life to lead you further down the wide path of darkness. Also when others sin against you and you haven’t been saved, you might not even have the discernment to know that you’ve been lead astray and are oppressed. I know I went off in a tangent talking about homosexuality but coming from someone who has experienced thoughts later on in life because of the porn addiction I had from a young age, I hope to share the truth on that matter. The spirit behind lust has no desire for your salvation. Jesus does, God is the only one that cares for us and without him I’d be a complete lost cause. Depressed, anxious, confused every day of my life. I saw his faithfulness in my devotion to him and he has made me into a new man.

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