1st & 2nd Timothy — Lesson 9
PAUL’S TEACHING ON THE ROLE(S) OF WOMEN IN THE CHURCH from 1ST AND 2ND TIMOTHY
1. What was the general treatment of women in the ancient world?
1. Greek world.
1. Believed that the woman was inferior to man.
2. Aristotle viewed woman somewhere between a slave and a freeman.
3. Wives led lives of seclusion and practical slavery.
2. Roman world.
1. Woman enjoyed greater freedom in society than in Greece, but had no greater legal standing.
2. Licentiousness was widespread; chastity and modesty were rare (see Paul’s description of Lesbianism in Rom. 1:26).
3. Wives were second class citizens; more honor was given to a man’s mistress than to his wife.
3. Jewish world.
1. Man’s morning prayer expressed thanks to God that the petitioner was neither a Gentile, a slave, or a woman.
2. While women were somewhat legally inferior under the law of Moses, practically speaking, wives and mothers in Israel enjoyed the greatest of dignity.
1. Mothers were to be honored. Ex. 20:12.
2. To rebel against, or show disrespect for one’s mother was an offense punishable by death. Deut. 21:18; 27:16.
2. How, if at all, did this treatment change in the New Testament?
1. There were four women in the ancestral lineage of Jesus. According to A. B. Bruce, this was unusual from a genealogical point of view.
2. Jesus was “made of woman.” Gal. 4:4.
3. Jesus defied the attitude of his day in his frequent dealings with women.
1. Samaritan woman. John 4.
2. Refused to shun the sinful woman who anointed and kissed his feet. Lk. 7:36.
3. They ministered to him. Luke 8:1-3.
4. They were the first witnesses of his resurrection. Luke 24.
3. What is the general relationship between man and woman according to scripture?
1. Both are equally committed to the marriage ordinance, and in the case of infidelity, the wife is granted standing equal to the man in regard to divorce and remarriage. Matt. 19:9; Mk. 10:11-12.
2. Mutually dependent. 1 Cor. 11:11.
3. Both are the same in Christ Jesus in regard to salvation. Gal. 3:28, 29; Rom. 10:2. All have the same status but not necessarily the same function. 1 Pet. 3:7.
4. Woman is to “rule” the household.. 1 Tim. 5:14.
1. As a wife and mother, this is the domain and province of woman and no man can compete.
2. The wife is not over the husband (Eph. 5:22-24), but a husband who submits to God’s authority (1 Cor. 11:3) recognizes, as does God, her unique ability to manage domestic affairs.
4. Does “Women’s Lib” violate the teaching of scripture?
1. There was no problem in the “church” for centuries.
2. There is a problem today, ranging from “Biblical feminism” to radical feminism.
1. “From Adam’s rib to women’s lib, you’ve come a long way, baby.”
1. SCUM – Society for Cutting Up Men.
2. WITCH – Women’s International Conspiracy Out of Hell (refers to marriage as a dehumanizing institution and legal whoredom for women.
2. Every significant movement in society will eventually find its way into the church.
1. Some urge women to throw off male domination.
2. Others urge that women can be elders, preachers, and leaders in worship when the church is assembled.
3. There are two approaches.
1. Passages that [appear] to teach otherwise in the N.T. are merely the influence of Pharisaic and Rabbinic prejudices reflecting the backward ignorance of the first century and are not authoritative for today.
2. There is Biblical support for feminine equality in leadership roles.
BODY: WHAT IS WOMAN’S ROLE(S) IN THE CHURCH ACCORDING TO SCRIPTURE?
1. Can (could) a woman be an apostle? Rom. 16:7 (KJV).
1. The Greek is in the accusative in which the gender of the name is not evident.
2. Origen, writing in the 3rd century, considered it to be a man.
3. The ASV translates it in the masculine.
4. Apostle can mean messenger.
5. “Of note among the apostles” most likely means that he was well-known among them.
2. Can a woman serve as an elder? 1 Tim. 3:2; Tit. 1:6.
3. Can (could) a woman prophesy? Acts 2:18; 21:9; 1 Cor. 11:5.
1. Some say yes, and, assuming that prophesying is the same as preaching, conclude that a woman can preach.
2. The word means simply to speak forth. What it means must be determined by the context and other information in scripture.
3. Paul limits the extent of a woman’s forth-speaking. 1 Tim. 2:12.
4. Can a woman serve as a deacon? Rom. 16:1-2.
1. It is alleged that Phoebe as a church official (deacon), the church as to assist her, implying her authority over the church, she had been a “helper” (prostatis) of many, implying authority, discipline, overseeing. Thus, she was a preacher-leader in the early church.
2. The word translated deacon means servant, and any office implied must be demanded by the context. Phil. 1:1; 1 Tim. 3:8, 12.
3. That the saints were to assist her does not imply her authority over them. The Lord assisted Paul (stood by him, 2 Tim. 4:17), but Paul did not have authority over Christ.
4. If the word used implies oversight, then, since Phoebe had been Paul’s helper, she exercised authority over Paul was well as others.
5. The word is used nowhere else in scripture, but it is used in a 3rd century letter from a son to his father: “there will be nothing of more importance for me than to look after you for the remainder of your life, in a manner worthy of you, and worthy of me.”
5. Can a woman teach? Tit. 2:4-5; 2 Tim. 1:5, 3:15; Acts 18:26.
1. None of these passages deals with public teaching.
2. It cannot be assumed as some do that, because she can teach under specified circumstances, she can teach under all circumstances.
6. Can a woman labor in the Lord? Phil. 4:2,3; 1 Tim. 5:10, 14.
1. The assumption made by some that because women labored with Paul they exercised authority equal to him.
2. Christians are said to be God’s fellow-workers, but they do not, because of that, have authority equal to His.
7. Can a woman take a leading role when the church assembles? 1 Cor. 11:2-16; 1 Cor. 14:33-38; 1 Tim. 2:11-15.
1 CORINTHIANS 14
1 TIMOTHY 2
“It is not permitted to them to speak” (34)
“I permit not a woman to teach, nor to have dominion over a man” (12)
“let them be in subjection” (34)
“but to be in quietness” (12)
“if they would learn anything” (35)
“let a woman learn” (11)
“let them ask their own husbands at home” (35)
“in queitness with all subjection” (11)
“as also saith the law” (34)
Adam and Eve in creation and sin (14, 15)
2. The law referred to is not the Mosaic code, which contains to such language, but Gen. 3:16.
1. Thus, the matter involved is not of local or temporary significance.
2. It is still the law. 1 Cor. 14:37.
3. I Tim. 2:8-15.
1. Men are to pray - v. 8. (This is not the word for mankind, but male to the exclusion of female.)
2. Women are to adorn themselves in modesty and sobriety, which becomes women professing godliness through good works. Vv. 9-10; 1 Pet. 3:1-8.
3. Women ARE to learn in quietness (Thayer, silence) with all subjection; they ARE NOT to teach (preach) nor to have dominion over a man.
1. Some argue that if man grants woman the right then she does not exercise dominion over the man.
2. However, man cannot give woman a right that God did not give her without man’s exercising authority over God.
4. Two reasons:
1. Creation – man was first formed, then woman.
2. Fall – woman was beguiled, not man. (This does not relieve man of his ultimate responsibility – for as by one MAN, the first Adam, sin entered into the world.
1. God’s woman makes a vital contribution to the kingdom.
2. Let us rise up and call them “blessed.” Prov. 31:28-31.
God's Plan of Salvation
You must hear the gospel and then understand and recognize that you are lost without Jesus Christ no matter who you are and no matter what your background is. The Bible tells us that “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) Before you can be saved, you must understand that you are lost and that the only way to be saved is by obedience to the gospel of Jesus Christ. (2 Thessalonians 1:8) Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6) “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12)
You must believe and have faith in God because “without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6) But neither belief alone nor faith alone is sufficient to save. (James 2:19; James 2:24; Matthew 7:21)
You must repent of your sins. (Acts 3:19) But repentance alone is not enough. The so-called “Sinner’s Prayer” that you hear so much about today from denominational preachers does not appear anywhere in the Bible. Indeed, nowhere in the Bible was anyone ever told to pray the “Sinner’s Prayer” to be saved. By contrast, there are numerous examples showing that prayer alone does not save. Saul, for example, prayed following his meeting with Jesus on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:11), but Saul was still in his sins when Ananias met him three days later (Acts 22:16). Cornelius prayed to God always, and yet there was something else he needed to do to be saved (Acts 10:2, 6, 33, 48). If prayer alone did not save Saul or Cornelius, prayer alone will not save you. You must obey the gospel. (2 Thess. 1:8)
You must confess that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. (Romans 10:9-10) Note that you do NOT need to make Jesus “Lord of your life.” Why? Because Jesus is already Lord of your life whether or not you have obeyed his gospel. Indeed, we obey him, not to make him Lord, but because he already is Lord. (Acts 2:36) Also, no one in the Bible was ever told to just “accept Jesus as your personal savior.” We must confess that Jesus is the Son of God, but, as with faith and repentance, confession alone does not save. (Matthew 7:21)
Having believed, repented, and confessed that Jesus is the Son of God, you must be baptized for the remission of your sins. (Acts 2:38) It is at this point (and not before) that your sins are forgiven. (Acts 22:16) It is impossible to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ without teaching the absolute necessity of baptism for salvation. (Acts 8:35-36; Romans 6:3-4; 1 Peter 3:21) Anyone who responds to the question in Acts 2:37 with an answer that contradicts Acts 2:38 is NOT proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ!
Once you are saved, God adds you to his church and writes your name in the Book of Life. (Acts 2:47; Philippians 4:3) To continue in God’s grace, you must continue to serve God faithfully until death. Unless they remain faithful, those who are in God’s grace will fall from grace, and those whose names are in the Book of Life will have their names blotted out of that book. (Revelation 2:10; Revelation 3:5; Galatians 5:4)