Mobile BibleStudyGuide.orgBibleStudyGuide.orgBible StudyVideo LessonseBooksFAQAudio Bible Lessons
Home Bible Study eBooks Audio Lessons Video Lessons Video Devotions Interactive Lessons
Podcasts Salvation Topical Guide Articles The Lord's Church Games, Quizzes FAQ
Visit us on Facebook

Share with Friends

Bible Study
Bible Study
Video Lessons
Video Devotions
Audio Lessons
Topical Scripture Guide
The Lord's Church
Interactive Lessons
Children's Bible Stories
Bible in a Year

Video / Audio
Video Lessons
Video Devotions
Audio Lessons

Interactive Study
Bible Lessons
Games & Quizzes

Bible Class Books
Bible Class Books
Bible Class Books
Churches & Religions

Topical Scripture Guide
Greek Resources
Hebrew Resources

Links: Audio Bible
Links: Bible Study
Links: eBooks
Links: Geography
Links: Greek
Links: Hebrew
Links: Maps
Links: Youth
Live Chat
Bookmark and Share

What does God's word say about women preachers and teachers?
Bible study on women preachers.

This is a question people often ask, especially since women elders, deacons, preachers, and evangelists have become popular.

Women Have an Important Role
Women have an important role in the church. A woman who is fulfilling her God-given role in the church glorifies God (cf. 1 Tim. 2:9-10; Tit. 2:3-5; 1 Pet. 3:1-6) and is more precious than material wealth (Pr. 31:10-31).

Women are Permitted to Teach Women and Children, but not Men
Women are not permitted to teach or have authority over a man; they are commanded to remain quiet (1 Tim. 2:12; cf. 1 Cor. 14:34-35). Women, therefore, may teach other women (Tit. 2:3-5) and teach children.

In the church, women are not permitted to be preachers except in the capacity of teaching women and children. They are not permitted to have authority over a man; therefore, they cannot be in leadership roles when men are present: e.g., leading prayer, reading Scripture, speaking publicly before the congregation (1 Cor. 14:34-35).

Women are not Qualified to Serve as Elders or Deacons, But They are Important to the Work
Before serving as an elder or deacon, Bible qualifications must be met. One of the qualifications is that elders and deacons must be the husband of one wife (1 Tim. 3:2, 12).

Although a woman is not qualified to serve as an elder or deacon, she is very important in her husband's qualification and ability to serve in these capacities (1 Tim. 3:2, 4-5, 12; Tit. 1:6). It is important for a man who serves as an elder or deacon to have a helpful wife (Gen. 2:18-24).

Does Joel 2:28 permit us to ordain women preachers?
Joel 2:28 is quoted by Peter in Acts 2:17. First century miraculous gifts of prophesy and tongues were given to men and women. But, God did not allow women to prophesy or speak in tongues in the church; they were to remain silent (1 Cor. 14:26-35).

Women were permitted to prophesy outside the church, but only with their heads covered (1 Cor. 11:4).

Were Philip's daughters preachers?
Philip's daughters prophesied (Acts 21:8-9), but women were not allowed to prophesy in the church (1 Cor. 14:26-35).

The word preach means "to bring, or declare, good, or glad, tidings" and "to proclaim," "to be a herald" (Vine's). Philip was an evangelist (Acts 21:8), but his daughters were not evangelists. The words preach, preacher, and evangelist are never used of women in the New Testament. Rather, women are commanded to learn in quietness (1 Tim. 2:11).

Was Phoebe a preacher?
Phoebe was not a preacher. She was a servant of the church (Rom. 16:1) in the sense that all Christians should be ministering and serving one another (Heb. 6:10; cf. Eph. 4:16; 5:21; Phil. 2:4).

In some translations she is referred to as a deaconess (RSV). The Greek work for servant is the same for deacon. In the qualifications for the office of deacon, God requires deacons to be married men (1 Tim. 3:8-13). Therefore, women are not qualified to hold the office of deacon in the church.

Does Paul authorize women to be preachers in Galatians 3:28?
In Galatians 3:28, Paul teaches us that God is not a respecter of persons (cf. Gal. 2:6). Everyone who is baptized into Christ, puts on Christ. Therefore he (or she) is a son of God (Gal. 3:26-27). Our nationality or gender does not help or hinder us in becoming a child of God.

Earlier, Paul told them that anyone (including himself) who preached a different gospel was accursed (Gal. 1:6-10). Paul did not teach one doctrine regarding women to Timothy and the Corinthians (1 Tim. 2:11-12; 1 Cor. 14:34), and then teach a different doctrine to the Galatians. If he did, he was accursed. Rather, Paul's message was consistent in all the churches (cf. 1 Cor. 7:17). Women are not permitted to teach or have authority over a man in any church (1 Tim. 2:11-12; 4:6).

Was Paul's command, forbidding women to teach or have authority over a man, culturally applicable only to New Testament Christians? Is it applicable to us?
Paul commands women to learn in silence (1 Tim. 2:11). They are not permitted to teach or have authority over a man (1 Tim. 2:12-13).

Paul cites God's creation of the human race when giving this command: Adam was formed first, then Eve (1 Tim. 2:13). Adam was not deceived, but the woman (1 Tim. 2:14).

Paul also cites creation while teaching about man's authority over woman in 1 Corinthians 11:2- 9: man is the head of woman because woman is from man and was created for the man (1 Cor. 11:8-9).

Therefore, God ordained the social order of authority between man and woman at creation. Paul's command that women are not to teach or have authority over a man but to learn in silence with all submission (1 Tim. 2:11), is applicable to all Christians in every age.

Men are not doing the teaching! Women have to teach!
I understand that men, in many churches, are not teaching and preaching. But this does not give a woman the authority to transgress the will of God, and teach men -- two wrongs don't make a right.

My experience is that godly churches, doing the will of God revealed in the Bible, have godly men teaching God's word. A church can't be godly unless the members are godly, and diligently fulfilling their roles in the church.

I do not suggest that women transgress God's will, if they are in churches where men are not teaching and preaching. Rather, I suggest that they attend a church that is carefully adhering to the teachings of Christ. In that church, the men will be living up to their obligations to teach and preach, to the best of their abilities.

If a woman can't teach, what can she do to help a man become a Christian?
Many women know men whom they'd like to help become Christians. A believing wife may have an unbelieving husband. A believing woman may work with unbelievers or have unbelieving neighbors.

Fortunately, there are many things a woman can do to help a man become a Christian, without having authority over him or becoming his teacher.

Most importantly, she can be a godly woman. Peter tells us that women can influence their husbands to become Christians without saying a word, because of the message of a godly life (1 Pet. 3:1-6); their chaste and respectful behavior is an evangelistic message of godliness that leads others to Christ.

Women can also be like Priscilla who traveled with her husband (Aquila), helping him teach the gospel to others. In Ephesus they heard Apollos, a mighty teacher of God's word who incorrectly taught things concerning Jesus. Priscilla and Aquila took him aside, and explained the way of God more accurately (Acts 18:24-26).

Although a woman can't teach a man in a formal sense, she can share her faith (with or without an open Bible). And if there is interest in formal instruction, she can introduce him to a male Bible teacher who can teach him God's word.

A woman's godly influence upon unbelieving men is very important in the Lord's kingdom, and is instrumental in leading men to Christ through God's word. Her "hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit," that leads others to the Lord, "is precious in the sight of God" (1 Pet. 3:4).