Whether it’s in marriage, work, or our faith communities, we struggle to know what it means to be female and male, together bringing forth God’s kingdom. With permission I share one woman’s story.
How do you handle 1 Timothy 2:12 where it states, “I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man; she must be quiet?”
A couple of months ago my dad – who, at times struggles with unbelief – started attending a men’s Bible study. The Book of Job was brought up in discussion. My dad asked, “If God cannot be in front of sin, then why can Satan be in his presence?” (Job 1:6-12) Needless to say, his question didn’t go over well. One man told my father “the Bible study was for believers not for doubters.” He continued with “the Church is a place for faithful individuals not men who come to sow doubt in people.” My father stopped attending.
So I decided to invite my father over to study the Bible together. He could ask whatever he wanted and together we would try and find the answers… now other men and their sons want to join our study… I don’t know how to handle this. I felt ok studying with dad … but I’m not so sure what to do with these other men, especially after reading the Timothy passage.
My heart is incredibly heavy for these men (and my own husband and sons) who want to study with us. But again, I don’t want to go against the Lord.” When I read 1 Timothy 2: 12 I feel like my hands are tied.
How do you read that passage? How did you get set free to just teach, anywhere to anyone?
Here’s how one professor responded.
… I believe it would be encouraging for the person struggling with 1 Timothy 2:12 to know that in each instance where the verb AUTHENTEO is used in Greek to mean “to assume authority” the authority that is assumed is authority that the person assuming it does not rightfully have.. Consequently, this verse does not prohibit women, like Priscilla, who have recognized authority to teach a man, as Luke affirms in Acts 18:26, from using their recognized authority to teach a man. It only prohibits women from assuming authority to teach men that they do not rightfully have.
…Furthermore, this prohibition is directed to women in the church of Ephesus in the then currently on-going crisis of women being deceived by false teachers (cf. the first full paragraph of the letter, the summary of the false teaching as “old wives tales” and Chapter 5:13-15. The present indicative of the verb “I am not permitting” points to a currently ongoing situation. It does not imply that this is a universal prohibition. It is a grammatical form (first person present indicative) that is very rarely used to give universal prohibitions. I have never found this verb used in the first person present indicative for a universal prohibition.
(For further explanation listen to Dr. Payne’s talks are recorded here UPC.org under “Women, the Bible, and the Church or read them here. www.pbpayne.com. The one that addresses “to assume authority one does not rightfully have” is the 4th one, the one on 1 Timothy 2:12.)
In the joy of the Lord,
That’s what we are doing over the next three years – we will convene at The Marcella Summit for intimate conversation, expert teaching, and open dialogue.
The inaugural Marcella Summit will center on the Blessed Alliance: “When God created the heavens and earth he had a world-wide kingdom in mind. His key strategy for building that kingdom centered on his image bearers – male and female. Their shared mission was to represent him and to advance his kingdom over every square inch of this planet. And he called them to build it together” (Carolyn Custis James).
We’ll explore what it looks like for men and women to work together to usher in God’s Kingdom, what it means to be an image bearer, and how we can live out that truth with each other in our daily lives.
OUR THREE YEAR VISION
2015 The Blessed Alliance
2016 Kingdom Living as a Blessed Alliance
2017 Gender Injustice and its Impact on the Blessed Alliance
Join our “up close and personal” conversation and leave equipped to ennoble women.