Really…Women can’t teach men – is in the Bible.

Have you ever recognised the fact that there are many stories in the Scriptures where the central character is a woman. There are two Old Testament books called Ruth and Esther whose main story are about women…and every time we read those books – we are in fact being taught by their story.

Even in the NT we are faced with the fact that many women are central characters within the NT corpus. We read the history of how Jesus interacted with them and they engaged in society. We read stories of female evangelists going into towns / villages and telling the inhabitants about Christ and what he had done for them.

We read the account of how two women went to the tomb where Jesus had been laid and found it was empty and met the resurrected Jesus nearby. Here we come face to face with the fact that it was these two women who started the early church. It was these women who went and shared the good news of the risen Christ. They went and told the other disciples who at first were shocked and full of disbelief…until Jesus also appeared to them also.

In fact this story must counteract what some believe Paul is later saying about Eve being the one who was deceived; for here we see the beginning of a new age where it is the women who are not deceived.

Finally one has to go Duh!! and realise that by default; every time we read the Bible we are in fact being taught by women….so really – what is the problem?

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About Craig Benno

I'm an average aussie guy who has lived perhaps a not so average life.
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11 Responses to Really…Women can’t teach men – is in the Bible.

  1. Pingback: A Total New Beginning… A reversal of the curse. | Unsettled Christianity

  2. Brian Sleeman says:

    So Craig, by making these observations, what do you believe Paul is saying when he makes the statement that women must not teach men due to the woman being the one who was deceived first? And similarly, that a Christian wife would only ‘teach’ her unbelieving husband by example not by ‘preaching’ at /to him? I think that Paul gives very clear and scriptural basis for his position on such things – it not to say that woman are inferior or less than men, it simply? stating that there is an order and structure to the way things are to be (as exampled by the Creation which Paul refers all this back to). I think you need to also identify and specify exactly what ‘teaching’ is being referred to in all these instances.

    • Craig Benno says:

      Good questions Brian.

      At first glance and face value it does appear that Paul is saying what you have said he is saying. However when you look at the Genesis account it seems that it was Adam who lied to Eve about the tree… if you touch it you will die.
      When we look at the overall context of Scripture we read that Paul calls a Woman an Apostle…while I know there are objections about this and some try and make out that Junias was in fact a man… there is no Greek textual support for this position and a lot of textual support to indicate that Junias was a female apostle.

      Paul also clearly says that there are female deacons / elders and within the context of the early church it is clearly shown that the church was to be run by a plurity of elders and not by one head minister ..as Christ is the head of the church.

      There are contextual issues to take a look at also; what were the historical / cultural constraints within the local area that Paul was addressing and those backgrounds from which people were joining the church. Finally within the construct of the early church – Paul allowed for and gave guidelines for how women and men were to prophecy within the meeting…today many denominations equate prophecy with the sermon…

  3. Brian Sleeman says:

    Hi Craig, mmm, think you need to be careful on the interpretation of Adam lieing to Eve – this would indicate that man fell into sin BEFORE God’s commandment about the Tree being broken. I do agree that women, biblically, are afforded positions with in the Church – they are equal to men, but Paul still continues to highlight that there is an order to things and in some areas I believe he is saying that women must submit their position to that order – in much the same way that Christ, as an equal part of the God Head submitted His position to God the Father when He came to earth.

  4. Craig Benno says:

    According to the Genesis account; God told Adam not to eat of the tree; for if he did he would die and this happened before Eve was taken from his rib.

    Eve told the serpent that God had said that if they touched the tree, they would die. Somewhere in the story Eve got things mixed up…Now Adam was standing right beside her when she said this and he didn’t correct her…indicating that Eve was repeating what Adam had told her.

    We have to be careful also in our understanding that it was the women who sinned first…Paul and the other authors make the point that it was in and through Adam that we all sinned and not through Eve that we all sinned.

  5. Brian Sleeman says:

    Can’t say I totally agree with you here Craig. Adam was charged with caring for Creation (a ministry of works if you will), and as such telling Eve not to touch the fruit of the Tree was, to my mind at least, his way of ensuring the commandment from God was followed. I also doubt that Adam was with Eve at the time of her temptation by the serpant, but even if he was, Eve is still identified as the one who was deceived first and she ultimately disobeyed both Adam’s instruction re the Tree and they both disobeyed God’s commandment. As Adam was the one given the commandment and the responsiblity by God and he relinquished his postion to Satan, then yes, through Adam we have all sinned. Needless to say, this still does not change the initial premise that biblically we see that men and women are charged with with different responsiblities and positions right from the time of creation, and I also believe that what see in both Ruth and Esther are women ‘teaching’ by example – as Paul states in the New Testament. We can certainly learn from women, women certainly have a very important role with in the Church and I think Paul was not being influenced by ‘cultural or period’ circumstances when talks of the issue of women teaching – I believe he is quite clear on the scriptual precedence.

    • Craig Benno says:

      I can understand your reply about the Genesis account…

      However…what do you think of Paul’s mentioning about a female Apostle as well as his clear instruction about prophecy with the sermon within the fellowship setting?

      The other issue is that of female elders which Paul clearly commends.

  6. Brian Sleeman says:

    Hi Craig,

    Yes Paul certainly provides much to think about here. I believe that Paul is quite clearly stating that a woman does not have an authority over a man (in marriage, the Church etc.). Now I do have to say that the issue of Elders is interesting – having grown up in a church that had women deacons and now attending a church that does not agree with this position – we do however, have women managers. The difference here being that the managers are not ‘ordained’ (is that the right term here) positions. So I do have a few questions around this matter that I have yet to follow through completely. The prophecy thing, I think in what Paul is talking about is perhaps more to do with ‘testimonial’ and ‘experiential’ interpretation of events with a potential scriptural association.

    I find your comments on the resurrection account and the women interesting too – you see I do not think the women taught the apostles here – they reported the account, they did not ‘teach’ the men as to the significance of what Christ had been telling them in the lead up to his crucifixion etc. Merely bringers of the news etc. I do wonder about the possible link between the Fall (Adam having been so quick and apparently eager to follow Eve’s lead to eat the Fruit) and the Resurrection (how hesitant the men were believe the women),apart from the obvious doubt about being raised from the dead, but perhaps that ‘man’ was once bitten, twice shy about accepting eternal advice from ‘woman’?

    I will tell you of an account at a church in our area, they appointed a female minister and apparently everything was OK, until it came to making biblical / scriptural decisions and she would veto anything she didn’t like with the statement “before you talk about this, just remember you have appointed me (meaning a woman) to this position” – see the significance here? that she was happily pointing out that there had already been a compromise on biblical principles. This minister has now left the church in question, but not without much damage to the congregation.

    • Craig Benno says:

      Thanks for your thoughtful reply.
      I find it interesting about the differentiating between women managers and male elders.

      My point about females teaching men has an affect on our modern practice of reading scripture. Surely if it was true that women were not to teach men – therefore men are not to be taught by women…shouldn’t we delete from the scriptures any reference to a woman who was speaking and what they spoke…for in reality it is that woman within the Scripture who is teaching a male – when ever a male reads that portion of Scripture… no matter the historical time difference. Within the Greek construct of Titus and Timothy it includes females as elders and never makes the claim for males only…

      Within the context of prophecy – there is also the directional context. Take the prophet who bound Paul’s hands and said this is how you will go to Rome…Anna the prophetess who took Jesus and prophesied a direct word of God over him… This raises more questions. If God could trust women to speak a direct word from him… why wouldn’t he trust women to share about his already written word?

      I have heard and seen many poor examples of Church leadership..both by men and women. Take the false gospel of the wealth and health brigade..which for the most part is driven by men. My observation of a certain church split in the local area where we both grew up…was also driven by two factions that were driven by two men.

      • Craig Benno says:

        Btw Sorry I didn’t reply to your question about translation.

        At the moment my devotional Bible is the TNIV Books of the Bible – which has no chapter and verse numbers and the books are ordered in historical order…therefore the OT is ordered within the Jewish canonical order the NT in the order in which they believe the books were written.

        For study use I use a number of versions – NIV, NLT, ESV, ISV, RSV, Net Bible, NKJV, CEV and The Message –

  7. Brian Sleeman says:

    Just out of curiosity, what translation do you mostly refer to?

    The scriptures are from God, so (as my wife so plainly put it before) when reading the scriptures we are being taught by God – his instrument at the time may have been a woman – but the message is still from God. It may also be that at particular times He gave certain women a role or job that was outside the ‘norm’.

    Paul does say that an Elder should be of only one wife, he doesn’t make the same distinction of Deacons / Managers – and you are quite right in that he does expressly mention a role for women in that position.

    I think we are looking at two different perspectives here though – you seem to talking more broadly in the sense of teaching – period. I’m talking more specifically in the sense of Authoritative teaching, which is what I believe Paul is talking about.

    There is no doubt that men are more than capable of letting Satan destroy a church – seen it many times. And there is no doubt that a woman can be a great leader – but still this does not change the order that God has placed on Creation. I guess my point with that example was that the minister in this case was not trying to twist or push a certain interpretation, she was just exploiting what she obviously saw as a breakdown in biblical principles.

    I look at my wife’s involvement in the spreading of the Gospel: Sunday School teacher, BSF leader, instigator and leader of a bible study for young Mums (as in Mums with pre-school age children) and instigator and organiser for 3 bible conferences (will send you an invite shortly for our next one which is occurring in July). These are all things that have an impact on men (teaching if you will), but I believe in a way that works with in the guidelines of scripture. The young boys she teaches at Sunday School will grow up to be men, the women she teaches at BSF and her own bible study will have an impact on their husbands and sons – and the conferences similarly reach and teach many men.

    I thank you for the opportunity to sound out this area – it is interesting to see and hear the opinions of another side of the thought process.

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