Blog-Can Women Teach or Have Authority Over Man?

3 Jul

Blog- Can a Woman Teach or Have Authority Over a Man ? ( 2/07/2024 ) -Adele Grobler 


“Can a woman teach or have authority over a man?” This is a question I have been asked recently but also in the past, and therefore I thought I would answer this question. If any of you also have this question, then it might help give you some clarity in that regard.


1 Timothy 2: 11 to 15 in the New King James version says:

> “Let a woman learn in silence with submission, and I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man, but to be in silence. For Adam was formed first, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived fell into transgression. Nevertheless, she will be saved in childbearing if they continue in faith, love, holiness, and self-control.”

This scripture has been used throughout the ages to come against women when they are in ministry or even in a role of leadership, telling them that they can’t teach a man, they can’t have authority over a man. This is where a lot of that speculation arises, and these questions come from. But we have to look, as I always say, at the Bible and scripture as a whole and not just certain sections where Paul preached because Paul is not God. We have to look at God’s nature, His character, and His will for mankind throughout scripture before we just take things out of context and use them in the wrong connotations.


Genesis 1: 27 says:

> “So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.”


Genesis 2: 18:

> “And the Lord God said, ‘It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him.’ Out of the ground, the Lord formed every beast of the field and every bird of the air and brought them to Adam to see what he would call them. And whatever Adam called each living creature, that was its name. So Adam gave names to all the cattle, to the birds of the air, and to every beast of the field. But for Adam, there was not found a helper comparable to him. And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam, and he slept; and He took one of his ribs and closed up the flesh in its place. Then the rib which the Lord had taken from the man He made into a woman, and He brought her to the man. And Adam said, ‘This now is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman because she was taken out of a man.”


Genesis 3: 16:

> “To the woman He said, ‘I will greatly multiply your sorrow and your conception; in pain, you shall bring forth children; your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you.”


1 Peter 3: 1-7:

> “Wives, likewise, be submissive to your own husbands, that even if some do not obey the word, they without a word may be won by the conduct of their wives, when they observe your chaste conduct accompanied by fear. Do not let your adornment be merely outward—arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel—rather let it be the hidden person of the heart with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God. For in this manner, in former times, the holy women who trusted in God also adorned themselves, being submissive to their own husbands, as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord, whose daughters you are if you do good and are not afraid with any terror.”


Ephesians 5: 22-33:

> “Wives, submit to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, His body, of which He is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives just as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to Himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In the same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated his own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church, for we are members of His body. For this reason, a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh. This is a profound mystery, but I am talking about Christ and the church. However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.”


Galatians 3: 26-29:

> “For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.”


Ephesians 5: 17-21:

> “Therefore, do not be unwise but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your hearts to the Lord, giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another in the fear of God.”


So, there are a few scriptures we covered, but the important part is for you to actually see where I’m coming from with scripture. When we look at these scriptures, we see that God created women as a helper to man. Adam was alone, he needed a helper. The Lord looked for a helper and didn’t find any amongst the creatures He created, so He created woman to come and help Adam. When God created Eve for Adam, there wasn’t any distinction that God made of Eve needing to be lower than Adam or Eve not having any form of say or teaching. God didn’t put any of those boundaries in place.


When the fall came and Satan deceived Eve into eating from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, she took the fruit, ate some, and then gave some to Adam. Both their eyes were opened, and that’s when the Lord then started to give instructions and the curses assigned because they ate from that tree. Part of Eve’s was that she would have pain during childbearing, but the Lord also then said that her husband will rule over her and she will have a desire for her husband. That is where the first submission comes in from a woman to a man.


However, when we look at all the other scriptures throughout, when it talks about women being submissive to a man, it’s always in the context of a woman with her husband. God didn’t put a distinction that every woman needs to be submissive under every man. No, God said a wife will be submitted to her husband, not a woman to every man. That is where people sometimes get things very off; they think that every woman should just be obeying every man and every man having authority over every woman. But that is not what God said and that is not what scripture teaches as a whole.


Then we see that God basically said that He made women and men in the image of God. In the image of God, He created them male and female. So God again didn’t make women less, but He called that man and woman were created in the image of God. In Galatians, it states that there is neither male nor female, but all are one in Christ, which basically means there is equality between a man and a woman in God’s eyes. Also, God never said that a woman cannot preach or teach or lead men in scripture. Ephesians states that all men and women are to be submissive to one another, not just one sex submitting to another.


God Himself also raised up women who have taken authority and led men.
We see this in Judges 2: 15-16 where it says:

> “Whenever Israel went out to fight, the hand of the Lord was against them to defeat them, just as He had sworn to them. They were in great distress. Then the Lord raised up judges who saved them out of the hands of these raiders.”


So God raised up the judges, and one of these judges that God raised up was a woman called Deborah in Judges 4: 1-9. You can go and read through it, but basically, again, the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the Lord. The Lord raised up Deborah, a prophet, a wife of Lappidoth, who was leading Israel at that time. She held court under the Palm of Deborah between Ramah and Bethel in the hill country of Ephraim. She sent word to Barak, son of Abinoam, from Kedesh, and said:

> “The Lord, the God of Israel, commands you, ‘Go, take with you ten thousand men of Naphtali and Zebulun and lead them up to Mount Tabor. I will lead Sisera, the commander of Jabin’s army, with his chariots and his troops to the Kishon River and give him into your hands.'”
Barak said to her, “If you go with me, I will go; but if you don’t go with me, I won’t go.”
“Certainly, I will go with you,” said Deborah. “But because of the course you are taking, the honour will not be yours, but the Lord will deliver Sisera into the hands of a woman.”


So Deborah went with Barak. Deborah was leading Israel at that time. She was helping the people, teaching them the Lord’s ways, prophesying, and taking command and authority over Barak, telling him what to do.


We also see the Lord raising up Esther.
In Esther 4:15-17, it says:

>”Then Esther sent this reply to Mordecai: ‘Go, gather together all the Jews who are in Susa, and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my attendants will fast as you do. When this is done, I will go to the king, even though it is against the law. And if I perish, I perish.’ So Mordecai went away and carried out all of Esther’s instructions.” Here, we see a woman that God is using who has authority over men and is instructing them.


These are women that God raised up. These are not women that placed themselves in those roles. These are women that God was working through to save a nation, following God’s obedience and His word. They took authority over men and commanded the men to carry out duties. This contradicts what Paul said. If God was against women being in these roles and positions of leadership or having authority over men or teaching men, He would never have raised them up. God could have easily struck down these women leaders if He was so against women teaching or leading men. But He chose to use them.


God didn’t need to use Deborah, but He chose to use her. God didn’t need to use Esther, but He chose to use her. He could have easily gotten men to save the people, but He didn’t. This shows God’s heart and intent for women also being able to lead and be in places of authority, even over men, and to teach.


In Proverbs 31:1-3, it says:
>”The words of King Lemuel, the utterance which his mother taught him: What, my son? And what, son of my womb? And what, son of my vows? Do not give your strength to women, nor your ways to that which destroys kings.”


Matthew 28:18-20 says:
>”And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, ‘All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.’ Amen.”


Acts 2:17 says:
>”In the last days, God says, ‘I will pour out My Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams.”


In summary, if women were not permitted to teach men, how then can they fulfil the Great Commission that God gave? To go and make disciples of all nations and people requires teaching and having spiritual authority in leading and raising someone up in the ways of God. God didn’t make a distinction that women can only disciple women. He said, “Go and make disciples of all nations.” If it was God’s intent that women should not teach men, He would have stipulated that at the Great Commission.


Additionally, if women were not meant to teach or prophesy, why would God include them in receiving His Holy Spirit? Why would He give them that outpouring so that the daughters of God can prophesy? There is no distinction made that only men will receive the ministry gifts and the gifts of the Spirit. God never stipulated that women could not have ministry positions.


Ephesians Chapter 4 stipulates that the ministry gifts are for the saints. Not for men only. And then also when you look at First Corinthians chapter 12, where it talks about the spiritual gifts or the gifts of the Spirit, again, it talks about the brothers and sisters as a whole. It doesn’t just talk about the men receiving that gifting.


If women were not permitted to teach, then how do you explain the women teaching their sons? Like we saw that Lemuel said that his mother taught him. So again, there’s a few contradictions here if we just take what Paul said out of context because it does not line up with the role God gave women and even how women have been needing to operate throughout the ages.


So, if you remove a woman from not being able to teach or lead men, how would men have been raised when the fathers go to work? If a woman was not permitted to teach a man, which then would be her son, how would that son be taught Godly ways and be disciplined while the father is at work? Or what if the father walks out completely and leaves the women with the kids and he decides to just wander off? Who else is going to raise those kids into God’s Godly principles? Is that then wrong for the woman to teach a man, to teach the son? Is that wrong for women to take authority over that son to discipline him?


Do you see why you cannot just take what Paul said out of context? God would also not have poured out his Spirit on his sons and daughters. He would have only poured it out on his sons. And God would not have made men and women equal in his eyes by saying they were created in His image, male and female. And God would have clearly said the ministry gifts and Gifts of the Holy Spirit were only reserved for men, including the Teaching Ministry. But He didn’t. The Holy Spirit distributes the giftings of God and gives it to his people.


When God gives a woman a gift of teaching or prophecy or apostleship and all of that, and His Holy Spirit works through them, how then can that be against God and against His will?  So we see that God made women equal with men, that God never said that a woman should be submissive to every man, but men and women should be submissive towards one another? But in the relationship between a man and a wife, the man will rule over his wife and the wife is to be submitted to that husband.


If God raised up women to actually rule and have authority in places of leadership, commanding men to go and do different things as God instructed, then what did Paul actually mean that he does not permit a woman to teach or have authority over a man? Because that is in scripture, and we cannot cut that out either. And therefore, we have to look in context and understand the nature of the letter.


When we look at this letter, we see that this letter was personally written to Timothy by Paul encouraging him to handle the spread of the false teachings that were arising in Ephesus. And you can read that in 1 Timothy chapter 1. That is the main focus of Paul’s letter to Timothy, false doctrines were being spread in this place in Ephesus. So Paul encouraged Timothy to remain there and address these issues because it was seeping through into the church.


During that time in Ephesus, Artemis was a goddess being worshiped, and you can also see Paul experiencing that in Acts chapter 19. That’s why he knew about Artemis as well. Artemis, the Greek goddess of chastity and childbirth, part of her myth was to have superiority over men. And also, Ephesus was a province of Rome, and Rome had cultural influence there. And so wearing elaborate hairstyles, gold pearls, and expensive clothing were fashions that the Roman women wore. And especially the women that were wealthy, they had a lot of power and influence that they used. And Timothy was to address the church to focus on its actual mission and to be a public witness in the midst of all of these cults and false doctrines and things that were happening.


His aim was to stop these teachings from spreading in the church community. And so, when we look at this letter that Paul wrote to Timothy, the letter offers us clues as to what was spreading in the church at that time: anger, disputes, women flaunting their wealth, being disruptive in worship, teaching false or exposing doctrines, or falling for false doctrines.


Paul’s concern for the state of the church in Ephesus and a means to control what was happening gave charge to Timothy regarding what many take out of context regarding women and not allowed to teach a man and to be silent. Paul’s letter to Timothy does not match the rest of Paul’s own letters such as Galatians. Remember that scripture in Galatians where Paul wrote that there is neither male nor female; they are all one in Christ Jesus? That is the same Paul that now said that, so he was contradicting himself even through what he wrote in his other letters. Paul also wrote Romans, he also wrote Corinthians, and Ephesians. That is where it also speaks about the Ministries, the gifts, all of that, and we never see Paul saying that women could not operate in that.


That is where we have to see it: why would he contradict himself in this one passage? It was because he was not talking about the general; he was addressing the issues that were happening at the church at Ephesus at that time. Because of all those false doctrines, the women having that superiority would be disrupting the worship, bringing all these false teachings of Artemis and things in there. Paul’s only way to help Timothy address that was to bring the hammer down as such in trying to control to stop that false teaching from spreading to be able to then bring in the right Doctrine.


We also look at where Paul said that the women will be saved through childbearing. Now again, that contradicts the rest of the word of God because we know a woman cannot be saved by giving birth to a child. We are only saved by giving our lives to Jesus, professing that He is Lord. So what did Paul mean by that? Paul basically encouraged the opposite, which was the opposing false doctrines and viewpoints that were coming through and encouraged the proper behaviour. Part of the Artemis thing was the women didn’t really need to have the childbearing and all those kinds of stuff. They had this dominating female superiority happening, which is also not biblical because the Bible teaches us that we need to be submissive to one another in love, men and women being submissive to one another, not one ruling over the other because we’re all Disciples of Jesus Christ, we’re all God’s creation, we’re all created in His image, and God sees us as such.


It stands that this letter had specific requirements for what the church in Ephesus was undergoing. Just remember, if God didn’t want women to be in positions of teaching men or having them even in places where they can have leadership and authority over a man, then God would never have raised up Deborah or Esther. He would have made a very strict point in that, and He would never have even permitted mothers to teach their sons. God would have made a point in that to say that the women were lower than the men. God would have made a point in that to put that throughout scripture, but we don’t see it. We see the small little window which contradicts the majority of scripture as a whole.


That is where we see the difference: it was aimed at a specific church with specific things that were happening and going on. So, when the women needed to be silent in that church, it was because of the cult-like behaviour that was happening, where the women would just be blabbering, flaunting their wealth, push false doctrine around the goddess Artemis, and disrupting worship. He had to address that first and foremost to get the church back into order so that proper Doctrine could be placed in. I hope that makes sense to you guys and I hope that answers some of that question.


Be blessed 😊

Founder and Director, Bold Existence.




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