“Let a woman learn quietly with all submissiveness. I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet. For Adam was formed first, then Eve; and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor. Yet she will be saved through childbearing—if they continue in faith and love and holiness, with self-control.”
The statement above is clearly explained in my book, Selfies With Bible Girls, in the chapter, ‘Love on the Mission Field’ but I’ll share a little bit of it here.
Aquila also inspires me as a woman in ministry. She and her husband taught Apollos. Aquila was a teacher of the gospel. There are Common objections to the place of a woman in teaching ministry. Many cite Apostle Paul’s instruction in 1 Tim 3:2 that anyone who desires to be a bishop should be the husband of one wife; but anyone who reads this objectively will discover that the emphasis here is monogamy in marriage and not the gender of the person in office.
In Romans 16:1, Paul says:
“I commend unto you Phebe our sister, which is a servant of the church which is at Cenchrea:”
The word ‘servant’ here is translated from the word ‘diakonos’ in the Greek which can also be translated to mean deacon.
In Romans 16:3, the Apostle Paul said: “Greet Priscilla and Aquila my helpers in Christ Jesus.’’ The word helper here is got from the Greek word ‘Sunergos.’
Paul uses the same word for Epaphroditus. In Php 2:25: “Yet I supposed it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus, my brother, and companion in labour, and fellowsoldier, but your messenger, and he that ministered to my wants.” The word ‘companion’ here is the same as Sunergos used for Priscilla.
Paul also used the same word for Titus in 2Co 8:23, “Whether any do enquire of Titus, he is my partner and fellowhelper concerning you: or our brethren be enquired of, they are the messengers of the churches, and the glory of Christ.
Sunregos was also used for Timothy in 1Th 3:2 : “And sent Timotheus, our brother, and minister of God, and our fellow labourer in the gospel of Christ, to establish you, and to comfort you concerning your faith:”
He also used the word in Php 4:3 for other women: “And I intreat thee also, true yokefellow, help those women which laboured with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and with other my fellowlabourers, whose names are in the book of life.”
In 1 Cor 3:9, Paul uses the word for himself:
“For we are labourers together with God: ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building.”
In Rom 16:7, the bible speaks of Junia, a woman and called her ‘of note among the Apostles.
“Salute Andronicus and Junia, my kinsmen, and my fellowprisoners, who are of note among the apostles, who also were in Christ before me.”
Another bone of contention is the Apostle Paul’s instruction that a woman should be silent
1Ti 2:11 Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection.
1Ti 2:12 But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.
Don’t forget that the same Apostle Paul who mentioned Priscilla, Junia and Pheobe is the one who wrote the verses above. He wasn’t contradicting himself.
One thing to note that the instruction for women to be silent did not include: ‘in church.’
In fact, Paul himself had given instructions guiding a woman who prophesies. He instructed that women should cover their hair when prophesying which was in line with the customs at that time. Someone once said that prophesying is different from preaching. However, that is not the case. The job of the prophet in the New Testament is to edify the church. Prophecy is anything that edifies in a known language which is consistent with the word of God.
One major point to note here is that both in the Greek and Hebrew languages in which the bible was originally written, the same word is used both for woman and wife. Paul’s admonition is that wives do not usurp authority over their husbands. The main idea is that you don’t sacrifice your primarily responsibilities as a wife and mother in the name of ministry.
1 Co 14:34 Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law.
1Co 14:35 And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church.
There is a historical context to take into consideration here. Notice the statement:”as also saith the law.” This has nothing to do with the Law of Moses. Even if it did, that is void for the person in Christ. But it didn’t. So it must have had something to do with the laws of the land. Some historians say that in Corinth, married women were not allowed to speak in public. Others say that women sat at the back at church and couldn’t always here properly, as a result, they made the place rowdy by interrupting and asking questions. Although we cannot be one hundred percent sure about these, we can be sure about what he was not saying.
He was not saying that women should not preach in church.
In the same letter, he had said given instructions on a women’s dressing when prophesying.
The same Apostle Paul had in other letters commended other women in ministry.
The old and new testaments are filled with examples of women in ministry.
Deborah was a prophetess, so was Miriam.
In the New Testament, we have Anna, Phillips’ four daughters, Junia, Phoebe and of Course Priscilla.
“There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.”
That said, we need to talk about the practical aspects of being a woman in ministry, especially if you have a family to consider.
1 Cor 7:34 says:
There is difference also between a wife and a virgin. The unmarried woman careth for the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit: but she that is married careth for the things of the world, how she may please her husband.
Verse 33 says something similar about men, but I think it resonates even better with women. You can fast for three days when you’re pregnant or nursing a baby. You can’t afford to go for a retreat for one week without clearing with your husband first.
To read the rest, purchase my book, Selfies With Bible Girls