Women Pastors: What Does the Bible Teach?

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There is much debate today concerning what the Bible teaches concerning women pastors. However, Scripture is clear that the role of pastor is one that is reserved for men.

1 Timothy 2:12-14

12 I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet. 13 For Adam was formed first, then Eve; 14 and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor.

Here, Paul says that women should not “teach or exercise authority over a man.” The reason for this is because “Adam was formed first, then Eve.” The reason Paul gives for why women should not have authority over men is not a temporary cultural reason, but rather one that is grounded in the creation order itself.

It should be noted that 1 Timothy 2:12 is saying that women should not “teach” or. “exercise authority” over a man in an official capacity.

Ephesians 5:22-23

22 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands.

25 Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, 26 that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27 so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. 28 In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, 30 because we are members of his body. 31 “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” 32 This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. 33 However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.

Here, we learn that wives are to submit to their husbands “as to the Lord.”

Answers to Objections – Women Pastors and the Bible

Acts 18:26 – Priscilla Teaches Apollos

He began to speak boldly in the synagogue, but when Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they took him aside and explained to him the way of God more accurately.

The Bible does not prohibit women from teaching men in any context. There may be circumstances, such as in Acts 18:26, where there is good reason for a woman to teach a man something about the Bible.

However, Acts. 18:26 does not say that Priscilla was the pastor of any church, or teaching in an official capacity in any church.

Romans 16:1 – Phoebe Is a Deaconess

I commend to you our sister Phoebe, a servant [or deaconess] of the church at Cenchreae

Whatever Romans 16:1 means exactly, it does not say that Phoebe was a pastor of a church, or that she had a role in which she was teaching men in the church.

Resources About Women Pastors and the Bible

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