view as web pdf Scriptural Authority for Sisters

Women, though subject to some scriptural restrictions and limitations, have a definite place in teaching God's word. Jehovah recognised women's ability to teach, else there would have been no restrictions thrown around her in the work of teaching. No man has the right to deny her the right to teach, save as the Lord has circumscribed her activities as a teacher.

Women were commended to teach in Titus 2:4 and they did teach according to Acts 18:26. These passages provide proof that a woman is to teach. This teaching took place either in an assembly or out of it. If it were out of it, then this was a class. Whenever there is a teacher, call it what you will! The New Testament refers to the following women who taught: Phillip's four daughters (Acts 21:9); Priscilla (Acts 18:26); aged women (Titus 2:3,4).

The restrictions on women teachers are listed in 1 Timothy 2:11,12. This passage forbids a woman to teach in such a way as to exercise a certain type of dominion. It is obvious that these prohibitions are limited in nature, for a woman may both teach and exercise dominion over her children. Thus while a woman may teach and exercise dominion, she may not exercise either over a man. Teaching over a man involves the inherent idea of usurpation of authority and assumption of dominion. Any time the woman usurps this authority, she is wrong.

There are several ways a woman usurps authority: she may teach without the approval of the elders: she may refuse to be in subjection. But she may scripturally teach where she does not usurp authority. God is glorified and the church is strengthened when we observe both the opportunities and limitations established by the scriptures in connection with the role of women in the work of the ecclesia (1Corinthians 14:37).

Bro Jacktone Ukiru (Nhiwa, Kenya)

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