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Women Teachers - 1 Timothy 2:11-15
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Women Teachers - 1 Timothy 2:11-15

Should women teach in church?
11 Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection.

As in other passages, the woman is to be subject to the man. The word translated to "silence" is hesychia, which means stillness, quietness and peacable. She is to learn in a submissive attitude, which means she does not try to usurp the role of the man as head.

12 But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.

Women did teach elsewhere in the Bible, so this passage (1 Tim. 2:11-15) can't be a blanket statement to never teach. For example: "And he [Apollos] began to speak boldly in the synagogue: whom when Aquila and Priscilla had heard, they took him unto them, and expounded unto him the way of God more perfectly" (Acts 18:26). This is an example of a man and woman teaching another man (see also Titus 2:3-4).

The instruction here is not that a woman should be forbidden from every form of teaching, but only from the kind of teaching that places her in a position of authority over the man ("nor to usurp authority over the man"). Authoritative teaching is officially entrusted by the church to the elder/bishop/overseer (Titus 1:9-11, 1 Timothy 3:2).

Since the woman is to have a submissive attitude, she should not try to place herself in authority over the man by teaching him in an insubordinate way or from a position of headship. Instead of usurping authority, she should be quiet and peacable. However, if she is not usurping authority, it is permissable to teach.

13 For Adam was first formed, then Eve.

The reason for a woman not being in a position of authority is explained to be because of the gender roles God established at creation when forming Adam first and then forming Eve out of Adam's rib. That was when he made the man the head of the woman (1 Cor. 11:3-16).

14 And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.

This passage gives an additional reason for the woman to submit herself to the man; because Eve was deceived by the serpent. Adam was not deceived, but participated in breaking God's law anyway, because of Eve's influence.

15 Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety.

Even though sin was the result of Eve's actions, a woman can still be saved, because through her ability to give birth Jesus came into the world. If she puts her faith in Jesus and lives according to His law of love, she will be saved.
Next Topic: The Saving Influence of a Wife in Subjection