Women Speaking Out in the Church

“… I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man, but to remain quiet. For it was Adam who was first created, and then Eve. And it was not Adam who was deceived, but the woman being quite deceived, fell into transgression. But women shall be preserved through the bearing of children if they continue in faith and love and sanctity with self restraint.” (1 Tim. 2:12-15) “Let the women keep silent in the churches; for they are not permitted to speak, but let them subject themselves, just as the law also says. And if they desire to learn anything, let them ask their own husbands at home; for it is improper [a shame] for a woman to speak in church.” (1 Cor. 14:34-35)

“Older women likewise are to be reverent in their behavior, not malicious gossips, nor enslaved to much wine, teaching what is good, that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, that the Word of God may not be hindered.” (Titus 2:3-5) “… every woman who has her head uncovered while praying or prophesying, disgraces her head…” (1 Cor. 11:5) “Now this man had four virgin daughters who were prophetesses.” (Acts 21:9) “And there was a prophetess, Anna the daughter of Phanuel, …she never left the temple, serving night and day with fastings and prayers. And at that very moment she came up and began giving thanks to God, and continued to speak of Him [Jesus] to all those who were looking for the redemption of Jerusalem.” (Luke 2:36-38) “And it shall be in the last days, God says, that I will pour forth of My Spirit upon all mankind; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams; even upon My bondslaves, both men and women, I will in those days pour forth of My Spirit, and they shall prophesy.” (Acts 2:17-18, from Joel 2:28-29) See also Exodus 15:20, Judges 4:4, and 2 Kings 22:14-15 for examples of Old Testament prophetesses.

It would seem that we have a bit of a conflict. On the one hand, women are basically told to shut up and sit down; on the other hand to teach and prophesy. Can this be resolved in the Kingdom?


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