Women and the Church

A re-assessment of 1 Timothy 2 .

I’ve had no recognised theological training, I don’t read Hebrew and although I once knew a smidgeon of everyday Greek I do not claim to be an authority or try to convince but merely present another viewpoint on the evidence of other scholars. In doing so I recognise that we all have bias, indeed, just this morning I read this helpful advice which I must apply to myself as well as challenge the reader: “Don’t believe something just because you want to, and don’t embrace an idea just because you’ve always believed it.”1

It follows that arguments across the spectrum of this debate will be influenced by cultural church norms and practices. My own background assumed women to have an equal role in ministry. My late wife was a very effective Bible teacher with YWAM and certainly had a much better understanding and ability to rightly handle the Word than I have ever had. My current wife excels in prophetic ministry and is also a very capable teacher, which of course affects my own hermeneutic. I recently heard a question being put to John Piper“Are women permitted to preach in the weekly gathering of a local church as an extension of the male elders of the church?” The implication was that there is something sacrosanct about weekly gatherings where special rules are observed which would not apply at say a home Bible study or less formal meeting over coffee. There were clearly some (questionable) foundational assumptions already forming and moulding an answer.

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