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Q4 : Role Distinctions between Men and Women

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Q4 : Role Distinctions between Men and Women

Please tell me what do these verses mean:

1Ti 2:12 But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.

1Co 14:34 Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law.

Tit 2:4-5 That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.

A4 : by Tony Garland

All of the verses you are asking about share a common theme: it is God's design that men be leaders, in society, in the church, and in the home. The created order, even before sin entered into the picture, was that man was created first and woman second as a help-meet.

A resource which would be very helpful for studying these verses in detail is available freely on the internet: Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhooda.

It can also be purchased online as a bookb.

I would recommend reading the detailed articles in the above book which deal specifically with these passages within the overall context of Scriptural teaching regarding manhood and womanhood. The book does an excellent job of recognizing the teaching of Scripture regarding men and women: their equality in standing, but difference in roles—both domestically and in church leadership. I believe the articles in the book are reliable and very comprehensive.

A good introductory resource on these passages is the MacArthur Study Bible. I've included John MacArthur's summary comments on each passage below. I believe they capture the essence of what is being said in each context and in view of the overall teaching of Scripture on these matters. (Don't be surprised to find what Scripture says to be miles apart from the practice of many modern churches which have imbibed deeply from the waters of secular feminism.)

1Ti 2:12-14 - Paul is forbidding women from filling the office and role of the pastor or teacher. He is not prohibiting them from teaching in other appropriate conditions and circumstances (cf. Acts 18:26; Titus 2:3,4). Paul forbids women from exercising any type of authority over men in the church assembly, since the elders are those who rule (5:17). They are all to be men (as is clear from the requirements in 3:2,5). in silence: Women are to be silent by not teaching, and they are to demonstrate submission by not usurping the authority of the pastors or elders.

1Co 14:34 - The principle of women not speaking in church services is universal; this applies to all the churches, not just locally, geographically, or culturally. The context in this verse concerns prophecy, but includes the general theme of the chapter, i.e., tongues. Rather than leading, they are to be submissive as God's Word makes clear (see notes on 11:3-15; Gen. 3:16; 1 Tim. 2:11-15). It is not coincidental that many modern churches that have tongues-speaking and claim gifts of healings and miracles also permit women to lead worship, preach, and teach. Women may be gifted teachers, but they are not permitted by God "to speak" in churches. In fact, for them to do so is "shameful," meaning "disgraceful." Apparently, certain women were out of order in disruptively asking questions publicly in the chaotic services.

Tit 2:4-5 - 2:4 admonish the young women. Their own examples of godliness (v. 3) give older women the right and the credibility to instruct younger women in the church. The obvious implication is that older women must exemplify the virtues (vv. 4,5) that they "admonish." love their husbands. Like the other virtues mentioned here, this one is unconditional. It is based on God's will, not on a husband's worthiness. The Greek word phileo emphasizes affection. See notes on Eph. 5:22-24. 2:5 discreet. I.e., pure. Cf. 1 Tim. 2:9-11,15; 1 Pet. 3:3-6. homemakers. Cf. 1 Tim. 5:14. Keeping a godly home with excellence for one's husband and children is the Christian woman's non-negotiable responsibility. obedient. The ideas of radical feminism were an integral part of ancient Babylonian and Assyrian mythology as well as of Greek gnosticism, which flourished throughout the Roman Empire during NT times and posed a constant danger to the early church. Modern feminism is neither new nor progressive; it is age-old and regressive. See notes on Eph. 5:22. not be blasphemed. This is the purpose of godly conduct-to eliminate any reproach on Scripture. For a person to be convinced God can save from sin, one needs to see someone who lives a holy life. When Christians claim to believe God's Word but do not obey it, the Word is dishonored. Many have mocked God and His truth because of the sinful behavior of those who claim to be Christians. Cf. Matt. 5:16; 1 Pet. 2:9.

Our doctrinal statement also contains a section addressing this general issue:

"We believe that in the body of Christ men and women stand spiritually equal and constitute the Church universal. We believe women have had and always will have their God-given gifts and roles within this body. Accordingly, as the primary role of believing men is to be husbands and fathers, so the primary role of women is to be wives and mothers. But modern secular feminism has destroyed the importance of these positions and blurred the differences between men and women. We encourage women to have personal ministries. But the Scriptures are clear that male leadership is called to the local church positions of deacon, elder, and pastor-teacher. No amount of debate can water down what the Bible says about the individual and distinct callings of both sexes, in regard to gifts and positions. We equally encourage women to pursue diplomas but the role of pastor-teacher is Biblically reserved for men."

I hope this helps answer some of your questions. I highly recommend reading the articles in the book I listed at the beginning of my reply. It is an excellent treatment of the subject with carefully considered and Scripturally solid discussion of all the issues related to this entire subject area.


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