Hayward church of Christ
Hayward church of Christ

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Can Sisters ask Questions and Make Comments in Bible Class in the Presence of Men?

    The subjection of women to men was established in creation, which applies to all covenants (Patriarch, Mosaic, Christian). Notice how this is taught in both the Old and New Testaments. First in the home: “…thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee” (Gen. 3:16). “…the head of the woman is the man…” (1 Cor. 11:3). “Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands” (1 Pet. 3:1). “For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands” (1 Pet. 3:5). “Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the Savior of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing” (Eph. 5:22-25). “…the wife see that she reverence her husband” (Eph. 5:33). “…obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed” (Tit. 2:5). Second in the church: “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” (1 Cor. 14:34). “Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence” (1 Tim. 2:11-12). Paul mentioned creation as the reason. “For Adam was first formed, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression” (1 Tim. 2:13-14; cf. 1 Cor. 11:7-9). There were prophetesses in the bible (Ex. 15:20Judg. 4:3Acts 21:8-9; etc.) and not one of them publicly preached to the mixed assembly of men and women. Not one, because it was/is forbidden.

    Again, some sisters in the first century had the ability to prophesy but were commanded not to do it in the worship assembly where men were present but to be in silence/hold their peace (1 Cor. 11:514:27-35). Furthermore, the purpose of worship is not for asking questions and making comments but of offering spiritual sacrifice. However, the purpose of bible class is for asking questions and making comments to learn. The command of women being in silence in bible teaching is in regard to them usurping authority over men.  1 Tim. 2:11-12.  These scriptures are not commanding them not to speak, but not to assume/possess authority over men. Therefore, the only way women can violate this passage in a bible class is to assume authority as the teacher of the class. Asking questions and making comments as a student in the class does not give her an authoritative role over men in the class unless she tries to take over the class from her seat.                                   Richard Stevens III




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