This is a subject that I am trying to approach with care. It will make more people angry I am sure. When mom and I went looking up scriptures about women’s silence in the church we discovered the footnotes written in her Nelson Study Bible (NSB) and I would like to share what we learned. Here are the verses that I will be referring to:
I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting.
In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array; But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works.
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.
For Adam was first formed, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.
Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety. 1 Timothy 2:8-15
Verses 11 and 12 here are often being taken out of context today in order to keep women quiet, or used as an excuse to label women who do speak as being jezebels. The footnotes in the Bible shed an interesting light on this subject that I would like to share here so let us back up to verse 8 which says,
I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting.
The word ‘men’ here refers to both men and women. We ALL should be praying and lifting up praise to the Lord God. “Without wrath and doubting” implies that there will be disputing.
Wrath is a slow, boiling type of anger. Doubting literally means “to think backward and forward.” It carries the idea of disputing. Prayer is to be offered without resentment or disputing among those in the church. (NSB footnote)
Disputing in the churches today is rampant because of unteachable spirits, false doctrines, jezebels, and controllers. The Devil walked right in and was given the “Welcome” mat. The Nelson Study Bible even goes on to say that,
If believers do not have good relations with others in the church, they should not lead in public worship. (NSB footnote)
Wow! That is amazing to me because we do not see this biblical principle being taught in the churches at all today. No one seeks peace, reconciliation, or to amend disputes in any way. We have a bunch of religious babies, and also Satan’s people (and it is impossible to make peace with the Devil) who are there to conquer, control and divide. Moving onto verse 9–
When men pray they are to possess sincere and holy attitudes; when women pray, they should be modest.
What we see today, for the most part, is anything but sincerity. It is to flaunt, to gain approval and attention. Acts to make good appearances. Works without faith or love, or a genuine relationship with Jesus Christ. Most churches today are so far removed from the early church and the true gospel that they are anything but ‘holy.’ God is not there and He cannot operate in the midst of witchcraft and mysticism.
“Modest apparel” means
The emphasis is that women should dress appropriately when at worship, and not put on extravagant clothes that draw attention to themselves. (NSB footnote)
A whole lot of women and young ladies today do not know how to dress appropriately. Sometimes this includes preacher’s wives. There are women who appear to be trying to flaunt their bodies, or the clothes, or their money. They wear very short skirts, or low neck tops revealing a lot of cleavage, or see-through blouses with no sense to wear a camisole or some kind of shirt beneath it, or they wear skin tight clothing, or bellies exposed, or wearing clothing with messages on the seat of their pants, or holes in appropriate places. We see women wearing heavy makeup, heavy perfumes, tacky jewelry, piercings in strange places and tattoos. Some of these women even dress like a call girl.
Modesty does not mean having to wear a blouse up to one’s chin, or a skirt that hangs down to the ankles but a lot of ladies do dress for attention. Modest does not include wearing extravagantly high priced clothing either. I have been in a church before that had the audacity to bring to the platform about whether or not to allow people in the church who were not dressed to a certain standard. This particular standard was related to money. There is no room in God’s house for such arrogance. Jesus Christ reached out to the hurting and needy while wearing ordinary clothing Himself. He did not wrap Himself in overpriced, extravagant clothing and try to impress people to His side with flashy things. Neither did He hang around with the smug, religious folk who thought they were holy and had it all together.
A woman can dress in modest apparel and still look attractive, but the word “attractive” entails far more than physical appearance. Churches today have lots of pretty people on the outward appearance but on the inside they are filled all sorts of sin and garbage. People who are genuine Christians filled with the Holy Spirit naturally exude attractiveness. The Lord is no more interested in apparel that costs hundreds or thousands of dollars than He is in something that was picked up at a hand me down store.
The emphasis is that women should dress appropriately when at worship, and not put on extravagant clothes that draw attention to themselves. Propriety means reverence and respect, shrinking away from what is inappropriate. Moderation may also be translated ‘sound judgment’ or ‘self-control.’ (NSB footnote)
If people were as concerned about what they put in their spirit as they are about what they put on their bodies then we would not be facing a lot of the problems we see today in the church. In verse 10,
Paul exhorts the women at Ephesus to be concerned about clothing themselves with godly character instead of wearing inappropriate and lavish clothes. (NSB footnote)
There are definitely occasions when I have myself fallen into the lavish appearances. We women have societal pressures about how we dress. Modest choices in clothing today are more limited than they were in the days of old. Society pushes sex and vulgarity down our throats trying to dictate what men and women should be wearing, but we do still have the ultimate authority in what we clothe ourselves in. Women have many more options than men and we should be asking ourselves before we put on our apparel, “Is this something I would wear if Jesus Christ were physically in the room with me?”
Then verse 10 goes on to say that women should be dressing godly and doing ‘good works.’
A Christian woman’s beauty is found in her godly character and her LOVE for the LORD as demonstrated in all types of good works. (NSB footnote)
“Good works” in itself will not get anyone into Heaven. Read
The message here is that a woman who is a genuine Christian will have godly character and naturally be doing good works. This does not ever include flaunting what one does. A person’s “good works is not to be made televised or placed on public display. People who make their works public are not doing anything for the Lord. They do it for themselves and for attention. Good works are between an individual and the Lord.
Let a woman learn is a command. Paul ignored popular myths about women being incapable of learning and urged Timothy to provide opportunities for women to be educated. In silence refers to the woman’s attitude or manner while learning, as should be true of ALL BELIEVERS. Paul was not saying that a woman could not speak in the local assembly (see 1 Corinthians 11:2-16). He was simply cautioning women to learn with an attitude of all submission and not an unruly manner. (NSB footnote)
It has been especially men who lean on this verse to keep women quiet. As you can see here silence from women was never what this verse meant. It does not matter, be it men or women, we are ALL to be teachable. This does not mean to be compliant to false teachings, or to control others. The word ‘teachable’ today is falsely equated with compromising the Word of God. This is what I see coming out of so many churches today especially those of the false prophets. We are supposed to learn from each other. What is happening in churches today is brainwashing when the teaching comes only from leadership who believes they already know it all, never make mistakes and have nothing to learn. If the leadership of the church does not allow questions and discussion of scripture, or if a preacher is incapable of admitting when they have been wrong about something and corrected it, then people need to get out of that place. I mean, even preachers do make mistakes and they should be humble enough to admit them and correct them.
Verse 12 will probably anger more people when they hear this regarding a woman to teach.
Paul uses a Greek word that indicates the type of teaching that was found in the Jewish communities and synagogues from which he had come. Such teaching was more than giving information to students. It included the call by the rabbi, or teacher, to have his disciples listen, believe, and practice his words. Such teaching was built on the revelation of God and assumed that there would be some sort of oversight, like that exercised in the early church by the elders (see 1 Timothy 4:11, 16, 1 Timothy 5:2, 2 Timothy 3:17, 2 Timothy 4:1-4, Titus 2:15, Titus 3:8-11). Generally those who exercised this responsibility in the early church had the spiritual gift of teaching (see Romans 12:7, 1 Corinthians 12:28), but not every gift of teaching (by men or women) was necessarily to be exercised over the entire congregation. The word ‘or’ seems to indicate that ‘teach’ is defined by the phrase ‘have authority over a man.’ It seems best to understand this passage as teaching that women may exercise their spiritual gifts in a variety of ministries in a local assembly (see 2 Timothy 3:14, Titus 2:3-4), as long as those gifts are exercised under the appropriate leadership of men. Other commentators have viewed this verse as an example of Paul using his apostolic authority to curb the spread of Ephesus of false teaching (see 1 Timothy 1:3-7) that apparently was becoming popular among some women who had not been properly instructed (see verse 11). (NSB footnote)
“But not every gift of teaching (by men or women) was necessarily to be exercised over the entire congregation,” says the NSB. I find this to be a very important and interesting point. Maybe one that actually could be another subject altogether. As we see so many people who think or believe they know that the Lord Himself has led them into ministry especially the prominent stage of standing behind the pulpit. Many times it is probably not God’s Will for that person to be behind a pulpit but rather something else. So many people enter the ministry because they want to have followers and gain attention from others as well as make lots of money. This, of course, is all the wrong reasons for going into ministry and while people may be trying to do a good thing their motivations are wrong. While we see ministries that appear prosperous based on large crowds their very foundations are crumbling with all sorts of sins, perversions and corruptions. Too many people seek glory for themselves and use the Name of God to do it, and maybe many do this without realizing what they are actually doing.
In verses 13-14 we are reminded that God created the man, Adam, first, and second the woman, Eve. Now I have a little joke about this. The Bible says that God created woman to be a help meet for the man. Perhaps God realized that the man’s abilities to think reasonably and make common sense decisions were limited and needed the help of a woman. (haha hehe) The NSB says,
Paul offers reasons for the directives of verses 9-12. Adam was formed first refers to Genesis 2:7-25. In God’s order of creation (see 1 Corinthians 11:9). Adam was made before Eve. This is an implied reference to the privileges that a firstborn received in ancient society. These privileges were not given on the basis of inherent superiority but instead on being born first, something controlled by God Himself. The second reason for the prohibitions in verses 9-12 is related to the Fall. Adam was not deceived points to the fact that Adam sinned with his eyes open; he knew what he was doing (see Romans 5:12).
In verse 14 says “but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.” The NSB responds to this saying,
The verb indicates that Eve was “completely deceived.” Paul’s argument from creation and the Fall in these verses seems to indicate that the prohibitions in verses 9-12 are permanent. (Some have argued that Paul was drawing an analogy between creation and the Fall and the present situation in the Ephesian church, where men were teaching and some women were being misled by false teachers.) (NSB footnote)
In these last days we see both men and women who are completely deceived by false teachers and false prophets. Verse 15 entirely upsets today’s society where we have women taking the roles of men and men taking the roles of women.
Saved in childbearing: Some believe this verse refers to the birth of Christ and that the woman is Mary. However, it may refer to the woman’s special task of bearing children (see Titus 2:3-5). The salvation referred to here is not justification, but daily sanctification. Most likely, Paul is referring to being delivered from the desire to dominate by recognizing one’s appropriate place in God’s creation order. If they continue suggests that this salvation (that is, sanctification) is conditioned upon women’s continued walk in the faith, in love, in holiness, and in self-control. (NSB footnote)
Satan hates God’s order and creation. He has sought to distort, pervert and destroy everything God formed. The world today I find so unbearable to live in. I recognize Satan’s control over the churches, ministries, people, government, and everything around us. Many men have given up their masculinity and many women want to be more masculine.
Note also the message that “salvation is conditioned upon women’s continued walk in the faith, in love, in holiness, and in self-control.” This is the same for men as it is for women. So we pass yet another verse that blows holes in the once saved, always saved false peace theory.
Wrapping it all up
I believe that the above scriptures indicate that it is inappropriate for women to be preachers. At the same time it is wrong to say that women are expected to be silent wall flowers in the church. From what I understand in the scriptures women are expected to be teachers- teaching other women, and mentoring young women, taking care of and teaching God’s Word to the children. Women are allowed to raise questions the same as men. We are all, men and women, supposed to be teachable working together to learn from each other, to pray for one another, and to grow in knowledge and understanding of the Word of God together.
Do we see this happening today?
I do not see it happening. What I do see happening is women dominating men behind the pulpit, or not behind the pulpit in more subtle ways too. Men dominating women in all sorts of abusive ways (mentally, emotionally, verbally, sexually, and spiritually). There is brainwashing and control over others who speak up about anything, or question anything. And anyone who does not submit to the mind control and conformity are put out of the church.