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First, the Bible teaches that women should be subject to men. This is not human opinion but Divine revelation. In Genesis 3 God declared punishment upon both man and woman as a result of their sin. Verse 16 shows that woman’s punishment included that man would rule over her. This principle is repeated throughout the Bible (1 Peter 3:1-6; Ephesians 5:22-24).
We must realize, however, that women should be teachers. They may teach women and children (Titus 2:3-5; 2 Timothy 1:5). They may also participate in studies in which men are taught, provided they remain in subjection, as when Aquilla and Priscilla taught Apollos in Acts 18:26.
But the question is: May a woman publicly address a church assembly or direct a study when men are present? 1 Corinthians 14:34 discusses exactly this circumstance and says: “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…”
1 Timothy 2:11,12 says: “Let the women 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.”
Paul insists that these teachings are not just custom or human opinion, for he adds in 1 Corinthians 14:37: “The things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord.”
Women have a very valuable role in society and in the church. But their role is different from that of men. God commands us to respect the separate roles of men and women that He has ordained.
Click here to read a more thorough study of Bible teaching on this subject.
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Scripture quotations are generally from the New King James Version (NKJV), copyright 1982, 1988 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. used by permission. All rights reserved.