Join Michael Patton, Tim Kimberley and Sam Storms as they discuss difficult passages in the Bible.

C Michael Patton
C Michael Patton

C. Michael Patton is the primary contributor to the Parchment and Pen/Credo Blog. He has been in ministry for nearly twenty years as a pastor, author, speaker, and blogger. Find him on Patreon Th.M. Dallas Theological Seminary (2001), president of Credo House Ministries and Credo Courses, author of Now that I'm a Christian (Crossway, 2014) Increase My Faith (Credo House, 2011), and The Theology Program (Reclaiming the Mind Ministries, 2001-2006), host of Theology Unplugged, and primary blogger here at Parchment and Pen. But, most importantly, husband to a beautiful wife and father to four awesome children. Michael is available for speaking engagements. Join his Patreon and support his ministry

    9 replies to "Theology Unplugged: Problem Passages 16 – 1 Timothy 2:11 – Can a Woman Teach a Man?"

    • Ed Kratz

      Oh boy, I have questions

      1) There does seem to be an inherent contradiction between Michael and Tim’s position about why Paul makes the prohibition (I like Tim’s btw). If men tend to be slothful, what makes them more apt to lead?

      2) It seems like you all were translating what “teach or have authority” meant in a contemporary setting to mean pastoral authority. Do you all just restrict that to the governing body of the church or to the church or does it apply to any leadership position? As you know that often multiple layers of leadership exists.

      3) Given the correlation that Tim made to women prophesying, would you say that in today’s setting that translates into edifying folks in the word. So if they prophesied to the church freely then, what would edifying look like to the body, particularly related to public ministry?

      4) If women shouldn’t teach because they are prone to deception, then why is it ok to teach women and children now? Honest question. I also note that the passage for which we base the authority and inerrancy of scripture rests on its teaching to Timothy by women (his mom and grandmom).

      5) Do snakes have butts? Nobody really answered that one 🙂

    • Irene

      Can’t wait til the next series! (;

      Seriously, I think it will be a good thing. I think you guys will, in the process of bringing people deeper into Protestant doctrine, clear up some caricatures and misconceptions about the Catholic Church…..and help keep your listeners theologically well-informed!

      There’s a well known Bishop Sheen saying, something like:
      There may be millions of people in America who think they hate the Catholic Church, but not a hundred who hate what she actually teaches.

      In today’s culture, we need to work together!

    • Irene

      I particularly liked the comments about teaching and holding authority as being like combat. Excluding women then makes sense for one at least this reason, that women are by nature more compassionate, merciful, empathetic, ready to compromise; but men are more aggressive, less emotional and less fickle.
      This would be one answer to Lisa’s #4 above, which I think was a great question about well why is it ok to teach women and children. In the combat context, when it’s church’s teaching vs the world, it’s a mans job to hold the line. But, women are appropriate when building up the church within its own safe enclosures.
      Hmmmm…..this made more sense to me before I wrote it down.

      I think the bottom line, primary reason for men only with teaching authority is that men (or priests) are acting In Persona Christi.

    • Steve Martin

      Only if the man is teachable.

    • Richard Worden Wilson

      OK, so Paul’s argument appears to be that women shouldn’t teach (men) because Adam was not deceived but Eve was deceived and became a transgressor. Apparently he sees a genetic pattern here. Does anyone else see a problem with Paul’s ignoring the fact that Adam was also a transgressor? The argument that men are more inclined toward recognizing the truth and being more willing to fight for it also suffers a catastrophic flaw. If that were the case Adam would then have resisted the temptation and refused to compromise. Instead of following this line of argument, the Pauline text suggests that Adam knew that he was going to sin but went ahead and did it willfully!! How is this in any sense better than sinning while being deceived? To whom much is given much shall be required, right? So, if we read the creation order as defining spiritual roles, the man, men, are no better qualified to teach the truth than women because even if men know the truth they are apparently by nature inclined to dismiss the truth and do (and teach) what is false despite knowing the truth. Since this is the textual evidence, exactly how is Adam an example of how men are designed for teaching and leadership and women not?

      Saying as one of you did that the texts suggest what men are SUPPOSED TO DO seems a bit of special pleading, made up to satisfy your expectations perhaps, confusing descriptive with prescriptive evidence. I am thinking here particularly of the argument that men in church are more passive than God wants them to be–as though most churches aren’t mostly run by men already. Really.

      The alternative to our ignoring the false logic inherent in Paul’s argument is to acknowledge that it is an _ad hoc_ situation specific argument that shouldn’t be applied to all historical contexts. Asserting my male proclivity toward teaching authority I’d suggest you would do well (unless I’ve been deceived) to no longer ignore the apparent problems with the “complimentarian” approach…

    • loo

      Just listening to this now… so I may add more later… egalitarian denominations: Canadian Alliance (just voted), Canadian Vineyard, certain Canadian Pentacostal churches, most Mennonite churches in the west of Canada, to name a few.

      Also, are they going to add that Junia was an apostle, pricilla taught Apollos? and Paul praises her for it…

    • loo

      See Gord Fee on Roman Household codes:

    • loo

      Adam was formed first, then Eve … um, well that is incorrect, Homo Sapiens arose as a population of hominids about 200,000 years ago. Not that I expect Paul to know this, so it shows how limited Paul’s understanding of humanity is. Now, if God chose 2 people – Adam and Eve and chose Adam first, fine – but we aren’t all descended from one breeding pair (Adam and Eve) so, yeah, biology is trumped from this argument.

      Mike: for someone who can’t see that spiritual gifts are given to all believers, for all times, hard to follow your logic on these obscure verses that Paul undoes himself as he praises Pricilla for her teaching, Junia for her leading, and Phoebe for her leading as being worth much today.

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