Exploring the biblical theology of Christian egalitarianism

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Introduction

It is commonly acknowledged among evangelical Christians that it is unwise to build a doctrine on one verse or on one passage of scripture. Still, many Christians use 1 Timothy 2:12 as the primary text and cornerstone of their understanding of women in ministry, especially of women as Bible teachers. This verse begins with, “I do not allow a woman to teach …”

1 Timothy 2:12 is the only verse in the entire Bible that places a restriction on a woman teaching. Elsewhere in the Bible, however, there are examples of men who were instructed by women, and these men accepted and appreciated this correction and teaching. [1]

Moreover, Paul mentions over a dozen women as ministry colleagues in his letters, and always in a positive light. What did Paul think, generally, about women teaching? Did he intend to restrict all women from teaching men, which is how many understand 1 Timothy 2:12?

Priscilla’s Ministry and Paul’s Authority

Apollos, an up-and-coming apostle, was teaching in Ephesus when Priscilla and Aquila saw a lack in his teaching, so they corrected him. Luke writes that “they explained to him the way of God more accurately” (Acts 18:26). In the oldest Greek manuscripts of Acts 18:26, Priscilla is named before her husband. In Romans 16:3–16, Priscilla’s name is first in a list of 28 Christians based in Rome. First of 28 Christians!

Surely being mentioned first in Acts 18:26 and Romans 16:3ff says something about the nature and prominence of Priscilla’s ministry in Ephesus and in Rome (cf. Acts 18:18–19; 2 Tim. 4:19).

Some say that Acts 18:26 doesn’t specify that Priscilla and Aquila instructed Apollos in a church meeting, and so Priscilla’s example does not serve as a valid precedent for women teaching in a congregational setting. But what does it matter where Priscilla, with Aquila, corrected Apollos?

By way of example, the authority and influence of Paul’s teaching didn’t change if he was in a synagogue, a public square, a prison cell, a lecture hall, a house church, or having a private conversation. Paul was still the same person, guided by the same Holy Spirit, called and authorised for ministry by God.

We know that Priscilla and Aquila hosted a house church in Rome and in Ephesus (Rom. 16:5; 1 Cor. 16:19–20). And there should be little doubt that these friends of Paul, who had travelled and worked closely with him, frequently gave spoken messages in their house churches that included teaching.

Paul’s Theology of Ministry: Teaching and Prophecy

It is usually Paul’s words in 1 Timothy 2:12 and, to a lesser extent, 1 Corinthians 14:34–35 that are used to silence and restrict the ministry of women.[2] However, his lists of ministries in other passages―Romans 12:6–8, Ephesians 4:11, 1 Corinthians 12:28, 1 Corinthians 14:26, Colossians 3:16―and each of them mentions teaching in some way, does not specify men in the Greek. There is no hint in Paul’s original words in these five passages that the ministry of teaching is for men only or off-limits to women.

Very few people are identified as teachers in the Bible, but many men and women are identified as prophets. There was a respected place for female prophets in Israel, early Judaism, and the early church, and prophecy usually included teaching or instruction. The Corinthians were told, for example, that prophesy is “… so that all may learn and all be encouraged” (1 Cor. 14:31, italics added).

Paul considered prophecy to be the most desirable of the spiritual gifts (1 Cor. 14:1), and he listed prophets and prophesying before teachers and teaching in Romans 12:6–8, 1 Corinthians 12:28, and Ephesians 4:11. As Ben Witherington has pointed out, “one cannot argue that prophesying—whether by women or by men—is less important, less enduring or less official than teaching or preaching.”[3]

Furthermore, Paul’s favourite words for ministers who he knew personally were coworker, diakonos (“minister, deacon”) apostolos (“missionary, apostle”) and labourer. He uses these terms for men such as Timothy and for women such as Priscilla, Junia, Evodia, Syntyche, Phoebe, Persis, and more.[4] Paul valued the ministry of his female colleagues.

Domineering Behaviour in Ephesus

As well as being the only verse in the Bible that prohibits a woman from teaching, 1 Timothy 2:12 is also the only Bible verse where the Greek verb authenteō is used. This word is not related to the usual Greek word (or English word) that means “to have authority.” 1 Timothy 2:12 is not about prohibiting an ordinary or healthy kind of authority.

Cynthia Westfall has looked closely at the surviving ancient texts that contain the verb authenteō. She has observed that “the people who are targets of these actions are harmed, forced against their will (compelled), or at least their self-interest is being overridden because the actions involve an imposition of the subject’s will, ranging from dishonour to lethal force.”[5]

The Vetus Latina (Old Latin) translates authenteō in 1 Timothy 2:12 as dominari (“to dominate”). The Old Latin was produced in the second–fourth centuries when both Koine Greek (the language of the New Testament) and Latin were living languages. To dominate is bad behaviour for women and it is bad behaviour for men. Chrysostom, an early church father, used the same verb in a comment about Colossians 3:19 and said a husband must not dominate (authenteō) his wife.[6]

I suggest the first two phrases of 1 Timothy 2:12 are better understood as, “I do not allow a woman to teach, nor to dominate a man.” But why is Paul only speaking about a woman’s actions here? What is the context of 1 Timothy 2:12?

The Broader Context of 1 Timothy 2:12

When we zoom out from 1 Timothy 2:12, we see that in 1 Timothy 2:8-15, Paul is addressing and correcting problem behaviour from certain members of the Ephesian church: angry quarrelling men in verse 8, overdressed rich women in verses 9–10, and a woman who needed to learn quietly (as it says in verse 11) and not teach, and not domineer a man.[7]

1 Timothy 2:8–15 does not contain Paul’s general teaching on ministry. Rather, it refers to specific people and specific problems in the Ephesian church. Likewise, in 1 Corinthians 14:26–40, Paul silences three groups of unruly speakers in Corinthian assemblies, not just wives who wanted to learn but should keep their questions for home.

The reason Paul wrote 1 Timothy was because of false teaching in the Ephesian church (1 Tim. 1:3ff). The worst false teachers in Ephesus, however, were men, not women (1 Tim. 1:29; 2 Tim. 2:17–18). So it doesn’t make sense that Paul would permanently restrict women from teaching, but not men. It makes more sense that Paul was saying that a certain ill-informed woman shouldn’t teach anyone, and shouldn’t domineer a man who was probably her husband.[8] She needed to learn! (1 Tim. 2:11).

Paul prohibited unsound teaching (1 Timothy) and silenced unruly speaking (1 Cor. 14:26–40) from men as well as from women.[9] On the other hand, he never silenced or stifled edifying ministry from anyone. In his general teaching on spoken ministries, Paul encouraged participation from gifted people and did not specify gender.

We should be cautious about applying 1 Timothy 2:12―the only verse in the Bible that restricts a woman from teaching―to all women for all time, especially to gifted women who have learned and are not domineering (cf. 1 Tim. 2:11). Using one verse as the basis for prohibiting women from teaching, when men are present, is unwise.


Footnotes

[1] For example, King Lemuel’s mother taught him an inspired message, an oracle, that is still relevant and continues to teach men and even kings (Prov. 31:1ff).

[2] The qualifications for overseers in 1 Timothy 3:1–7 are also sometimes used to restrict women.

[3] Ben Witherington, The Paul Quest: The Renewed Search for the Jew of Tarsus (Downers Grove: InterVarsity, 1998), 225.

[4] Paul doesn’t identify any individual church leader in his letters, male or female, with the words poimēn (“pastor”), episkopos (“overseer, bishop”) or presbyteros or presbytera (“elder”).

[5] Cynthia Long Westfall, Paul and Gender: Reclaiming the Apostle’s Vision for Men and Women in Christ (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2016), 292.

[6] See Chrysostom’s Homily 10 on Colossians. Authenteō is translated as “act the despot” in this homily in volume 13 of The Nicene and Post Nicene Fathers of the Christian Church (First series). (Online source: New Advent)

[7] 1 Timothy 2:11–12 is written as an inclusion; these verses belong together, and quiet, calm behaviour (not silence, as in some translations) is emphasised.

[8] After speaking about plural “men” in verse 8 and plural “women” in verses 9–10, Paul uses singular words for “woman/ wife” and “man/ husband” in the Greek of 1 Timothy 2:11–15. And he uses a singular verb, meaning “she will be saved,” in verse 15. I discuss verses 13–15 elsewhere on my website.

[9] The whole of 1 Timothy, from start to finish, was written because of concerns of other/ strange/ different doctrines being taught and spread among the Ephesian Christians (1 Tim. 1:3; 6:3 NASB cf. 1 Tim. 4:1ff).

I wrote this article as an op-ed piece for The Christian Post, an online Christian newspaper based in the USA. You can read it there.

Explore more

My articles that look closer at 1 Timothy 2:12 and surrounding verses can be accessed here.
My articles that look at Paul’s theology of ministry are here.
바울 사역의 신학: 디모데전서 2:12

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30 thoughts on “Why 1 Timothy 2:12 shouldn’t be used to ban women ministers

  1. Yes. My church is discussing this right now. I am sharing this blog with them. https://carolineabbott.com/2021/03/women-cant-speak-in-church-right-ah-wrong-2/

  2. Hi Marg,
    Thank you so much for teaching here. I have learned so much from you.

    I have read several different articles on this verse by various authors. I am still trying to fit it into the context of Paul’s overall teaching. Perhaps I am a little slow, but there is so much to consider.

    Did Priscilla and Aquila have a house church in Ephesus at the time that Paul wrote this letter to Timothy? If so, does that not add emphasis to the point that Paul was talking only about “a woman” and not all women since nowhere did he condemn Priscilla for teaching Apollos?

    If Paul meant that no woman, instead of a woman, could ever teach a man, then this prohibition would have silenced Priscilla, would it not? And if Paul meant to silence Priscilla he would have had abundant opportunity to do so elsewhere, but he didn’t.

    1. Hi Cindy, I don’t know if Priscilla was in Ephesus when 1 Timothy was written, but she does seem to be in Ephesus when 2 Timothy was written: 2 Timothy 4:19.

      If we take 1 Timothy 2:12 to be a blanket statement that applied to all the Christian women in Ephesus it would have affected women like Priscilla, if not Priscilla herself.

      “I permit no woman to teach …” which is what the older NRSV had, is incorrect. The Greek does not say this. The updated edition of the NRSV has, “I do not permit a woman to teach …” which more faithfully reflects the Greek.

  3. It is important to point out that there is very strong evidence that 1 Tim, along with 2 Tim and Tit were not written by Paul. There is also a lot of evidence that the church became misogynistic in the late first century and second century, and sometimes corrupted their manuscripts accordingly. These three “epistles” belong to that era and cannot be used to describe the early Christian faith, which was egalitarian (Gal 3:28).

    1. Richard, is your argument that 1Tim restricts women from leadership but we shouldn’t rely on it because it’s not inspired scripture?

      1. I would not conclude that 1 Tim restricts women from all leadership. Yes, it is not inspired scripture. The teachings of the disputed letters (1 Tim, 2 Tim, Tit, Eph, Col) on women’s roles, is, when taken together, contrary to inspired scripture.
        Oh, and the authorship of 1 Cor 14:34-35 is also disputed, while most of the letter was by Paul.

        1. Once you make that decision, namely, that we can determine after 2000 years, that parts of Scripture and not inspired, you have destroyed the integrity of the whole.
          Sadly, it seems to be the woke trend and churches which have trodden that path are now paying the price when it comes to other matters.
          Yes, there are pockets of thinking which seek to discount Pauline authorship, but such musings have not achieved acceptance to any extent, despite your assertion of “strong evidence.
          The attempt to draw in Gal 3:28 is also very mistaken and not accepted, even by the most vigorous contenders for the ordination of women, for it makes no reference whatsoever to the public office.
          Furthermore, the attempt to proclaim misogyny and use that to dismiss matters is not substantiated and is very poor scholarship.

          1. Hi Wally, some substantiation of my assertions can be found in my published articles and blog posts, which can be accessed here: http://paulandco-workers.blogspot.com
            The pseudonymity of the Pastoral Epistles is accepted by almost all who have explored the issue in detail.

    2. Richard, I agree that 1 and 2 Timothy and Titus were written well after, perhaps two decades after, the undisputed Pauline epistles were written. However, I don’t think that in a relatively short article it is necessary to raise the issue of authorship.

      Also, I’ve had a few busy days, I’ll try and get back to your new article soon.

      1. Thanks.

  4. I remember being taught that Priscilla could teach Apollos because she did it with her husband. So in my congregation women could “share” from the pulpit if their husband or a man was with them.

    Recently a sister church in my denomination also decided that women can have the Teacher role but not lead pastor.

    But where in 1Timothy 2, if it’s universal does it allow for these caveats?

    So I have a harder time from scripture teaching the universal restriction of women than the clear pattern – Paul proudly worked with women in ministry and honored/encouraged their gifts of teaching and leadership

    1. Hi Hashim, It seems that many churches have a line that women cannot cross. There are a wide variety of ways this line is understood and a variety of ways it is implemented, and most of these have no correspondence with how first-century churches operated.

    2. Hashim, the opening statements in the article about building a doctrine on one verse is a worthy caveat.

      You are right in that it is harder to teach from Scripture the universal restriction on women, for there are so many verses indicate that ALL the ministries are open to the WHOLE of the Church, the only requirement is calling and gifting in whatever ministry.

  5. Good, accessible summary Marg. I totally agree regarding authenteō. I think the evidence has been convincingly demonstrated to draw the conclusions you note and I only wish that matter can be put to bed. Do you have any thoughts on the present tense of epitrepō? It need be no stronger than ‘I am not permitting’ [implying ‘in these circumstances’, i.e. picking up 2:1], rather than a universal instruction. Thanks for your work – it is an invaluable ministry to many seeking well-informed interpretation and background.

    1. Hi Tim, It’s nice to hear from you. I wish the matter was resolved too. 1 Timothy 2:12 has been made to some very heavy lifting that it was never designed to do.

      I think there is something slightly circumspect in the choice of word, epitrepō, and the choice of present indicative. (Epitrepō is usually written in the aorist in the NT and other texts.) 1 Timothy 2:12 is not an especially strong or direct statement.

      I’ve written an article on epitrepō here: https://margmowczko.com/1-timothy-212-and-1-corinthians-1434-epitrepo/
      In the past year, a person named Mojay has been leaving helpful comments pushing back against some of my claims on epitrepō. This person may well have a point. I’m listening and keeping my options open.

  6. Have you engaged and interacted with the interpretation that Paul’s use of the infinitive – διδάσκειν (to teach) – is using that verb form in the sense of a noun? Γυναικὶ δὲ διδάσκειν οὐκ ἐπιτρέπω, οὐδὲ αὐθεντεῖν ἀνδρός, ἀλλ᾽ εἶναι ἐν ἡσυχίᾳ. (1Ti 2:12 BFT). That is common in New Testament Greek and we also sometimes use infinitives as nouns in English. In that case it would be apparent that he is speaking of the pastoral office. In years past I’ve been privileged to pastor some gifted women who were skilled teachers, but never were they pastors. One lady in particular worked as a pioneer missionary in a part of the US where no men teachers and preachers were serving at the time. She has been in the glory for decades. I’d recommend you perhaps check D. Edmund Hiebert’s concise commentaries. A. T. Robertson may also have a statement. I’ve divested myself of several print books and don’t them available at this time.

    1. Hello Fred, I’m short of time today so I’ll leave a short comment. I’ve looked at how didask– words are used in the Pastorals in a comment here:
      https://margmowczko.com/authentein-bad-behaviour-1-tim-212/

      A.T. Robertson wrote,
      “To teach (διδασκειν). In the public meeting clearly. And yet all modern Christians allow women to teach Sunday school classes. One feels somehow that something is not expressed here to make it all clear.” (Source: StudyLight.org)

      I especially like his last sentence here, and have quoted it previously on my blog.

  7. I always enjoy reading your articles and learning from them.
    Especially now with the doc called Shiny Happy People.
    Your work is needed now more than ever.

  8. As I see it, the most important thing to say about this verse – beyond that we don’t know the background situation in Ephesus – is that the woman or women in this verse is the same as the woman or women in verse 11. This is more important than whether it was one or several women, or what the exact force of the word «epitrepō» is. The woman or women in verse 11 are learning basic discipleship. It is these women that should not teach or … authentein.

    That they are the same women is evident from several things. One is the inclusio you mention, showing verses 11 and 12 to be a tight unit. Also, Paul says that the women in verse 12 should remain in quietness. And this quietness can hardly be understood as anything else but the same quietness as in verse 11. If the women in verse 12 are to remain in the same quietness as in verse 11, then they must be the same women.

    To me, this justifies inserting the word «such» in front of «woman». While «such» has no counterpart in the greek, it will only clarify what has to be the case: «For such a woman to teach, however, is something I don’t permit, …».

  9. In 1 Timothy 2, Paul says women can’t teach and then makes an argument from creation. “For Adam was formed first then Eve” and then goes on to say Eve was the one deceived.

    Very strange if it was one woman and he was addressing a unique problem in that particular church. 1) why not just call out that one woman then?

    2) Why argue from creation then? That certainly doesn’t seem to belong .

    That’s why I just can’t get on board with that argument.

    1. Hi Amber, there are many ways of understanding 1 Timothy 2:11-15, so it’s fine if you can’t on board with my understanding. However, Paul doesn’t say that women can’t teach.

      Why do you think Paul isn’t calling out that one woman? It sounds to me like it’s one woman and one man. The language Paul uses in 1 Timothy 2:11-15 for “man/husband,” “woman/wife,” and “she will be saved” is singular in the Greek.

      “Why argue from creation then?” Paul doesn’t say why. But it’s plausible that 1 Timothy 2:13-14, which are correct summaries of Genesis 2 and 3, is a correction of a woman’s flawed teaching. We know that people were mishandling the Law (1 Tim 1:6-8) and Genesis 2 and 3 are part of the Law. There were a lot of strange interpretations and stories of Adam and Eve circulating in the ancient world.

      1. But you don’t think Paul wrote it, right?

        1. I’m keeping my mind open, but I do think he wrote. I just think he wrote it when he got back from Spain, a decade or two after he wrote Romans.

          Have we talked about Paul’s date of death? Was that conversation with you or someone else? The vocab of the Pastorals is undoubedy different to that of the undisputed letters, but my writing has changed drammatically in the last decade of writing. And Paul could have used a more sophisticated ameneusnsis for the later laters.

          And I apologise for not getting back about your paper. With the SBC thing last week, I’ve been swamped!

          1. I see. Sorry, I misunderstood you. We did not discuss the date of Paul’s death, I think. 1 Tim 4:12 says that Timothy was young. This is a problem even if it was written in the 60s, not to mention the 70s.

          2. That’s a valid point about Timothy’s age.

  10. Hello,
    1 Timothy, gives two clear reasons why women are not to teach in the church. Verse 13 states, “Adam was first formed then Eve.” Verse 14 states that, “Adam was not deceived, Eve being deceived was in transgression.” Saying that woman were uneducated at that time is not true. Clearly Priscilla was educated enough to assist her husband Aquila in correcting Apollos in his teaching. Not only that but Deborah lead Israel for 40 years. However, she lost her gift of prophecy because of PRIDE. In addition, Paul gives an in depth description in 1 Timothy ch.3 covering requirements of a bishop and a deacon. (Keep in mind Paul was a very highly educated man.) He states clear as day that these offices are for men and not women. He could’ve wrote, “ A man or a woman who desires the office of a bishop.” But he didn’t he specifically designated the office for men and men only.

    The problem with the modern day churches is bring political issues into the house of God. We as believers in Christ need to first understand that the church belongs to God. How do any of us have a right to go into a house belonging to another and declare what we see suitable? The church should be ran, govern, and overseen by the instructions given to us in the Lords word.

    Matthew 21:13 “And said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves.” Now this is a statement made by the Lord Jesus himself, but yet women still go into the house of prayer without their heads covered, even though the scripture clearly demands of them. 1 corinthians 11: 5-6 “But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoureth her head: for that is even all one as if she were shaven. For if the woman be not covered, let her also be shorn: but if it be a shame for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her be covered.” The problem is women have been consumed by this feminist, movement and care more about being feminist than being followers of God.

    Yes, Deborah was the leader of Israel, and in her own right a prophet. Does not mean she was the head of her husband at home. Just because you are a woman with an important job does not make you the head of your family. A woman can be the leader of a large corporation and even a country, but when it comes to her household, her husband is the leader. That is the way God intended it to be. That is one of the biggest problems with society today women are delegated more power, and some think that power should exceed to the household.

    Back to the main subject. I’m going to close out this final statement. The church is God’s house. It is ran by his order another politics.

    1. Tylor, You may have a different opinion than mine on a few issues, but you haven’t actually mentioned or discussed what I’ve written in the article. And you’ve brought up a few topics that are unrelated to the article. That is poor commenting ettiquette. Did you even read the article? Nevertheless, I will engage directly with your comment.

      There are a couple of ideas in your comment that I have never heard anyone express, and I’ve listened to a lot of explanations and a lot of guff designed to discredit or minimise the ministries of women in the Bible.

      You said, “1 Timothy, gives two clear reasons why women are not to teach in the church.”

      1 Timothy 2:13-14 are correct summaries of Genesis 2 and 3, but Paul doesn’t say that they are reasons. Paul doesn’t say why he brings up Adam and Eve. I discuss these verses here: https://margmowczko.com/tag/1-timothy-213-14/

      You said, “Clearly Priscilla was educated enough to assist her husband Aquila in correcting Apollos in his teaching.”

      Or was it the otherway around considering that Priscilla’s name is first, before her husband’s, in Acts 18:26 (in the oldest Greek maniscripts)?: Aquila was educated enough to assist Priscilla.

      Priscilla and Aquila are mentioned by name, and always as a couple, in six New Testament verses:
      Acts 18:2 (where Aquila’s name is first);
      Acts 18:18 (Priscilla first);
      Acts 18:26 (Priscilla first in older Greek texts);
      Romans 16:3 (Prisca first);
      1 Corinthians 16:19 (Aquila first);
      2 Timothy 4:19 (Prisca first).

      You said, “However, [Deborah] lost her gift of prophecy because of PRIDE.”

      You won’t find that idea in the Bible. Only good things are said about Deborah in the Bible. Your idea has no basis whatsoever. I discuss what the Bible says about Deborah here: https://margmowczko.com/deborah-and-the-no-available-men-argument/

      You said, “[Paul] states clear as day that these offices are for men and not women.”

      Paul never states that only a man can be an overseer (episkopos) or a deacon (diakonos). That might be your interpretation, but Paul doesn’t actually say it. In fact, he uses the word diakonos for Phoebe. Moreover, Paul never identifies any of his fellow ministers as an episkopos. The words he uses most commonly for fellow ministers, such as coworker and diakonos, he uses for men and for women.

      You said, “Now this is a statement made by the Lord Jesus himself, but yet women still go into the house of prayer without their heads covered …”

      For someone who likes to use the word “clear” when speaking about scripture, some of your ideas are way off. Jesus was not speaking about women wearing head-coverings in church meetings in Matthew 21:12-13. He was speaking about the money exchangers who were ripping off the people who had come to the temple.

      1 Corinthians 11:5-6 are the only verses in the entire Bible that can be interpreted to mean that women need to cover their heads with a cloth covering. However, these verses are not about women in general, but applied to the Corinthian women who were involved in the vocal ministries of praying and prophesying in church meetings. I outline my interpretation of 1 Corintians 11:2-16 here:
      https://margmowczko.com/1-corinthians-112-16-meaning/

      You said, “Yes, Deborah was the leader of Israel, and in her own right a prophet. Does not mean she was the head of her husband at home.”

      No one is suggesting that Deborah was the head of her husband, so why bring it up? Furthermore, it’s possible Deborah wasn’t even married. I discuss that idea here: https://margmowczko.com/deborah-woman-of-lappidoth/

      You said, “when it comes to her household, her husband is the leader.”

      My article is not about family dynamics and households, but since you brought it up, there is no verse that says men (in general) are to lead their wives or their households. None. Neither Jesus, Paul, Peter, or any NT author, when they are addressing men directly, ever tell husbands to lead their wives or their households.

      Paul uses the word “love” 6 times when addressing husbands in Ephesians 5, and yet some Christians seem to be obsessed with husbands leading. This obsession with who is the boss is the very thing Jesus warned about a few times in the Gospel of Matthew: https://margmowczko.com/jesus-teaching-on-leadership-and-community-in-matthews-gospel/

      My blog, which I pay for, is not the place for you to vent your own personal issues with society. If you choose to respond again, please respond directly to my article or directly to my comment rather than just expressing your own opinions. And please double check what the scriptures say before making claims about what you think they say.

      1. I am so grateful for this response. Of all the judges in the OT, Deborah had (according to my limited understanding) few character flaws in comparison to her contemporaries. Nothing is mentioned in scripture of her home life except for the mention of who her husband was. We have to assume her role as judge was honored by her husband. It’s interesting to wonder how all that worked out!

        1. Hi Lea, You’re right that nothing bad is said about Deborah. What is said about her in the Bible is all good.
          https://margmowczko.com/deborah-and-the-no-available-men-argument/

          It’s possible Deborah wasn’t married when she was leading Israel. The Hebrew phrase eshet lappidot in Judges 4:4 may not mean “wife of Lappidoth.” I dicuss this here:
          https://margmowczko.com/deborah-woman-of-lappidoth/

          But even if she was married, there may not have been a problem with her leading Israel while being married.

  11. […] It is unwise for churches to make strong doctrinal statements based on one or two Bible verses, especially verses that address problems in specific churches. […]

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