The comments on the original post have gone over 400 comments and for some reason the original page is not properly loading just by the link so I will need to find out what the problem is. It does look fine when one goes to http://strivetoenter.com/wim and then scroll down to the March 26, 2010 post called “Adam and Eve and the sin nature that comes through the man – how does this affect the issue of women in ministry?” It is loading okay that way so that one can read the post but when one tries to read the comments that page won’t load. **update – It looks like the 175 pages of comments was just too much for the blog post and there is nothing I can do to get the comments to show up. In future I will try to start a second page sooner so that this doesn’t happen again** (Note – Dec 2012: I have updated the blog and I think all the comments are now back.)
In the meantime the comments can continue on this post.
The dialog has been lively and Mark our regular complementarian blog visitor has been going through his Calvinist proof texts with me as we dialog on John 6 verse by verse discussing sin and free will. Future comments should continue on this new part 2 post. …
According to those who have been followed a trail left by our old friend Neopatriarch (who many of you may recall was the young complementarian who used to post challenges on this blog until he left in exasperation when his arguments didn’t make the grade), he has apparently been presently himself recently on several discussion boards as the one who has refuted my exegesis of 1 Timothy 2:11-15. How interesting that he has been refuted time and time again and is still claiming victory. Also how interesting that he has picked me as the one who has the exegesis that has to be refuted. Well, I am quite flattered by all of his attention, and even though he is undoubtedly a very intelligent young man, his attempts to refute my sound argument have only called attention to my argument. I guess I should say thanks. …
I am creating a new post to continue the great discussion that we have been having on a previous post while I am out of the country. The original discussion is on this post http://mmoutreach.org/wim/2009/07/05/wayne-grudem-part-2/ and since we have grown to over 240 comments, I would ask that we continue our discussions with Mark the complementarian here.
Neopatriarch has taken a second stab at trying to refute my teaching on 1 Timothy 2:11-15 as he has rewritten his article. Once again he has failed to poke a hole in my argument but this time he has dropped the charge that I am exasperating. Good for Neopatriarch for taking a much kinder tone in his introduction! He nows calls it his “canned response”. From reading the comments, it appears that Neopatriarch has come to the understanding that brothers and sisters in Christ can argue their position passionately without attacking the other person’s character and their motives. This is certainly a change in his approach and I commend him for that. …
On July 27th, 2009 Mike Seaver and I started a 10 session debate on Women in Ministry where I was able to ask Mike questions on his position, he answered my questions and then we each had one response. Mike is still considering whether he will continue with another 10 sessions where Mike will ask me questions and I get the privilege to answer his questions on women in ministry.
Today I would like to summarize the 10 sessions that I had with Mike. …
There is a good natured debate going on over at the Women in Ministry blog conference at the Presbyterian church in Ryde blog between myself and Peter Barnes. Those who would like to watch an Aussie and a Canadian duke it out over the issue of whether there is a “law” that forbids women to teach the bible to men can see the “brawl” (tooth and nail fight!) happening on this post linked here.
In the meantime I am visiting with my elderly folks for the next few days and will be in and out of my own blog as I have time as I also try to make time to help an Aussie realize that all of his arguments are invalid 🙂
In the last blog post Cheryl Schatz posed her fifth set of questions to Mike Seaver regarding their discussion/debate on women in ministry. Links to all the previous questions and responses is at the end of this post. This discussion will be Cheryl’s response to Mike’s answers on question #5 and Mike’s rejoinder. Mike’s matching blog post is here. …
This is question #5 of a 10 question discussion/debate between Mike Seaverand Cheryl Schatz on the issue of women in ministry. The discussion will take the form of five questions posed by Cheryl Schatz with answers by Mike Seaver and then five questions posed by Mike Seaver with answers by Cheryl Schatz. Each question and answer session will be followed up in the next post by one response each from both Mike and Cheryl. Links to the questions and the responses will be at the bottom of this post.
In the last blog post Cheryl Schatz posed her 4th set of questions to Mike Seaver regarding their discussion/debate on women in ministry. Links to all the previous questions and responses is at the end of this post. This discussion will be Cheryl’s response to Mike’s answers on question #4 and Mike’s rejoinder.
This is question #4 of a 10 question discussion/debate between Mike Seaverand Cheryl Schatz on the issue of women in ministry. The discussion will take the form of five questions posed by Cheryl Schatz with answers by Mike Seaver and then five questions posed by Mike Seaver with answers by Cheryl Schatz. Each question and answer session will be followed up in the next post by one response each from both Mike and Cheryl. Links to the questions and the responses will be at the bottom of this post. Mike’s corresponding post on his blog is here.
In the last blog post Cheryl Schatz posed her third set of questions to Mike Seaver regarding their debate on women in ministry. Links to all the previous questions and responses is at the end of this post. This discussion will be Cheryl’s response to Mike’s answers on question #3 and Mike’s rejoinder.
This is question #3 of a 10 question debate between Mike Seaver and Cheryl Schatz on the issue of women in ministry. The discussion will take the form of five questions posed by Cheryl Schatz with answers by Mike Seaver and then five questions posed by Mike Seaver with answers by Cheryl Schatz. Each question and answer session will be followed up in the next post by one response each from both Mike and Cheryl. Links to the questions and the responses will be at the bottom of this post.
In the last blog post Cheryl Schatz posed her second set of questions to Mike Seaver regarding their discussion/debate on women in ministry. Links to all the previous questions and responses is at the end of this post. This discussion will be Cheryl’s response to Mike’s answers on question #2 and Mike’s rejoinder.
Regarding Mike’s denial that there is a need for a law to have a second witness:
This is question #2 of a 10 question discussion/debate between Mike Seaver and Cheryl Schatz on the issue of women in ministry. The discussion will take the form of five questions posed by Cheryl Schatz with answers by Mike Seaver and then five questions posed by Mike Seaver with answers by Cheryl Schatz. Each question and answer session will be followed up in the next post by one response each from both Mike and Cheryl. Links to the questions and the responses will be at the bottom of this post. Mike’s corresponding post on his blog is here.
Last post Mike Seaver and Cheryl Schatz started a discussion/debate on women in ministry. Here is a link to Cheryl’s Question #1given to Mike. This post will be Cheryl’s response to Mike’s answers and Mike’s response to Cheryl’s response. Mike’s corresponding post on his Role Calling blog is here.
Today is the first post of a discussion between Mike Seaver and Cheryl Schatz on the issue of women in ministry. The discussion will take the form of five questions posed by Cheryl Schatz with answers by Mike Seaver and then five questions posed by Mike Seaver with answers by Cheryl Schatz. The format will be as follows: …
Stay tuned to this blog for a discussion/debate between Mike Seaver and myself starting on Monday, July 27th, 2009.
I have been in email contact with Mike Seaver in a very cordial way over the issue of women in ministry and he has agreed to discuss this issue with me publicly on both my blog and Mike’s blog simultaneously.
I have posed 5 sets of questions to Mike and he has posed 5 questions to me. My first question to Mike and his answer will go online on July 27th. Two days after that we will both post my response to his answer and Mike’s concluding response. Both of our blogs will be open for comments and you may want to check out both of our blogs for comments as I am sure that Mike has a different audience than I do. …
This is a response to an article called “A Deeper Look into: 1 Timothy 2:12” by an author posting by the email address of email@example.com on September 23, 2008. I will leave his name off this post.
There are so many fallacies in the article that I hardly know where to start. However, let me start with the area that caused so many problems a year ago and I will give here what I should have said in the debate. The section I will be addressing is called:
What the Term “Quiet/Silent” Means
**See comments at the end** The author of this particular piece receives much of his information from an individual and ministry that he is very supportive of. His mentor in a debate a year ago made it clear that silence in 1 Timothy 2:12 does not mean complete silence, but rather quietness. He stated in that debate that if Paul was stopping a false deceived teacher from teaching her error to her husband (as I have shown from the context of 1 Timothy 2:11-15 and as he was trying to refute), then Paul used the wrong word and it should have been the Greek word meaning complete silence, otherwise, as this person said in our debate, it would mean that Paul is saying that this deceived woman can teach her error to her husband “just a little bit“. Hear the short audio clip here where this mentor denies that the word from 1 Timothy 2:12 means silence. Click here: Denial that 1 Timothy 2:12 means silence
This clip was taken from our audio debate a year ago. For the reasons why I am refuting a particular person’s theology but not using their name, please refer to this statement.
Well, let’s just take the reasoning and apply it to his own interpretation to see if doing something “just a little bit” will work for him. This “author”** writes:
This term “silence” is again used in 1 Timothy 2:12, but we can see Paul is using it in the opposite manner as opposed to 1 Tim 2:2. 1 Timothy 2:12 says, “I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over men, but to be silent.” It says not to have authority over men, but to be silent. In other words, quietness/silence here means the opposite of having authority over man. So it reads, do not exercise authority over men, but instead be silent.
This post is a separation of the post called Is ordination a requirement for a female pastor? since it was brought to my attention that the two streams of thought were too much for one post. This post will deal with the ordination of Paul by Jesus as an apostle.
Paul was not ordained by any man yet he claimed to be an apostle ordained by Jesus Christ and chosen to be a witness to the resurrection just as the other eleven were chosen as witnesses of the resurrection.
Matthias was ordained by men, chosen as one of two candidates who were then presented to God for the final decision. God did not speak forth either by prophecy or word of knowledge or through the gifts of the Holy Spirit in choosing Matthias. Rather than a direct word of God, Matthias was chosen by the casting of lots. The question that I asked was whether the decision of men is involved in the gifting and calling of God?
It was disciple’s decision to chose two candidates and Paul was not a candidate put forth by the Apostles because they did not consider that the decision for the twelfth apostle was to be made in the far distant future or that they were not personally responsible for initiating the process. Rather they believed that a witness to the resurrection had to be someone who was among their midst from the beginning so that he could be a witness to the resurrection. Yet Paul was indeed chosen by Jesus to be a witness to the resurrection even though he had not been with the apostles from the beginning.
Let’s examine the ordination requirement of the replacement apostle to Judas. It is found in Psalm 109:8.
Psalm 109:8 Let his days be few; Let another take his office.
The inspired wording says “Let another take his office”. Notice it doesn’t say “Let a group of men give him his office.” The onus is on the successor to Judas to do the taking. When Barsabbas and Matthias were picked by the apostles as two possible replacements, did Matthias say that Jesus had picked him as a witness to the resurrection? Did Matthias give a testimony that he was the one to take the office? No, he did not.
The word in the Greek for “take” is lambánõ. According to the Complete Word Study Dictionary, in the NT, this Greek word means:
to actively take, and, partially in the pass. sense, to receive
So it is an action word that primarily means to “take” and this is why nearly every translation renders it as “take”. What was the “office” that the replacement was to take? It was the “office” of a legal witness to the resurrection. The disciples make this clear in Acts 1:22
…one of these must become a witness with us of His resurrection.
Judas failed to be a witness of Jesus’ resurrection because in his unfaithfulness he betrayed Jesus and because of his betrayal he committed suicide before the resurrection happened. The replacement for this “office” had to be one who would “take” it himself. The “taking” of the “office” would be a personal witness that one has been called by Jesus Christ as an official witness to the resurrection, and one “takes” the office by claiming and proving their ordination by Jesus.
Did Matthias “take” the office of official witness to the resurrection by his own testimony? It appears that he did not otherwise there would not have been a need to cast lots. Matthias’ testimony that he had been picked by Jesus as the witness to the resurrection would have made such an act of casting lots totally unnecessary. There is no record that Matthias ever claimed to be personally picked by Jesus nor is there any record that the eleven disciples received a witness from Matthias that he was the one who was to “take” the “office” of witness to the resurrection. Instead of Matthias taking the office at the stage where the choice was to be made, the disciples chose to cast lots as an act of their faith that God should be the one who makes the choice.
My question continues in asking did Paul take the “office” of witness to the resurrection? Yes, absolutely! Paul claimed to be an apostle of Jesus Christ, picked to be a witness to the resurrection by the very ordination of Jesus himself. Paul’s ordination was completely opposite to the ordination of Matthias whose ordination proves to be from men alone with no outward miracles or a witness by Matthias himself that he was picked by Jesus as the others had been.
Now how does all of this relate to the ordination of a women Pastors? I personally believe that a true God-ordained choice of Pastor should be only to ratify and recognize what God has already chosen. Man’s ordination cannot make one a Pastor nor can the failure of some to recognize God’s gifting take away one’s gifting and calling from God. Paul’s ordination as an apostle of Jesus was in no way lessened because he did not have the ordination of men. Paul’s proof of his ordination was in his signs and wonders and revelations that stood the test of a true apostle. It was his actions that proved his claims. No ordination of man was necessary.
Have you ever met a Pastor that was ordained but who did not have the fruits of the Spirit or the heart of a shepherd? Such a one is not a true Pastor gifted by Jesus himself. Jesus said that there would be hirelings who do not care for the sheep but who are there as shepherds for other reasons. These hirelings run away when the wolves come to make a meal of the sheep. The fact that they have been ordained by a church cannot truly make them a gift to the church. Only Jesus’ choice and gifting can do that.
Eph 4:7 But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift.
Eph 4:8 Therefore it says, “WHEN HE ASCENDED ON HIGH, HE LED CAPTIVE A HOST OF CAPTIVES, AND HE GAVE GIFTS TO MEN.”
Eph 4:11 And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers,
While there are apostles beyond the twelve who have been gifted by God for service to the church, there are only twelve apostles who formed the foundation of the church along with the cornerstone who is Jesus. Is Paul a member of that special foundation of the church, or is he only one of the other gifted apostles who have been gifted for the service of the body of Christ but not as special foundational apostles? While I believe, as many others do, that Paul was chosen by Jesus as the twelfth apostle, this is something that we can discuss and debate and see what we see in scripture to support our viewpoint. I will be moving the comments from the other post to this one so that we can keep the flow of our arguments.
While I have made a very strong point of the Greek grammar in 1 Timothy 2:15 with the singular “she” and the plural “they” (no specific gender for “they”), some have been trying hard to wiggle out of the implications that Paul is referring to a specific woman because the only living person at that time that “she” can refer back to is the woman Paul is stopping from teaching in verse 12. Verse 15 has a very specific grammar construction with both “she” AND “they” referenced. I have made the argument that “she” cannot be the same thing as “they” otherwise 1 Timothy 2:15 would have improper Greek grammar. The only way to keep the grammar within the rules is for “they” to be people (at least one other person) in addition to the “she”. Paul could have said “She will be saved….if she…” or “They will be saved…if they…” and both of these could be general statements about either women or generic woman, but it would be improper to say “She will be saved…if they….” if “she” and “they” are the exact same thing.
Back in September of 2007 I had an audio debate with Matt Slick of CARM and since that time Matt has been trying to find a way to refute my exegesis and prove and “she” is the exact same thing as “they”. He cannot prove such a thing since it is improper Greek grammar so it is interesting to note that he is now stating that the Holy Spirit can inspire an error in the Greek grammar if he wants to. I can hardly believe that an evangelical apologist would resort to noodling with the Greek grammar in order to keep his biased view that Paul is restricting all women for all of time from teaching true biblical doctrine to men. But at the same time that Matt is setting up such a charge against the Holy Spirit of inspiring an error in the grammar, his own Greek expert is refuting his premise. Let’s see how this is done.
On May 22, 2008 Matt Slick’s Faith and Reason show, Matt had on his radio program some students studying Greek and with them is Barry Wilson, Matt’s Greek expert from the Charnock Institute of the Bible.
The next question that Matt Slick asks is if the students think that the Holy Spirit would ever inspire anyone and have them make a grammar error? You can hear the student answer “no”. Listen to the audio clip here.
Matt Slick then asks an amazing question. He asks if they think that the Holy Spirit could inspire an apostle to write something but this apostle doesn’t seem to understand the Koine Greek grammar rules so the Holy Spirit inspired grammatical errors through an ignorant apostle. Here Matt is referring to 1 Timothy 2:15 and he is implying that the apostle Paul broke the Greek grammar rules because he didn’t understand the Greek grammar. Thus he says that the Holy Spirit inspired a passage with grammar errors through Paul on purpose(!) Listen to the amazing audio clip where Matt Slick implies that the Apostle Paul was an uneducated man in regards to Greek grammar!
Next one of the female students tells Matt that “they” includes “she” but includes more as in “women” (plural). This Greek student is correct in that a singular cannot be exactly the same thing as a plural. “She” can be included in the “they”, but “she” cannot be the exact same thing as “they”. This is exactly what I have been telling Matt all along. Listen to the audio file here.
Matt then says that he calls his vice-president, Diane Sellner, “women!” sometimes. He says that we can “play” with words and break the rules because it isn’t a sentence. He is noodling with words and trying to make a case that the Holy Spirit also noodled with the Greek words and the Greek grammar in 1 Timothy 2:15. Listen to the audio file here.
While Matt Slick claims that the Holy Spirit has purposely inspired grammar errors into the biblical text, his vice-president, Diane Sellner has previously argued with me that the Greek grammar rules have changed. She says that what looks like a grammar error now wasn’t a grammar error back then and so what is inspired in the text wasn’t actually an error back when it was written although it looks like a grammar error now. So we have the vice president saying that 1 Timothy 2:15 looks like a grammar error but the rules have changed and Matt Slick is arguing that it was actually a grammar error when it was written just like it is a grammar error now and it was put there on purpose! They are contradicting each other and contradicting the inspiration of the inerrant text. Those who hold to the full inspiration of the original texts do not believe that there are errors in the inspired text.
I wrote to Matt Slick’s Greek grammar expert and asked him some pertinent questions. I found him very gracious and kind. I asked him if the Greek grammar has changed since the time that it was written and he said “No.” So there goes Diane Sellner’s argument. How about Matt Slick’s argument? I asked Barry Wilson if there were any grammar errors in the original text and he answered me the same way that he answered Matt. He said that there are no grammar errors in the inspired biblical text. I also asked him if 1 Timothy 2 was poetry. He said “No.” So there goes Matt Slick’s argument. I am continually amazed at how hierarchists will try anything to wiggle out of the implications of the text.
For the record there are no grammar errors in the inspired text. Paul said exactly what the Holy Spirit inspired through him and the Holy Spirit did not make any grammar errors. When Paul (and the Holy Spirit) said “she”, the reference can only grammatically go back to a single “woman” in verses 11 & 12 since Eve is dead and gone and she cannot do things in the future. The grammar in verse 15 is specifically a singular “she” PLUS a plural “they”. There is no precedent at all for saying that “she” is the exact same as “they”. This would make it a grammar error and that is not possible. No, Matt, “she” is a single woman and “they” is the single woman PLUS at least one other person. You have tried and failed to dismantle the inspired grammar in order to keep your prejudice against women who teach doctrine with authority as 1 Peter 4:11 commands for the one gifted is to speak as if speaking the very oracles of God.
I have also requested to meet personally with Matt Slick and his wife to discuss a Matthew 18 issue with him. Matt has consistently called me bad names because I hold strongly to the inspiration of the scriptures with the inspired words and the inspired grammar. He has also allowed his “staff” to call me evil because I disagree with him on this secondary issue. I agree with him on all of the essentials truths of the Christian faith but that is not good enough for Matt. He believes that those who disagree with him regarding whether or not women can teach doctrine to the entire body of Christ with the authority of 1 Peter 4:11 are heretics and are worthy of being called evil, witches, liberals and whiney people who he will personally bury. I think that any God-fearing Christian would find these things offensive. While Matt Slick has refused to debate me in writing, giving all kinds of reasons why he could not possibly do that, and being that I have already had two audio debates with him where he over-talked me, called me names and acted in an arrogant and rude manner, I think that it is time to call him to account for his treatment of the sheep in such a bad way if he will not meet with me to discuss this in person. He has refused to answer my emails requesting a meeting and so far has refused to answer my request on his discussion board.
The problem is this – heriarchists and egalitiarians can get along with each other with love and respect as long as those who hold back women from teaching with the authority of 1 Peter 4:11 do not attack their sisters in Christ. So many have already left the hierarchal movement because they can see the vitrolic nature of those who attack their fellow Christians. It is time that we as Christians stand up and put a stop to this kind of treatment. When we ignore this bad behavior and condone it because it is coming from a brother in Christ, we are allowing one of God’s servants to beat their fellow slaves. This is a very serious matter and must be addressed so that there can be repentance and turning away from this bad behavior so that forgiveness and healing will follow. How many more precious sisters in Christ will be hurt by this kind of behavior? Who will stand up and help to put a stop to it? My question is, what would Jesus do?
This article is a refutation of Matt Slick’s article that he has written in an attempt to refute my teaching on 1 Timothy 2:11-15. **While Matt Slick refuses to debate these teachings in writing on this blog, stating that he is concerned that I would possibly edit his statements (I have promised I would not edit his writings and I certainly do not need to do that to refute him!), my offer extends to another neutral web site that would host the debate where neither one of us would be accused of editing the other’s words. I find it quite odd that someone would use so many excuses to avoid a written debate. Matt has already provided his argument in writing on his web site. Why would I need to edit it? I have no problem in refuting what Matt has already written. I can understand why he would not want to enter into a written debate. He doesn’t do as well in a written form of debate. His style is to verbally attack his opponent and that is much harder to do with a written debate. A written debate would hold him accountable to keep his words respectful since it would be open to be viewed by his peers and the church as a whole. If he continues to refuse a written debate I would suggest that it is time for Matt to stop attacking egalitarians as if they are enemies of the gospel of Christ and go on to something else.**
The argument from the egalitarians is that Eve was deceived and Adam was not. Therefore, sin entered the world through him because her sin was not as bad as Adams.
This is a misrepresentation of my view. Adam’s sin and Eve’s actual sin were the same. Both of them ate the fruit and both of them sinned in this way. However their reasons for sinning were not the same and my articles listed above show what scripture says about the reasons.
First of all, even if it were true that her sin was not as bad as Adams, by what logic is it necessary that sin must enter the world through Adam and not Eve? At best, it’s a theory, an opinion.
It is not a theory nor an opinion when scripture tells us about the heart attitude. While scripture says that Eve was thoroughly deceived (2 Cor. 11:3), the scripture also says that Adam acted treacherously against God and the Hebrew term also means to deal treacherously with, to be traitorous, to act unfaithfully, to betray God (Hosea 6:7).
Adam’s motive for sinning was not the same as Eve’s and God held Adam accountable in a greater way because of his motive. God is the one who reads the hearts and he judged between Adam and Eve differently. The sin nature comes through Adam alone. What I would like to ask Matt is where in scripture does it say that sin came through Adam because Adam was given an authority over all mankind and it was his authority that brought sin into the world? Please show me a verse that speaks about Adam’s authority. The fact is there is nothing of the sort in scripture. The only thing that shows a difference between Adam and Eve and their sin is their motive. The one who sinned willfully and with knowledge also was responsible for bringing willful sin into the world. I noticed that in Matt’s article he completely ignored Hosea 6:7. Why does Matt ignore the verse that gives God’s reason for holding Adam accountable for bringing sin into the world? Adam was the one who has betrayed God. It is because it doesn’t fit in with Matt’s “theory” that man was created as a leader, and has an authority that belongs only to the male.
Next Matt writes:
Second, being deceived doesn’t excuse a person… I searched through the Bible examining all 179 occurrences of deceive, deceived, deceit, deception, etc., and I found none that support the idea that being deceived is less an offense to God or somehow excuses a person from the consequence of that deception.
What Matt has failed to answer is Paul’s argument in 1 Timothy 1:13. Paul shows that one who acts in unbelief can receive mercy from God just as he received mercy from God when his violent actions were the result of his ignorance and unbelief.
1 Timothy 1:13 even though I was formerly a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent aggressor. Yet I was shown mercy because I acted ignorantly in unbelief;
When Eve became completely deceived (the Greek in 2 Cor. 11:3 shows that Eve’s deception was full and complete) she was lead astray (spoiled, ruined, corrupted) and she no longer believed God’s truth. Once the truth was taken from her and she believed the lie, she took the fruit fully believing that it was not wrong to eat the fruit. It was in this full and complete deception that she acted in unbelief.
Just as Eve strayed from the truth through deception, so too are the false teachers in Ephesus teaching error because of their ignorance and unbelief:
1 Timothy 1:6 For some men, straying from these things, have turned aside to fruitless discussion,
1 Timothy 1:6 Amplified version But certain individuals have missed the mark on this very matter [and] have wandered away into vain arguments and discussions and purposeless talk.
1 Timothy 1:7 wanting to be teachers of the Law, even though they do not understand either what they are saying or the matters about which they make confident assertions.
In 1 Timothy 1:6 the NASB says “some men”. The Greek is literally “tis” meaning “some”. It is a generic term that can mean males and females not just men. These false teachers are deceived regarding the truth just as Eve was deceived and they have been taken spoil by their error. Paul said that one who sins in such a way through their ignorance and unbelief can receive God’s mercy in spite of such terrible sin. While I have never claimed that deception excuses a person from the consequences of their actions, what I have claimed is that God is able to break into their lives to give these deceive people mercy that they do not deserve. Paul received such mercy (1 Timothy 1:13) and Eve received such mercy (the “seed” which is the Messiah was promised through her and not through the man).
Once again Matt Slick completely ignores the verses that I have brought up to prove my point from scripture. He is not able to disprove the point of the verses and thus has chosen to ignore my argument rather than to deal with it.
Matt Slick asks:
Therefore, are we to conclude that Eve was somehow excused from her sin or that its severity was lessened because she was deceived?
Eve is not excused from her sin; she received mercy because she did not sin willfully. Eve sinned because she was deceived by the deceiver and not because her attitude was deliberate betrayal and God to give her mercy by promising to bring the Messiah through only the woman. Through her the Messiah would destroy the deceiver. What a merciful God we have!
Matt’s next point is that Esau was deceived out of his blessing and he had to suffer the full consequences:
The point is that the effects wrought through deception are powerful and not lessened in consequence upon the one deceived even though it is from deception.
Matt’s use of Esau as an example of someone being deceived appears to be ill advised. Esau sold his birthright to Jacob and the Bible describes his actions as immoral and godless:
Heb 12:16 that there be no immoral or godless person like Esau, who sold his own birthright for a single meal.
While Jacob may have deceived his Father, he did not deceive Esau. Esau willingly sold his birthright for a single meal because he despised his birthright.
Gen 25:34 Then Jacob gave Esau bread and lentil stew; and he ate and drank, and rose and went on his way. Thus Esau despised his birthright.
Esau did not receive mercy because he sold his birthright willingly and with his eyes wide open to what he was doing.
Gen 25:32 Esau said, “Behold, I am about to die; so of what use then is the birthright to me?”
Heb 12:17 For you know that even afterwards, when he desired to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no place for repentance, though he sought for it with tears.
God rejected Esau and he did not find mercy. He was not deceived. Matt’s application of Esau shows a faulty application and a clear misunderstanding of deception.
Matt ends his article with these words:
Saying that Adam had a greater offense and that is why sin entered the world is nothing more than guesswork. It is an opinion not substantiated by Scripture and not required by logic. Therefore, the argument has no weight.
Matt has not dealt with my argument nor has he dealt with the scriptures that I quoted. So while he ignores my scriptural argument, he can turn a blind eye to that argument and say “that it is an opinion not substantiated by Scripture”. What Matt should have done is deal with the scriptural argument and not ignore the scriptures and then claim victory. Matt’s argument is not convincing neither does it refute my claims.
Also what Matt does not do is give a scriptural proof that Adam was given an authority over humanity and this authority is why sin entered the world. I would encourage Matt to:
1. Show from scripture where it says that sin came into the world because Adam was given special authority.
2. Deal with my scriptural proof or admit that he does not have an answer to the reason why Paul applies the first created/not deceived vs second created/deception of the woman, to the prohibition in 1 Timothy 2:12.
While there has been some genuine, respectful dialog between complementarian and egalitarian scholars, more often than not, the emotions that are brought into the dialog have brought less than respectful debate. The body of Christ is meant to fight the enemy together but when some turn their weapons inward in order to fight their sisters in Christ because of a secondary issue of faith, this certainly brings not only shame upon our Lord Jesus, but harm to some precious members of the body of Christ.
How should we react to the debate when it has become vitriolic? I would like to suggest that we need to stay the course and continue to deal with the issues in a respectful way. When some turn the debate on women teaching the bible authoritatively to men away from the issue and choose to make it instead an attack on the person, we need to refrain from following suit. The Lord Jesus is best served when we treat our brothers in Christ with respect even when that respect is not afforded to us. Yet we do not give up sharing truth and doing so in love. The winning side will be the one who fights for the truth of scripture while passionately debating the issues in love.
While responding with love is a mandate of the Lord Jesus, we may choose the way we debate to limit the abuse that we receive because we can identify those who have a habit of using verbal attacks to try to control the debate. Let me give an example of what can happen through an audio debate when a brother in Christ has a problem holding his emotions back from attacking a fellow believer in Christ.
On April 6, 2006 I received an invitation for an informal dialog on Matt Slick’s Faith and Reason radio show. While the invitation was very kind, I had heard Matt debate other Christians before and I was not impressed with his combative “style”. While he assured me that he would dialog with respect, I did not accept the invitation until September of 2007 when I heard Matt persuading women that their calling from God in ministry would not be a valid call. I decided that it would be worth the risk of being attacked because I truly cared for Matt’s listeners who were only hearing one side of the debate. While I kept my cool and kept my respectful attitude towards Matt, he did not treat me with either respect or Christian charity. Matt must have had some negative feedback about his treatment of me on his radio show because the next week he started out much more calm but in the end he stopped me from giving my biblical understanding of 1 Timothy 2:15, a verse that is key to the understanding of the prohibition in 1 Timothy 2:12, and he lost his cool once again this time raising his voice and calling me a heretic for merely differing with him on this secondary issue.
Later Matt said that he would consider having me back on his radio show only if I would agree to limit my answers to his questions to 1.5 minutes a piece. No one else has ever been given such a strict time limit on his radio show before, but when I agreed to his restrictions, he backed down and would not allow me to debate him even with me under strict time limits. Months later in April and May of 2008 Matt produced articles on a limited portion of my position on women in ministry (he has my full view on my 4 DVD set “Women in Ministry Silenced or Set Free?” but he apparently chose to ignore a good portion of my material) and I have been going through each of the new articles refuting his “refutation”. I have also offered Matt Slick a respectful written debate on his position and his articles since his position has many holes, errors and faulty premises. I agree with Matt’s position in his original offer to have me on his radio show that those who produce a non-interactive position on women in ministry (DVD or written form) should allow themselves to be questioned on that position. I met him on his “playing field” on the radio and now I have asked him to answer my questions on his position in a written debate. Matt has declined to do so. Matt’s position is that he is comfortable with his discussion board, his radio show and Paltalk and he won’t venture anywhere else. I have offered a neutral site where we could both debate without editing or anyone controlling either one of us and apparently he is very sensitive and needs his “safety zone” that he won’t leave. I have also included links to the audio files of both of Matt’s radio shows with me as his “guest”. They are at the bottom of this post. Listen carefully and see how gentleness and respect has been subsequently interpreted by a very sensitive Matt Slick as an “attack” on his person.
Matt has already refused to have me back on his radio show, his discussion board is highly controlled and edited by his vice-president and Paltalk is a forum where Matt can continue to verbally abuse those he disagrees with and it is not suitable for keeping him accountable to a respectful dialog. I am including the type of “respect” that Matt Slick offers. The following are words to me on his discussion board regarding Matt’s “offer” to debate in an audio form. See if this sounds like I would get a fair and respectful audio debate:
I’ve already written the section refuting the liberal position on women being pastors/elders. That’s the written form…
I don’t go to your blog. I don’t debate anywhere but here, Paltalk, and the radio.
I’m too busy to get buried in a written debate with you… If you write like you talk on the radio, you’d KILL ME!…. not with competence, but with sssllloooowwww and condescending remarks that would drive me up the wall. No thanks! On the radio you’d not answer a question directly. You beat around the bush, said a ton of NOTHING, to get to some invented position, and acted in a condescending manner. I was ready to shoot myself you were so difficult to deal with. Again, NOT your content, your manner and deliver is what is difficult.
You’ve been refuted by me and those much smarter than me.
I believe you’re given over to your error by God. I believe you are injuring the body of Christ. I further think more of what you’re really made of will become evident.
Now, stop your whining. If you want a debate with me, Paltalk is the place. I’ll put your stupid arguments in the trash where they belong. If you’re not up to it, then go away, stop whining, stop playing around. I mean, sheesh, just get over it and take your liberal feminism somewhere esle and help the enemy undermine the church from some other location.
You want to take the man’s place? Want to compete with men? Okay, bring your pants, step up to the plate….and let’s go, Paltalk! If you accept, I’ll bury you. If you don’t accept, go away.
Does this sound respectful or kind? Matt is not going to debate me in a forum that he cannot have control of or win. I will continue to work through his articles and provide my own “written” refutation. If and when Matt Slick allows me to question him, I will provide those answers and of course my own refutation as appropriate.
*Note since I copied Matt’s “invitation” to do an audio debate on Paltalk, he has changed his post to read this way:
I’ve already written the section refuting the liberal position on women being pastors/elders. That’s the written form…
I don’t go to your blog. I don’t go to any blogs or boards other than CARM stuff because I don’t want anyone to say I posted somewhere else and say something I didn’t. So, I DO NOT go anywhere….except for tech boards for computer stuff at Microsoft and VB.
I don’t debate anywhere but here, Paltalk, and the radio.
I’m too busy to get buried in a written debate with you… If you write like you talk on the radio, you’d KILL ME!…. not with competence, but with sssllloooowwww and condescending remarks buried in so much error that it would take volumes to expose the idiocy you posit as support for your position. Which only “you” have figured out and the whole Christian church has missed???? LOL. Anyway, you’d drive me up the wall. No thanks! On the radio you rarely answered my questions directly. Instead, you beat around the bush, said a ton of NOTHING, to get to some invented position, and talked down to me in a condescending manner. I was ready to shoot myself to get away from the droning, incessent, drivel you offered for your position. You were so difficult to deal with — NOT because of your content. It was your manner and deliver is what was so irretatingly difficult.
Anyway, you’ve been refuted by me and those much smarter than me. CARM’s women section will continue to grow as you help me expose more errors in your liberal position. Thanks for the assistance in fighting for orthodoxy and working against liberal crap infiltrating the church.
I believe you’re given over to your error by God. I believe you are injuring the body of Christ. I further think that more of what you’re really made of will become evident as you heap error upon error.
Now, stop your whining. If you want a debate with me, Paltalk is the place. I’ll put your stupid arguments in the trash where they belong. If you’re not up to it, then go away, stop whining, stop playing around. I mean, sheesh, just get over it and take your liberal feminism somewhere esle and help the enemy undermine the church from some other location.
You want to take the man’s place and teach and have authority in the church? You want to compete with men? Okay, bring your pants, step up to the plate….and let’s go, Paltalk! If you accept, I’ll bury you. If you don’t accept, go away and stop being a crybaby.
The first thing that we can note is that Matt didn’t do a chart using the Greek word “gune” but the English word “woman”. This allows Matt to miss some instances of “gune” which is what Paul uses in 1Timothy 2:12. This is because “gune” does not necessarily mean “a woman”. When “gune” is used, it can mean generic woman, but it is not required that it means all women. There is no indefinite article in Greek such as in English where we have indefinite articles a and an. When “gune” is used in the Greek it is possible that “a woman” is meant, but it is also just as easily possible that “the woman” is meant or even “a group” that is qualitatively female, that is “women”. In Greek, the use of the definite article means the noun is definite, but even if the definite article is not used, it doesn’t mean that it must be indefinite. It just means that there are 3 possibilities to the meaning , including the possibility that it is meant as a definite. This is the case of the anarthrous nouns. See Wallace “Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics” on anarthrous nouns (anarthrous means without an article).
While Matt makes a big deal about percentages, this doesn’t mean much. Percentages can be interesting, however percentages cannot determine the meaning of a word in a passage. It is the context of the passage that will determine the meaning not percentages.
If Paul was giving a general prohibition to Timothy that would affect all Christian women for all time, his grammar in verse 15 does not match a general prohibition. Paul on the other hand has used the term “a man” Greek “anthropos” where the context clearly shows that Paul is not talking about a generic man. For example in 2 Corinthians 12:1-21, no matter how high the percentage is that Paul uses “anthropos” to mean generic man, Paul is not talking about men in general in this passage. Paul also did not identify a man who was living with his father’s wife but called him “someone”. This obviously was not about generic man either. The key to understanding Paul is to look at the context, not how many times Paul used “aner” or “anthropos” to mean a generic man rather than a particular man.
“we conclude that the mentioning of Adam and Eve and the created order is dealing with men and women in general, not with a particular woman or just wives.”
If Paul’s mention of Adam and Eve along with created order and deception was about men and women in general, then should we be concluding that all men are not deceived and all women are deceived like Eve? There is more to see in the context of this passage that brings out the importance of Paul’s mention of creation, deception and Adam and Eve. Paul’s meaning has to be about something other than all generic man and woman.
What Matt misses is that the created order is about deception, not authority. Paul does not say that the man is to have authority over women, but that Adam was not deceived, while Eve was deceived. Paul connects the deception to the prohibition in verse 12 but he also connects it to the solution in verse 15. Paul says neither that Adam is given authority over humanity nor that he is given authority over Eve. We would have to ignore the context in order to make Adam’s authority the subject. Paul connected Adam to the state of “no deception” but Paul did not connect Adam with authority. There is not even one word in this passage that says that Adam had authority or that the man is to have authority over the woman.
Additionally, what does authority have to do with verse 15? How would man’s authority (which is never mentioned in the passage) fit in with the salvation of the single “she” mentioned in verse 15? Even if one could make a single “she” and a plural “they” mean the same thing (i.e. all women), how would man’s authority fit in with this verse? It doesn’t fit. What does fit into the context is the subject of deception. Because of deception a prohibition is given. In spite of her deception “she” will be saved (in the future)… if… Does Paul’s concern about her salvation fit into the context of deception? Or does a concern about salvation fit with all women? Women’s salvation is never questioned in scripture so all women do not fit well with verse 15.
Some take the “salvation” spoken of in verse 15 as been “saved” from dying in child birth but this would break the connection between verses 11-15 and it is not a promise that has been made and kept by God for all godly women. Where is the connection between child birth and the stopping of “a woman” from teaching “a man”? Why would Paul all of a sudden talk about women giving birth to children when he is connecting each verse together with “but” (verse 12) “for” (verse 13) “and” (verse 14) and “but” (verse 15). The flow from verses 11 – 15 is connected from one verse to the next and if we break the connection with verse 15 we have lost the end result that Paul gives because of the command to learn (verse 11) and the prohibition (verse 12). If she learns the truth and she stops teaching the error, she will be saved out of her deception if she stays in that truth, stays in the truth faith and in her love for God. Her self-control is needed to stay away from error and deception. This is how a deceived person will be saved.
Matt concludes with this statement:
“Since Paul mentions the order of creation regarding Adam and Eve in 1 Tim. 2:13 after he mentions authority and again that mentions authority with the created order in 1 Cor. 11:8-10, we can see that there is a pattern Paul teaches that is applied generically in the church.”
There are several very glaring errors in this concluding statement of Matt’s. The first error is that Matt is connecting “authority” with the order of creation when Paul is connecting “deceived” and “not deceived” with the order of creation. The word “authenteo” (verse 12) is a unique word in the scriptures and it is a hotly disputed word never used for spiritual authority elsewhere in scripture. Paul never gives men permission to “authenteo” anyone and so to connect this word with permission for men to “authenteo” women or anyone for that matter, is reading into the passage.
Secondly Matt connects the order of creation with “authority” mentioned in 1 Corinthians 11:10. This is another error of Matt’s since 1 Cor. 11:10 does not have men in authority over women. The Greek word used in verse 10 is exousia and it is the authority that the person has themselves not an authority that is over them. It is never used in scripture to mean that the person is under authority. The words “a symbol of” in verse 10 are not in the original manuscripts but have been added by the translators. The inspired word is that the woman is to have authority over her own head. She is to have authority to make a decision because of the angels. Paul’s use of “because of the angels” is clear when we go back to his reference of the angels earlier in his letter to the Corinthians.
1Co 6:2 Or do you not know that the saints will judge the world? If the world is judged by you, are you not competent to constitute the smallest law courts?
1Co 6:3 Do you not know that we will judge angels? How much more matters of this life?
Since the saints will judge the world and they will also judge angels, the woman is to have power to make her own decision concerning what she does or doesn’t wear on her head because in the next life she will also have the responsibility to judge the world and the angels. There is no reference to a man having authority over the woman in this verse at all.
But what about the reference to creation in 1 Cor. 11:12? Is this about the man having authority over the woman as Matt has said? When we test all things, we can see that this is not true.
1Co 11:11 However, in the Lord, neither is woman independent of man, nor is man independent of woman.
1Co 11:12 For as the woman originates from the man, so also the man has his birth through the woman; and all things originate from God.
Paul says that neither the man or the woman is independent of each other. Just as the woman originated from the man so now the man has his origin through her. But neither one is preeminent over the other because God is the ultimate origin of all.
These passages say not one word about the man having authority over the woman. In 1 Timothy 2:13, 14 the reference to creation is about deception and in 1 Cor. 11:12 the reference to creation is about the equality of the man and the woman in that both are dependent on each other and the preeminent one is God. There is absolutely nothing that says that the man has authority over the woman in these passages.
While Matt has been trying to provide a reasoning in 1 Timothy 2 for Paul to be stopping the biblical teaching of all women to all men, he has not given a reasonable explanation for verse 15 which has specific grammar that gives the boundary or “fence” as to how far we can apply verse 12. Without the ability to apply “she” and “they” from verse 15 to something other than the exact same thing (i.e. Matt makes “she” and “they” to mean the same thing), Matt has ignored the boundary markers that force us to go back to find out who the “she” is that Paul is giving the prohibition to. “She” will be saved, Paul says “if”… Paul applies the prohibition to “gune”, and he stops her from teaching because of the verses that follow. It is because of deception, then Paul brings out that her salvation out of that deception is dependent on what “she” and “they” do to make sure she doesn’t fall back into deception. The list of things is the same as what Paul said the deceived teachers fell away from.
1Ti 1:5 But the goal of our instruction is love from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.
1Ti 1:6 For some men, straying from these things, have turned aside to fruitless discussion,
This is why Paul said that “they” must continue in these things (verse 15). Those who stray from these things, Paul said were falling into deception.
What we don’t have in the passage is Paul saying that “a man” or “any man” is to have authority over “gune” (a woman, wife or the woman) or over another man. Instead we are to serve one another and never lord it over others in the body of Christ.
Matt gives what he considers to be the meaning of primogeniture:
“Primogeniture, the biblical teaching that the firstborn has preeminence and authority over those that follow in the family.”
I would like to ask where he gets such a definition from the bible? The correct definition of primogeniture from the dictionary is:
The state of being the first born or eldest child of the same parents.
Law The right of the eldest child, especially the eldest son, to inherit the entire estate of one or both parents.
Where does it say that the firstborn has authority over those that follow in the family? The bible doesn’t say this and Matt seems to have picked up an error from CBMW that primogeniture is about people having the right to rule others just because they are first born.
While the first one born had the right to the inheritance from the Father, God bypassed man’s system at times to give the rights to one who was not firstborn. For example God calls Ephraim his firstborn in Jeremiah 31:9 even though Ephraim was the second one born and it was Manasseh who was the first one born. Jesus is the ultimate first born and he is called the first born of or over all creation as he is the pre-eminent one because he created all things. However the bible never says that a human creature is given the right to rule others just because he is the first one born.
The issue of primogeniture would not even come into play regarding men and women since Adam was not the first of siblings. Eve was his wife, not his brother. There is no place in Genesis that God gave Adam the right to rule over his wife and it wasn’t until sin entered the world that God told Eve in prophesy that this is what Adam would do to her, but God never said that it was his will nor did he tell Adam to rule Eve. His words were to Eve prophetically, not to Adam as a command or the giving of a right.
Matt’s article fails the test of truth in his effort to prove that God has given man the right to rule over women because man was created first. There is no right in primogeniture to rule over others and Jesus said that lording over others was something that was not to be heard among the followers of Christ. Matt’s article proves that those who seek to dominate and control others will grasp at straws to try to prove biblically their “right” to do so. However Matt’s “proof” of a man’s right to rule has no biblical basis at all.
First of all, if it is true that the Bible teaches women shouldn’t teach men, even if it is only once, then the argument is settled. Once should be enough.
The first thing should be obvious in that the scriptures don’t say “women shouldn’t teach men”. The bible says the prohibition is concerning “a woman” and “a man”. If this is taken to be universal it would stop not just a woman from teach men but a woman from teaching a single man.
Secondly a prohibition is always stated more than once in scripture because the law states that a person cannot be charged with only one witness. As a result every single universal prohibition by God is stated with at least the “two or three witnesses” that are required. So if we see that God is forbidding any woman from teaching any man (using the generic) then we have a problem because this would make a prohibition unlike any other prohibition in the bible. For more information see my 4 articles on “Does God have one unique law?” http://strivetoenter.com/wim/2006/11/29/does-god-have-one-unique-law-part-one/
If God made a gender specific prohibition that is only stated once and not repeated as all the other prohibitions are repeated, we need to ask why? Does God make an exception for women so that he doesn’t care if women understand the prohibition so that they can obey? These are important questions and deserve to be answered.
First of all, 1 Tim. 2:12 is within the context of Paul’s comment in 1 Tim. 3:15, which says, “but in case I am delayed, I write so that you may know how one ought to conduct himself in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and support of the truth.” So, the context of 1 Tim. 2:12 is within Paul’s instructions for the church, the household of God.
What Matt fails to tell us is that Paul’s comment throughout the entire book is to Timothy, not directed to the church. The verse that he quotes from 1 Timothy 3:15 is in the singular not plural. To see this for yourselves you can go to scripture4all.org web site for 1 Timothy 3 and scroll down to verse 15. http://scripture4all.org/OnlineInterlinear/NTpdf/1ti3.pdf The singular grammar is marked by the sg. Here anyone can clearly see that Paul is not saying “I wrote so that you all (plural) know how to act” but rather “I wrote so that you (singular) know how to act…” It is written to Timothy so that he is to know how he should conduct himself in the family of God (not in a building but in the body of Christ). Since the grammar is singular and not plural as to multiple people, then 1 Timothy 3:15 is consistent with a letter to an individual (Timothy). Matt does not explain that the grammar is singular, not plural as he hints it is. What Paul is doing is writing a personal letter to Timothy that we can learn from, but it is written specifically to Timothy and not to the church. It is for Timothy (singular) to know how to act with deceived teachers, widows, elders, etc. Matt should know this since he claims to know Greek grammar.
Third, how many times does God have to say something for it to be true? Since the command is given, admittedly only once, and since it is in the context of how we are to conduct ourselves in the household of God, then we can conclude that once is enough.
Matt admits that the prohibition is only given once. If there was a universal prohibition that was only repeated once Matt certainly would have included it in his argument. The fact is that there no such universal prohibition that is not repeated so there was no universal prohibition for him to quote. Matt does not address the oddity of a universal prohibition that goes against the norm. Instead he says that God only needs to say a prohibition once. I refer back to my articles on “Does God have one unique law” for the reasoning why God always repeats his laws. Even in the 10 commandments when God gave the prohibition to Moses and Israel, he did not give it only once. God gave the 10 commandments verbally once, written on stone twice and then it was repeated throughout scripture again. God is a God who repeats his prohibitions because he loves us and wants us to know what sin is. God is a God who repeats his prohibitions not because he needs to but because he loves us and wants us to know what sin is, to be convicted of sin and to stay away from sin.
While refusing to stick with my contention that a universal law must be repeated, Matt changes the issue to a universal command. Matt says:
Fourth, if something must be mentioned twice for it to be applied to the church universally, then what do egalitarians do with Hebrews 10:25 which says, “not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more, as you see the day drawing near.” If a universal command for the church needs to appear more than once, then Hebrews 10:25 is not for the whole Church. Is this a sound principle on which to derive doctrinal truths? Not at all.
Hebrews 10:25 is a command but not a universal prohibition. Yet even as a command, there is much in scripture that encourages Christians to come together and to encourage one another so it is repeated in different ways but with the same encouragement. One example is 1 Cor. 14 where Paul gives freedom for all to prophesy so that all may learn and all may be edified.
Also, what about Matt. 28:19-20, “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” The Great Commission is only given once by Jesus. Does there need to be a second witness for it to apply to the Christian church as a whole? Of course not.
Here Matt gives another example which is not a universal prohibition. The fact is that every single universal prohibition is stated more than once and Paul says that the repetition is for our safety (see my articles above on “One unique law”).
Once again Matt has not proven his point. On the contrary, he is stuck with having to admit that there is no universal prohibition that is only repeated once except for what would certainly be an oddity if it indeed was a universal prohibition (1 Timothy 2:12). His examples are not universal prohibitions and it is our conclusion that 1 Timothy 2:12 fails the test of all universal prohibitions.
But God’s ways are consistent. God warns and warns and warns us of sin because God loves us. He does not give universal prohibitions from a man saying “I am not allowing” nor does he use obscure language that our generation is struggling to understand (authenteo), but he lovingly guides by sending his messengers over and over again to warn of sin. Is it God’s way to repeat the warning of sin? Absolutely! We can see this over and over again in the Old Testament. God is merciful and kind and it is his desire not to confuse people about sin, but to make the charge of sin clear and understandable. He sends his word to us many times so that we can be convinced of sin. This is our God and he is a gracious and merciful God. He is not the God who says I told you once and I am not repeating myself. No our God, the Lord Jesus Christ, teaches and instructs and loves us over and over again so that we do not sin against him.
While I am reviewing Matt Slick’s articles on women in ministry, I would like to create this post as a public debate between Matt Slick and myself so that he is allowed to express himself without the restrictions that he has placed on me but in a place where I too am unrestricted. Matt previously said that he would allow a public debate on the radio but that I was restricted to 1.5 minutes for each of my responses. I told Matt that I would do this as long as he gave his questions ahead of time so that I could work hard to limit my answers to 1.5 minutes. I don’t know why he would put such restrictions on me when he has never restricted anyone else on his radio show to speaking only 1.5 minutes, however the fact that I am a woman who is passionately in favor of women’s ability to teach the entire body of Christ with their God-given gifts and Matt is passionately in favor of men ruling women, might give a good indication why he would place me under such strict tight restrictions. However even with my agreement to Matt’s control of the extent of my answers, Matt backed down and said he would not allow me to publicly give a defense in that format.
So instead of a audio debate this is a place for a public written debate and all can see and judge without Matt’s restrictions on me. It is a godly thing to passionately try to influence another. It is not a godly thing to try to control and I believe that the best way to be heard is in a place where Matt cannot try to control. Let’s see if Matt is willing to come and dialog in a professional and respectful way. In the meantime I will continue to review his articles and reveal the faulty premise that Matt has based his view that women are not allowed to teach men authoritatively God’s word. I disagree and believe that women are allowed to teach God’s word authoritatively as 1 Peter 4:11 clearly shows that everyone who has been gifted is allowed to speak the oracles of God.
This is a continuation of my evaluation of Matt Slick’s articles on women in ministry.Matt has been working for weeks to try to refute my interpretations.I welcome a challenge and I believe that truth will stand up to the test while error will not stand up to the challenge.Matt on the other hand apparently is not comfortable with a challenge on the women’s issue and has not allowed me to challenge him publicly even in a respectful way. ***Matt Slick said that I was not welcome to come back on his radio show unless I could limit my comments to 1.5 minutes. How many people would agree to that? I did agree and Matt backed down. I challenge Matt to a written debate since he cannot speak to me without limiting my audio responses, I think the written format would be a great one. I challenge Matt Slick to come on this blog and continue a public dialog with me on the women’s issue. I have created a public debate post here. He can say what he wants without my editing him and I will respond and then we can let the readers challenge either one of us during question period.*** His vice-president has gone so far as to forbid people from mentioning my name or the name of my blog on CARM’s discussion board and she has either blocked my posts or held them in moderation without warning.While I am appalled at the milieu control that goes on in Matt Slick’s discussion board, I do believe that Matt’s articles that he has written in response to my interpretations are worthy of answering and so the next few posts will be dedicated to refuting of Matt’s reasoning on women in ministry.
“One of the arguments from the egalitarians use to deny Paul’s prohibition against women being in positions of spiritual authority in the church is that “she” in v.15) refers to the same “a woman” (a particular individual) mentioned in verses 11 and 12.This specific women (sic) had been deceived by someone and had been teaching false doctrines to her husband.So, Paul, to be polite, didn’t name her and just said “a woman.
While Matt characterizes my position as just Paul being “polite”, I don’t see it as “polite” but a concern for those whose names could be connected to false teaching for all of church history.When the teachers who have been deceived are taught the truth and they come to know the truth, their names would still be written down in scripture for all church history as an example of their shame.Paul had no problem exposing those who acted as deliberate deceivers (Hymenaeus and Alexander) or who were acting hypocritically (Peter) but those who were deceived because of their ignorance were never named.I believe that the Holy Spirit kept their names out of scripture so that there was not a legacy of their error connected to their name.These people were eligible to receive God’s grace and they may well turn and receive forgiveness. It is God’s grace that kept their names out of the scriptures.
Matt next says that the text of 1 Timothy 2:12 referring to “a woman” who was a particular individual had been already refuted, but that is not the case.My last two posts here and here reveal the holes in Matt’s arguments.So what is Matt’s answer to who is the “she” and who are the “they” in 1 Timothy 2:15?Matt says:
“He first speaks of women as “she” by analogy in reference to Eve (she) and then moves to “they” as he speaks to women in general, applying the principle of Eve’s “womanness” to them…”
This explanation of the “she” and “they” problem in verse 15 is quite telling.By this reasoning, Matt shows that:
She = women (in general with Eve as an analogy)
They = women in general (with Eve presumably part of the general women’s group)
Therefore “she” is the exact same thing as “they”.This is unreasonable in the precise grammar that Paul uses.A singular cannot equal a plural.I would like Matt to give me another example in scripture where it is permissible to use a singular “she or he” to be equal to “they”.It isn’t anywhere in scripture because it is improper and illogical grammar.Where does he get the idea that one can transfer a “womanness” by making “she” to be equal to “they”?What Matt is doing is trying desperately to ignore the clear meaning of the text.When Paul said “she” AND “they”, he meant exactly that.He was referring to a specific single woman and by “they” Paul means more than one person.“She” can be a part of “they” but “she” cannot be the exact same as “they” or there is a violation of grammar.This is a very weak point in Matt’s argument and an obvious attempt at noodling with the grammar and the text.
The other point that causes Matt a problem with his interpretation is that Paul says that “She will be saved…” Eve cannot be an analogy in a future tense. Eve is dead and cannot do anything about her salvation and neither can all women (they) do anything about Eve’s salvation. Once again Matt’s interpretation have more problems then they solve, if they solve anything at all!
Next Matt tries to give his interpretation of “she will be saved through the childbearing”.Matt says that the phrase is probably a play on words occurring in the Greek.He writes:
“…when it says “she will be saved through the bearing of children if they continue in faith…”
The first thing that I note is the quote that Matt gives is not the correct grammar from the passage.“The child bearing” is a noun not a verb and it is singular (the) not plural.
“Paul may very well have been referring to this goddess (Artemis) by saying that the Ephesian women who were converts from the cult of Artemis/Soteira were to trust in Christ to deliver them through childbirth instead of looking to the pagan goddess.”
There is a major problem with this view.The grammar in verse 15 is a promise with conditions.“She will be saved through the child bearing if they….”However if we take this passage to mean that the Ephesian women would be saved from harm during the childbirth process then God lied because many Christian women have died giving birth to children.It also does not make sense for Paul to be making a salvation promise by making a side reference to a Greek goddess when it is “THE child bearing” (a specific noun) that is referenced and there is no such reference to ONE child in this goddess worship.Matt’s arguments are not logical in context.There is no biblical support for taking a single “she” and making it equal to a plural “they” nor is there any reference to Artemis in 1 Timothy for Paul to be referring back to, nor is a single childbearing (specific – THE) something from the Artemis worship.Additionally salvation through the birth process was not an actuality so such an interpretation would fall to the ground making God to be one who doesn’t keep his promises.
The plain reading of 1 Timothy 2:15 is that THE seed of the woman (the Messiah) is the one who will bring salvation (as originally promised in Genesis 3:15) and “she” is a single woman who Paul has been talking about who is not the same as “they”.If “she” indeed is a single woman as the grammar proves, then “a woman” and “the woman” from verses 11, 12, 14 are all references to the single deceived woman in Ephesus who Paul has stopped from teaching the man whom she has been influencing in her deception.
This is part 2 of answering the complementarian objections of Matt Slick on 1 Timothy 2:11-15. See part one here. My article laying out the original argument showing that 1 Timothy 2:12 is a specific woman that Paul forbids from teaching is here.
In Matt’s article on CARM 1 Timothy 2:11-15 here he is making an attempt at refuting my teaching, and in doing so he tries to deny that Paul is talking about false doctrine in the passage, by making a distinction that scripture does not make. Matt tries to prove that the word for false teaching (heterodidaskaleo) must be used when referencing false teaching but this will not stand up under careful inspection of the scriptures as Revelation 2:14, 15, and 20 have the word “teach” that comes from didasko (to teach) and this Greek word is used for teaching that is clearly situations regarding false doctrine. Once again Matt cannot hide the fact that Paul’s reference to the deception of the woman (1 Timothy 2:14) and the deceived false teachers in chapter 1 are the context of the prohibition of 1 Timothy 2:12.
The next issue related to deception is Paul’s reference to the first creation of Adam and the fact that the second one created was deceived. Note that Paul does not tie in the first creation of Adam with leadership nor does he tie in the second creation of Eve with the one must be the follower. Yet Matt says that Adam’s first creation is probably a matter of primogeniture, that is the pre-eminence of the first born. But primogeniture has nothing to do with marriage or male and female issues. It has to do with inheritance of the Father’s estate and in Christ both men and women are inheritors equally. Scripture never says that Adam had preeminence over Eve or that Adam was the only one who had God’s inheritance. This would be reading into the text. It is much better to take the text for what it says not what we can read into the text.
Matt Slick further says that not only are women not to teach men because the man has primogeniture rights but because of Eve’s deception “a woman” is not to teach or exercise authority over “a man”. It is amazing to see that while he had been arguing that 1 Timothy 2:11-15 has nothing to do with deception, he is now arguing that deception is also the reason why “a woman” is not allowed to teach. Now that Matt has agreed that deception is the reason for the prohibition, we can go back and connect 1 Timothy 2:12 to the deceived teachers in chapter 1 who are to be stopped from teaching. There is no doubt from the context that deception is key to understanding the passage and the stopping of one teacher in chapter 2 is related to the stopping of other deceived teachers in chapter 1.
Matt also admits that it is a possibility that the “a man” and “a woman” from 1 Timothy 2:12 could indeed be a husband a wife situation in the congregation. It is good to see Matt agreeing that there is nothing in the passage that would rule out a particular couple that Paul is commanding Timothy to deal with. Matt does say, though, that it is only a theory and the fact that it is a possibility does not make it a fact any more than that “a woman” was a temple prostitute who had a crush on Paul. Matt’s fallacious reasoning amounts to a straw man argument and there is nothing in the passage that would attach such a meaning to a temple prostitute having a crush on Paul. However there is much in chapters 1 & 2 to show that deception was the problem in the congregation and false teachers were to be stopped. Also the grammar of 1 Timothy 2:15 shows that there is a specific “she” and “they” that Paul has been referring to. In a future post I will deal with Matt Slick’s attempt at identifying who the “she” and “they” are from 1 Timothy 2:15 and I will show how his identification is impossible from the text.
I would like to apply Matt Slick’s own words from his article. He says that it is alright to have an opinion, “but it is not alright to insist that is what the text means. If someone does, then he or she is pushing an agenda and not being faithful to the plain reading of the word.” I heartily agree. I would like to ask why Matt Slick has attached a Jewish rule of primogeniture to the marriage of Adam and Eve when God never used this Jewish rule for marriage nor for any male and female issues of teaching or leading? Also, why would Matt Slick deny that the Greek word for “teach” can be used to include false doctrine when a search of this Greek word clearly shows that he hasn’t told us the truth? Why would he deny that deception is the context of 1 Timothy 2:12 when the deception of the woman is clearly given in verse 14? Is it possible that Matt Slick is the one who has an agenda?
Why is Matt Slick not being faithful to the plain reading of the word that lists the deception of the second one created as a reason for Paul’s prohibition? Matt’s final words are very appropriate “But isn’t that the case when people have an agenda? They find ways to make the scriptures fit their “cause”.” Indeed, Matt has tried to make the scriptures fit his “cause” by redefining a Greek word and ignoring the deception of the woman as a reason for the prohibition. His insistence that “a woman” must mean all godly Christian women just doesn’t fit the grammar of 1 Timothy 2:15. Finally after finding no way to refute the teaching that “a woman” is the specific “she” from verse 15, Matt Slick has had to admit that the grammar could include the possibility that Paul was referring to one specific woman. Should we restrict all godly Christian women from using their God-given gifts with the authority of 1 Peter 4:11 just because some have an agenda and want to place all women into the prohibition in a verse that has nothing to do with godly teaching? May it never be!
**October 2008 addition Note: A public statement regarding Diane Sellner’s role in the public attacks against me is at http://strivetoenter.com/wim/2008/09/06/public-statement-regarding-matt-slick Although I welcomed Diane Sellner to discuss the issue of women in ministry in a charitable fashion, she has taken secondary doctrinal differences and made it a personal issue by attacking me personally. She has called me all kinds of abusive names on the CARM discussion boards where she has been given free reign to break every one of the CARM rules as she has taken liberties as the Vice-President of CARM (Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry). In addition Diane has also purchased my name on the internet to spread lies and slander against me personally calling me an enemy of the church all of this with the full knowledge of her boss the President of CARM. (**update as of Dec. 2009 – Diane Sellner has finally released my personal name as she did not renew the purchases of my name as an internet web site. Praise God for all those who were vocal about her abusive attacks against me as a fellow Christian. The public outcry apparently prompted her to finally withdraw from using my own name against me online.**) The issue is discussed here http://strivetoenter.com/wim/2008/08/21/women-ministry-sins/ I have since found out that Diane Sellner has done this same thing before to others. My heart goes out to all those who have been wounded by this type of “apologetics”. This is not the Way of the Master. Those who have come in contact with her when she is “ministering” on the CARM discussion boards in this same manner, will understand why I am no longer giving her a warm welcome here on my blog. I caution people not to respond in kind but to pray for Diane Sellner that God will grant her repentance. What is impossible with man is possible with God. The original article below was written in February of 2008.
Breaking news first!!! The radio station that sells air time to Matt Slick’s Faith and Reason radio show has confirmed the dates and times of the public airing of my 4 DVD series “Women in Ministry Silenced or Set Free?” This is free air time because of the misrepresentation of my view by Matt Slick. My family radio station in Boise, Idaho has been gracious enough to give me air time to allow my view to be heard without misrepresentation. Here are the air times in Boise Idaho – all are Mountain time. The station is presenting the DVDs on BOTH their AM and FM stations, praise the Lord!
You can listen live to the audio from my 4 DVD set at the following link. The listen button is at the top right hand side and it will allow you to pick the radio station that you want to listen to for the times listed below. The link is http://www.myfamilyradio.com/cms/index.php Remember the times are Mountain Time and if you are listening at Eastern time you need to add two hours so instead of 12 noon it will be 2 pm and instead of 4 pm it will be 6 pm.
KBXL 94.1 FM
Saturday March 8, 2008 at 12 noon – segment one
Saturday March 15, 2008 at 12 noon – segment two
Saturday March 22, 2008 at 12 noon – segment three
Saturday March 29, 2008 at 12 noon – segment four
KSPD 790 AM
Saturday March 8, 2008 at 4 pm – segment one
Saturday March 15, 2008 at 4 pm – segment two
Saturday March 22, 2008 at 4 pm – segment three
Saturday March 29, 2008 at 4 pm – segment four
My next post has been delayed because of my work on the Trinity DVD, however I have been advised that Diane Sellner from CARM thinks that she has an answer to 1 Timothy 2:15, regarding who is the “she” and who are the “they” that will disprove my exegesis and also a proof that the animals were not created after Adam, disproving my exegesis that Adam saw some of God’s acts of creation.
I welcome Diane trying to answer me. I have created this post so that it will be a safe place for her to come and share with us her answers. Now I know that some of you have been hurt by Diane’s harsh attitude on CARM, but I ask that you refrain from any unkind or unChristian attitude towards her on this post. While I do not agree with Diane’s public attitude towards others, I do not want her to find this kind of attitude on this post. This is an opportunity for any of you who have been hurt to show her that a Christian attitude is alive and well on this blog. I have given Diane an invitation to post her answers here so that it will be a safe environment for both of us.
Now I know that Diane may not feel safe in the beginning because she is used to only being around strong complementarians who support her strong critical “style”. But this safe environment may be just what Diane needs to get outside the environment that surrounds CARM. Please welcome Diane, remember that I will personally put your posts under moderation if there is any kind of personal attack or unChrist-like behavior.
If you are a Christian, then Jesus lives in you. The true test is not how you treat others when they treat you well, but how you treat others who have been less than kind to you. This is the safe environment that I welcome Diane to. Diane, let’s discuss your “correction” and I challenge you to show me where I am wrong. Then be prepared for a very strong challenge. The world is watching, Diane. You said this on CARM’s discussion board didn’t you? I am ready and willing to “debate” this issue with you in a respectful dialog-kind of way. Diane, jump on in, the water’s fine and there are no “sharks” in this water.
Below is what I posted on Matt Slick’s discussion board. I will add the day and time of the airing of “Women in Ministry Silenced or Set Free?” when the radio station gives me the finalized details.
Scripture warns us not to make a hasty judgment on a matter. When two sides have conflicting interpretations, those who wish to be Bereans should be willing to carefully consider all of the facts from both sides of the issue first in order to avoid making a hasty judgment.
In an effort to allow the hearing of the other side of the story on the issue of women in ministry that hasn’t been given a full hearing on Matt Slick’s radio show “Faith and Reason”, the radio station where Matt hosts his radio program has offered to allow the airing of the 4 DVD set “Women in Ministry Silenced or Set Free?” over four consecutive weeks in the month of February. Listeners will then be able to hear and judge for themselves if the teaching on the DVD set treats scripture respectfully and in context. The entire DVD set is 3.5 hours of teaching and will be broken down into 4 segments to air over 4 weeks.
Here in Canada it is a ruling that if one misrepresents a person, they are given equal time to defend themselves and to present their side of the story. In the US, this is also a fair ruling and I greatly appreciate My Family Radio Station in Boise Idaho for agreeing that this is a fair and reasonable solution.
I am sure that Matt will also agree that this is fair and reasonable when Christians have biblical disagreements. It is only when we can hear the full story that we can then be bible Bereans and make the choice for ourselves which side represents a better biblical view.
The dates and times of the airing of “Women in Ministry Silenced or Set Free?” on My Family Radio are posted below. The DVDs are a very visual verse-by-verse view of the hard passages of scripture on the women’s issue. Although the radio will not do justice to the DVDs in that there will of course be no video or graphics, the audio that will be heard should be thought-provoking.
You can listen live to the audio from my 4 DVD set at the following link. The listen button is at the top right hand side and it will allow you to pick the radio station that you want to listen to for the times listed below. The link is http://www.myfamilyradio.com/cms/index.php Remember the times are Pacific and if you are listening at Eastern time you need to add three hours so instead of 12 noon it will be 3 pm and instead of 4 pm it will be 7 pm.
KBXL 94.1 FM
Saturday March 8, 2008 at 12 noon – segment one
Saturday March 15, 2008 at 12 noon – segment two
Saturday March 22, 2008 at 12 noon – segment three
Saturday March 29, 2008 at 12 noon – segment four
KSPD 790 AM
Saturday March 8, 2008 at 4 pm – segment one
Saturday March 15, 2008 at 4 pm – segment two
Saturday March 22, 2008 at 4 pm – segment three
Saturday March 29, 2008 at 4 pm – segment four
(Note: after the announcement of the airing of my DVDs, Matt Slick increased his attacks against me to the point that in August 2008 I had a Matthew 18 meeting and traveled twelve hours to meet with him in the Boise, Idaho area. The link to the public statement regarding the outcome of this meeting is listed here http://strivetoenter.com/wim/2008/09/06/public-statement-regarding-matt-slick/)
I got an email from Matt Slick today. In addition to saying that I misrepresented him (he said I was claiming that he believes I am unsaved! I know he calls me a heretic, but I didn’t hear him say that I was an unsaved heretic) 🙂
you ARE in error…and your helping the church adopt your error.
and…i have no intention of having you back on the radio.
He also offered to debate me on Paltalk which I would consider if I knew if there was a fair way to have such a debate without Matt turning the debate into an attack session or having him control the mike. At this point I don’t think it would be possible, but I am open if I could figure out what I am doing.
The reason for this post is to call attention to a very gracious response to Matt that I found a link to on Wade Burleson’s blog. It is from a fellow Christian who has a blog called Voyage Blog and his name is David McLaughlin. Today he wrote a post called Carm Watch Update. David’s original post on the second debate between Matt and myself is here. I want to call attention to this blog and these two posts because of David’s gracious response. Even while pointing out error and wrong attitudes, David manages to keep a gracious attitude and I think he should be commended for the spirit that he showed. I also greatly appreciate him defending his sister in Christ!
Proverbs 18:17 (ESV) The one who states his case first seems right, until the other comes and examines him.
Scripture warns us not to make a hasty judgment on a matter. When two sides have conflicting interpretations, those who wish to be Bereans should be willing to carefully consider all of the facts from both sides of the issue first in order to avoid making a hasty judgment. This week the opportunity of hearing complete evidence, weighing the evidence and then judging between the two interpretations was stopped as I was barred from giving out my full view of 1 Timothy 2 on Matt Slick’s Faith and Reason show. Since brother Matt refused to allow me to give my conclusions as to what my full belief is and why I hold my view from scripture alone, and since Matt has subsequently banned me from coming back on his radio program, in all fairness to his listeners and to others who are interested in what I have to say, this post will present “the rest of the story”.
First if you haven’t heard the audio debate where Matt said that I was not polite and he also accused me of being a heretic, you will probably want to listen first by clicking here.
While Matt claims that 1 Timothy 2:12 is absolutely clear in its meaning, there are several very serious problems if we take the verses in this passage out of their context. Unless one can understand the whole teaching unit, it is dangerous to try to extract some part of it. For example if one takes 1 Timothy 2:15 in isolation, one might reason that a woman is saved by having children and this would question the salvation of unmarried, childless women. Verse 12 could be reasonably interpreted to restrict a woman from teaching any thing to any man. A woman couldn’t even give a man directions on how to find an address for fear that she would be teaching him something.
Taking 1 Timothy 2:12 out of its context would also cause the Bible to contradict itself since Priscilla taught the Bible to Apollos in Acts 18:26. 1 Timothy 2:12 does not say that a woman will be out from the restriction and allowed to teach a man when certain conditions are met. It simply says “I do not allow a woman to teach or authenteo a man”, period. 1 Timothy 2:12 also does not tell us why Priscilla was not disciplined for teaching a man. Was she wrong in teaching Apollos or are there exceptions? It also appears that any woman cannot teach any man anything since Paul used the negation particles ouk and oude translated usually “neither…nor” respectively. If there are exceptions and this is not a hard and fast law of God’s, then where are the exceptions listed? More problems comes with verse 14 which could be interpreted as all women are easily deceived and unreliable in regard to decision-making and women could be considered inferior because they were created second.
Is this passage really as “clear” as Matt would like us to think it is? If so, then why is it that we need another book to identify all the things that women can or can’t do? The Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood (CBMW) has created a whole section of white, grey and black applications of 1 Timothy 2:12 and this is to give directions to churches who can’t figure out from 1 Timothy 2:12 whether a woman can be an usher, serve communion, teach math at a high school or at a college or whether she can teach Hebrew in seminary even if she isn’t teaching the word of God per se. Who is authorized to make these rules and why don’t Christians and Churches know the answers to their questions if 1 Timothy 2:12 is so clear? The fact is that it isn’t a clear cut verse that can stand on its own. It must be taken in its context.
One of the most fundamental principles of Christian rationality is that God doesn’t contradict himself (2 Tim 2:13). Therefore, no Christian may offer an interpretation of any verse that contradicts any other verse. In order for 1 Timothy 2:12 to remain consistent with the rest of scripture, we need to work hard to understand Paul’s letter to Timothy as it would have been understood by the recipient. Timothy was a young apostolic representative of Paul’s who was appointed by Paul to deal with a bevy of false teachers and false teaching in Ephesus. Paul’s letter to Timothy was not written in chapter and verse so we need to read the whole letter in context. We also need to understand the reason for the letter. Paul said:
1 Timothy 3:14 (ALT) These [things] I write to you, hoping [or, expecting] to come to you soon.
1 Timothy 3:15 (ALT) But if I delay, [I write] so that you shall know how it is necessary to be conducting yourself in [the] house of God, which is [the] Assembly [or, Church] of the living God, [the] pillar and foundation of the truth.
Paul writes a personal letter to Timothy so that Timothy knows how to conduct himself in the body of Christ. Timothy is told how to handle the problems and the problem people that Paul was concerned about. Timothy must handle the problems with the deceived, the deceivers and one particularly thorny problem that required Paul to single a woman out from all the other false teachers.
This brings us to the most important verse that is necessary to deal with to understand the issue of women in ministry and Paul’s prohibition against teaching in 1 Timothy 2:15. Without a correct understanding of this verse, we risk falling into a pattern of unrighteous judgment against women. Why is this so important? Because there are those who say that women who teach the bible with authority are sinning against God and these women must be stopped. This is a very serious charge. The primary verse they derive this understanding from is 1 Timothy 2:12 and 1 Timothy 2:15 is so interconnected with verse 12 that to focus on a prohibition without highlighting the completion of the prohibition is a recipe for disaster.
The key to understanding the object of the prohibition in 1 Timothy 2:12, is found in the specific grammar of verse 15. Paul says:
“she will be saved if they…”
Through this hard passage of scripture, Paul has:
1. Given priority to the solution – Verse 11 is the only verse in the imperative. Timothy is commanded to “let a woman learn” 1 Timothy 2:11
2. Identified the subject of the prohibition – “a woman” 1 Timothy 2:12 is stopped from doing something
3. Identified the reason for the prohibition – the deception of the one who was not the first one formed. 1 Timothy 2:13 says “for” or “because” and 1 Timothy 2:14 says “and” thus connecting these two verses to the prohibition in 1 Timothy 2:12
4. Identified the action needed as a result of the prohibition – “continue in faith, love, holiness and self control”.
5. Identified the subject “she” in verse 15 (a 3rd person singular) and attaches a condition, ” ifthey continue”. Continue is aorist active subjunctive, third person plural, which is used by Paul to identify not only the woman doing the teaching, but also the man whom she is deceiving as mentioned in verse 12. If an action is required then the people required to do the action must be alive and not dead.
6. Identified the means of the solution – “saved”. This Greek word sozo is only ever used by Paul in his epistles in reference to spiritual salvation.
7. Identified the source of the solution – literally translated “the childbearing”. This word in Greek is teknogonia and is a unique word only used this one time in scripture and it is a noun and not a verb. It is a reference to the promised child, the Messiah who would be born to the woman and in spite of the deception of the first woman, the Messiah would come through her to destroy the deceiver.
8. Identifies the promise – “she” will be saved…if “they”
1 Timothy 2:15 (LITV) but she will be kept safe through the childbearing, if they continue in faith and love and holiness, with sensibleness.
So while Paul prohibits “a woman” from teaching in verse 12, he goes on to promise her salvation in verse 15 “she shall be saved” if she continues in what he has commanded in verse 11 namely “let a woman learn”. This, in her case, was how she was to persevere in holiness etc.
I believe that the only way these verses can be understood at all is to reference verse 15 back to verses 11 and 12. I see no other way to take verse 15 with the precise grammar than to see that verses 11 and 12 are referencing a specific woman that Paul is prohibiting from teaching and influencing “a man” (the Greek word aner can also refer to a husband and with this close relationship with this woman, the Greek word aner I believe should be taken as husband because he is shown to be in direct relationship to “a woman” or “wife”.)
Why do I say that this is the only way to understand verse 15? It is because Paul has been so precise in his grammar that there is no other way we can get past the fact that he is stopping a specific woman in verse 12. The reason is that he says “she” and “they” in verse 15 and the only singular feminine that “she” can be attached to is “a woman” from verse 12. It is future tense so it cannot be Eve since Eve is dead. It cannot be taken to indicate a reference to plural women (as mistranslated in the NASB, NIV) since “she shall be saved” is a correct translation of the future tense, passive voice, 3rd person singular form of the verb sozo (sothesetai). Again, note that Paul also says “they”. “She” and “they” cannot refer to the same thing otherwise the grammar is nonsensical. “She” must be a specific woman and “they” must refer back to “a woman” together with “a man”. (I believe that “they” is unlikely to refer to women in general or that “a man” in verse 12 is men in general. The reason is that if “a woman” is required to complete the grammatical usage of “she” in verse 15, then it would be highly unlikely that Paul would say “a woman” to mean a specific woman and “a man” to be generic men. In that case Paul would be only working to confuse us instead of using specific grammar to identify specific people. If “a man” was meant to be men, then Paul should have grammatically said “I do not permit a woman from teaching or to authenteo men.” It is my view that Paul was consistent where he used the same grammar and so “a man” would be a particular man. Secondly since “she” and “they” were to do something together “continue on in faith, etc”, then a relationship between the “she” and “they” has been established. It is possible that Paul is requiring other women to work with this woman to help her get established in her faith, but the most direct reference back to “they” would be “a woman” and “a man” from verse 12 since no other living people are referenced that would allow the “they” to be a reference back to since “a woman” was introduced in verse 11.)
Why is all of this of such vital importance? It is because Paul is passionate about those who have been deceived. Paul says that the ones who are ignorant and thus act out of their unbelief are just like he was and they have the opportunity to receive mercy just like he did:
1 Timothy 1:13 (LITV) the one who before was a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and insolent; but I received mercy, because being ignorant I did it in unbelief.
Paul tells us in his own words that he received mercy because he was ignorant of the truth and because of this, his sinful actions were done in unbelief. Paul is so focused on the salvation of the ignorant that he repeats the reason that he received mercy:
1 Timothy 1:15 (LITV) Faithful is the Word and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief.
1 Timothy 1:16 (LITV) But for this reason I received mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might show forth all long-suffering, for an example to those being about to believe on Him to everlasting life.
Again Paul refers to his ignorance and his unbelief and says “but for this reason I received mercy“. Paul’s act of stopping the false teachers in 1 Timothy 1:3 is a heart of compassion for their salvation:
1 Timothy 1:3 (NASB) As I urged you upon my departure for Macedonia, remain on at Ephesus so that you may instruct certain men not to teach strange doctrines,
1 Timothy 1:4 nor to pay attention to myths and endless genealogies, which give rise to mere speculation rather than furthering the administration of God which is by faith.
1 Timothy 1:5 But the goal of our instruction is love from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.
Paul then picks up on one of these false teachers who is a special problem. It is easier for Timothy to stop the individual false teachers who are men, but one of these teachers is a woman and the man who is likely her husband is letting her influence him with her deception. There are two markers in the text that indicate that the man is likely the woman’s husband. The first marker is in verse 11 “A woman must quietly receive instruction with entire submissiveness.” It was normative for a woman to be married and if she was required to have entire submissiveness then this was a sign that she was married because “entire submissiveness” is only ever spoken of as something that a wife does for her husband. Secondly for a single woman to be teaching a single man on an on-going basis would be highly unlikely in that culture unless he was married to her. The cultural norm was that men kept their distance from women who were not their wives. Even Priscilla was not alone when she taught Apollos. Her husband was with her.
With Timothy’s timidity, being a very young apostolic representative would have caused him problems in dealing with a specific false teacher who was likely married to the man whom she was influencing. For Timothy to stop her meant that he was interfering in her marriage. Her husband (or “a man”) was not stopping her from teaching error. In fact he was being influenced by her in a way that Paul likens the situation to that of Adam and Eve (the first married couple). The husband Adam was not deceived but his wife was the one who fell into sin through deception. The man in verse 12 is like Adam who was not in a place of deception (Paul does not say in verse 15 “they” will be saved if “they”. He only says “she” will be saved if “they”.) The question of salvation is directly tied to the woman alone and her teaching had to be stopped even if it was interfering in a marriage where the husband was taking no responsibility for the problem. Timid Timothy was reminded in 2 Timothy 1:6, 7 that we need to operate in our gifts without timidity (even if he is correcting someone else’s wife!)
2 Timothy 1:6 (NASB) For this reason I remind you to kindle afresh the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands.
2 Timothy 1:7 (NASB) For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline.
Paul’s reminding Timothy that God wants us to act in power and not with timidity shows us that Timothy’s age may have been an additional component showing us why Paul wrote the way he did to Timothy. The stopping of this one deceived woman would require Paul to push Timothy to act out of compassion for her salvation. Paul then promises that she too can be saved just like he was. This is not a woman who was a deliberate deceiver and the action was not to kick her out of the body of Christ as Paul had done when he turned Hymenaeus and Alexander over to Satan:
1 Timothy 1:19 NASB keeping faith and a good conscience, which some have rejected and suffered shipwreck in regard to their faith.
1 Timothy 2:20 (NASB) Among these are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I have handed over to Satan, so that they will be taught not to blaspheme.
Paul’s belief was that she was one of the ones who were acting ignorantly and in unbelief so that she too could receive mercy if she was taught the truth. Paul’s words that she *will* be saved if… shows us the confidence that God was going to show this woman mercy just as he showed Paul mercy at the time that Paul was acting in ignorance and unbelief.
Now for those who think that the word for “teach” didasko cannot refer to false teaching because Paul didn’t specifically use the word for “another teaching” heterodidaskaleo in Greek, we only have to turn to the book of Revelation to see that John used didasko twice to reference false teaching.
Rev 2:14 ‘But I have a few things against you, because you have there some who hold the teaching of Balaam, who kept teaching Balak to put a stumbling block before the sons of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols and to commit acts of immorality.
Rev 2:20 ‘But I have this against you, that you tolerate the woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, and she teaches and leads My bond-servants astray so that they commit acts of immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols.
Revelation 2:20 is an interesting case because teach and lead are attached together and both are negative things. Didasko is used here without a doubt to reference false teaching. Also the Lord Jesus does not say that he has something against the church in Pergamum because they have a womanleading and teaching as if it was her gender that was the problem but rather that she was teaching error. Scripture says that she calls herself a prophetess but God did not call her this. God does gift women as prophetesses (Acts 21:9). Deborah was not only a prophetess, but she was also a judge over Israel, chosen and gifted by God. But the woman in Revelation 2:20 was not one of the true teachers of God’s word and the evidence was not her gender but her teaching.
Again, it seems that if a traditionalist interpretation is taken, then 1 Timothy 2:12 is a clear blanket statement that prevents a godly Christian woman from teaching true doctrine to adult men. Where does the Bible have a law prohibiting this? I believe this is a large inconsistency in the complementarian understanding of 1 Tim. 2:11-12 and inconsistency is one of the signs of a failed argument.
Instead this passage is best seen as a complete story of ignorance, unbelief, false teaching and ultimate salvation through the correct teaching of biblical doctrine that leads to faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior (the promised Messiah through the woman see 1 Timothy 2:15 and Genesis 3:15). After many years of study, this is what I conclude about the meaning of this passage. This is what makes sense to me given everything in the context of verses 12 and 15. I recognize that other sincere, godly people have come to different conclusions from mine, but I think that this interpretation deserves to be given a fair hearing. To this date no one has shown me any other valid option for the “she” in 1 Timothy 2:15, nor have they shown me any scripture where God prohibited his words from being spoken through a woman. As lovers of the incarnate Word and the written word we should always try to practice consistent, contextual interpretation. In my opinion, for us to take one verse and rip it from its inspired context is to refuse to rightly divide the word of truth:
2 Timothy 2:15 NASB Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.
This is the message that I was prohibited from sharing on Matt Slick’s radio program Faith and Reason. Matt forbid me from sharing why I believed that 1 Timothy 2:12 was referencing one specific deceived woman the first two times that I appeared on his program and he has forbidden me from coming back on his radio program to share the rest of the scripture on this passage. What this does is leave my teaching hanging so that people are not able to understand what I was saying about this difficult passage. Matt says that I was not polite to him and that is why I cannot come back. Listen here to the second session with Matt Slick and you decide for yourself if I was polite or not.
Those who hold back the words of God that are spoken with authority by a woman will have to answer to God. 1 Peter 4:10 and 11 gives women not only the right to speak for God but the obligation to do so:
1 Peter 4:10 As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.
1 Peter 4:11 Whoever speaks, is to do so as one who is speaking the utterances of God;…
Since Peter is not limiting those who speak the utterances of God to men, Paul too would not have contradicted the word of God spoken through Peter. In 1 Timothy 3 Paul is not digressing into an unconnected subject about how to pick overseers and deacons. Instead Paul is continuing on to give hope that anyone can aspire to a place of responsibility and servanthood even though a person had been previously deceived. Those who had been false teachers and who submitted themselves to correction might be restored to such a ministry. Paul himself had been deceived in ignorance and unbelief and thus he obtained mercy. Paul’s original state of deception did not stop him from moving on to maturity and to greater responsibility as an Apostle of the Lord Jesus.
Women who believe 1 Peter 4:11 and obey the command to teach with authority as one who is “speaking the utterances of God” should not be accused of sinning against God when they employ their gift to “serve one another” in the entire body of Christ. For those who teach that men alone are allowed to give out God’s word with authority, I ask a pointed question about authority. When a godly woman teaches orthodox doctrine from God’s inerrant word, where does the “authority” reside, in the woman or in God’s word? If authority is in God’s word alone, then there is no special authority given to one gender alone to give forth God’s words just as there is no special authority for only one gender to hear from God. We need to test all things and hold fast to what is good.
In closing, we want to be very careful that we do not rip 1 Timothy 2:12 from its context because some who have done this in the past have taken the church into a precarious position where the world sees us as prejudiced and unkind to women. May God help us to stand up for women and release them into his service.
*Copyright 2007 by Cheryl Schatz. Permission is granted to use this article to post on a web site or on a blog site as long as it is kept in its original full form without editing and that credit is given to myself and a link back to this blog site www.strivetoenter.com/wim. For any other use, please contact me at
Matt Slick and I had an interesting discussion on whether Paul was stopping true biblical teaching in 1 Timothy 2:12 or whether Paul was stopping error. My answer concerning the imperative command to let a woman learn (1 Timothy 2:11) and the fact that all teaching by “a woman” was to be stopped until she was properly taught was not picked up by Matt as he kept on asking me the same question over and over again. I am not quite sure why he cannot hear the answer to his questions. Maybe he was looking for a different answer and I didn’t give the one he wanted?
Unfortunately Matt did not let me finish discussing the passage with the crucial verse of 1 Timothy 2:15. I asked to come back on and I am willing to discuss the implication of Adam’s first creation where the Holy Spirit links the prohibition with Adam not being deceived as the first one created and the second one created was deceived, however Matt wouldn’t commit to another “discussion”. I really looked forward to hearing what Matt had to say about verse 15. No one yet has been able to answer my exegesis concerning the “she” and “they” from 1 Timothy 2:15 where Paul again moves from singular to plural. I can only assume that Matt still does not have the answer since he has not answered me for a year and a half since he first got my DVD set “Women in Ministry Silenced or Set Free?”
On Wednesday September 26, 2007 I will be having round number 2 with Matt Slick on the issue of women in ministry. We will be dealing with 1 Timothy 2 and the issues of whether “a woman” is a specific woman in Ephesus or whether Paul is prohibiting all Christian women from teaching men (or some variation of this). We will be also dealing with Paul’s reference to creation in this passage and what creation has to do with the prohibition. It should be another hot debate and if you can catch it live, it will be on 790 KSPD in Boise, Idaho or catch the debate streamed live on myfamilyradio.com.
To listen to the program live on myfamilyradio.com go to http://www.myfamilyradio.com/player.html and pick the link at the very bottom for “790 KSPD play outside of browser” The time is 5 – 6 pm Pacific time, 6 – 7 pm Mountain time, 7 – 8 pm Central time, and 8 – 9 pm Eastern time.
The day after the debate the audio should be up at Matt’s podcast site here and I will also be linking to the audio file on this blog.
You might want to let him know that you appreciate the coverage if you are interested in this debate.
And if anyone is interested in calling in to give Matt feedback on his radio show, his radio call-in number is 208-377-3790. The show is on Monday to Friday from 5 – 6 pm Pacific time, 6 – 7 pm Mountain time, 7 – 8 pm Central time, and 8 – 9 pm Eastern time.
Matt also takes emails during the show times that he often reads on air if there are no callers. The day after the debate is a good time to let Matt know your thoughts on the debate. His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org
This is an important debate and if you know of someone who might be interested in listening to two Christian apologists who both love Jesus but have differing views on women teaching the bible in an authoritative way, please send them a link to this blog post so they can tune in and be challenged to test everything by God’s word.
Also Matt wants to pick up the pace a little on the debate so could you please pray that as I go through my points a little faster, that Matt will actually let me finish my sentences this time?
Oh, my, we may need to tie his boxing gloves together a bit to give me a fair shake. At any rate, I trust it will be a respectful continuation of the debate as we seek to challenge each other’s presuppositions. May the Lord Jesus be glorified as we go into round #2!
If you didn’t get a chance to hear the debate regarding women Pastors between Matt Slick of CARM and myself, you can hear it at this link.
The next debate is scheduled for Wednesday, September 26th. The topic on that debate will be how do we know that the woman of 1 Timothy 2:12 is a specific woman in the Ephesus congregation and why is the reason for stopping her tied into the creation of Adam and Eve? It should be another hot debate.
As far as Matt’s treatment of me tonight – I did not take any offense by his words. I believe that he is deceived in this issue and so I am willing to cut him a lot of slack because of this. I consider it a privilege to be able to say even one thing that will help women to be set free in Christ to celebrate their gifts and use them for God’s glory by benefiting both men and women in the body of Christ.
Any thoughts on this debate? I am going to copy teknomom’s summary of this debate that she posted previous to my putting up this post.
(Additional note May 2009: Even though I tried my hardest to treat him with respect during the two radio appearances I had with him, he has publicly denounced me as the one who was attacking him. Since that time he started many posts on his discussion board attacking my person and calling me a heretic and he allowed his vice-president Diane Sellner to call me names and to even question my sanity and all this because I accepted an invitation to talk about women in ministry. I tried my best to get resolution to the misrepresentation and the name calling and my report on the Matthew 18 meeting I had with Matt Slick in August 2008 is found here.)