Q: Isn’t there a law in 1 Timothy 2:11-15 that forbids women from teaching the Bible to men? Why are you disregarding this law?
A: There are many who take 1 Timothy 2:11-15 as a law that forbids women from teaching the bible to men and therefore forbids them from ministering in the church using their God-given gifts. However we need to test this “prohibition” to see if it is a situation in the Ephesian church (a local situation) that Paul is stopping or if it is a law that Paul is establishing for the body of Christ. Up until 1 Timothy 2 was written, there was not even one scripture that says that women are not allowed to teach the Bible to men. Is Paul constructing a new law for the church? Well, let’s test that.
The Bible tells us that for a matter to be established or when a person is charged with sin, there must be two or three witnesses. Duet. 17:6 and Deut 19:15 establish the law that a charge of sin must be accompanied by two or three witnesses. Jesus confirmed this rule in Matthew 18:16 by expanding its use to the need to have two or three witnesses when one is establishing a fact that would bring a charge against a person. Later Jesus is accused by the Jews of not having a valid testimony because he is testifying about himself and that would make only one witness. One witness alone is invalid according to the OT law. In John 8:16-18 Jesus himself says that he has the required two or three witnesses to establish the validity of his testimony and so Jesus himself even submits to the law of two or three witnesses.
Paul also places himself under this requirement as he establishes in 2 Cor. 13:1 that his third visit to the Corinthians meets the requirement of the two or three witnesses in order to establish a fact. Then in Philippians 3:1 Paul tells us why it is so important to have the second or third witness. He says that it is a safeguard for the church.
I have noticed that this is indeed a safeguard for the church when the cults come at us with one scripture to try prove their point. Where is the second witness to establish a doctrine? I also have noted that no charge of sin and no law is ever established without at least the second witness. Whatever God has told us something that we are forbidden to do, you will never find it in scripture without the second witness. Why? Because there is safety in having the prohibition given with a second witness so that scripture is not taken out of context and without another support to establish the fact. That is God’s established way and a second witness is always there in scripture when God has established a law for us to follow.
So here we are at 1 Timothy 2:11-15. Those who say that this prohibits women from teaching the bible to men are left without a second witness. Which second scripture gives a second witness and says that women cannot teach men? Why is there no second witness? Every law that God established has a second witness and if 1 Timothy 2:11-15 is a law then this is the only law that does not have the second witness and that is out of God’s order and therefore invalid. This doesn’t of course mean that the passage has no meaning – it just means that it does not have a universal meaning of a law that forbids women from teaching the bible to men. No second witness = no law. We cannot get around this because it is God’s law to have a second witness and this is for our safety.