1 Timothy 2:12 Women In Authority Over Men

1 Timothy 2:12 Explained

When it comes to ministry, few things are more challenging than change. As the leader of this ministry and the teacher of each Bible study published on this website since 2003, I can testify that producing an expository study of the Word of God on a weekly basis can get challenging at times.

But today, by His will, God’s message is as clear and simple today as it was when He used Paul to deliver this message to His beloved friend Timothy.

“12 I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man; she must be quiet.” (1 Tim 2-12)

Like all other scripture, to even get a glimpse of the true meaning of this verse, we must take the phrase and place it in the precise context where it belongs.

First, let’s take a close look at the letter itself.

The letter was written by the apostle Paul around AD 63 while he was preaching in Macedonia. The pastoral epistle was produced to deliver practical advice for church leadership and management, from an aging leader to a young pastor named Timothy, who was the leader of the church at Ephesus.

There is no doubt this letter was intended to serve as a guidebook for professional ministry including today’s non-profit organizations who strive to advance the gospel and further God’s Kingdom as businesses.

The truth of the matter is, the church at Ephesus was struggling under the authority of a young man, and older women within the flock were not receptive to the church’s ranking of its leaders. At the time, the church was led by men of various ages who served within different positions of authority.

The men were called in to serve according to their deeds, the status of their marriage and even their children’s behavior. As for women who were also followers of the Savior, they held more supportive roles within the church.

In Ephesus, Timothy was facing a transformation within his church and when they recognized an opportunity to shift the church to the left, the misguided women took it upon themselves to further radicalize a church whose spiritual compass had been pointing away from God’s path.

When he received news of this, Paul was likely imprisoned and waiting to see the Roman Emperor about his arrest & charges. After his release, Paul wrote and sent the letter along his missionary journey through Macedonia.

Now that we know about the letter, why and when it was written, let’s examine the actual scripture itself as it was written by Paul.

In the first chapter of his letter to Timothy, Paul encouraged church leaders to continue to abide by the strict doctrine found in God’s Word, and that going away from this divine path leads to a shipwreck. In the second chapter, we come to this section of Paul’s guide book for churches:

“1 Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, 2 for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. 3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, 4 who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. 5 For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, 6 who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time, 7 for which I was appointed a preacher and an apostle—I am speaking the truth in Christ and not lying—a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth.” (2 Tim 2:1-7)

In verses 1-5 Paul praises those who serve the Most high God, both men and women. He follows in verses 5-7 with a confirmation about the Savior, that He hopes for both Jews and Gentiles, for all men and women to be saved by faith.

“8 I desire therefore that the men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting; 9 in like manner also, that the women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with propriety and moderation, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or costly clothing, 10 but, which is proper for women professing godliness, with good works. 11 Let a woman learn in silence with all submission. 12 And I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man, but to be in silence. 13 For Adam was formed first, then Eve. 14 And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression. 15 Nevertheless she will be saved in childbearing if they continue in faith, love, and holiness, with self-control.” (2 Tim 2:8-15)

Paul then shares God’s desire for men to pray and lift up our hands to Him in great abundance, and for women to be reverent and avoid bringing attention to themselves within church fellowship.

Through the apostle Paul, God delivered His expectations for women within His family, inside and outside His buildings.

But is verse 2:12 a command? Perhaps to some, even a commandment?

God’s Word is indeed filled with commands and many of these are to be considered just as important as the Ten Commandments, since those minute commands are in fact the very commands which actually apply to us. For example, “Thou shall not kill” is not a huge concern for many believers, as countless Christians would never hurt a living creature little known a human being, and committing adultery can only be done by those who are married. See my point?

If the shoe fits, wear it.

If you’re a man and you feel women should not be in authority over men within the church, I agree with you 100% and I’m not going to try to change your mind on the issue.

If you’re a woman and you feel women must be in authority over men within churches when it is necessary, and when no divinely appointed men can be trusted to guide a flock along the narrow path that leads to Him, I agree with you 100% that women should take over leadership of a such a fellowship.

Otherwise, the church would be in grave danger of succumbing to wolves.

In such case, one main goal for the female leaders should be to equip their fellowship with trusted male shepherds, so their sheep can grow to be strong leaders themselves. As each sheep is blessed with godly leaders, they will be blessed by the ability to recognize God in their shepherds, and their trust in God will be deeper, their bond stronger.

Now for the “not so shocking” part…

It’s not healthy for a man to serve under the authority of a woman for more reasons than we can go over in this short study.

Medically: It’s not healthy psychologically for a man to serve under a woman, specially a woman who they do not admire as a leader or respect as a peer. Men who work under the authority of women are nearly five times more likely to suffer from anxiety and depression then men who work for other men. Not surprisingly, studies also show that women in authority over men succumb to far more anxiety and depression then women who rule over other women.

Spiritually: It’s not healthy for a Christian man’s soul to serve under a woman if he genuinely believes God’s Word to be clear in Paul’s letter to Timothy when He said: “12 I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man; she must be quiet.” (1 Tim 2-12)

Placing such a man under the authority of a woman forces him to trespass against God and His church, and places him in a compromising position that’s never ending.

Professionally: It’s not healthy for a man to work under the authority of a woman within the church, because women were not appointed by God to rule over His church but rather women are to serve supportive roles under the authority of men. Like the statistics above, men who work under women and women who rule over men are far more likely to under perform, end up addicted to medication or they try to get by with anxiety and depression.

Men of God should govern and women after His heart should serve God through His appointed governors.

The day women choose to abandon this essential commandment and give in to the desires of their hearts to take charge over men, to take control of God’s church, to confront Jesus and call His ways flawed, on that day you will surely see the Mark of the Beast on those women’s right hands or their foreheads.

In over 25 years working in Christian ministry, my personal experience with women in authority within God’s church has revealed a simple pattern. So simple, I can’t believe no one else has the presence of mind to just come out and say it:

God does not want women to rule over men. PERIOD.

As a follower of the risen Savior, I have been blessed to be a part of a half dozen Christian fellowships since I was born again of faith back in the fall of 2000. From California to Montreal, and even here in Florida, I give glory to God for the countless servants I served with other the decades. Truth of the matter is, I have to admit that all the places of worship Elizabeth and I got involved with had issues. And the more obvious transgressions we witnessed were predominantly found in women, not men.

The biggest issues I have found in Protestant churches since 2003 resides with women and more importantly, how they lead men to sin. The problem gets even worse when you dig deeper into relationships of those women who cause strife within the body, as most women who choose to ignore God’s commands in Paul’s letter are often married to men of poor character or weak faith whose houses are not in order.

So blame the men, not the women?

Neither context nor culture changes the true meaning of God’s command in 1 Timothy 2-12.

Through His servant Paul, God commands women to serve Him through men.

Don’t like what God says? Take it up with HIM when you come face to face with the One who created you, loves you and sent His only begotten Son to die for your sins so that by faith in Him and His Son, you can live in harmony in Heaven forever.

Or you can always deny the truth, hail women as goddesses and spin that wheel! I hear the prize is a one way ticket to a lake that’s really HOT and quite everlasting… 🙁

God made women to help men.

Put the carriage in front of the horse, women in charge of men, and have at it! See where that takes you…

Truth of the matter is, for the church to thrive we need both the horse and carriage. We need both strong men and strong women. The horse pulling the vessel which holds the truth that needs to be spread to the four corners of the Earth.

Something you won’t find in church doctrine, leadership books or most articles online is, the importance of women within God’s church which is critical. I believe very strongly that a church without women is not the will of God, but that a church without godly men is better off led by women after His heart than yawed out men who are unable to righteously answer His call.

Are you ready to join God’s ARMY and help purify God’s church? I invite you to click HERE to reach out to me so we can get together in a virtual meeting and further explore ministry opportunities as sharpeners of iron, for God’s glory!

This message was written by Daniel St.Pierre
Email: danielstpierre@thrivethroughchrist.com

Posted in Bible Studies, Free Small Group Material and tagged , , .

Daniel St.Pierre

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